Tag Archives: Hold Steady

New Hold Steady: Grand Junction

Video: The Hold Steady – “Grand Junction”

Directed by Lee Allen. From Price of Progress, out now on Positive Jams.

I poked fun at the crappiness of the previous Hold Steady video but this one is good. While both were compiled from footage shot at a single show, this new one is beautifully lit and its slow-motion cinematography perfectly captures the rapturous transcendence of a Hold Steady concert.

You have to set aside your cynicism when you go to a Hold Steady show. You don’t really have a choice. Before you know it, you find yourself believing that this is all you need. This is all that matters. All there is. It’s a spiritual experience and you can see it in the faces of the crowd in this video.

And the song is great. Almost a sea shanty. But it’s a tale of two desperate people on the road and about to get tired and turn on each other.

If we stretch out our funds we can get through the month
But at some point there must come a time
That we sell something shipped from the wishes you list
For the guys that you talk with online.

I mean, come on. How perfect is that? What a perfect encapsulation of the kind of fucked up kids that Craig Finn has been celebrating for the past quarter of a century. Here we are, all these years later and there’s still an endless supply of stories to tell about damaged lives and redemption.

The Hold Steady: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Hold Steady video: Sideways Skull

Video: The Hold Steady – “Sideways Skull”

Directed by Sebastian Hagan. From Price of Progress, out March 31.

The Hold Steady doesn’t release a lot of music videos, do they? It’s been a while for sure. And maybe this is why. Cobbled together from footage from a show at the Brooklyn Bowl in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, you might as well watch the whole show. Skip to about 1:17:15 for this song. But who cares? This is a classic Hold Steady song.

She flew a flag that she made from a bedsheet
A sideways skull and a lopsided pentagram,
Said “Asymmetrical’s way more diabolical
You don’t wanna make it look too perfect, man.”

That’s true, you don’t. Perfect is boring. And that’s one of the things that’s great about this band. Unlike a lot of the characters in their songs, the band is not sloppy but they’re always a little messy. There’s a difference and it’s important. And “Sideways Skull” has that messy exuberance that makes the Hold Steady such an inspiration.

Craig Finn says the song “is a rocking song about rock and rollers. In this case, they’ve been taken out of the game for a bit of rest, but still keep their dreams alive as they discuss past glories. We loved the big sound of this when Tad Kubler brought it into the band, and the studio performance of it felt especially joyful.”

Yes! Embrace the joy.

The Hold Steady: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Riot Fest 2016: I Remember Halloween

I was never a punk. In high school I was a trendy little femme who liked the Smiths and sixties music. Duckie was my fashion icon. The only punk rock I listened to was the Dead Milkmen.

The king of the punks at my school was a senior named Alex who came to class one morning with perfectly spiked hair. Multiple four-inch spikes of Ziggy-red hair held up with egg whites or Elmer’s or some other gravity defying concoction. While he was walking down the hall some big dumb jock took a donut and placed it on one of those epic spikes.

Alex left the donut on his head for the rest of the day.

To me, that epitomizes punk rock. You make a personal statement that goes against the grain, you get hassled for it, but ultimately you subvert that mockery by reclaiming it and making it your own.

I didn’t see any donuts at Riot Fest this year but there was no shortage of that same punk rock attitude.

Continue reading Riot Fest 2016: I Remember Halloween

My Annual Reminder: The Hold Steady in Grand Rapids

Let this be my annual reminder: I need to get out to more shows. It’s easy to forget what a transformative experience a tight band in a small club can create. Craig Finn knows this. He exudes pure joy on stage. The crowd internalizes this joy and amplifies it back to the stage, generating a loop of enthusiasm that increases exponentially until we all explode in a blast of fist pumps and cheers and raised tallboys of PBR.

The Hold Steady is America’s greatest rock and roll band right now.

At least they were last night at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. The venue has a capacity of 420 and even though the show wasn’t sold out it seemed pretty full. This was at least my fourth time seeing this band but the previous times had all been at big outdoor fests (Lolla 2006, 2007, and one or more Pitchfork). But these guys need to be seen in a bar.

Continue reading My Annual Reminder: The Hold Steady in Grand Rapids

The Hold Steady – Hurricane J

MP3: The Hold Steady – “Hurricane J” from Heaven Is Whenever, out now on Vagrant.

“You’re a beautiful girl and you’re a pretty good waitress.” Craig Finn is still a hell of a storyteller. Dude manages to convey so much in so few words. I’m not willing to go as far as calling his lyrics Hemingwayesque, but his secret is leaving out the most important details and letting the truth fill in the blanks. “Hurricane J” is words of advice from a not entirely altruistic narrator to a pretty young fuckup. “You know I’ll never ask you to change, I’ll only ask you to try.” He may be jaded, but Finn has yet to succumb to cynicism, which allows him to pick up the story where Brian Wilson‘s “Caroline No” left off without sounding like a condescending creep. “You’re too hard already, you’ll only get harder.”

