Welcome to Mats City: the NYC “Color Me Obsessed” afterparty
Tonight, Gorman Bechard’s Color Me Obsessed finally made it to New York City, and #1 Mats Fan Jesse Malin organized a homecoming party worthy of the movie, the band, and the fans. Highlights included Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus absolutely nailing “Sixteen Blue,” Kevn Kinney’s lovely “Here Comes A Regular,” Tommy Ramone (who, you may remember, produced Tim) singing “If Only You Were Lonely,” – the list goes on, and on, and on, but was capped off (in my opinion) by the video above, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler doing “Within Your Reach.” (I apologize for not continuing into “Color Me Impressed,” which was the next number and was mindblowing, but there was no way I could have kept the camera steady the whole song.)
There were some numbers that were slightly questionable–Robert Gordon wanted to do well with “I Will Dare” but, regrettably, did not, and no matter how many times he jumped around, Willie Nile did not convince me that he had ever heard “Can’t Hardly Wait” until last night. On the other hand, several musicians I was completely unfamiliar with delivered incredibly, highly convincing performances of deep catalog cuts: Bree Sharp conquered “Unsatisfied” with aplomb, Dave Hause brought much needed energy to spot-on versions of “Anywhere Is Better Than Here” and “I.O.U.,” and Alex Levy covered “Portland,” even. Matthew Ryan pointed out he was singing along to a lyric book because he had previously made up his own stories to the songs and Todd Youth wanted him to get it right. Jesse Malin gave us a joyous “Alex Chilton,” and D-Generation bandmate Danny Sage’s “Answering Machine” (prefaced by a great Bob Stinson story) hit the perfect emotional notes. And I need to give props to a backing band, led by Todd Youth, who were crisp and sharp and professional, with just the right degree of raucousness. For a Replacements fan, it was a tremendous event.
There is something about standing in a room surrounded by people singing along as loud as possible to songs that you love, especially when it’s not something you get a chance to do any more. I am always appalled when Jesse Malin covers “Bastards of Young” because no one knows the song and worse, no one cares to know the song. There was an incident at a Justin Townes Earle show where I was openly mocked for singing along to “Can’t Hardly Wait” despite Earle’s encouragement. Even when Marah would cover the same (sometimes with the horns, even!) there would be disgruntlement around me. So it was good to be surrounded by kindred spirits for the first time in a very long time.
Having spent 20 years of my life carrying the torch for the Replacements, it’s been a crazy couple of years for me. I finally made it out to Minneapolis, had a drink at the CC Club, sat on Bob’s Bench and paid my respects, went to a show at the Seventh Street Entry and sat there singing along to Replacements songs. Like, these were not just things I did to tick them off a list, they were as real and as vital to me as visiting Abbey Road, Cap Rock, 315 Bowery, or the corner of 7th & Main in downtown Los Angeles – the list goes on (and hopefully you get the idea). Standing on the Bowery again singing along at the top of my lungs to my old musical compadres, just up the road from a place I saw the same songs performed a long time ago, was sad and sweet and satisfying. I just felt lucky, lucky to have the memories and to have seen the band and been there when so much of what people miss and long for and wish they were there for happened.
Jesse Malin and the Todd Youth All Stars doing “Alex Chilton”
Encore with everyone, “Bastards of Young”. Watch Patrick Stickles walk around filming everything.