Saturday, July 26, 2008

Literary Debts Paid: A Tale of the Hold Steady and John Berryman

A break from the stereotypes for music, a poet, a rock band, and a high school. I ran across this video of The Hold Steady performing 'Stuck between Stations.'  What's special is that it was their first public performance of the song and it was played live before an audience of high school students in a gymnasium.  The first video here is the school performance--Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn starts his intro about a minute or so into the video.  It's pretty moving and reveals the literary foundation (John Berryman) of this very powerful rock band.

The Hold Steady at Littleton High School


Here's the finished video of the song:

STUCK BETWEEN STATIONS - The Hold Steady




There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right.
Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together.
Sucking off each other at the demonstrations
Making sure their makeup’s straight
Crushing one another with colossal expectations.
Dependent, undisciplined, and 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.
She likes the warm feeling but she’s tired of all the dehydration.
Most nights are crystal clear
But tonight it’s like it’s stuck between stations
On the radio.

The devil and John Berryman
Took a walk together.
They ended up on Washington
Talking to the river.
He said “I’ve surrounded myself with doctors
And deep thinkers.
But big heads with soft bodies
Make for lousy lovers.”
There was that night that we thought 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.

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.

These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River.

We drink
We dry up
Then we crumble to dust.

we get wet
we corrode
and now were covered up in rust

2 comments:

  1. WEB SHERIFF
    Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
    Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
    Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080
    websheriff@websheriff.com
    www.websheriff.com

    Hi TM,

    On behalf of Rough Trade / Beggars Digital, Vagrant and The Hold Steady, many thanks for plugging The Hold Steady ... .. thanks, also, on behalf of the label and the band for not posting any pirate links to new (studio) material and, if your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks from the band's new album - "Stay Positive" (street date 14th July UK / EU and 15th July US / Can) - “Sequestered in Memphis” is available for fans and bloggers to link to / host / post etc on the band’s MySpace ... .. check-out http://www.myspace.com/theholdsteady and http://www.theholdsteady.com for details on “Stay Positive” and the band’s 2008 tour ... .. a selection of other tracks is also available on the band’s MySpace, although these are for promotional (and fan link) purposes only and the artist and labels have kindly asked fans and bloggers not to host these tracks directly or to link to any pirate sources – or, of course, host / link to pirate copies the full new album - for which many thanks in advance.

    Thanks again for your plug.

    Regards,

    WEB SHERIFF

    ReplyDelete
  2. lyrics! priceless:

    There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right.
    Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together.
    Sucking off each other at the demonstrations
    Making sure their makeup’s straight
    Crushing one another with colossal expectations.
    Dependent, undisciplined, and 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.
    She likes the warm feeling but she’s tired of all the dehydration.
    Most nights are crystal clear
    But tonight it’s like it’s stuck between stations
    On the radio.

    The devil and John Berryman
    Took a walk together.
    They ended up on Washington
    Talking to the river.
    He said “I’ve surrounded myself with doctors
    And deep thinkers.
    But big heads with soft bodies
    Make for lousy lovers.”
    There was that night that we thought 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.

    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.

    These Twin Cities kisses
    Sound like clicks and hisses.
    We all tumbled down and
    Drowned in the Mississippi River.

    We drink
    We dry up
    Then we crumble to dust.

    we get wet
    we corrode
    and now were covered up in rust

    ReplyDelete

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