Both Crosses

Album: Stay Positive (2008)
  • This low-key acoustic track was recorded live in one take. Lead singer Craig Finn explained to Uncut magazine June 2008: "Any attempts to 'fix' it took away from the vibe, so we used the original 'scratch' vocal."
  • This features J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. playing the banjo.
  • The album Stay Positive weaves a narrative from song to song using several characters. The "Saphire" here is also the one from "Yeah Sapphire" on the same album, and the "couple boys that died" refers to the murdered characters in "Navy Sheets." The whole song tells the story of a fight involving these characters, using religious metaphors in place of the real characters.
    By the way, The Hold Steady absolutely loves religious themes, especially Catholicism, though its used for rich story-telling symbolism rather than preaching.
    Check the album cover art and the blood-red logo in the middle. That's an integrated infinity and positive symbol: "Stay Positive." But it also references a cross. Clever?
  • If you're noticing gravel-voiced lead singer Craig Finn improving here, that's the voice lessons paying off. He was taking them around the time of recording this album.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

P.F. SloanSongwriter Interviews

P.F. was a teenager writing hits and playing on tracks for Jan & Dean when he wrote a #1 hit that got him blackballed.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Tom Bailey of Thompson TwinsSongwriter Interviews

Tom stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, in part because of their personal nature: "Hold Me Now" came after an argument with his bandmate/girlfriend Alannah Currie.

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.