I don’t know why The Hold Steady‘s new album, Stay Positive, is available only through a popular commercial download service for now, and the physical silver platter won’t be on sale until mid-July. But anyway I downloaded it and it’s a very strong album from a great band. So much so that it’s sidetracked me and I haven’t even finished listening to the new John Hiatt yet.
Jazz and classical dork that I be, I was a late adapter to The Hold Steady: never even heard of them until they released their third album, Boys and Girls In America. But I did become a fan before I ever knew that singer Craig Finn looks a little like me.
There is nothing revolutionary about the new album, but it has a touch more of a ’70s hard-rock tone than its predecessors. Here’s the best Youtube I can find — still not pristine — of a song off the new CD, “Joke About Jamaica:”