Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stay Positive

Tiny little text etched into her neck it said
"Jesus lived and died for all your sins."
She's got blue black ink and it's scratched into her lower back.
It said: "Damn right I'll rise again."
Yeah, damn right you'll rise again.
-- The Hold Steady, "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"

That's Hold Steady lead singer/songwriter Craig Finn with a fan named Bruce.

The first single from the upcoming (July 15th) Hold Steady album Stay Positive can be found right here. To say that this is my most anticipated album of the year would not be hyperbole. It would be true.

And, in what may be a sign of the impending apocalypse, I will be writing about Craig Finn and this album in an upcoming issue of Christianity Today Magazine. I tried to warn them. This band writes about drug abuse, casual sex, and Catholic guilt, pretty much in equal measure. But it's the Catholic guilt that stays with me. Except this is an evangelical Protestant magazine. Wish me luck.


Chris Johnson said...

I've had kisses that make Judas seem sincere.

What a great band. Jeff at International House of Bacon put me on to them in 2007.

I can't wait to get that record either. The last one I bought was Dan Bern's last release (though he has more that I'll be buying when I get around to it.)

A rock song--or a rock band--hasn't moved me this much in YEARS.

Damn right I'll rise again.

~Genuine Chris Johnson

Chris Martin said...

Hold Steady in CT? You do need good-luck wishes!

In all seriousness, I think it's a wonderful idea, and hopefully their editorial board will be cool with it. Thoughtful listeners can develop meaningful meditations on faith from Hold Steady. I wish you the best.

Andy Whitman said...

I just wrote my review. I'm really happy with it, although it was probably the most difficult review I've ever had to write. I'm writing about a songwriter who writes about drug addiction, casual sex, and Jesus. In an evangelical magazine. I think I made it work, and these are the moments when I'm so thankful to be doing what I'm doing. If I wasn't almost 53 years old, I'd attempt a cartwheel.

Karen said...

2 things:

1.) C.T.? seriously? why on earth?

2.) if you ever do decide to attempt that cartwheel, please make sure i'm around to see it. please. :D

Andy Whitman said...

Karen, yep CT. This is the fourth article/review I've written for them in the past few months. Although I haven't had this discussion with anyone at the magazine, my impression is that CT is trying to move away from reviewing CCM (when they review music at all) and move toward a more loosely defined focus on "spiritually-oriented" music. I think The Hold Steady qualifies on that count, although I'd be willing to bet that they wouldn't identify themselves as Christians. That's okay. Their music still has more spiritual depth than most CCM, and it rocks a lot harder too.

And I'll let you know about the cartwheel. Perhaps we could YouTube it.