Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
Some people are so not right or good for one another that they're perfect for each other. It's a crooked form of logic, but it works out every so often. It's one of those things that defies convention and complicates sanity. It's one of those things that leads to divorces and domestic disputes, but it also sometimes leads to longer lasting unions, friendships and commitments than those entered into by people who should have been ideal matches. Their irrationality is what leads people to continually give these crazy connections chance after chance and see how they play out.
Tommy Stinson, one of the founding guitarists for the legendary Replacements, has surrounded himself in life with these people and in song with stories of people just like them. He's aware that they can be volatile, but the action is too enthralling to ever turn down. The men in his songs aren't rotten, but they're far from perfect. Interestingly enough, the women aren't that much better, but somehow there's a stubbornness to them. There's a doggedness to them that makes them occasionally unwilling to see the cards that are in their hands. They read em and they never weep -- they just grumble some and crack open another tin of beer, thinking that further numbing is all that it's going to take to bring back some kind of equilibrium.
Stinson sings about people who go "from zero to stupid in just one drink" and yet, it doesn't sound much like a scolding. It's just a coping mechanism folded into a hobby that can't be a solution forever and really turns out not to be much of a solution at all, once the dust has settled. At least there's another drink to look forward to. For many of his characters, that's enough and it always will be enough. They're fine with the struggles, the same run-down cities, the same dirty sofas and messy beds, the same late breakfasts and no dinners and all the same fun that they know will accompany their fuck-ups. These are the chronicles of another opened wallet at another dirty bar that's speckled with some colorful, some ruddy-looking drinks cupped in capable hands.