Posts Tagged ‘the hold steady’

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Neophile: The Gaslight Anthem

December 16, 2008

gaslight-anthem

I am not working-class. I’ve been tenure-track practically since I learned to read, and instead of wisely spending my youth drinking in the woods, hanging out with the ‘bad boys,’ and learning to play pool,  I wasted it in libraries, doing calculus problems, and starting college early. I suspect that my fondness for bands with lyrics like “this whole town is like this/been that way our whole lives/just work at the mill until you die” stems from the same root that leads suburbanites, who’ve never been closer to a cow than the plastic-wrapped-packages in the meat case, to go to dude ranches. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a similar urge – for an idealized, all-American, authentic experience – contributed to UK music mag’s Kerrang!‘s decision to put New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem on the cover a few months ago, with the headline, “The Best New Band You’ll Hear in 2008.”

The Gaslight Anthem’s second album, The ’59 Sound, is filled with teenagers, cars, and teenagers in car crashes. Their musical aesthetic is post-punk melded with classic rock – fellow Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen meets Alkaline Trio. It sounds instantly familiar, in the best possible way, and certainly will make you nostalgic for a life you probably haven’t led.

More The Gaslight Anthem:  myspace

MP3: The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound [amazon]

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Threesome: End-of-summer songs

September 3, 2008

It’s after Labor Day – the summer is now officially over, culturally if not astronomically. So here’s a set of end-of-summer songs, all with a tinge—or more—of autumnal melancholy.

MP3: The Hold Steady – Constructive Summer

MP3: Belle and Sebastian – I Know Where the Summer Goes

MP3 link: Kevin Drew – Summer Time Dues (at RCRD LBL)

Image: End of Summer by Flickr user Jim Wallace, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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Upcoming: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive

June 19, 2008

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

The Hold Steady’s new album, Stay Positive, is set to hit the stores (that phrase is becoming increasingly metaphorical) on July 15th. I’ve heard a bunch of tracks from it – the album was leaked – and I have to say that it sounds more like critical darling Boys and Girls in America than my personal fave, Separation Sunday. I have a soft spot for the specificity of Craig Finn’s lyrics, telling the stories of particular characters, and both his music and the libretti seem to be moving from being narrowly- to broadly-focused, and -appealing.

In accordance with the highly civilized takedown notice that they’ve been sending out to blogs that post tracks from the leaked album (more on that to come), I’m going to post the approved link to the approved song on their approved server. Enjoy.

MP3: The Hold Steady – Sequestered in Memphis

myspace amazon emusic

[via Keith at Under the Rotunda]