In praise of The Replacements' Androgynous

Originally published at: In praise of The Replacements' Androgynous | Boing Boing


And they love each other so!


Closer than you know.

Seriously, this song is so perfect it moved me to tears the first time I heard it. I’m kind of surprised it isn’t more popular than it is.


Lovely post of appreciation, 100% in every regard :slight_smile:

Great! I love the whole album obviously, but Unsatisfied must have been a hit of some kind I guess? I remember nearly falling out of my flannel when it popped up on the soundtrack to that strangely semi-forgotten (given the cast) movie Airheads, rented from my local video library shortly after its release on VHS…

Of course Skyway is the other sweet Replacements song that hits right in the feels. But I won’t start, where would you stop with a band like that. Respect.


It’s infuriating and sad that the hope and promise of this song (tomorrow who’s gonna fuss?) has been shouted down by Republicans trying to drive America back into puritanism, or rather trying to make a quick buck by stoking peoples’ fears and hatred of others into the fire of tribalism. At the time of the song’s release, it was a less controversial sentiment than it would be today. I mean, Klinger on MASH was a beloved TV character. Cross dressing wasn’t seen as an attack on anyone’s values. Hell, just look at the TN gov who recently pushed a statewide ban on drag shows when there was a photo of him in drag in his high school yearbook. It wasn’t a divisive political issue until they made it one and now they’re using it as a wedge to divide up the country.


I’m a straight, cis, white dude and the Mats and Let it Be was on heavy rotation in my college years. I always loved the song, it’s incredibly well written, but that’s typical of their songs. I always thought the song was fairly unique in their catalog. But as I think of it, it’s a great love song, similar to 16 blue that is purposefully made uncommercial because of the aggressive inclusivity/otherness of the lyrics. Purposefully uncommercial would be a reasonable title for a Mats biopic.


Very much enjoy this song, although I didn’t realize the Replacements were the original artists. I was familiar with the Crash Test Dummies version.

I know the Crash Test Dummies can be polarizing

Really? Weird, I’d never heard that, I just thought they weren’t greatly popular except with folks like me.


Yup, this was one of the ‘Mats tracks that definitely made me a Believer - and there were a few years when I believed in little more - but from a slightly different angle, it’s interesting to see how many people resonated (and resonate still) (as I did and do) with the vulnerability of being a hardfastloudpunkDRUNKband that was also willing to not only get emotional, not only get quiet, but actually be thoughtfully eloquent, articulate and poetic in a time when those traits were mistrusted and often mocked. Interviews from the time show how uncomfortable Westerberg was with sincerity and earnestness and poetic craft, and yet his songs (and underappreciated collaborator Christopher Mars’) really did. I’m reminded of DFW’s crusade against irony - that, and the exceptionally complex and occasionally even subtle songcraft, made the Replacements stand out in my heart.


At UMass in the 80’s, while the Replacements were on stage, their road manager told my friends on the hospitality crew to remove the leftover food from the green room. The students on the crew decided that no, there was plenty left over and the band might want some more. Big mistake. The Replacements used the food to re-decorate the green room after their show. The road manager knew his band, it seems.


The Lips did a cover last year in Minneapolis.

This is truly an incredible song. The 'Mats would hardly be considered “woke” and, in fact, have a lot of behaviors that many people would want to cancel them over. But, they are 100% themselves. Individuals. If they’re not “woke”, neither are they “unwoke”.

Their early work is lumped by most all with “punk” (and that’s fair), but they aren’t, weren’t, and never were punk.

In a world where everyone wants to categorize and label for purposes of judgement or dismissiveness or intellectual laziness, there’s no where to put them.

They were always a band I liked, but as I get older and get a deeper understanding of the people who made the music they have shifted to be, possibly, my favorite band of all time (just as other bands have diminished to my perspective).

If you have ANY, even 1% interest in Rock n’ Roll or the Replacements… please please please read “Trouble Boys”. It’s one of the definitive words of RnR biography. Written by a journalist who researches and approaches the material as a historian. It’s unflattering, at times brutal, endearing… just one of the best things I’ve ever read in any genre.

Thank you so much for this post.


I don’t want to assume meaning, so I’ll point out, regarding Mars, if you mean his solo musical work, you’re absolutely right. If you mean during his time in the 'Mats, I disagree. One of the points of contention (probably not the primary one) was that over time Westerberg took less and less input from the other members.

In a slightly better world Westerberg learns to use Stinson (who has turned into a great songwriter himself) and Mars contributions and kept the 'Mats going as a powerful band and he used a solo side career for the softer stuff. Old 97s are an incredible model of this (another favorite band).

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Can’t include links here? Weird.

Mercury Rev’s cover of Androgynous is on youtube. Pretty good.

I guess I never thought about it, but I would have expected the Joan Jett version was first :confused:

My favorite cover of this song is by the Twin Cities band, The New Standards. (apparently I can’t post the you tube link here, so just skip over to YouTube and search for “new standards” “androgynous”)

Members Chan Poling (The Suburbs) and John Munson (Trip Shakespeare, Semi Sonic) were both contemporaries of The Replacements.

It’s my second favorite Mat’s song after Gary’s Got a Boner.

Paul Westerberg has been a HUGE influence since I was 15 in 1984 myself. Recommend his solo records Stereo/M9no for more brilliant tunage.

He’s influenced my songwriting ever since…flo-


The Bridge was written because of this song i.e “The next time they see me they’ll laugh like they did - the only difference is they’ll feel like I did”

Thanks Westy👍

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