Tag Archives: the Hold Steady

Stream: Craig Finn “New Friend Jesus”

The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is releasing his first solo album on January 24. Pre-order here. Click here to hear another song from the album.

Tour dates after the jump. Continue reading

Two Cow Garage added to leg of The Hold Steady’s tour

Columbus boys Two Cow Garage just added some dates playing the support slot for The Hold Steady. Hopefully it’ll bring ’em some much-deserved exposure. Info below. …This should also make for some interesting posts in that Two Cow Tour Journal we’ve been (intermittently) bringing you.

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

And before all that happens, you can catch Two Cow Garage at the Rumba Cafe this Thursday with the Cinema and Crudely Fashioned.

SXSW Day 3: Little Boots, The Hold Steady, The Low Anthem

Started the day off at the Pitchfork party. Caught Girls (ok), and then it was onto Little Boots. Her set had a lot of energy, was a ton of fun, and if my schedule permits I’d even try to see her again today. Think Annie meets Lykke Li.

Little Boots at SXSW 2009 3.20.09
Blurry Little Boots

It was then onto The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This was their 7th show in 3 days during SXSW, but they played it as if they were fresh as daisies. Believe the hype on them.

After that it was off to the music blogger hosted event, Hot Freaks. Caught some of Port O’Brien and The Thermals until it was time for the epic set by The Hold Steady, the band in which I stole a lyric from to name this year’s donewaiting.com SXSW coverage.

Okay, now the thing I’ve noticed at previous Hold Steady shows is there’s usually 20 fans that are a little more excited than the rest of the crowd. Granted, everyone in the crowd is excited, but these are super fans. So when you’re at SXSW, a festival that is drawing people from all over the world, when you see The Hold Steady you have a crowd made up of those 20 fans from everywhere. The energy was amazing. There was so much joy in that tent while the band played (close to 20 songs), it gave me chills.

The Hold Steady photo stolen from chromewaves

I went back to the Central Presbyterian Church in the evening and caught Fanfarlo. The band didn’t catch my interest in the beginning of their set, but by the end I was warming up to them. I saw them sell a ton of CDs after their set, so they’re definitely doing something right.

Now it’s time to talk about The Low Anthem. One of the greatest things about SXSW is seeing a band you know nothing about and falling in love with them. This year, The Low Anthem is that band for me. The band is made up of three people who were all amazing multi-instrumentalists, switching instruments constantly during their set. And man can they sing too. A lot of their songs have a noir-y fold sound to them, but there was at least 2 songs where they busted out some real soulful music, too. Check out their website to stream some of their music to hear what I’m talking about. As soon as I get home I’m ordering all their stuff.

MP3: Charlie Darwin by The Low Anthem

Closed down the evening watching the Eugene Mirman and John Wesley Harding Cabinet of Wonders show. This event featured Eugene and John performing with special guests in between. Alina Simone, Todd Barry and Sally Crewe were a few of them that played early on the set. At that point of the evening the music from the venues surrounding them sort of bled into what they were doing so it was a little difficult to follow, but if the tour comes through your area I would definitely check it out.

– Yes, Metallica played. Chip Midnight was there and he took some video.
– Reuters ran an article about the blogger panel I was on.

Update on Rachael Ray’s SXSW Day Show

Over on her official website, the full line-up has been revealed:

The Hold Steady
New York Dolls
The Airborne Toxic Event
Ra Ra Riot
Bob Schneider
The Cringe
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Semi Precious Weapons
The Thermals
John Pringle

It’s Saturday @ Maggie Mae’s. Her website also lists the food Rachael will be preparing.

UPDATE: Entrance is based on a first come, first serve basis. Once the venue reaches capacity, management will institute a “one out, one in” admission process.

SXSW Updates for 2/24

A little birdie told me that the Filter Day Parties will be announced this week.

This time next month you’ll still be hungover.

2/6 SXSW Updates: Gomez, Iron Maiden Documentary

1/28 SXSW Updates: Rachael Ray Returns w/ Hold Steady + More

Last year we were shocked that Rachael Ray was doing a show at SXSW. Then we were more shocked when we saw it was a solid line-up that featured The Raveonettes, among other bands.

Well, word has come out that Rachael is coming back to SXSW in 2009. According to MTV.com, The Hold Steady are going to be playing it, which is the first time we’ve seen the band attached to the festival this year.

Other SXSW items posted to SCHED.ORG:

  • Set times and full details for the official Suicide Squeeze Records showcase have been discovered

  • Misra Records showcase info here.

Favorite Albums, Songs and Concerts of 2008 by Robert Duffy

Florence and the Machine 3
(Florence and the Machine)

While looking back at 2008’s year in music, I decided that for the first time I didn’t want to make a list of just albums. Now that most of the money I spend on music is either via vinyl or mp3s, it didn’t make sense to keep it that limited. So far that reason, I’ve mixed up albums, singles and live performances into one list. Equal ranking, no handicaps.

