Archive for the 'The Hold Steady' Category


To Do List

1. Wake up

2. Get dressed

3. Get into your car

4. Drive to your local record store (Here are 17 great ones)

5. Purchase the new Hold Steady album Stay Positive

6. Take the rest of the day off to enjoy its sweet sweet melodies


The Hold Steady at Littleton High School

Both of those links are to videos of The Hold Steady playing at Littleton High School, one directly adjacent to Columbine (yes, that Columbine). Below is an article explaining it and an interview dealing with it. Proof that Rock and Roll can have a positive affect on the youth of America.




You Like This Band, You Just Don’t Know It Yet: The Hold Steady

holdsteady.jpg“I’ve said a number of times that people think of songwriting as a very personal thing: A guy gets up there with an acoustic guitar and he sings his heart out, bares his soul. What we’re doing is more cinematic. No one goes up to Quentin Tarantino and goes, “You must shoot a lot of people. You must do karate all the time.” And yet, I think in the context of what we do in rock, there is this expectation that it’s somewhat autobiographical. These things haven’t happened to me, but they’re stories of things I’ve been around that I package in characters.”

Craig Finn (Pitchfork)


One of the fastest rising bands in the music scene right now, the Hold Steady are bringing back no-frills rock n’ roll and everything that music should be about. The Brooklyn-based band (though 4 of the 5 members are from Minneapolis) is a hard-rocking, endlessly touring, group of normal looking guys with one of the best live shows on the planet, doing it without fancy lighting techniques or pyrotechnics like a lot of bands do. Their local bar-band style highlighted with frontman Craig Finn’s story-telling, talk-sing lyrical style makes you want to bust out the air guitar and start riffing while singing along to the easily understandable lyrics.

The band started because another ended. Craig Finn and lead guitarist Tad Kubler are both former members of the group Lifter Puller, which was very popular in the Minneapolis area, but did not have many fans elsewhere. The band broke up because, as Finn says, “We set out to play shows and make records and we felt like we had accomplished that. At the time I really felt that it had reached its maximum potential. I may have been wrong about that. (Indieworkshop)” After the breakup, the band members went their separate ways, with Kubler going to Los Angeles and Finn to Brooklyn. After a couple of years they reconnected, by way of Finn inviting Kubler to play some filler music with him in between comedy sets his friends were doing. The band simply grew from there, “That’s kind of how the Hold Steady grew, focusing more on writing good songs than on how we wanted to appear to people, what scene we wanted to be a part of. (Pitchfork)”

Quickly Finn and Kubler found more pieces to the Hold Steady puzzle, adding former auto mechanic Bobby Drake on drums, Franz Nicolay on keyboard, and Galen Polivka on bass, completing an odd-looking rock band. Nicolay could win a Groucho Marx look-alike contest, especially at Lollapalooza in 2007 when he came out in a suit and bowtie. Polivka seems like he would be more at home teaching kindergarten, and Drake just seems too quiet and nice to fit the rock star mold. But the oddest two are Finn and Kubler. With both wearing thick-rimmed glasses and neither in the best shape, they look more like the guys you would expect fixing your computer than up on stage blowing you away with explosive guitar riffs and lyrics any teenager could relate to on a personal level.

Finn’s lyrics and his talk-sing style are what make this band stand out from other hard rock groups. Finn clearly isn’t the best singer to grace the rock n’ roll landscape, but he more than compensates for it with what he is saying. The songs tell stories of teenage abuse of alcohol, sex, and drugs, usually revolving around central characters. But while a lot of times rock glorifies the party lifestyle, these lyrics show a different side of the story, “I’ve known people who have had drug and alcohol problems and I don’t think its funny. I don’t think it’s something to be glorified. It’s just a story I’m telling… I think the people who are really paying attention realize that. I can tell you that the people who are fucked up the most are singing those lines the loudest. There’s a bit of an irony there. (Aversion)” The stories and characters portrayed are people or at least bits of people we’ve all known in our lives, and its weird to think that a band whose lyrics generally deal with the downsides of drugs and alcohol could be up onstage rocking out to largely drunk audiences, even having a beer or two themselves while playing.

But there they are, dishing out pure head-banging bliss with all the pure joy and excitement that seems to be missing from the music scene in this day and age of greedy record labels and shallow MTV manufactured fame. The Hold Steady represents everything that music should be about, the music and the joy it can bring to the masses. They’re not out there preaching that we should all be sober or that we should all get drunk and high as hell. They aren’t out there for money or fame or groupies. They simply love playing music, and it comes out in every show they play, “Last year we said this was the most fun we’ve ever had before 3 PM. I think this is the most fun we’ve ever had.” I heard them say that at Lollapalooza this year, and as I watched at the end of their show as Polivka jumped on top of the bass drum and started banging relentlessly on the drum set, and Finn and Nicolay jumped off the stage to give high fives to the front row, I realized that any band can say something like that, but not many can truly show it like The Hold Steady do. That is what truly makes them the greatest rock band around.

-Kid Zeppelin




Line up:

· Bobby Drake – drums
· Craig Finn – guitar, vocals
· Tad Kubler – lead guitar
· Franz Nicolay– keyboards, accordian, harmonica
· Galen Polivka – bass guitar


  • Almost Killed Me (2004)
  • Separation Sunday (2005)
  • Live at Lollapalooza 2006: The Hold Steady (2006)
  • Boys And Girls In America (2006)

The band also just announced new tour dates with Art Brut:






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