Back in the fall of 2012, your favorite band that inspired the name of the high school in the movie Heathers began playing together again, (or, at least, founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson have). After former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke and was hospitalized and paralyzed, they launched the Songs for Slim project and auctioned off a limited-edition EP, which brought in more than $100,000 for Dunlap’s medical bills.
Now, to continue helping their bandmate, the band will release the EP digitally, including a surprisingly invigorating cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’.” Maybe it’s playing with his former bandmate, or the passion that comes with doing something you love to help someone you care about, but the duo sound a couple decades younger, and it’s a fun listen.
Songs For Slim will be released digitally on March 5th, with proceeds from downloads going to cover Dunlap’s medical bills. And, the lede that seems to keep getting buried here is that the EP closer is a cover of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the musical Gypsy, which is just going to be swell/great. Wonder how Westerberg’s Ethel Merman impression is.
The Songs for Slim project will extend outside his former bandmates to include monthly auctions of 7” singles by an all-star roster of artists covering Dunlap’s songs, including Frank Black, members of R.E.M., Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, Deer Tick and Lucinda Williams. In the meantime, check the Replacements’ version of “I’m Not Sayin’” over at Pitchfork, and, for comparison, listen to Nico’s also excellent 1965 version, as well as the Gordon Lightfoot original, below.