Thursday, January 25, 2007

Toward a comprehensive encyclopedia of The Hold Steady

I'm attempting to analyze and annotate every specific location and person referenced in The Hold Steady's three albums.

Mock me if you want, but I consider this my obligation to future scholars.

Below is an alphabetical list of places and people. Going through the lyrics, I've noticed certain trends: nothing good happens in California; Florida is the situs of ultimate decadence; everyone always comes back to Minneapolis.

If I can figure out a way to properly export a spreadsheet layout into blogger, I'll publish a complete account. I've omitted site-specific references to Minneapolis because they're so copious, and because I don't recognize many of them. The Hold Steady Guide to the Twin Cities is a brilliant resource on that front.


Bay City, MISweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Beverly Hills, CAThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Bowdoin, MEChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

CaliforniaHot FriesN/A

CaliforniaModest Is Not That SweetN/A

ColoradoGirls Like StatusBoys and Girls in America

Chicago, ILChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Dallas, TXDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Denver, COCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Denver, COMilkcrate MoshN/A

Edina, MNHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

Hollywood, CACurves & NervesN/A

Hostile, MAHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Lynn, MAHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Los Angeles, CADon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

MassachusettsBanging CampSeparation Sunday

MassachusettsCurves & NervesN/A

MichiganSweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Minneapolis, MNParty PitBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverSome KooksBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Mississippi RiverStevie NixBoys and Girls in America

Modesto, CAModesto Is Not That SweetN/A

Narraganset Bay, RISome KooksBoys and Girls in America

New Orleans, LADon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

New York, NYChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Osseo, MNYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

Pensacola, FLKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Philadelphia, PAKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Shaker Heights, OHThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

University of MinnesotaStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

VirginiaKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Western MassachusettsChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

Ybor City, FLMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Ybor City, FLKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me


Nelson AlgrenChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

St. BarbaraDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

John BerrymanStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Black SabbathHot Soft LightsBoys and Girls in America

William BlakeChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

Kate BushHornets! HornetsSeparation Sunday

Johnny CashBarfruit BluesAlmost Killed Me

Alice CooperSketchy MetalAlmost Killed Me

Andre CymoneThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Rick DankoThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

John DarnielleGirls Like StatusBoys and Girls in America

James DeanKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Ellen FoleyCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

Drop Dead FredKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Freddy FreshKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Humbert HumbertHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

King James IKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Jane's AddictionCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

Billy JoelCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

JesusCitrusBoys and Girls in America

JesusYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

JesusCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

JesusHostile, MassachusettsAlmost Killed Me

JesusFirst NightBoys and Girls in America

JesusSketchy MetalAlmost Killed Me

Judas IscariotCitrusBoys and Girls in America

Judas IscariotMilkcrate MoshN/A

John F. KennedyDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Jack KerouacStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

Jack KerouacHot FriesN/A

James KingKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Freddie KnucklesKiller PartiesAlmost Killed Me

Phil LynottMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Mickey MantleHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

MeatloafCertain SongsAlmost Killed Me

Freddy MercuryKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Mary Tyler MooreStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Vladimir NabokovHornets! Hornets!Separation Sunday

NazarethCurves & NervesN/A

Stevie NicksStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Jackie OnassisDon't Let Me ExplodeSeparation Sunday

Sal ParadiseStuck Between StationsBoys and Girls in America

St. PaulChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

St. Paul SaintsHow a Resurrection Really FeelsSeparation Sunday

Steve PerryThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

St. PeterHow a Resurrection Really FeelsSeparation Sunday

Mackenzie PhillipsCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Porky PigHostile, Mass.Almost Killed Me

Jada PinkettSweet PayneAlmost Killed Me

Lionel RichieCharlemagne in SweatpantsSeparation Sunday

Right Said FredKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Robbie RobertsonThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Johnny RottenKnucklesAlmost Killed Me

Neil SchonThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Rocco SiffrediMost People are DJsAlmost Killed Me

Beverly SillsThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Nina SimoneThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Patty SmytheThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

Phil SpectorMilkcrate MoshN/A

Bruce SpringsteenBarfruit BluesAlmost Killed Me

Rod StewartStevie NixSeparation Sunday

Izzie StratlinChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

Alfred, Lord TennysonChillout TentBoys and Girls in America

St. TheresaYour Little Hoodrat FriendSeparation Sunday

St. TheresaChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday

The TimesArms and HeartsBoys and Girls in America

The Trix RabbitCattle and the Creeping ThingsSeparation Sunday

Tuscan RaidersThe SwishAlmost Killed Me

William Butler YeatsChicago Seemed Tired Last NightSeparation Sunday


Flop said...

Actually, I'd bet $5 that those Mississippi River references are in the Twin Cities.

CrimeNotes said...

Correct. I had to do some arbitrary line drawing. For instance, I didn't write about Adam and Eve for "The Cattle and the Creeping Things," even though there were other songs where people weren't mentioned by name (e.g., Lionel Richie wasn't named, but "Dancing on the Ceiling" was).

solace said...


if showmewhere hadn't gone awry i was going to do a full national map eventually. if i ever find a similiar site i will be in contact with you about doing it :)

Jaime said...

Can we take this to mean that you're not too busy to blog any more? This is... thorough.

Flop said...

In other news, CrimeNotes is single! Ladies, form an orderly queue ...

CrimeNotes said...

I don't know if this is a signal of "free time" so much as "unhealthy obsession." For instance, if someone on NPR is discussing the Iraq Study Report and you think, "the way they pronounced Iraq Study sounds like Iraq steady, which reminds me of The Hold Steady," it's along the lines of Richard Dreyfuss building a mock-up of Devil's Tower in his backyard. Same thing when you start wondering whether the first-person voice used in certain lyrics is Finn speaking in character as Charlemagne or Gideon, or whether, in the alternative, Finn-as-narrator is an altogether different character who is along for the ride. (That's what I think it is; I think Finn-the-narrator is an unnamed character on Separation Sunday, and it's the story from "never to trust me" to "I was all wrapped up in a video booth when I heard her say I love you too.") Or you're puzzling over the chronology of whether Holly kissed Mary (who got a bloody nose from sniffing margarita mix) before or after she was golden with barlight and beer on that first night. And you know that "First Night" takes place somewhere in the middle of the chronology because Charlemagne ultimately dies.

CrimeNotes said...

Oh, and thanks, solace. I'm not positive that this is complete, it was kind of a first draft.

Minneapolis said...

That is dedication. I'm wondering how freakin long that took to compile...

And yes, everyone does eventually end up back here. I wish someone would explain why