This is the same territory that the Hold Steady has been mining forever, but as long as they manage to pull out gems like this, I hope they continue to keep digging.

Hold Steady: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, MySpace.

Continue reading The Hold Steady – Hurricane J

A Whole Lotta Links: Twitter Roundup #14

Tweet tweetBelow are the things we’ve posted to Twitter recently. In reverse chronological order, just like Twitter… We’re reposting 206 tweets this time with a total of 146 links to stuff that (mostly) didn’t end up on GLONO.

# “Benchley had hit bottom. I had reached the mythical state of total anti-rock, which I call ‘Train,’ after the band.” http://ow.ly/1Clou 16 minutes ago

# “C-listers are considerably cheaper than hiring the bigger-name musicians who used to pack clubs.” http://ow.ly/1Ck4G via @Lefsetz about 1 hour ago

# “When he leans down to pick it up, the weight of his backpack and his overall wastedness prevent him from doing so.” http://ow.ly/1CiwB about 2 hours ago

# But don’t say “leaked” in your tweet or 4ad will dmca your ass! RT @tipsheet: Stream THE NATIONAL’s New Album Now http://bit.ly/bX44Lg about 4 hours ago

# Twitter deletes dude’s tweet after bogus DMCA takedown notice. #national #highviolet #4ad RT @TartyTart: http://bit.ly/aui6KA about 4 hours ago

Lots more below, and you might consider following us on Twitter if you want to keep up with this stuff as it happens…

Continue reading A Whole Lotta Links: Twitter Roundup #14

Twitter Roundup #13

Tweet tweetBelow are the things we’ve posted to Twitter recently. In reverse chronological order, just like Twitter… We’re reposting 121 tweets this time with a total of 80 links to stuff that (mostly) didn’t end up on GLONO.

# FF @Tommy_Stinson – I hate music. Too many notes. Tommy says so. 6 minutes ago

# RT @Weezer: A little credit, please, for referencing “Never Gonna Give You Up” in “Heartsongs” before the Rickroll phenomenon.–RC 18 minutes ago

# RT @lcdsoundsystem: Wow. That drunk girls video with all the pictures is everything i hate in one thing! Nice. 19 minutes ago

# RT @slicingeyeballs: Video: Watch Robyn Hitchcock’s full 37-minute in-store performance at Amoeba Music http://ow.ly/1u6Wz 21 minutes ago

# WSJ: Prince’s Failed LotusFlow3r Site: An Insider Dishes on ‘Polar Bear’ Decor, Fed-Up Fans: http://bit.ly/bCrHBh about 3 hours ago

# Stream another new song from the Hold Steady, ‘The Weekenders’ » http://bit.ly/dsc4lo about 4 hours ago

Lots more below, and you might consider following us on Twitter if you want to keep up with this stuff as it happens…

Continue reading Twitter Roundup #13

Two Cow Garage on touring with the Hold Steady

Two Cow Garage‘s Shane Sweeney talks to (614) Magazine about touring non-stop for eight years, including their recent jaunt with the Hold Steady:

[H]e told us of one of his favorite moments on tour, when he turned to the Hold Steady’s bassist Galen Polivka one night on the bus after the show, quietly thanking him for “being cool” to the band.

“I was like, ‘Man, thanks for being good dudes and being nice to us, ’cause you didn’t have to,'” he said. “He was like, ‘Uh, Shane, I’m 39 years old, I’ve been playing in a band since I was 15, and this is the only successful one I’ve ever been in. I’m just a dude.'”

If any band deserves a break, it’s Two Cow Garage. They’re such great guys, and their live shows are so fucking good. Check them out when you get a chance. Odds are they’re coming soon to a town near you.

MP3: Two Cow Garage – “135”

Two Cow Garage: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Hold Steady: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Two Cow Garage Opening for Hold Steady

The Hold Steady have invited GLONO faves Two Cow Garage on a leg of their upcoming October tour. Two Cow Garage gladly accepted, continuing to tour in support of their latest release, Speaking In Cursive (Suburban Home Records).

TWO COW GARAGE TOUR DATES (all with THE HOLD STEADY):

10/17 – St. Olaf College – Northfield, MN

10/18 ­ Fargo Theater – Fargo, ND

10/19 ­ The Railyard Ale House – Billings, MT

10/20 ­ The Filling Station – Bozeman, MT

10/21 ­ The Big Dipper – Spokane, WA

This is a great opening slot for a band we love dearly. Here’s hoping it leads to bigger and better things.

Stream Speaking in Cursive now from Suburban Home Records:

MP3: Two Cow Garage – “Your Humble Narrator”

The Hold Steady: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Two Cow Garage: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Previously: Loads of stuff…