Friday, January 23, 2009

The Hold Steady

Anyone following my twitter feed lately can see that there is an obsession building within me. See, when I find something I really like, I will absolutely wear it out. For some reason, certain albums just get inside me, and there is nothing I can do to prevent myself from listening to that album and only that album. I am not there yet with The Hold Steady's Stay Positive release - and at the time of this writing, I don't expect it to reach the same status as Death Cab for Cutie's Plans, or Coldplay's X&Y, or The Last Waltz, or any number of Phish albums, or the movie Flash Gordon (I was in 5th grade then, but watched it almost every day). But still, it is currently receiving my full attention. I think it should receive yours as well.

Voice-- Well, he obviously knows how to sing. It makes me think of the first time I heard Pearl Jam, I was actually watching the Evenflow video, and how could you not sit there and say to yourself, "wow, the man can sing, he has a distinctive voice, he enjoys the song, and oh, did I mention he has a distinctive voice?" I think this guys has a voice that is easy to listen to, and is made to ROCK.

ROCK. Here is the heart of my enjoyment of these guys. This is rock music. It makes me feel like I am at a big rockin party, and this is the band that is playing on one end of the room. They aren't necessarily dominating the room, BUT everyone who is over listening to them is having and AWESOME time. And the rest of the people in the room are thinking about going over to listen to them.

NO SHAME. There's a guitar solo in "Lord, I'm Discouraged" that is just over the top. And you can tell that the band is absolutely loving it, and probably told him to go more over the top while he was playing it. In straight ROCK music, over the top is what everyone wants, so there is no shame in giving it to people. In ROCK, like Gordon Gekko says in Wall Street, over the top "is good". It makes ROCK better, and it is what drives rock music, because it is that over the topness that makes rockers write the way they write.

IT'S FUN. Sometimes, we listen to music because we want to have a good time, and these guys deliver it. Even their sad songs just make you want to drink more. After just a couple of times through the album, I felt like I could see this band "Staying Positive" at a really awesome party.

So I have been staying positive at the party at work all week this week, and I think you might like to get a little piece of that too.

1 comment:

ArtShare said...

I gotta comment if you're dropping Flash Gordon references. We actually have that sitting by the tv right now from Netflix. The first 2 records I ever bought? yep, Flash Gordon soundtrack (by Queen) and Billy Joel - The Stranger. As far as the Hold Steady...I listened to their last one but didn't really feel it. I heard one tune off the new one on the Current and liked it a lot more than I remembered liking them before. hmmm, could use a good rockin' party album too. Thanks for the write-up.