Another first in this list is the addition of a lot of Columbus music to my overall picks. Previous years there might have been one or two locals that made appearances, but this time around there’s a total of 5 Columbus hits out of 13. I was never was good at math but I think that’s like 123.b3%. It’s a great time to be a fan of music and living in Columbus.

With each entry you’ll find buy/video/mp3 and stream links. Give ’em a click and maybe you’ll find a new favorite too.

1. Florence and the Machine, Live @ SXSW & Kiss With a Fist (single)
It’s been nine months since SXSW, and Florence and the Machine’s performance still echoes in my brain. It was a demonstration of fire and energy, of putting all of your soul out there and giving the audience something to remember. Click here to see a video of the show.

Kiss With a Fist is a perfect song of rage and revenge without apology. Florence’s voice reminds me Dorothy Love filtered through Karen O’s artistis sensibility and goddamn if this song isn’t catchy as hell. I think I read on the BBC website that in parts of London you can actually not be charged with assault if you tell the police that you were inspired by this song.

While other albums that came out this year certainly were amazing, nothing could beat this single song as my top choice of the year.
Buy Vinyl on Amazon | Buy from Label

Kiss With a Fist Video

2. The Dodos, Visiter (album)
Visiter is such a rich album to listen to, it’s hard for me to do anything else while playing it on my headphones. It’s rare that I actually notice the drums or banjo or backup vocals in beautiful detail, and that’s what helps makes this album such a standout.
MP3: Red and Purple | Buy on Amazon

3. Times New Viking, Rip it Off (album)
The first time I saw Times New Viking was when they opened up for The Arcade Fire in Columbus. (To put it in perspective, the show wasn’t even halfway sold out of a 400 capacity venue). My initial impressions were “okay i don’t get it.” Everything started to make much more sense as time passed and I was able to see them live more. Songs are fuzzy and distorted and recorded on equipment that might have been recovered from a basement flood, but they have enough kick in them to fill an arena. These damaged pop songs make up one of the most important albums in recent Columbus history. I can’t wait to hear what they do next.
MP3: Drop Out | Buy on Amazon | Donewaiting.com Interview

4. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (album)
It would have been easy for Gnarls Barkley to try and recreate the success of “Crazy”, but instead they took an artistic and far more interesting turn. I love the slow burn of this noiry lounge album. Cee Lo’s voice still goes down nice and smooth and Danger Mouse knows how to assemble the right beats and instruments to wrap around it. Don Draper approves.

Buy on Amazon | Youtube

5. Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now, Youngster and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (albums)
It’s not fair to other bands when one band comes around and puts out two amazing records in the same year. The nerve! Anyway, both are a logical extension of the modern Belle and Sebastian discography but with more distortion and just slightly more energy. See…. music can be fun and challenging at the same time.
MP3: Don’t Tell Me to Do The Math(s) | Buy on Amazon

6. Columbus Discount Records, The Columbus Discount Singles Club Year 1
You’ve got to have a lot of confidence (and a twinge of insanity) to be a small label and decide to commit to a year-long vinyl singles club (run of 250 each). The gamble paid off both financially (the club sold out within weeks) and musically, with bands like El Jesus de Magico releasing some of their finest work. Still to come in the series: The Unholy Two, Psychedelic Horseshit, Mike Rep and many more. Forget trying to create bullshit slogans like “Indie Art Capital of the World,” Columbus Discount Records should be looked upon as a true banner of inspiration to the entire arts community in Columbus.
Message Board Discussion | Buy Online — sold out!!

7. Langhorne Slim, Langhorne Slim (album)
When I was relistening to this album as a primer for the list writing, I finally realized that most of the songs on this album hover around the 2 and 3 minutes mark. It struck me as interesting because in each short song an incredibly detailed picture is painted with Slim’s lyrics. Call it hit and run songwriting maybe. This album is a great example of a band living in the Americana genre but not sounding completely cliche.
MP3: Hello Sunshine | Buy on Amazon | On Letterman

8. Alina Simone, Everyone is Crying Out to Me, Beware (album)
I can just imagine Alina’s pitch… “Okay, here’s my idea… I am going to do an album of all covers. And they’re songs written by a Russian musician. And yeah, I am going to sing all the songs completely in Russian…. Oh and I am going to put her photo on the cover and not mine.” While this album may be sung completely in Russian, it only enhances the impact. Desperation and longing and hope pour out of Alina’s voice with each song, making it one of the most emotional albums released this year.
MP3: Half My Kingdom | Buy on Amazon

