Thrashing Thru The Passion

by The Hold Steady

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about

Just after the new year, we headed up to Woodstock to The Isokon studio to record some new songs. We were joined by Producer Josh Kaufman and Engineer D. James Goodwin, who have helped us record everything we've done for the past few years.

It was a highly productive session, we pretty much just set up and cranked through the songs. The songs came together quickly and we were psyched on how they sounded. Overdubs happened back in Brooklyn, with our friends Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean adding horns and Annie Nero doing some backup vocals.

We thought “Denver Haircut” sounded like the first track on a record. “Blackout Sam” sounded like it should close an album side. In fact, these five songs together sounded like a cool A side of an album. So, after D. James Goodwin mixed the songs, we decided to put them together with some of our favorite songs we'd recorded in the past few years and make it an album. We pondered a track list for a bit, had our friend Dave Gardner master it, and here it is. We call it Thrashing Thru The Passion, which is taken from a line on “You Did Good Kid”.

I've remarked for a while now that this six- piece lineup of THS is the best we've ever had. It's not really even negotiable. And fifteen years in, I believe that we are making some of our very best music. We've come to a place that feels both fun and vital. When I listen to these songs, I feel a sense of joyfulness – I hear friendship, community, positivity and a love of rock and roll music. This band has changed all of our lives, and it continues to make changes. Good ones.

A lot of things have changed since we started in 2003. We've changed the way we approach touring, opting for multi show weekends in bigger cities rather than the skullduggery of month long slogs. This is more realistic for where we are at now, and we've also found it to make the band much more musical. More of our time together is spent playing and performing music than setting up and taking down gear, driving it to the next place, setting it up again. Also, these runs of shows have reinforced what an amazing community exists around this band, and how it keeps growing. All in all, making this change to the way we approach shows has given a new life to the band.

We've also made changes in how we release music. In late 2017, we dropped “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake in the Shower” as a surprise before our second annual Massive Nights run at the Brooklyn Bowl. We made it available on Bandcamp, with a suggested donation that raised money for a charity. We've repeated that a number of times now, dropping these digital singles just before a run of shows. It's been fun to release music this way, it feels almost like a new episode of a serial. It also allowed us to escape some of the promotional obligations that come with releasing a full LP. In short, it keeps things exciting and fresh.

This time, with Thrashing Thru The Passion, we have released an album with five new songs and five that have been previously released digitally. That felt right this time. We can't say what we will do next time, but with the recording industry where it is in 2019, it feels wide open. We will continue to take the advice Paul Stanley offered on the classic Kiss song, “Room Service”, and do what we feel.

We are very proud to present Thrashing Thru The Passion. We are lucky and honored to have such a great community around this band, and we appreciate you being a part of it.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding.

Stay Positive.

THS

(written by cf 06.04.19)

credits

released August 16, 2019

The Hold Steady: Bobby Drake, Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Franz Nicolay, Galen Polivka, Steve Selvidge

Horns: Stuart Bogie, Michael Leonhart, Jordan McLean, Dave Nelson
Additional Vocals: Annie Nero

Produced by Josh Kaufman

Recorded by D. James Goodwin Recorded at The Isokon, Woodstock NY and Brooklyn Recording, Brooklyn NY

Mixed by D. James Goodwin at The Isokon

Mastered by Dave Gardner at Infrasonic

Artwork by Nick Hollomon

All Songs © 2019
Muy Interesante Music (ASCAP)
Guilty Parties (ASCAP)
Eggshell Armor Music (ASCAP)
Sounds Like Selvidge (BMI)

Management: Dave Gottlieb at Death or Glory LLC
US Booking: Larry Webman at Paradigm
UK Booking: Steve Strange & Josh Javor at X-ray Touring
US Publicity: Ken Weinstein at Big Hassle
UK Publicity: Jay Taylor at Prescription PR
Digital Media Management: Brendan Hilliard at Juicebox Industries
Legal: George Regis Esq.

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The Hold Steady Brooklyn, New York

Wired and well connected since 2003. Stay Positive.

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Track Name: Denver Haircut
He shaved his head at the airport
In a bar at the end of the concourse.
He said you're kind of catching me at a transitional time.
I'm a bright light burning into a dark horse.

She said I'll strap on the saddle.
And I'm sorry but this city's a cesspool.
I've kissed and I've cackled with half of these jackals.
Still couldn't get any jet fuel.

Walked her out to the taxis. Took her out to some parties.
Found a man with a handful huddled over some car keys.
It doesn't have to be pure. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Just sort of has to be worth it.

A Residence Inn at the top of the exit.
You pay the admission and here's what you get.

The stench of death in the credits.
The montage set to the time of your life.
A shot in the dark in a bar that's too bright.
A window sucking up all the available light, right?

