Thursday 17 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Steady as he goes

Steady as he goes

Finding success with The Hold Steady, why would Craig Finn want to take a break? To be alone again, naturally.

Matt Carney February 1st, 2012

Craig Finn with Horse Thief and Mount Moriah
6:30 Thursday
The Conservatory
8911 N. Western
$12 advance, $14 door

It’s hard work writing songs with characters vivid enough to fit a movie script or a novel.

Bespectacled rocker Craig Finn’s been doing it for a little less than a decade as the front man for The Hold Steady, Brooklyn’s beloved bar band. Although he’s recently taken a brief detour as a solo artist to focus on themes of displacement and loneliness, there’s no indication of a departure from the cadre of hard-drinking, drug-swapping, rave-throwing teenage hood rats who populate his previous work.

“I came into the studio Monday morning, shook everyone’s hand and by Friday night, we had 14 songs recorded, or at least the better parts of ’em,” Finn said of the recording sessions for “Clear Heart Full Eyes.”

“I was a little intimidated. It was outside my comfort zone, for sure. I’m still a fairly limited musician, so it was a challenge for me. I came out of it and it turned into something I really loved. I gained a lot of confidence from it.”

Weaned on Hüsker Dü and The Replacements growing up in Minnesota, Finn long has written lyrics bolted down to emotive, hard-charging rock ’n’ roll pieces from Tad Kubler, lead guitarist for The Hold Steady and their previous band, Lifter Puller.

Going solo changed that, but he didn’t head halfway across the country unprepared. First, Finn challenged himself to write one song a day, and left with 50. He also drove across Australia by himself just to write songs, which directly resulted in the album’s opening track, “Apollo Bay,” and informed much of the rest of “Full Eyes,” which was released last week.

“I was by myself driving in a car. You can get really remote. You can get to places where you’re not seeing other people pretty easily. I was in some touristy areas at times, but it was in the off-season, so no one was really there,” he said. “I think a lot of the songs on the record tap into being alone, or solitary. ... But in one sense, we’re all alone in this world, you know? We enter and leave it alone, so I guess that’s part of the record.”

Photo by Jeremy Balderson
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