Outside of last month’s one-day recording session with Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, the nearest thing to a Replacements show in the band’s hometown is still the annual tribute at First Avenue the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year’s promises to be another great one: It will mark the 25th anniversary of the group’s third-greatest album, “Pleased to Meet Me.” Thus, the house band with Terry Eason, members of the Melismatics and a rotating cast of singers will recreate the album live, just as they did with “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash” last year (30th anniversary), and with “Tim” and “Let It Be” the two previous shows. Surely, a horn section will have to be involved in this one.
First Ave has also announced the rest of the tribute lineup, featuring mini-sets in the main room and the Entry by Pink Mink, Story of the Sea (with show co-host David Campbell), Bloodnstuff, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, the Belfast Cowboys, Eleganza, Red Daughters, Blue Ruin, the Fattenin’ Frogs and more. Tickets ($8 advance) benefit the Twin Cities Community Trust, a health care fund. You can expect plenty of well-wishes at the show for the health of Slim Dunlap, who joined the band on guitar for the “Pleased to Meet Me” tour and is recuperating from a severe stroke he suffered in February.
Typically a slow time of the year, that week around Thanksgiving is actually a busy one at First Ave, with the 10th annual pre-holiday throwdown by the Ike Reilly Assassination that Wednesday (Nov. 21). New Jersey’s riling anarcho-punks Titus Andronicus are playing in the Entry on Thanksgiving night (Nov. 22, highly recommended). And then the Hold Steady returns to the club for the first time in over two years for a two-night stand Nov. 24-25.
Funny timing: Titus Andronicus singer Patrick Stickles showed his rabid love for the Replacements in the fan documentary “Color Me Obsessed,” and we all know Craig Finn and the rest of the Hold Steady’s affinity for the ‘Mats, which includes participation in some tribute gigs out east. Alas, Stickles' band has a gig in Milwaukee the night of the local ‘Mats tribute. Finn’s team, however...