And a clock on the bed stand with a cord to connect it.
Liberty and Justice into Master of Puppets.
Rolling off of the mattress. Waking up on the carpet.
It shouldn’t have to be perfect.

He said he can't read the paper. It's not worth the trouble.
Finds out about funerals from the blasts of the bugles.
Wherever he goes he always orders the usual.
He likes to see what they'll bring him.

In five hours on the carpet
He visits six different planets.
On a spaceship shaped like a Gibson Marauder
The pilot kinda looked like Kirk Hammett.

While he was floating in space that chick took his wallet.
Wasn't really a date. Wasn't sure what to call it.
That same stupid feeling but he likes his new haircut.

It doesn’t have to be pure.
It doesn't have to be perfect.
Just sort of has to be worth it.
Track Name: Entitlement Crew
Tequila takeoff. Tacate landing.
Sorry about the centerpiece. Thanks for understanding.
Soft salesmen. Hard branding. Campari. Commissions.
I was sitting in the kitchen trying to guess where she was living now.
Hotel room in Houston with the shades against the sunshine?
Or maybe still in Scranton like it's 1999?
When I saw her rolling thru with the Entitlement Crew.
I wasn't all that into it but there was nothing I could do about it.

Now here's the church. Here's the steeple.
I like the party favors but I hate the party people.
Got distracted by the chorus where the kids all sang along.
Move to the rouge set. I always really liked that song.

You like that song too. I know that you do.
I saw you mouthing all the words
When you didn’t know I was watching you.
Everything is brittle and it's breaking apart.
Your sister's in Seattle and she's sleeping with the Sharps.
I remember we used to play in this park.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding.
Can't you see how I feel a bit abandoned?
Never got to say goodbye to you.
Give my best to the Entitlement Crew.

Tacate landing. Tequila takeoff.
Colfax cookout. Pillsbury bakeoff.
Too many cracks in the bathroom. Too many kooks in the kitchen.
It would probably be easier if I knew where she was living now.

I know you probably feel the same way as I feel
Like I'm not sure we can pull off such an intricate deal.
Now all of it's killer but it's coming up quick.
And your brother's in Boston and he's acting like a dick.
I remember back before we knew he was sick.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding.
Can't you see how I feel a bit abandoned?
Never got to say goodbye to you.
Give my best to the Entitlement Crew.

Distant systems in the dark and people dancing.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding.
Nodding off to The American Ruse.
Give my best to the Entitlement Crew.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding.
Tequila takeoff. Tacate landing.
Never got to say goodbye to you.
Give my best to the Entitlement Crew.
Track Name: T-Shirt Tux
There's that girl from your work and she's here with some guy.
He's got a t-shirt tux and a piano key tie.
The rest of us were rolling our eyes
At the handshake he did with the doorman.
But that's how he gets the stuff that makes him feel so important.

And we all need something to get thru the night.
'Cause the kitchen gets hot and the fingers get fried.
Pontius Pilate played to the crowd and
They all thought they knew what they wanted.
And everyone's sorry when they see that it's dawn.
I assumed that's the reason we do this?
And me and the guy with the piano key tie
Are probably going to play right thru this.

Tiny little triumphs. Massive bloody failures.
I heard that there are sailors who dread coming ashore.
I guess it's true. It's true I guess.
But tonight I fear my sensors aren't receiving at their best.

Everyone's acting like they hate that they're here.
Baring their teeth and sharpening spears.
The stuff that they put in the punchbowl tonight
Makes it too hard to pay much attention.
But your war of attrition turned out to be a major attraction.

A boy and a girl were draining their beers.
He said Stalin was a weatherman to start his career.
Johnny Cash was in the service
When the news came thru the wire.
And it's weird how you feel when bad people die.
She said yeah I guess, whatever.
All your fun little facts are never going to keep us together.

We'll all be doomed once we leave this room.
We spinning thru the turnstiles and we're sleeping in our shoes.
We're sad and stoned when were all hooked up at home.
But when we leave the house we're homesick.
Got the disconnection blues.
There were multiple dispensers
And some friends we couldn't use.

There's a candle on the table.
There's a photo on the fridge.
There's a bunch of things we said we're going to do
Then never did.
Sometimes it's all slippery sidewalks
And trying to find a place to park.
Turning on a burner that never catches spark.

They said everything's perception.
But that's not really right.
Let's all try to tell a little truth tonight.
Let's all try to tell a little truth tonight.
Track Name: Star 18
I know we made plans to meet in Spokane.
But the way I make plans
You got to take it with a grain of salt.
Got jammed in Alabama
And I was trying to get it all of it resolved.

