Monday, July 07, 2008

Hold It Here

I've had an illegal copy for a month or so that a nice reader sent me, but I finally received the official review copy of The Hold Steady's new "Stay Positive," which comes out July 15. I've had a lot of conversations about the record already. But let's talk about it for a second.

First of all, as any reader knows, I called "Boys And Girls In America" the best record of 2006 back when I wrote my annual 20-best-albums piece a couple years ago. I loved "Separation Sunday," but "Boys And Girls" is, honestly, one of my favorite discs of all time. "Stay Positive" really had no chance of reaching that status.

After a bunch of spins though, I've come around on the record. Oh sure, I'm still not sold on all the horns and the annoying synths on, say, "One for the Cutters," but I really like the disc. It's nothing earth-shattering; it's a Hold Steady record; that's for sure. Yet, it finds the band growing a bit and, of course, Craig Finn knows how to write lyrics. Eric Danton (of the Courant) and I talked about it recently, and he likes it a lot too. I think we both agree: Good disc, not as good as the last one.

That's it. I don't want to spoil my review, which runs in the July 18th Weekend section. Look out for that. Here's a video of the band performing the new tune "Lord, I'm Discouraged." The clip is from the band's show at McCarren Pool in Brooklyn on June 29.

In other news, Robert Leeney, the Register's former editor, died Sunday. Obviously, Mr. Leeney was not the editor when I first started here, but he was around a decent amount for the first three years I worked at the paper, and Mr. Leeney was always the nicest and most helpful guy, really. We had multiple conversations about the city's arts and music and history. As someone from another state, I learned a lot about New Haven's past by reading Mr. Leeney's weekly columnns, and I'm sure many are in the same boat as me.

You want to see the new Peach Pit? I don't know how this new "90210" is going to be, but I have to admit, I'll at least watch the first episode. It's like they're digging up my childhood or something.

Alicia Keys will be coming to Foxwoods in September. Tickets go on sale Friday. All the info will be in Weekend Friday.

OK, I think I'm going to get to work now. Frank Critelli headlines Beatnik 2000 over at Cafe Nine tonight. That should be good. But, alas, I'll be playing softball, looking to help get Jack's Bar and Grill back over the .500 mark. Wish us luck.

1 comment:


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Hi Pat,

On behalf of Rough Trade / Beggars Digital, Vagrant and The Hold Steady, many thanks for plugging "Stay Positive" (street date 14th July and advance, digital release date 9th June) ... ... if your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, “Sequestered in Memphis” is available for fans and bloggers to stream / link to / post etc on the band’s MySpace ... .. check-out and for details on “Stay Positive” and the band’s 2008 shows ... .. for a limited period a play-through of “Stay Positive” shall also be available on the band’s MySpace and on NME (, although these are for promotional purposes only and the artist and labels have kindly asked fans and bloggers not to host or link to pirate copies of the full album on-line – for which many thanks in advance.

Thanks again for your plug.