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Friday, June 10, 2005

Um, The Hold MF Steady

Posted by on June 10 at 9:24 AM

They’re actually true, all the things people have been saying about this band. They shredded the Crocodile stage last night. I wasn’t sure what to make of the singer’s mildly spastic hand-clap-arm-thrust-shout-to-himself-off-mic moves (retarded? making fun of retards? who’s to say), but I loved watching them happen (often framed by a guitarist-bassist high five tableau in the immediate background). Also, he’s smart and funny; his lyrics and the delivery are the ideal reconciliation of being white and loving hiphop. It’s like this: if you’re old enough to need a reminder of why you once thought rock’n’roll (not just music, but rock’n’roll) was worth devoting your life to, The Hold Steady are about the best one you could hope for.

I've been hearing about this band for years from one or two people; my only regret was waiting to fully investigate until now that they're the rock crit praise sponge of the day (and because I love their new record, Separation Sunday). But, as the singer said near the end of the set (with Stranger writer Hannah Levin stage dancing to his right like a drunken hoodrat), "I didn't come here to talk about my problems. I came here to play some rock'n'roll music." They're a party I wish I'd been at all night. I came late, but I'm not leaving.