A Note from The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady will be performing one week from today at the Majestic Theatre. Get your tickets now as they haven’t quite sold out yet but are very close..

The Hold Steady was born out of some loose talk in my Boreum Hill apartment in 2002. I had moved to Brooklyn about two years earlier. I was thirty-one years old, and the other dudes were about my same age. Our concept was to start a straight rock band, with low aspirations. Just local shows, no touring, and most likely no real records. We practiced for a while and then played our first show in January 2003 at North Six, in Williamsburg. I was surprised at how many people showed up.

The show went well. It reminded us, all veterans of hard luck bands, that music can be fun. We played our second show in Baltimore, and it sort of becomes a blur after that. We quickly broke our rules about no touring and records, and released three records in three years. We lost one member and added two others. The most recent record, 2006’s Boys & Girls in America, was successful enough to get us in a bunch of magazines and take us pretty much around the world. It was, to be honest, pretty ironic- the band that set out to do nothing became a critics favorite and a touring machine. The Hold Steady had become our lives.

Thus, when we began talking about a new record, it became obvious that in order to keep up our schedule of releases, we would have to start writing on the road. We hadn’t done a lot of this previously. Ideas started taking shape in hotel rooms during while we played European festivals in Summer 2007. Laptop demos were recorded and shared. I remember Tad coming up with the title track, “Stay Positive”, backstage at Manchester Academy. The music from “Lord, I’m Discouraged” had its genesis partly in Milan and partly in Hamburg. We couldn’t slow down, but we could get ready.

When the touring wrapped up, we went straight into rehearsals and fleshed out the ideas that were banging around. As with each record, there was a desire to make it more musical than the last one. In this case, more musical meant an attempt at more dynamics, different instrumentation, more complex arrangements, and not always hiding behind raw volume. The songs came together quickly, but were painstakingly rehearsed and reviewed, with many minor changes made along the way.

Finally, in early January 2008, we showed up at Water Music in Hoboken NJ to record our fourth record. We worked with John Agnello again, as we had developed a great sense of trust with him during the Boys & Girls sessions. When John says something sucks, it probably sucks.

We recorded basics for nineteen songs. Everyone was very excited with the progress. Everyone played to their utmost potential. Lyrically, I had an idea of what I was trying to say much earlier in the process than on our previous records. Spirits were high.

We moved on to Wild Arctic Studios in Queens for vocals and overdubs and then to the Magic Shop in Soho for mixing We got some of our most favorite rock musicians to sing and play on it. We had some minor struggles, and a bunch of really good times. Finally, in mid-February, it was done.

Its always interesting how a record reveals itself to you. You can go in with the best-laid plans, but there is always a fair amount of uncertainty. Late night brainstorms become defining moments. Accidents become choruses. You might write the record, but it ends up teaching you something about yourself.

We kick off this record with “Constructive Summer”, a driving song about trying harder. “Navy Sheets” features a guest harmony vocal by Patterson Hood from the Drive-By Truckers, who have been a modern day inspiration to us. “Both Crosses” was a live in the studio experiment that ended up working. The record ends with “Slapped Actress”, which combines a mammoth Tad Kubler riff with a lyric inspired by the John Cassavetes movie Opening Night.

I think this record, musically and lyrically, is about the attempt to age gracefully. This is no easy feat, especially in rock and roll. I am now 36, and will be 37 shortly after this record is released. At the age of 30 I was working in an office, thinking my rock band days were behind me. This last summer we opened for the Rolling Stones in Ireland. We have met many of our musical heroes.

Meanwhile, in the five years since forming, the guys in the band have gone through a bunch of typical thirty something stuff- babies born, family members dying, relationships started, relationships ended, health problems, joy, struggle, life, etc.

But possibly the most exciting aspect of our band is the community of fans that have followed us around the country. In talking to them, we have found that no matter their ages, they are so much like us as people, that they seem at times an extension of the music. A great American philosopher named D. Boon once said “Our band could be your life”. I think that is true. But “Your Life could be Our Band” is also a true statement. I know this because we have lived it.

These are our lives. These are your lives. This is our fourth record. Stay Positive.

Craig Finn

Brooklyn NY

4.21.08

Our hardworking interns and True Crew members snagged up the few coveted guest list spots we had available for this one. To make it up to all our super radical fans we are offering a guest list spot plus one to any other show we have this week. Just be the second person to email MJ@TrueEndeavors.com with “Win (the band you want to see) Tix” in the subject line. I will always respect your info, promise.

Mad-town Monday Music Tix: Free Tickets ‘R Us

Question: What’s just about the only thing to make today’s sunny weather better?

No, this blog is not about ice cream cones; but how about some free tickets to see live music?! Two shows are up for grabs this week:

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Friday, May 9
True Endeavors and Muzzle of Bees
present:
THE AVETT BROTHERS

avett brothers
with
JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

Friday 9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon
608-268-1122
$15 adv /$18 dos – 18+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

“Driving home with my Ipod on shuffle, I got a trifecta of “Don’t You Rock Me Daddio” from ‘The Skiffle Sessions‘; “Breakin’ the Law” by the Supersuckers; and “Grace Kelly” by Mika — Occurred to me that you could mix the three, shake ’em up with some Red Bull, and have a nice Avett Brothers tune.” – Pegasus News concert review

The 4th person to email us with subject line “Avett Brothers Please!” wins 2 guest list spots- MJ@TrueEndeavors.com

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Monday, May 12
JAMES MCMURTRY

james mcmurtry
with
THE DEDRINGERS
Monday 8:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon
608-268-1122
$15 adv – 21+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

“Author Stephen King describes James McMurtry as ‘the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation.’ Music critics seem to agree…” Voice of America interview

3rd person to email us with subject line “Give Me Some James!” wins 2 guest list spots- MJ@TrueEndeavors.com

A Week in Live Shows

Can you keep up after last weeks intense run? Oh yes you can! Summer is rolling around and that means tour schedules will slow down- so get it while it’s hot (or at least before you have to travel 4 hrs. for a touring band and a beer)!

