Articles Tagged: The Hold Steady

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 #597: The Hold Steady – “How a Resurrection Really Feels”

Hold Steady Separation-Sunday Album: Separation Sunday
Year: 2005

Despite putting out their records in the era of shuffled playlists, The Hold Steady have had a tradition of ending their albums with an epic, multi-part song.

And given that it was concept album, Separation Sunday is no exception, capping off with the haunting “How A Resurrection Really Feels,” which kicks off with a lengthy curlicue guitar riff as Craig Finn lets us know what’s up with one of the major characters, Halluejah, who the kids call Holly.

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