Tag Archives: The Hold Steady

Attending the Church of The Hold Steady: Where Craig Finn spits the gospel of Gideon and Southern Comfort flows from the taps like dirty holy water

I reviewed The Hold Steady’s free concert at the Crocodile Thursday night for Crosscut. The jump links to the full review.

The Hold Steady mixes well with alcohol — after all they have been labeled “America’s bar band” by critics and fans — so pairing the Brooklyn quintet with Southern Comfort for a free concert at The Crocodile Thursday night was a no-brainer.

The Kentucky-based booze sponsored the invite-only event that was billed as a show where The Hold Steady would play a set filled with covers of songs by their influences. In theory this is a recipe for a great rock cocktail, but instead of getting a musical blend of liquor and a mixer the show was more like a straight shot of The Hold Steady sans chaser. Only four of the 20 or so songs in the band’s set were covers, which was a little disappointing, but it is tough to complain considering the show was free.


CHBP: Chromeo, Akimbo, The Hold Steady

7:30 Since I couldn’t convince my friend to catch Jaguar Love we took a break from the music and decided to eat some food and check out Chromeo.

Chromeo pumped up the crowd with electro-dance-pop that was easy to bust a move to. The duo consisted of a guitarist who also sang lead vocals and a DJ who played percussion on two tiny high hat cymbals and a row of cowbells and sang into a vocoder. They also had a light show, which was odd since the sun was shining and they were playing outdoors. Light show or not, the group delivered the dance beats and lots of people in the crowd could be seen getting their drunken groove on, so a good time was had by all.

8:00 The last time I saw local hardcore band Akimbo live was four years ago at the UW when they opened for the Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves. At that show they nearly destroyed the small stage they were performing on and their bombastic guitars had me shielding my ears. Saturday on the Vera Project stage the sound levels were a bit quieter, but the energy was still there and Akimbo showed the crowd why they are such an awesome mainstay on the local heavy rock scene. Akimbo is pure metal.

At one point Akimbo bassist Jon Weisnewsky called out all of the people in the crowd who were watching Fleet Foxes earlier.

“I know I saw some of you checking out Fleet Foxes. That’s a sin,” he said.

Ouch! Calling out Fleet Foxes fans who jump from folk-rock to metal during a festival. Gutsy, yet extremely endearing in a heavy metal manner.

9:00 By this point in the evening I had already tossed back a few PBRs as well as a couple of gin and tonics in anticipation for what I expected to be the set of the weekend (at least for me) by The Hold Steady. Maybe it’s t he alcohol talking, but I was not disappointed.

The Brooklyn group not only sings narrative-driven songs about partying, drinking and partying some more, they also sings songs about the aftermath of those nights spent drinking and partying and drinking some more. The Hold Steady is after all a band that sings a song with a refrain of “I’m gonna walk around and drink some more” that is repeated several times, which means they are best experienced inebriated. So I figured when in Rome …

Hold Steady vocalist Craig Finn was all smiles throughout the bands way too short set (I think they played for less than an hour). He waved his arms, hopped around and clapped along to songs. His enthusiasm as well as his gesticulations made The Hold Steady’s set, which was heavy on material from the group’s new record “Stay Positive,” a blast.

I remember drunkenly singing along to “Sequestered In Memphis,” “Chips Ahoy,” “Party Pit,” “Stay Positive” and about six other songs. The Hold Steady, a band that will likely always be in rotation on my iPod, easily stole the show from all the other main stage bands that performed during the second day of CHBP.

The best things in life are free on the Internet (including music)

One of the greatest things about the Internet is how easily accessible it has made music. More specifically, it has made a lot of music free. And I don’t mean in the Y2K, Napster, stealing music kind of way.

There is a lot of great free music out there and it’s all yours for the taking. To give you a glimpse into what I am rocking on my iPod and some insight into my own personal music universe, here are four albums (well, okay, three albums and one EP) that are 100 percent free and well worth the download.

Girl Talk “Feed The Animals” — Okay, so this one isn’t exactly free. The mash-up artist known as Girl Talk has released his latest masterpiece and he will give it to you for free if you want it. However, he will also take money for it if you want to give it to him. How much money? Well, that’s up to you. The record is available for a pay-what-you-want price. Sound like a familiar digital distribution method? Well, if you want to get what is possibly the best dance record of the year, I recommend picking this up, for whatever cost you think is appropriate. You can download the record here. Girl Talk plays Seattle at the Capitol Hill Block Party on July 25.

Patient Patient “The Free EP” — This group of Seattle indie popsters released a free EP of new material earlier this year. The Stranger described the band’s sound as indie Radiohead and for the most part the were spot on, so I won’t bother boring you with an attempt at pigeon-holing Patient Patient into a category. I will tell you that this EP is a solid five-song taste of Patient Patient and it does what all good EPs do: it gives listeners just enough music to leave their ears salivating for a full-length record. You can download the album here.

Dyme Def “Three Bad Brothaas Mix Tape” — This crew of young MCs (none of them are older than 21) are the future of Seattle hip hop. Last year the group released its debut “Space Music” and once I got my hands on it I couldn’t stop listening to it. The success of that release helped the group land a main stage spot at this year’s Sasquatch! Music Festival and they will be at several Warped Tour stops this summer (including the Aug. 9 Gorge Warped date) as well as the Rock The Bells Festival at the Gorge on Sept. 6. This mixtape, which the group is distributing for free, consists of mostly new material, including a track that does a killer job of sampling the “Pinky and the Brain” theme song.
You can download the album here. Dyme Def next plays in Seattle on July 11 at Sole Repair.

Nine Inch Nails “The Slip” — Trent Reznor’s gift to his loyal fans, this album has been available for free on NIN’s Web site for a few months. While the record is no “Pretty Hate Machine” or “Downward Spiral” it is way better than “The Fragile” and more in line with Reznor’s last few non-instrumental records “Year Zero” and “With Teeth.” Download it here. Nine Inch Nails comes to KeyArena July 25.

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