Friday, January 29, 2010

IEM Training Update- Vol. 13; Issue 5

January 28 status:

WEIGHT: 185.8

  • 1lb. baby carrots
  • Fiber One bar- oats and caramel flavor (These don't seem to make me fart any more than usual, but they turn my spouse into a 5' 2" cloud of sulfur.)
  • 3-taco plate (2 carnitas taco/1 asada taco/beans/rice) at the Cal State East Bay Student Union. Surprisingly adequate-tasting and not too expensive at $5.50.
  • 2 5/8 ounce bag of Rold Gold Thins pretzels
  • 20 ounce Pepsi
  • 1 bowl curtido (This stuff gets really boring after 2 days.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Peter Pan peanut butter
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • NOTE: All of our Haagen Dazs brown sugar ice cream was gone as of yesterday. I am having an internal debate as to whether it is prudent to buy all the remaining containers at Grocery Outlet.
DEFECATION (what my turd looked like): A braised lamb's brain

EXERCISE: School, yet again. Since I always leave my homework until the day of classes, I can only muster the one-mile walk from the parking space to the classroom those days. I am enriching my brain, yet allowing my Adonis-like body to atrophy.


The Replacements- All Shook Down- 1990- Before this month, I hadn't listened to this in well over a decade. I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised with this rediscovery.

Except among tired punk-only types, conventional wisdom states that Tim is The Replacements' best album. While it is true that Tim has the best overall collection of songs, the production is confounding. Whenever I listen to that record, I am always thinking, "This would be so much better without the faraway-sounding gated reverb drums and the cheap-sounding guitars." The whole thing just sounds janky. With either a "correct" pro mix or a powerful lo-fi recording, I would view Tim as the unbeatable masterpiece that aging college rockers claim it to be.

However, Tim is what it is, so I have difficulty listening to more than a couple of songs of it at a time. When I want to listen to pop Replacements, I will now put on All Shook Down more likely than not. Firstly, the production is not distracting. Yes, it sounds like a major label record, but not a dated 80's major label record where you think, "Who the hell at Warner thought this production sounded good? In 2010, any kid with a Mac and GarageBand could make a better-sounding album." I refuse to believe producer Tommy Ramone had any real input on the final product. There aren't as many crotch-grabbingly great songs on All Shook Down as there are on Tim, but there are more than enough of them to make me want to listen to it far more regularly. The semi-hits, "Merry Go Round" and "When it Began," should have made Westerberg a household name. They certainly sound better than "I'll Be You" off of Don't Tell a Soul, which got considerable Top 40 airplay. Indeed, there are a couple of turds on this record. "The Last" sounds like a bad SNL spoof of a mid-70's Billy Joel song. And "My Little Problem"? What idiotic A&R man thought a duet with Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano would be a good thing? I hope they got fired.

I'm also a big fan of "Nobody" and especially, "Bent Out of Shape," which sounds EXACTLY like what the rockers on Tim should have sounded like. Despite that track, most of this album sounds more like a singer-songwriter type record than a full rock n' roll band. It has a lot more in common with the later Westerberg solo stuff (except with better recording) than any other Replacements record or even with the songs on the Singles soundtrack.

Yes, I am a fanboy for Westerberg. I lived in the Midwest for 15 years and went to college there. What do you expect? Having said that, I wrote this whole thing without once calling the Replacements "The Mats." Deal with that.


Bradley said...

hmmmm.I agree...I don't have the chops for a long, drawn- out debate. I can not listen to a full Replacements lp...There is just too much music out there, to blow my time on them.

chris o said...

Weird, 2 friends did separate blog takes on All Shook down in one week:

Jez said...

Eh. I prefer "Pleased to Meet Me". I think I've listened to this one exactly once, on cassette, because my wife has it.

I think I got this one confused with "Don't Tell A Soul", is the only reason I don't own it. I own all the other ones. I like them okay, but they are far from my favorite band. Westerberg writes good lyrics, but he's no Brent Best.

痛苦 said...

人逢順境不逞強,身處逆境不示弱。 ....................................................