The Hold Steady

I’m old and my memory is going but I think these are the two bands that laid the foundation for my friendship with Oz. Funny that they have albums coming out within a couple of weeks apart. I’m digging both tracks and that has me excited for a good March even though my HearYa buddies won’t be in Austin with me this year.

The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams on 3/25/14

Drive-By Truckers – English Oceans on 3/4/14


Top 50 Albums of 2008 [Picks 11-20]

by oz on December 18, 2008

HearYa and Internet Explorer were in a pissing match for most of the day yesterday. For those readers that use that glorious browser, you may have had some trouble reading yesterday’s post. We corrected the bug – my apologies.

We’re back at it and almost done with our best albums of 2008. At the very end, I’ll post the complete list in its entirety along with all of the mp3’s.‚  It’s been kind of quiet out there. How we doing so far? Feel free to let us know if our collective head is up our collective ass.

11. Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue (our review)

Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue

At times wonderfully complex, at others beautiful in its simplicity.

Video: Plants and Animals – Feedback In The Field

12. The Felice Brothers – Self Titled (our review)

Felice Brothers

This is great American music the way it was meant to be played – slicked back, brash, and soaked in scotch. How can you not love the lyrics: “I left my blue-eyed lady and went with Tony Mercedes to the gambling ring. I lost my diamond watch, but in the parking lot I took it back again.”

The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun

The Felice Brothers – Wonderful Life

13. Blind Pilot – 3 Rounds and a Sound (our review)

Blind Pilot

Portland, Oregon’s Blind Pilot sound like a potpourri of Wilco, Iron and Wine, and The Shins. If you don’t like them then you don’t have a soul.

Blind Pilot – Oviedo

14. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

Hold Steady Stay Positive

They churn out great tunes like a machine. “Lord I’m Discouraged” is one of the best tracks of the year.

15. O’Death – Broken Limbs, Hymns and Skin (our review)

Odeath cover art

Fiddle-led chaos. Imagine listening to The Foggy Bottom Boys lit on fire after drinking half a bottle of grain alcohol. Is it for everybody? No. But give it a chance.

O’Death – Lowtide

16. The Moondoggies – Don’t Be A Stranger (our review)

The Moondoggies

The Moondoggies are The Band, the Dead, and Little Feet rolled into one. “Changing” is one of my favorite songs of the year and this Seattle band shows huge promise.

The Moondoggies – Changing

17. The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely

raconteurs cover art

I might be in the minority, but I like them better than the Stripes. White with a top-notch rhythm section is mouth-watering.

Video: The Raconteurs (Live) – Consolers of The Lonely

18. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Real Emotional Trash

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks Cover Art

My favorite solo Malkmus disc. Have to say, that the addition of Janet Weiss, former drummer of Sleater-Kinney, didn’t hurt the cause.

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Cold Son

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Baltimore

19. Dead Confederate – Wrecking Ball (our review)

Dead Confederate

Dead Confederate have a great shot for mainstream‚  success. They have an emotional delivery that will have you thinking of Nirvana or early Radiohead – think “Creep.” Their sound deserves to be heard in an arena.

Dead Confederate – The Rat

Hear more at our live session with Dead Confederate.

20. The Whipsaws – 60 Watt Avenue (our review)

whipsaws cover art

Every time I describe The Whipsaws to somebody, I mention Lucero and Ben Nichols. I think that says plenty. Great alt-country from Alaska.

The Whipsaws – 60 Watt


Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady has quietly released his first solo album called Major General. I haven’t heard the whole album yet, but have waited patiently to get my hands on a free (legal) download to share. I shall wait no more. “World/Inferno Vs. The End Of The Evening was just released by Franz. He describes the song as:

A song about how no matter how much you will against it – the party winds down, the gang grows up, the credits roll, the house lights and the sun comes up.‚  I was going to call it ‘Punk Rock, I Gave You the Best Years Of My Life’ but that’s not true.

You can hear more on MySpace. Best mustache in the music business too.

Franz Nicolay – World/Inferno Vs. The End Of The Evening

Here are his solo tour dates in support of the album:

1/6 – Charlotteville, VA – Boylan Heights Restaurant
1/7 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar
1/8 – Washington, DC – Black Cat (Backstage)
1/11 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge (CD RELEASE SHOW!!!)
1/12 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place
1/13 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
1/14 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar
1/16 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
1/17 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
1/18 РDekalb, IL РThe House Cafĩ