Because the Brawler is of that age demographic/mind frame that needs his music packaged in physical form, he picked up the Hold Steadys' latest see-dee "Stay Positive" and oh my lord is it awesome. It's not "Separation Sunday" -- that is a very (a bad adjective in this case justified) special album of which there are few -- but after 1.9 listenings, it is a fab album. Singalongs, invocations of 7 Seconds, some stretching beyond their trademark reliable Husker Du by way of the E Street Band sound (banjo by J Mascis! Theremin!) and meditations upon growing old, murder, guilt and other Craig Finn (a hedgehog, not a fox) obsessions,it is a fabulous piece of work. Hold Steady have produced as solid a body of music in their four full-length "albums" as anyone over these past several years. And Minneapolis suburb boy Craig Finn has grown into the sharp, smart, vernacular lyricist that Paul Westerberg always wanted to be. "So I mostly just pray she won't die"? Yow. That's from "Lord I'm Discouraged" (with the tuneful singalong refrain "excuses and half truths and fortified wine":
The guy shredding the Jimmy Page double ax is Janesville's own Tad Kubler. Bassist Galen Polivka would be Whitefish Bay's Phil Lynott if Phil Lynott had been of Eastern European descent as opposed to Black (literally) Irish.
And here's some Auld Steady: