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I’m thoroughly in love with The Hold Steady and I pretty much wake up every day wishing I could play guitar like Tad Kubler. I think I also love them because they completely look like you’d meet them at the library, not out on tour. Kubler wears the most amazing Mike D glasses and then completely slays everyone. I’ve been listening to the newest album for pretty much since it came out. About a week ago, I was finally like, “Fuck it. This album is so good, I’m going to go buy their first three albums.” Best Buy was missing Almost Killed Me, but the other two can hold me a little while longer.

I swear, the guitar solo on “Joke about Jamaica” might be one of the best things to happen to me this summer. I just sit there and go, “wait for it. Wait For It. WAIT For It. WAIT FOR IT. OH NO IT’S HERE!!!! MIND BLOWN!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”

Enough. You get it. I like distortion, awesome solos and chunky riffs. But here’s another thing that you probably didn’t see coming–they have some straight up excellent lyrics. Sure, it’s all about drugs, decrepitude, staying positive, etc, but I like to think of them as the Faulkner or Vonnegut of bands. Instead of Jefferson or Illium, they have Minnesota. I know that’s the state, but I’m still working out the lyrics and I can’t figure out yet if this is all happening in St. Paul, Massachusetts, or some place called Igor City (sic). In the future, I think I want to annotate one of their songs, not only so you can see what I’m saying, but also for the sake of making sure that even I understand. Their sing along songs are quickly becoming my scriptures.

They also go on tour in two days. I may be saying this as if it were going to happen, but I really want to spend all day tomorrow scouring Brooklyn for them. I don’t even know why I would do such a thing. “Hey, Craig, Tad. You’ve given me hope for a record deal. Thanks for being awesome, now go out there and get ’em” Or maybe I’d try to get a picture with them. In retrospect, this seems like a very misguided idea.

Oh, also, I know they kind of get looked down upon for being a bar band. Well, I like bars, beer and great guitar work a lot. So there. Perhaps it’s appropriate that one of the best rock bands in America is a bar band. Perhaps that’s also why most of America doesn’t know about them.



  1. The Hold Steady is the best band to ever happen to me. It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you get into these guys, it becomes 90% of what you listen to, and the 10% of other music you listen to just doesn’t sound that good anymore.

  2. Well, Lauren just told you the story of the last three months of my life.

  3. Lauren is entirely right. 90% of what i listen to has become The Hold Steady, the other 10% can currently be broken up thus: 5% The Gaslight Anthem, 2% The Replacements, 2% Nirvana (oh yeah..I went there, the hype and spoils just wash right clear of me now) and 1% Tom Petty!

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