Sunday, September 20, 2009

BIBJ Playlist of the 2000s entry #94: Positive Jam by The Hold Steady

Full Details of the BIBJ Millennial Playlist Hullabaloo are available here. Today's entry is #94: Positive Jam by The Hold Steady (2004)

The first song on a debut album must be a carefully chosen introduction. You want to grab the listener and say "This is our band. This is who we are, and this is what we have to say!" Based on this rationale, The Hold Steady seemed to have three points worth making when opening up Almost Killed Me.
  1. If Craig Finn had been your American History teacher, you could have covered the 1920s through 1990s in under two minutes. No rotating numbers on blackboards needed.
  2. Some f'd up stuff has gone down the last 80 years or so, and who wants to watch more mopey sad bastards on stage whining about it? This band is bringing the positivity! And they will show no signs of stopping in the future.
  3. They're going to do that weird thing where they use the band name as a lyric. This is a call to action. Hold Steady.

woke up in the 20s. there were flappers and fruits in white suits. it was right before the crash.
we got thrashed throughout the 30s. queuing up for soup in scabby sores. and they sent us off to war.
we came back in the 40s. there were wheelchairs, guns and tickertape. we poured it on the floor and made love to the interstates.
we got shiftless in the 50s. holding hands and going steady. twisting into dark parts of big midwestern cities.
tripped right through the 60s with some blissful little hippie. some kennedys got shot while you were screwing san francisco.
the 70s got heavy we woke up on bloody carpets. got tangled up in gaslines. i guess that's where it started.
the 80s almost killed me let's not recall them quite so fondly. some kennedy o.d. while we watched on mtv.
in the 90s we were wired and well connected. put it all down on technology and lost everything we invested.

It's a safe bet to assume this band will appear again in the countdown.

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