Even more than half way into my college life, music was defined to me as FM radio, in a format that would later be called “Classic Rock”. I would even say that my life philosophy was pretty much what was broadcast to me. Then someone loaned me Tim. Stupid title from a band that had played in town the weekend before. I had an offer to go, but it was $8 and I didn’t know them from Adam Ant. I would never see them as a group — they didn’t play the midwest college towns much after that and I went away to a forgotten Mountain town for the remainder of the Replacements’ time together.
Still, if the Clash was the only band that mattered, the Replacements became the only band that mattered to me.
And what caught me on that first listen was the vulnerability. Alternative music (called “College Radio”) in those days seemed to me to be about the geo-political anti-establishment — I couldn’t relate to the Sex Pistols raging against the queen. But I could get “if being strong’s your kind, then I need help here with this feather.” And that was my inroad to exposing one’s feelings and trying on a little attitude to make it seem acceptable.