Learning to Love Your Significant Other's Taste in Music

Categories: The Hold Steady

Being in a relationship is as much a cultural journey as it is an emotional, intellectual or sexual one. Mostly because you have to "do" things with your significant other, and when you live in a city, a lot of the time "doing" means going to the movies or catching a gig. Because let's face it: if you don't do actual "stuff" together you're probably nothing more than two aimless, high-functioning alcoholics that only stand apart from the other masses of horny drunks that populate New York's bars on any given night because you know who you're going home with after that sixth whiskey shot.

See also: Bruce Springsteen Photos!

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Live: Bustle In Your Hedgerow, Craig Finn, Nicole Atkins, And More Pay Tribute To Levon Helm

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Levon Helm. With Marco Benevento, Dave Dreiwitz, Scott Metzger, and Joe Russo (a/k/a Bustle in Your Hedgerow) and many others.
Brooklyn Bowl
Monday, June 4

Better than: Nothingness.

One of my favorite conversations with the late psychonautic writer Terence McKenna had to do with the evolution of psychedelic rock during the late 1960s. "Things seemed to be going along just fine," he once riffed to me. "The Rolling Stones came out with Their Satanic Majesties Request and the prospects for real psychedelic rock seemed limitless. And then the Band released Music From Big Pink, and everything seemed to go into reverse all at once." Even today, The Band's Canadian take on Southern culture has permeated our own cultural DNA as though it had been there all along. And with Levon Helm, the group's only Southerner, as its heartbeat and preeminent singer, perhaps it always had.

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Q&A: The Hold Steady's Craig Finn On The First Time He Heard The Replacements, And Which Bands Are Carrying On The 'Mats Legacy In 2011

Mark Seliger
In the new documentary Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements, you'll find a wildly diverse array of witnesses, all in thrall to the ragged glory that was The Mats in their prime. Included among these friends, admirers, whack jobs, rackjobbers, rock critics and record execs, are musicians like Craig Finn of The Hold Steady. Although his raging rock poetry is a bit wordier than Paul Westerberg's, Finn (whose first solo album Clear Heart Full Eyes comes out January 24) seems to have inherited the guy's mantle as the bard of the woeful, hopeful, strung-out ones—those regular Joes whose lives The Replacements' leader also chronicled. Finn spoke with the Voice about Gorman Bechard's poignant new film, and what it was about those brilliant Minneapolis brats that left such a mark on him.

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The Hold Steady Are Playing A Free(ish) Show At The Beekman Beer Garden On Saturday

This Saturday, the goodtime outfit the Hold Steady will celebrate the last official weekend of summer with a free, if ticketed, show at the Beekman Beer Garden; the festivities begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are available online now. As is often the case, "free" doesn't necessarily mean free—if you reserve a ticket and don't plunk down cash, you're only guaranteed entry if you're one of the first thousand people to get in line. But there's another option! It involves paying money! And helping kids, because who doesn't want to help kids what are you some kind of monster?

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Paying Tribute To Archers Of Loaf: "Even If I Had Two Other Hands, I Couldn't Count My Favorite Archers Songs On Them"

In this week's Voice, we looked at the history of Archers Of Loaf, the storied North Carolina indie outfit that recently got back together for a run of shows and reissues. Below, some quotes from Archers frontman Eric Bachmann that couldn't fit into the Voice's print edition; members of Band of Horses, Les Savy Fav and the Hold Steady help restore the white trash heroes' proper place in indie rock's annals, too.

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Download the Hold Steady's Monday Night Set at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

"I woke up this morning and I had this weird feeling," Craig Finn told an unsuspecting audience on Monday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, toward the end of the second of the Hold Steady's two shows there. "I hadn't really realized this until today, but our first show ever was on January 31st, 2003, eight years to this day. And it happened in the same room, when it was North Six. It was totally an accident, but it's a beautiful coincidence." And then they played "Positive Jam," the Almost Killed Me mission statement and unofficial Hold Steady theme song. We missed it, sadly (though the show we saw on Sunday night was pretty great, too); luckily, the intrepid and tireless NYC Taper was there to bail us out.

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Live: The Hold Steady Pay Homage To Themselves and Their Heroes at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

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This photo (by Rob Trucks) was actually not taken last night, though he was wearing the same shirt and everything.
The Hold Steady
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sunday, January 30

Better Than: Watching the SAG Awards, whatever they are.

"It's Sunday night," Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn says, about seven songs in. "Hope you went to church today, because we're gonna get nasty tonight." Only one night a week you can use that one. And so it is Sunday night, our first glimpse in 2011 of a usually ubiquitous New York band, slumming it at the Music Hall of Williamsburg for two shows before jetting off to the UK and then Australia, finally setting back down here in April, where they'll play to two or three times as many people at Terminal 5. They are touring, I think, behind last year's Heaven Is Whenever, their fifth and most languorous record--not that you would know it from the set list, where "Rock Problems" and "Hurricane J" and "We Can Get Together" sound like "Stuck Between Stations" and "Southtown Girls" and pretty much every other song they play tonight, one long stretch of highly proficient and rousing bar rock, now keyboard-less but as expansive and overjoyed as ever.

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Was 2010 The Best Year For Music Ever? Defending Taylor Swift And Hailing The-Dream

Welcome to Sound of the City's year-in-review rock-critic roundtable, an amiable ongoing conversation between five prominent Voice critics: Rob Harvilla, Zach Baron, Sean Fennessey, Maura Johnston, and Rich Juzwiak. We'll be here all week!

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Happier times for us all
My friends,

It's the conflict-averse, namby-pamby Midwesterner in me that's triggering this urge to defend every artist this panel has so far attacked. Quite a list we've got going so far, guys!

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The Hold Steady Are Playing At the Apple Store In A Few Hours

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"Can I get some service on this iPhone, please?" Photo by Rob Trucks.
Local bar-rock heroes and Minnesota Twins fans (sorry about that) the Hold Steady have been playing great shows in New York for so long, and with such regularity, that you occasionally start to take them for granted. Until, that is, one of your coworkers reminds you of their still robust power, even in venues as unlikely as the Beacon Theater. (Really like this Craig Finn in Concert idea.) Speaking of unlikely venues, they're playing the Apple Store tonight, in a couple hours, at 6 p.m. Deerhunter worked out pretty well there last week; we have no idea why this one wouldn't. Remind yourself that it would be a good idea to go to this show by watching last night's "Hornets! Hornets!" encore:

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Live: The Hold Steady Try Their Best To Burn Down The Beacon Theatre

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Craig Finn, taking the whole Twins thing in stride. Pics by Rob Trucks, more below.
The Hold Steady
Beacon Theatre
Thursday, October 7

Better than: Cirque de Soleil's Banana Shpeel or whatever usually goes on here.

I'm sure some of those Allman Brothers shows get pretty rowdy, but I still can't help but suspect that I'm witnessing the Beacon Theatre's first-ever crowd-surfer tonight, taking flight just briefly during "Your Little Hoodrat Friend," the guy looking both thrilled and a little incredulous: This doesn't make any sense, and it's awesome. "When I said, 'Let's go uptown,' I meant something else," is the second time Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn references his band's unlikely presence here. The first: "Move around, drink some beer, and ignore those seats." You got it.

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