They sing "I'm in love, what's that song?"

Office hours are a nightmare this week. Actually, this week is a nightmare, and office hours is a angst ridden bit of respite. This says something, because between weird departmental duties (like hosting a workshop and touring a candidate around campus and showing up at a presentation I don't get to voice my opinion on), I am only managing about an hour of my office hours anyway.

Still, that should be enough time for me to delve into a little bit of music to help pass the time. The album for the week: "Pleased to Meet Me" by The Replacements. If you've not heard them - or the album - it's worth checking out, and a fortunate choice on my part for an afternoon where I'm pretty exhausted from the chaos of the week.

The Replacements turn up in odd places these days. They've got a song in "Rock Band II" now - probably more - but I've had more than a couple of friends who've played the game pause because while the song - "Alex Chilton" - was familiar, they couldn't place the band to save their lives.

I was a late comer to the Replacements, having heard bits of them before - I'm sure I saw their (in)famous Saturday Night Live performance - it resulted in them being banned from the show. But I really didn't hear them until a friend introduced them to me in grad school. Critics back in the day loved them back in the day. Like Bon Jovi, who once asked how the Replacements could be the best bands of the 1980s if he'd never heard of them, I missed the boat. And that's a shame, not just because the boys from Minneapolis were a band destined for - maybe even built for - self-destruction, but because lead-singer Paul Westerberg had - no, that's not correct: has - a way with words.

And that great, rock and roll vibe is perfect for the week which has felt like a bus with only two wheels doing 90 mph. It's been a workload equivalent of a flogging. And having limped through a workshop on how one might use technologies in the classroom, I'm inclined to wonder if, in the same way doctors make the worst patients, teachers don't make for the worst students. At least my years of doing tech support weren't wasted: always good to remember how to properly growl the phrase, "Sir, please stop clicking."

One of the more surreal moments of the week came when I mentioned being tagged to lead a candidate around campus for their informal tour, and another young faculty member felt slighted. I guess the grass is always greener: I wish I hadn't had to do it, and they felt bad because they weren't asked to.

And yet I'm here in the office - just down with "Skyway" and onto "Can't Hardly Wait" on the disc - and the little bits of resentment are seeping off, and the day's feeling fine. I'm due for a beer or two with a friend tonight. It's the mark of a good disc, even if it means office hours and the job have been less than successful.

If the Replacements - the 'Mats to their friends - taught us anything, though, it's that you take those bits of success when you can get 'em and don't worry too much about the rest.


3 Responses to “They sing "I'm in love, what's that song?"”
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Dr. Crazy said...

Ok, I'm so glad that you acknowledged that you should have heard of the Replacements long before you did. Because DUDE. When I read "If you've not heard of them" in your second paragraph, I seriously was like, "WHAT? People have not heard of The Replacements? For serious?"

This is so lame Replacements to love, but it was my introduction:

January 27, 2010 at 11:59 PM
ash said...

Hooray! LOVE the Replacements. I remember what I consider to be one of the coolest compliments I ever got in college: One summer I went to a lot of shows at a club in Chapel Hill by myself. (My close friends were going through a phase at the time where they'd rather hang out at a cheesy frat bar than listen to local music, so I had to strike out on my own...) An acquaintance noticed my frequent solitary outings and told and told me, "every time I hear that Replacements line (from Achin' to Be), 'she dances alone in nightclubs every other day of the week' I think of you." Made my day--and is still memorable lo these (way too) many years later. Thanks for reminding me!

January 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

It seems like it is their destiny to be one of those bands who most people never quite hear of. I'm definitely glad I did.

As a quiet plug, their albums have been remastered recently, and they're reissuing a lot of new stuff with them. They're well worth checking out.

January 29, 2010 at 8:59 PM