Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The comprehensive encyclopedia of The Hold Steady, Vol. 1: Places

A little while ago I noted plans to put together a full guide to the people and places mentioned in The Hold Steady's lyrics. With the help of Google Spreadsheets, I've put together the first installment. In addition to the basic details, I've added lyric excerpts, limited background about some of the more obscure places, some occasional analysis of the lyrics, and, where relevant, some background on the band's relationship to a particular place.

For Twin Cities-specific background, I again recommend the good work at The Hold Steady Guide to the Twin Cities.

Volume 2 will break down the people (bands, writers, Catholic saints and pop culture figures) mentioned in the band's lyrics. Volume 3 will be dedicated to recurring characters in the band's work.

If the layout is a little unwieldy, the full spreadsheet is published here.


Crunk Raconteur said...

So, when I started reading the list (very comprehensive), I was hoping for a shout-out once I got to the S section, something like: "Shaker Heights, OH, an eastern suburb of Cleveland, is also the hometown of commenter, guest-blogger, and general gadfly-about-town Crunk Raconteur, who has been known to yell loudly in a hey-he-just-said-the-name-of-my-hometown kind of way at Hold Steady shows, prompting confusion from the members of the Washington area crowd surrounding him."...but then I read what you wrote about Shaker and thought, "Wow, now I really sound like a douche."

Also, not on point for this post, but Flop is secretly afraid of phalanxes.

CrimeNotes said...

There's nothing wrong with being ritzy. (Unfortunately, I am not up-to-date on commenters' hometowns.) I remember a line from Jay McInerney's "Brightness Falls" about how Chicago, Grosse Pointe and Shaker Heights are the only places between New York and LA that his characters knew about.

Crunk Raconteur said...

I'm looking forward to the "People" volume, particularly the discussion of Journey that will come from the mentioning, also in "The Swish" of Neil Schon.