We spent the past weekend in Wisconsin, as another of my nieces graduated from high school. It was nice seeing family again, and getting out of Brookings for a bit–Even if it meant two full days of driving. While I was gone, word came out online that supposedly The Replacements are once again broken up. Paul Westerberg made some off-hand comment about the band having played their last show, them being lazy bastards, and then smashed a guitar. Nothing he said was anything he hadn’t said at shows in the past, nor was that the first guitar to get broken. Plus, I’ve always had the impression that you can’t take anything Paul says literally.
But having watched all the YouTube videos from other fellow ‘Mats fans, and getting reports from Facebook friends about Paul’s Shirt, as well as seeing pictures from the various meet-ups that were taking place during this tour filled me with a lot of envy. Many of you already know I had tickets to the Columbus show, but then had to give them up. Which was a blessing in disguise, as the show was outright cancelled. And I don’t think my mom would’ve been too thrilled about going and hanging out with a bunch of other random people. But I did end up with some cool ‘Mats loot, thanks to a really awesome friend:
(This is one of the extremely rare instances where I will show my face on this blog. It is only acceptable because of the t-shirt.)
And I now get to look this at every time I’m at my desk:
Since the “news” about the band calling it quits happened while I was away from home, I had that need to pull myself away from social media and go bake. I couldn’t do that until we got back to South Dakota, so I had time to think about what I wanted to make. I decided to do browned butter cupcakes, just because it’s now hot on the prairie, and if I leave butter out to soften for too long, it’ll turn to a greasy mess. I also think browned butter is a little more sophisticated or grown-up, if you will. Not unlike this incarnation of The ‘Mats.
But since “Swingin’ Party” (the song from which “Bring your own lampshade” is taken) is from the drunken disorderly days of the band, I also wanted some sort of nod to their past. So I topped them with Whiskey Buttercream.
And a couple of them got mini homemade lampshades.
The cupcakes themselves are delicious.
The browned butter and cinnamon give them a warmth that’s easily complemented by the Whiskey Buttercream.
I took a bunch of these into work, where they were well-received. I also kept some home, where they didn’t last the evening (but that’s only because I kept just what I needed for blog photos). And while The ‘Mats may once again be no more, I’ve got these cupcakes I can make. Plus, I’ll always have this:
It might be a crap photo, but it was the best concert I’ve been to in my 39 years on this earth. If ever there was a band whose lyrics always reminded me I’m never alone, it’s The Replacements.
And for that, I am forever grateful to Paul, Tommy, Goddam Dave Minehan, and Josh. And I can’t leave out Bob or Slim, especially not Slim, since he was then in the band when I first discovered them. Whether this is truly the end or not remains to be seen. I like to think Paul is laughing his arse off at all of us fans stressing about it, and has something up his sleeve.