Natalie's New Music – April 19th, 2007

Stopped in at M-Theory last night for the purpose of picking up a copy of The Hold Steady’s Live at Fingerprints EP, which is only available at independent record stores. After avoiding the Hold Steady on the basis of a friend’s scathing review, I eventually listened to Boys and Girls In America out of sheer curiosity. And I liked it. A lot. Maybe it has something to do with growing up Catholic in the suburbs of a small town?

I got into them right after they played at Brick by Brick last fall, so I unfortunately missed that show. Had tickets to see them at the FM94.9 4th Anniversary Bash at the 4th and B last November, but we had the mistaken assumption that they would be headlining, not opening. Once we realized our mistake (after arriving just in time for OK Go to take the stage), we stayed about 30 seconds, then left. Fortunately, they played an acoustic set in the parking lot of Lou’s the next day, so I did manage to see them play a few songs live, and to talk to them for awhile afterwards. They are all remarkably nice guys, even when completely drunk.

At any rate, their Live at Fingerprints EP is very similar to seeing them play at Lou’s. Meaning lots of accordian and jokes, and Craig Finn’s speak/sing lyrical delivery. If you like the Hold Steady at all, you’ll enjoy this stripped-down version of five of their songs.

I also picked up Midlake’s The Trials of Van Occupanther, a CD I’ve been meaning to get for awhile. I really like their sound and the orchestration on the album, which somewhat reminds me of Fleetwood Mac’s song “Rhiannon.” Or at least the first song, “Roscoe,” does.

And P.S. – the Midlake album goes great with the rainy weather.