Articles by Jim Connelly

Jim Connelly has been eye-deep in media of all kinds ever since he can remember, and probably prior to that. Over the past quarter-century he has worked in the radio, film, music, and internet industries, and has been writing about popular culture and technology the entire time. Prior to co-founding Medialoper, Jim's work appeared both online and off in publications such as Wired, The Village Voice, Neumu and Websight Magazine . . . Jim at Facebook . . . Jim on Twitter . . .

Certain Songs #602: The Hold Steady – “Chillout Tent”

hold steady boys Album: Boys And Girls in America
Year: 2006

It seems to me that “Chillout Tent” is one of the more divisive songs in the Hold Steady canon.

After all, the story it tells is a combination of meet-cute and meet-gross, featuring a pair of singers — Dave Pirner and Elizabeth Elmore — voicing the thoughts of the characters in the songs, and the music is filled with dramatic piano flourishes and mariachi horns.

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Certain Songs #601: The Hold Steady – “You Can Make Him Like You”

hold steady boys Album: Boys And Girls in America
Year: 2006

This is my favorite song on Boys And Girls in America.

“You Can Make Him Like You” is everything I could want in a rock ‘n’ roll song: catchy, smart and anthemic, and not for a second does it ever stop moving and changing, even as it builds to a fist-pumping, screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs climax.

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Certain Songs #600: The Hold Steady – “First Night”

hold steady boys Album: Boys And Girls in America
Year: 2006

Boys and girls in America.

I’m sure I’m conflating a bunch of different memories into a single moment, but I still have a memory of the first night I felt part of the Fresno Tower scene. It was a warm summer evening in 1985, and it was at the Wild Blue.

Boys and girls in America.

I don’t recall who was playing: it coulda been Aqua Bob or The Wayne Foundation or Western Chapter or somebody else. It doesn’t really matter, because there was as much going on outside as there was inside.

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Certain Songs #599: The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy”

hold steady chips ahoy Album: Boys and Girls in America
Year: 2006

“Chips Ahoy” was the first single from “Boys and Girls in America,” and like “The Swish” and “Banging Camp,” Craig Finn is trying to fit all of his words in and around Tad Kubler’s big-ass power chords.

The result is one of those Hold Steady songs that sounds like one of of the rockers from The River had that album been made by a Springsteen influenced not by 1960s frat-rock, but rather, The Clash.

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Certain Songs #598: The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”

Hold Steady+Stuck+Between+Stations+-+Clear+399660 Album: Boys and Girls in America
Year: 2006

Welcome to my favorite album of this century.

Actually, (and yes, I’m “actually”ing myself), welcome to my favorite album since Nevermind & Achtung Baby!, which makes Boys and Girls in America my favorite album of the past quarter-century.

And if I could somehow prorate the age I was when this album came out against the age I was when I first discovered all of the albums I would otherwise put into my all-time top 20, it would definitely be in the conversation.

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