by Peter Aaron
Last February I profiled Hudson resident, current Guns N Roses and Soul Asylum bassist, and solo artist Tommy Stinson in Chronogram. Of course, rock fans with their noses to the ground and under the age of, I dunno, whoever buys Yeasayer records, will also know Stinson as a founding member of influential Minneapolis band the Replacements, the subject of Color Me Obsessed, a fascinating documentary released on DVD this month.
Color Me Obsessed is not your standard-issue grainy-footage-intercut-with-hazy-band-member-remembrances rock doc. It includes absolutely no performance clips of the Replacements. Nor does it contain a single interview with any of the surviving band members. Hell, their likenesses really don’t even appear in the movie until the very end. Instead, producer Gordon Bechard concentrates on telling the group’s story through the mouths of its fans. This not only includes the members of bands that were contemporaries or influenced by the Replacements (Hüsker Dü, the Decemberists), critics who wrote about them (Robert Christgau, Legs McNeil), and celebrity actors cool enough to be into them and not Bon Jovi back in the ’80s (George Wendt? Tom Arnold?); it also includes interviews with several of the band’s average, no-name-grunt followers, many of whose touching and eloquent waxings about why the band moved them are as riveting—often more so—as those by the film’s celebrities. It shouldn’t work, but it’s bold genius, and it does. If you were ever a fan, Color Me Obsessed will remind you why. And if you’re not, it will make you want to hear the Replacements to find out what the big deal is. Which, I’m betting, will make you one.
The trailer is available here: http://youtu.be/yfSbPLABCyk.