Craig Finn-I Need a New War

While there’s real emotions loaded behind every Hold Steady song, they’re built around magical realism, where liquor and painkillers are the means to rebirth more than they are a cause of death. I Need a New War, the latest solo album from Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, occupies the same spaces that records like Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls in America does, but Finn isn’t as reckless and mystified as he was in those mid-aughts masterpieces. While Finn still eludes to heavy drinking and a complicated relationship with faith, he’s much more aware of the repercussions of those viewpoints. Continue reading

Gaga, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down (Citi Field, Queens, NY 8/28/17)

GAGA

I’d only ever flirted with the idea of seeing a major pop-star live.  I like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake enough to think about going to their shows.  I’ve seen Kanye on the Saint Pablo tour, but he’s a rapper.  I’ve seen Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco at major arena tours, while they’re still mostly relevant, but both are still (mostly) considered rock bands.  Lady Gaga was like my first kiss, kind of great-kind of awkward and underwhelming. Continue reading