New Music From the Hold Steady

Anyone who knows me, or who has read Lost Gods, knows how important The Hold Steady is to me. I am pretty sure they are the best band making music right now, and I often (or always) listen to them when I am writing.

In Lost Gods, Coyote takes Anansi to a Hold Steady show. That concert experience was lifted from my own expereince seeing the band at the Opera House here in Toronto a few years back:

The lights went down, and the curtains opened, revealing a somewhat motley looking group of musicians in standard rock and roll formation. Drums, keyboard, lead and bass guitar, fronted by a wildly enthusiastic front man. They launched into their first song, a story of booze soaked love and redemption that managed to avoid being cliché, and the crowd exploded. Coyote’s eyes were shining as he looked at the stage, wide with wonder and delight.

“Let’s go down,” he shouted. We swept down the stairs, and immediately felt the wall of heat from the crowd. Coyote, with a carnivore’s instinct for sneaking around unnoticed, lead us in a winding path through the packed bodies, until we were directly in the middle of them. We settled in behind two large indie kids, their shoulders making an inverted proscenium arch through which I had the perfect view of the stage. Song after song, the band played, drank, and communed with their audience. The subject material was dark; people living on the fringes of life, with a tenuous grasp on reality. I could relate. What was amazing is that no matter how dark the song, no matter how bleak the lives of the characters, the singer was so enthusiastic, so happy. The show was like a perfect distillation of joy, for all to indulge in. Joy as the new drug. And the audience was hooked. For over two hours the band played, giving their heart and soul to this celebration of life. It was staggering. Finally, they finished, and we went out into the night.

All this to introduce the new album, streaming below. Enjoy.

  • I love The Counting Crows so this is good stuff! Thanks for sharing, seriously.

  • acadia

    OK, that embed the album thing is the coolest thing ever. Can you do that with any album? KISS Alive II maybe?

  • Thanks for dropping by and commenting acadia and vange!

    Vange – they have three other albums as well, all worth checking out. Just great rock and roll music, and the most fun I've had at a live show in years.

    Acadia – I would live to make all KISS albums streamable, but that little plugin is compliments of the geniuses at Rough Trade records, I just copied the code.

  • acadia

    Your post says you have zero comments – that's a DIRTY LIE

  • Darlin, did you know your comment thingy is fuckered? It showed 0 comments when there were actually 3. Not complaining, just trying to be helpful!

  • I think it's that I use Disqus for comments, instead of the native wordpress. I will have to look into this….

  • It was my damn theme, which I liked a lot. This just has “View Comments” and thus has no numbers to judge me with.