Holding Steady at Six Years

A lunar module model - this one made by NASA

If I remember correctly, my sixth birthday was “lunar module” themed. In our unfinished basement, we laid down masking tape on the cement floor to create tracks for the rover races. On the walls were cutouts of the lunar lander, and everyone left the party with some freeze-dried ice cream.

Now, as a chunky six-year-old, I thought this party was the coolest thing ever. Little did I know that some people bring in rock bands for their sixth birthday parties.

That’s right – it’s the big oh-six for 107.1 The Peak, WXPK, coming your way in the first week of April. And to celebrate, they’re bringing in the bold Brooklyn band The Hold Steady.

The Hold Steady - From left to right: Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka, Bobby Drake, Franz Nicolay (who recently quit the band), and Craig Finn

Headed up by Craig Finn, a guy that looks like he could be the the embodiment of nerd-rock, the band actually has a hard-hitting, gritty sound. Here’s their video for “Chips Ahoy” – have you ever seen a rock star more convincingly wear George Costanza glasses?

They’re also renowned for its ability to tell a story, thanks in large part to Finn’s intricate, weaving lyrics. You may recognize their lexical prowess from “Sequestered in Memphis” which has received a lot of air time on the Peak. The band ties many of their songs to characters from history and literature – like Sal Paradise from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, or the american writer Nelson Algren. Their nods to pop culture references are even better. For instance, in “Knuckles” of off The Hold Steady’s first studio album in 2004, Finn sings, “I’ve been trying to get people to call me Sunny D/I’ve got the good stuff kids go for”. Here’s the bad in a more traditional rock band role than the last video:

The Hold Steady has been holding steady for almost seven years now – with four LP’s out, and another one on its way this May.

Craig Finn and Tad Kubler, the lead guitarist, have been playing together for a long time. In 1994, they formed half of the band Lifter Puller. Listening back, you can hear a lot of similar styles and stories in the Lifter Puller songs, and you can connect the lines from the nineties to the aughts to see the evolution of The Hold Steady.

Here are two songs from the Lifter Puller days:

“Secret Santa Cruz”

“4dix”

The new Hold Steady album, Heaven is Whenever, is out May 4th, and with the Peak Birthday Concert on April 2nd, you’re bound to get a sneak preview. So head on over to 1071thepeak.com to grab your tickets to the show. As an added bonus, The Oranges Band, formed by the former bassist of Spoon, Roman Kuebler, will be opening the show.

And it’s all happening just down the road (or up the Hudson line) in Ardsley. Hope you can make it!

~Josh

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Concerts This Week in NY’s Back Yard:

::: Catch the Allman Brothers five times this week at the United Palace tonight, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

::: Portugal. The Man is going to be putting on a great show this Friday at the HighLine Ballroom in the city

::: and Rhett Miller will be playing at City Winery on Saturday the 20th.

Happy Hunting!

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PEAK KEYWORD: HOLDSTEADY

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