Constructive Summer

The Hold Steady Return on Top

Onetime disaffected Twin Cities hardcore kid Craig Finn came to New York in 2000, after the dissolution of Lifter Puller, his old beloved rock outfit. A turn as a thirtysomething office drone living his days out in Boerum Hill prompted Finn to reach out to an old bandmate and, in 2002, form a new act, the Hold Steady. The band’s since become something of a summer ritual in this city—a new album each year, out sometime between spring and fall; a dizzying set of hometown shows; critical ecstasy (in ’05, the quintet became the first rock band in 15 years to appear on the cover of this publication). Stay Positive, the band’s newest, was released digitally last week. It’s Finn’s most explicit, reflective look at his band’s genesis—idols like Joe Strummer and 7 Seconds stop by; onetime friends and scenemates return and are granted forgiveness—since Almost Killed Me, the Hold Steady’s purposeful debut. “New York gets pretty heavy,” sings Finn on “Magazines,” but the city’s always a bit lighter when this band is around. 
Sun., June 29, 2 p.m., 2008

 
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