Friday May 2

THE DIRTBOMBS with special guests DAN SARTAIN & TERRIBLE TWOS

Genre: Rock

“..rock and roll at its pure, shaggy best. If you’re tired of that, you’re tired of life…” -Splendid

Chains of Love- The Dirtbombs

10:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608-268-1122 $12 adv – 21+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

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Saturday May 3

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB with special guests THE DUKE SPIRIT

Genre: Rock

“..proclamations about life and the Devil growled over careful acoustic strums and tiny wisps of pedal steel…” -Pitchfork

Dane 101 Interview

Two Free BRMC Song Downloads

Saturday 9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608- 268-1122 $16 adv / $18 dos – 18+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

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Sunday May 4

RA RA RIOT + THE LITTLE ONES with special guests HEY CHAMP

Genre: Indie/ Folk Rock

“Ra Ra Riot – a band of Syracuse University students past, present and on hiatus – find that balance — already in its short life, literally putting heartbeats and pacemakers into the stuffing of all of the songs that they’ve thus far put to their name – an explosive tag of cheerful and misleading aggression…” -Daytrotter

Dying is Fine- Ra Ra Riot

Four Free Ra Ra Riot Downloads from Daytrotter

The Little Ones..are here for you to feel better about yourself, once the cabin fever has lost its control and you’re free to go. They taunt everything from the waist down — on everyone within a 10-mile radius — to not go on and freak out all over the place with euphoric spasms becoming dancing and universally recognized getting down…” -Daytrotter

Lovers Who Uncover- The Little Ones

Four The Little Ones Free Song Downloads From Daytrotter Sessions

Three The Little Ones Free Song Downloads

8:00 pm @ The Annex 608- 256-7750 $10 adv – 18+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

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Monday May 5

HIGH NOON SALOON CELEBRATES FOUR YEARS featuring DEAD MEADOW with special guests DARK FOG & DROIDS ATTACK

Genre: Indie/ Psychadelic

“..the band can strum hypnotic, Eastern-tinged folk as it well as it pounds hypnotic, Sabbath-style riffs.” -Onion AV Club

What Needs Must Be- Dead Meadow

Five Free Dead Meadow Song Downloads

9:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608- 268-1122 $8 adv / $10 dos – 18+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

$1.50 PBR bottles all night & FREE Pizza from Glass Nickel!

Thanks to WORT FM and The Onion!

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Tuesday May 6

TEGAN AND SARA Out of Hibernation Tour with special guest AN HORSE

Genre: Indie/ Pop/ Alternative

“..defying conventional notions of rock rhythm, and featuring songs that seem to go through at least three melodic changes before recycling.” -Onion AV Club

Walking With A Ghost- Tegan and Sara

Free Tegan and Sara Song Download

7:30 pm @ Barrymore Theatre 608-241-8864 $25 adv – all ages

BUY TICKETS NOW!

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Thursday May 8

JIM WHITE with VID LIBERT

Genre: Americana/ Alternative/ Country

“With accompaniment as varied as vocals from Ollabelle and Brazilian percussion from Mauro Refosco, White still keeps us off balance with rich, unpredictable textures that convey lost-in-the-backwoods disorientation.” -Billboard

If Jesus Drove a Motor Home- Jim White

Listen to NPR World Cafe – March 5, 2008 Jim White in-studio performance/ interview

8:00pm @ Orpheum Stage Door 608.255.8755 $15 adv $17 dos – all ages

BUY TICKETS NOW !

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No giveaway on this post darlins’ but check back on Monday- that one’s a guarantee! Continue reading

Mad-Town Monday Music Tix (Free Free Free!)

Not excited about the beginning of the work week? Lets start it out then with a pair of free concert tix..feel better yet?

April 29 THE MEDIC DROID + A CURSIVE MEMORY

The Medic Droid is for those who are bored with genres and titles. Full of sassiness and attitude, this trio fuses dance music with indie rock power and punk rock DIY ethics, The Medic Droid have created their own scene.

the medic droid

“..with their first major record label release the Californian quartet (A Cursive Memory) exploded into the scene with catchy tunes that reminisce of Hellogoodbye’s rise to fame. Infectious keyboard and a pair of soft vocals lead this pop rock driven band.” -AbsolutePunk.net

How A Cursive Memory Became Bandarazzi!

SPECIAL EARLY SHOW With guests SINGLE FILE and THE WHITE TIE AFFAIR Tuesday 6:30 pm (doors open 6:00 pm) @ Orpheum Stage Door 608.255.8755 $8 / $10 dos – all ages BUY TICKETS NOW! Tickets also available at Strictly Discs!

The 4th person to email MJ@TrueEndeavors.com with the subject line TMD & ACM Tix will win 2 guest list spots to this show.

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May 3 BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB

black rebel motorcycle club

With special guests THE DUKE SPIRIT Saturday 9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608- 268-1122 $16 adv / $18 dos – 18+ BUY TICKETS NOW!

Be the 5th person to email MJ@TrueEndeavors.com with the subject line “Win Rebel Tix” and you will receive 2 guest list spots to the show!