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The Hold Steady On World Cafe

With its riff-heavy mixture of classic rock and lyrically dense storytelling, the increasingly iconic Brooklyn rock band The Hold Steady crafts detailed musical universes that have already made it a critics' darling and fan favorite. Click the link above to hear The Hold Steady in an interview and performance from WXPN.

Formed in 2000 from the ashes of the Minneapolis band Lifter Puller, The Hold Steady released Almost Killed Me in 2004. Bolstered by an ambitious tour schedule, 2005's Separation Sunday further boosted the group's profile. A loose concept album, that disc concerns itself mostly with a set of recurring characters whose exploits are chronicled in lead singer Craig Finn's complex lyrics. Making the move to a bigger label for 2006's Boys and Girls in America and 2008's Stay Positive, Finn and company crafted an immensely compelling and accessible series of songs.

The Hold Steady's new album, Heaven Is Whenever, is out now. Franz Nicolay, the band's mustachioed former keyboardist, isn't featured on the album, so it's no surprise that guitars dominate The Hold Steady's sound more than usual. But there's also an overall sense of warmth to Heaven Is Whenever that distinguishes it from previous efforts.

This segment originally ran on May 28, 2010.

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