I am a big Replacements fan myself. My favorite record of theirs is Pleased To Meet Me and my favorite track on that is "Alex Chilton," which is doubly great since it concerns the impossibly awesome Big Star. The band had gotten somewhat more "mainstream" by the time they released this-- less screaming and bigger hooks-- but given that this came out in 1987, it sounds raw as all hell. Distinct memories of listening to this one in a rental car in Cape Town with Eric and two other friends.
I also can report that Paul Westerberg's solo career got off to a very promising start before derailing a third of the way into his second album. But his first one, 14 Songs is real solid and it served as my soundtrack to many a solitary walk through the deserted streets of west Evanston at dusk. The first song, "Knockin' On Mine," is a great, rowdy hit-the-road type of anthem. I still remember him playing it on Saturday Night Live in 1993 on his first solo tour. (This post is quickly turning into my personal nostalgia tour. Well that's kind of the Replacements for you.)
And then as far as blatant Replacements followers go, my personal favorite is Buffalo Tom. Much like the 'Mats, they've been cruelly denied the big-time success they rightfully deserve, but their fan base is very loyal. (Especially in Boston, where they're from.) Their new album, Three Easy Pieces, was way up on my Top 10 list from last year, but this track, "Mineral," is from Let Me Come Over, which almost everyone agrees is their apogee and perfect for those who appreciate the more tuneful side of the Replacements.
Finally, two pieces of 'Mats trivia for those who care. (Sure you could look the answers up online, but you could also switch around chess pieces while your opponent is in the bathroom.)
1. (easy one) The Replacements' bassist, Tommy Stinson, is now a member of what band? If you don't know this, you like Hannah Montana.
2. (harder) What New York (state) band was loudly trumpeted as the next Replacements, embraced by members of the band, and even released a single that was co-written with Paul Westerberg-- only to go on to an utterly unimpressive career devoted to selling out at all costs?
I'll post the answers in the comment section tomorrow. I think these are pretty easy-- if you cheat they're really easy-- especially the first one.