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Monday, March 29, 2004

You know, I suspect that the Hold Steady songs I like are the mirror image of the ones the Pitchfork lady likes, and conceptutally the idea of an indie band that devotes most of its lyrical energy to making fun of people who listen to indie bands is so ludicrous it hardly needs a response, although it's hard to ignore lines like "Thus: The Hold Steady are the anti-trucker hat, the anti-laptop, the anti-West-Virginia-t-shirt. And they rock without repent." especially when said indie band seems to have no particular urge to move beyond indie music and into actual pop, but regardless, I like the Hold Steady. I especially like "Knuckles" (unlike Ms. P), but man, it sure does sound like Mark E. Smith ranting over a Britpop band, or rather x.random.dude overdubbing vocals onto an existing track but without actually listening to the track; there's almost no relation between the vocals and the music--see the incongruous-but-wholly-effective a capella break around 2:40 before the KILLER final section kicks in. If nothing else, "Knuckles" demonstrates that when you have a great musical backing the vocals don't have to matter, but it also demonstrates that some people are more eager to read a style than listen to the actual words; listen to the wonderfully ambiguous vocal turn between grotesque fantasy and hard-and-fast banality and sincerity in the aforementioned final section concerning a murder threat turned upon its head and wonder how people could paint this stuff as unapologetic. Apologies are funny, and this is funny.