Sammy the Seal

Stuck between albums

In music videos, vinyl on Thursday, 19 June, 2008 at 3:41

Song: Stuck Between Stations
Artist: The Hold Steady
Album: Boys And Girls In America

That’s a dumb play on the song I’m writing about, and the fact that they have another album coming in July. Get it? So, that song shuffled through my ipod at work earlier tonight, and I must say I wasn’t expecting a reminder of fucking phenomenal a song this is. Even with a soon-to-be-released fourth album next month, I have to say this will always be their absolute best song. Odd, since it doesn’t usually work that way with a band, that the first thing you hear is the pinnacle— it’s usually the gateway. (It’s the opening track on their last album, Boys and Girls in America. Nominee for best opening track of all time, my lord, those opening staccatos…) EVERYTHING about this video is so nerdy it hurts (the conceit/premise, the fact that all the members are in their mid-30s or so, not to mention they look, well, nerdy), but if you don’t find this awesome, then we have a problem. How does this song not rock your socks off? When the hot piano solo comes, and he starts “we drink and we dry up and now we crumble into dust”, if you don’t get energetic goosebumps from feeling the rock ‘n’ roll, you must be sterile and lifeless, or you’re trying too hard to be cool. As he is a great writer and storyteller in general, lyrics are included below. As before, don’t forget to crank the volume.

(In case the video link ever goes dead.)

There are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right
boys and girls in America, they have such a sad time together
sucking off each other at the demonstrations
making sure their make-up’s straight
crushing one another with colossal expectations
dependent, undisciplined, sleeping late

she was a really cool kisser and she wasn’t all that strict of a Christian
she was a damn good dancer, but she wasn’t all that great of a girlfriend
he likes the warm feeling but he’s tired of all the dehydration
most nights were crystal clear, but tonight it’s like it’s stuck between stations

on the radio

The Devil and John Berryman, they took a walk together
and they ended up on Washington talking to the river
he said “I surrounded myself with doctors and deep thinkers,
but big heads and soft bodies make for lousy lovers”
there was that night that we thought that John Berryman could fly
but he didn’t, so he died
she said, “you’re pretty good with words, but words won’t save your life”
and they didn’t, so he died

and he was drunk and exhausted but he was critically acclaimed and respected
he loved the Golden Gophers but he hated all the drawn-out winters
he likes the warm feeling but he’s tired of all the dehydration
most nights were kind of fuzzy but that last night he had total retention

and these twin city kisses
they sound like clicks and hisses
we all come down and drown in the Mississippi River

we drink and we dry up and now we crumble into dust
we get wet and we corrode and now we’re covered up in rust


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