24 Days to Find a Home
"Nowhere is My Home" is a rare 'Mats tune, from import EP Boink, which only us superfans (and if you've heard the Replacements, how could you be anything else?) know. So imagine my shock and pleasure at seeing them play it at their magnificent return to New York, more than two decades after their breakup, in Forrest Hills last summer.
Produced by Paul Westerberg's hero Alex Chilton, it's about as 'Matsy as a song can get--scruffy, lovable, contagious and mostly ignored. The lyrics and poor mix underscore Nick Hornby's comment about Westerberg being "everyone's favorite coulda-beena-contender." It's a theme he immerses in, to say the least (years later, on the Beatles tribute I am Sam soundtrack, he covered, of course, "Nowhere Man"). "I can see the ship's full of holes / Even though with a heave and a ho we'll raise the sails" starts the ever-optimistic losers' anthem, building to the climactic chorus, an "I'm Nobody! Who are you?" for the Sex Pistols era:
"I didn't deserve it
To feel so disconcerted
That's my home, dear
Is where I'm from
Ain't too far from here"
How dreary to be somebody. And what a joy to be Nowhere with the Replacements.