I'm sure it seems like it's a perfect fit.
But trust me man 'cause I've been up in it.
And at dawn I had to crawl back home
Thru the quicksilver sprawl.

To tell the truth if I were you
I'd rather sleep over than telecommute.
'Cause when you're in the same room
I think we make a much better connection.

Hemingway at Cafe Select.
Donna Summer in the discotheque.
Once you get good you can get it wherever you are.

Sloppy city in the upper deck.
Tripping hard on the self neglect.
Now let me hold the money.
'Cause he wants you to wait in the car.

Sorry I'm late I caught in a mosh
With this dude who said he used to play with Peter Tosh.
But he never brought it up again
Once I said man I don't believe you.

I looked over this great expanse and
I saw some kid pissing on his parachute pants.
In one split second I figured out that he was one of your crew.

The amphetamines did what the amphetamines do.
She was chewing thru her cheek at the National Zoo.
And the dress she was wearing
Made a nice case for natural selection.

So Hold Steady at the Comfort Inn.
Mick Jagger's at The Mandarin.
One you get good you can get it wherever you are.

Notify the next of kin.
Mariel Hemingway with perfect skin
And some creep with a camera who says he's gonna make her a star.

You got to wait in the car.
Once upon a time I had a meeting with a man in a mansion.
He pulled a few strings just to demonstrate how it's all connected.

Disseminating from a central source.
Hemingway on the Ketchum porch.
Once you get good you can get it wherever you are.

So hit me back when it's back in style.
Star 18 on the rotary dial.
Now let me hold the money
'Cause he wants you to wait in the car.

You got to wait in the car.
Track Name: The Stove & The Toaster
Let's just say they owe me a favor.
I did something for them.
What it is doesn't matter.
Here's what's important.
It's going to be easy.
It's going to be simple.
Put it up to his temple.
He's expecting our call.

Yeah they know our intentions.
They approve of our methods.
They consider us partners.
Going in thru the window.
Leave thru the terrace.
They still owe me a favor.
What it is doesn't matter.

'Cause they got earpiece dudes in a fortified fortress.
And a wholesale crew that does a pretty big business.
And I got something we can do in Las Cruces.

Got some new information from the chef and the chauffeur.
They put the stash in the stove. They keep the cash in the toaster.
Down in Las Cruces they don't play with jokers.
I hope I still know you when this is all over.

Take a flight to Durango.
Take a car to La Quinta.
Chevrolet Silverado.
Sort of south of the entrance.
Drive it down to Las Cruces.
Do the thing that we're doing.
Push ahead to El Paso.
Stay as long as we have to.

She's got a line on some guys that are kind of insiders.
Said she worked with the cook. Said she slept with the driver.
They know we're coming but they'll still act surprised.
Yeah they'll still act surprised.
'Cause there's just one way in and it's a fortified fortress.
There's a way that it works. It's a particular process.
And I know something we can do in Las Cruces.

Got some new information from the chef and the chauffeur.
They put the stash in the stove. They keep the cash in the toaster.
Down in Las Cruces they don't play with jokers.
Split it three ways with the chef and the chauffeur.
Yeah, I've known those guys for a bit.
And it's sounding like they're pretty much over it.

We came in the kitchen and I knew it was over.
Didn't see any stove. No sign of a toaster.
Set up for the slaughter and shot in the shoulder.
Got pretty screwed by the chef and the chauffeur.
Got pretty screwed by the chef and the chauffeur.
Track Name: Confusion In The Marketplace
Princess came to breakfast looking puffy from the Prednisone.
Someones little sister had me marching to the metronome.
The Maharaji is on the mountain with a megaphone.
Reaching for the secrets in the static on the stereo.

There's something funny about the place that all the money goes.
Coughing up the offering. And in between his toes.
Knew a couple kids from when I still went to shows.
All the little hornets forming swarms around the honeycomb.

Searching for a purpose or just something we can celebrate.
People can take advantage of confusion in the marketplace.
Hard to have much faith when they can't keep their story straight.

Came back from the mission and her hair was in her mouth again.
It's just another part of her don't wanna take the medicine.
She won't miss the city but she'll miss all her friends.
I said vice versa for me, man. Vice versa for me.

Searching for a purpose or just something we can celebrate.
People take advantage of confusion in the marketplace.
I'll distract the manager and you obscure the license plates.

Princess on the payphone with an angle on some Western states.
We can take advantage of confusion in the marketplace.
I don't want to dick around. I just want to devastate.

Scoping out some dynamite and seeing if it detonates.
People take advantage of confusion in the marketplace
You can turn the circles yeah and I can pull the parking brake.

Princess on the payphone with an angle on some Western states.
We can take advantage of confusion in the marketplace.
I don't want to dick around. I just want to devastate.

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