Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Where The Hell Did That Come From?"

Somewhere at the end of the first 100 pages of "Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements," Paul Westerberg gives manager Peter Jesperson some lyrics and says, "This is the best line I have ever written."

"I can live without your touch, if I can die within your reach."

It's pretty damn good, I think. It's from the song "Within Your Reach," from the 'Mats third record, "Hootenanny." As I am wont to do, I soundtrack the music book I am reading, and most of the time, get a better understanding of both the words on the pages in the story and the songs being written about.

I have always been a fan of The Replacements, despite not being a fan of the "let's just get drunk and fuck things up because we can" attitude. I saw the band 5 times in their heyday. Three of those five times they were horrible. Truly off putting. But what you don't get from those ramshackle performances is a true sense of just how good Westerberg is as a songwriter and just how good Bob Stinson was as a guitar player. (He idolized Steve Howe, for Pete's sake.) There will be no extended "Roundabout" solo on "Fuck School," but what Stinson does manage to pull off during some breakneck tempos, is nothing to shake a stick at.

But I digress.

This is less about these 'Mats and more about the song, "Within Your Reach." That baby is really an anomaly.

Is their someone, you either love or hate, with one song that makes you say, "Where the hell did that come from?," in either a good way or bad?


Anonymous said...

well, you have "Stink" on the sidebar, and "Stay" was a total outlier among their songs. otoh, I suspected it was cribbed from the Dead Boys. and you nailed it with Bob Stinson. I'm in the camp that he was the Mats' mvp; they weren't the Mats without him.

"Get Lucky," the lead track from Heatmiser's "Mic City Sons." The T-Rex beat was totally alien to anything from Heatmiser up to that point or anything else Elliot Smith would do later.

"Kim and Jessie," a track off of M83's "Saturdays = Youth." So sunny and hopeful, opposed the bombast or gauziness of most of that guy's stuff. a perfect pop tune.

kevin m said...

Sal - I'm not responding to your question. Instead I must comment on the book itself.

I loved the Replacements. But damn is their story and that book depressing.

mauijim said...

Sal I didn't think Van Halen, with Diamond Dave back in the fold would have anything more to say, if they ever really did beyond lets party but You and your blues off A different kind of truth caught my attention on first blush and i have continued to enjoy that song
when it pops up on shuffle on the classic iPod i too still use in my commute as you recently mentioned you do too.

Shriner said...

So leaving out "one-hit-wonders", I would classify these songs as "boy this is great and I haven't liked anything else by the artist, lord knows I've tried":

"Locked Out Of Heaven" -- Bruno Mars

"Don't Change" -- INXS

"I Write Sins Not Tragedies" -- Panic at the Disco

"Nothing Compares 2 U" -- Sinead

"I Got You" -- Split Enz (and, yes, this includes all of Crowded House...)

"Sadness Is a Blessing" -- Lykke Li

"Party Hard" -- Andrew W.K.

"Hey Ya!" -- Outkast

And some pop great singles like: "Call Me Maybe", "Fuck You", "Rockerfeller Skank", "Pumped Up Kicks", etc...

But the most recent song that came out of nowhere for me: "Acid Tongue" by Jenny Lewis. (Which gets a pass because I absolutely *adore* "The Frug" by Rilo Kiley and nothing else by *that* band either...) This swung back as it was the closing number on a recent "Best of Austin City Limits" where the rest of her set was pleasant, but forgettable...

vanwoert said...

There was a song on "The Last Waltz" called "Out of the Blue" that sounded more like Smokey Robinson than The Band. I remember a song on Foghat's second album called "Couldn't Make Her Stay" that was a 180 degrees from the rest. I always loved Bad Company's "Love Me Somebody" for the same reasons.

Sal Nunziato said...


The first time I heard "Acid Tongue," I was floored. It was a live performance on Conan. I even wrote about it here.

Nothing else Jenny Lewis has done before or after has done anything for me.

Also, I am stunned about your comment, re: Split Enz/CH. Knowing what you like, it doesn't make any sense.

Shriner said...

I have honestly tried Split Enz numerous times (a friend is big into them). Even "Six Months..." does nothing for me. "Don't Dream It's Over" -- same thing.

Just like I don't get why you don't like Sloan or Robyn Hitchcock, I guess. ;-)

buzzbabyjesus said...

I once made a Robyn Hitchcock compilation for Sal, and when I listened to it pretending I had Sal's "ears", I didn't like it either, so he never heard it. Instead, "I Got The Hots" made it onto a weekend mix.

Most of the time it isn't one song I don't like, it's everything after a certain point.

The only guilty pleasure I can think of right now is "My Sharona".

Brian Campbell said...

I always wondered where that "I'm Your Captain" song by Grand Funk came from.
And that Westerberg line "playin' makeup, wearing guitar" from I Will Dare always makes me smile.

Dave said...

Bubblegum Edition:

"Hey Deanne" Shaun Cassidy's version

"Love Me for a Reason" -- Osmonds

"I Want It That Way" -- Backstreet Boys

Dave F

Mr. Baez said...

I thought "Was Dog A Doughnut" was a pretty out of character little spacey funk number from Cat Stevens.