9. Two Cow Garage, Speaking in Cursive (album)
On Two Cow Garage’s fourth album, they’ve finally hit their side. You can hear the confidence in their songwriting and singing. Always on the road, in both Europe and the US of A, chances are Two Cow Garage is playing your home town this weekend. People need to throw away their Kings of Leon albums and listen to this instead.
MP3: Your Humble Narrator | Donewaiting.com Interview | Buy on Amazon

10. Envelope, Shark Bolt (album)
Blueprint reigns supreme over the Columbus hip hop scene, but Envelope has quietly slid into the #2 spot. With the release of his second album, this blue collar rapper has shown he’s got what it takes to mix it up in the big leagues. The national press are starting to take notice and things are coming up Envelope in 2009.
MP3: Straight Up (featuring Hugs and Kisses) | Buy on Amazon

11. Vivian Girls, Vivian Girls (album)
This album makes me want to go drag racing and get tattoos and road trip to Austin TX and find those vampires from that one Tarantino movie and stab them in their undead, vampire hearts. While all the locals thank me for taking care of their vampire problem, the Vivian Girls will be blairing out of my vintage Mustang.

Buy on Amazon

12. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive (album)
Craig Finn’s cast of characters are back in more episodes of discouragement, dead ends and hopeful dreams. I’ve totally bought into the world he’s created. I want to know everything about the people he sings about and would pay at least $20 for a companion book that expanded upon the songs. And man, there’s so many lyrics casually tossed off that just stick around my thoughts for a real long time.

Buy on Amazon

13. Moon High, Moon High (album)
If you didn’t know that Moon High was from Ohio, you might think they make their music somewhere on a secluded California beach, dividing time between recording and exploring the rock formations in the ocean. There’s a casual beauty that sweeps the entire record that feels warm and breezy. A perfect album to get us through the winter.
MP3: Gathering Song | Buy Album

St. Patty’s Day with The Hold Steady

“This is kind of like home. We are in the same league. I am just from a different baseball team.”

Craig Finn compared Minneapolis to Columbus during the middle of the Hold Steady’s St. Patrick’s Day Show. I was drinking one of those big ass six dollar Clear Channel beers, and looking at the Hold Steady front man like he was someone I grew up with.
I think everyone in the room felt that way.

The crowd was hella responsive and energetic. Clapping along, dancing, and just partying in general.
I had seen TV on the Radio, Wolf Mother and the Clipse the previous couple of weeks, and had developed an idea that its impossible have fun at shows that aren’t either in black nightclubs, like the Jim Jones show at Club Obvious, or aren’t involving your friends, such as Times New Viking’s Paisley Reich Fest at Cafe Bourbon Street.

Envelope claims it’s just that white people don’t know how to respond to music.
Maybe, just like seeing Dipset in a club, or TNV at Bourbon Street, The Hold Steady’s natural environment is a mid-west venue full of people that have fairly similar experiences as the band.
It was like the band was built for St. Patrick’s Day in Columbus, Ohio.
Drunk, and literate.

Whatever the case, the Hold Steady was able to put all the energy into the Newport, which bands like the Fray prolly suck out.
When dood says he is gonna walk around and drink.
You know damn well what its like to walk around and drink.
Dood is Tupac really.

The band cranked out the “Chip’s Ahoy” and “You Can Make Him like You” which delve on pretty universal experiences of relationships. But I there is an underlying attention to detail that you can’t front on.
When the band performed “Massive Nights”, lyrics like these:

we had some massive highs.
we had some crushing lows.
we had some lusty little crushes
we had those all ages hardcore matinee shows

He adds the little extra seasoning that let you know exactly what his cultural pedigree is.

This familiarity echoed in my head, when they did “Hood Rat Friend” from Separation Sunday. Where Finn talks about some girl everyone in the scene has fucked around with, but he swears up and down that he doesn’t want shit to do with her.

The band churned out its Bruce Springsteen meets Social Distortion sound to keep it even for those who didn’t go to hardcore shows, and know girls that provided oral sex for everyone you skated with.

The Hold Steady, shamelessly brought out accordions, played power chords and had guitar solos. Finn flailed his arms and commanded the stage.
At one point the guitarist was standing on top of the Newport’s 2 story speakers, while Finn held the crowd’s attention on the other end. Just by smiling and mouthing god knows what.

Crowd response was so good that the Hold Steady did two sets of encores. I am glad they did “Positive Jam” off of the first album “Almost Killed Me”. The very end of the night had the Thermals jamming with the Hold Steady.

I am 100 percent anti-jamming.
But to fully reach everyman status bar band status shamelessly wanking on one’s guitar is a must.

Score one for being a real dood, applying that to a literary concept and executing it perfectly.
Bukowski meets Patrick Swayze’s backing band in Roadhouse.(minus the blind guy).