Published on July 2nd, 2020 | by Ron Spizziri


Ron’s Album Picks – The Hold Steady

Ron has another album recommendation for us, just in time for Canada Day. This time it’s for Brooklyn-based, long standing alt rock stalwarts The Hold Steady.

Continuing my daily routine of re-discovering some of the albums that have appeared on my annual Top Ten lists during the past 35 years that I’ve been hosting Nightwaves on CFCR-FM, I recently gave a spin to The Hold Steady’s 2010 release, Heaven Is Whenever.

This Brooklyn band formed in the early 2000’s and have been releasing heartfelt, impressive albums ever since. Drawing primary inspiration from Graham Parker and Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady produce original songs that have an air of familiarity about them. This is due to the band’s referencing plenty of rock history on their albums, including Husker Du, Echo and the Bunnymen, Utopia, The Replacements and Jim Carroll, among others. And the inside sleeve of Heaven Is Whenever includes what may or may not be a reverential photographic nod to Nirvana.

The Hold Steady is a band which makes no secret of its ongoing obsession with the pop music scene. This album best sums up the group’s love and reverence for music on the track, “We Can Get Together”: “Heaven is whenever we can get together. Sit down on your floor. And listen to your records. Heaven is whenever we can get together. Lock your bedroom door. And listen to your records.”

I’m certain I’m not the only record collector for whom these lyrics strike so close to home.

About the Author

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grew up in Toronto in the 50s and 60s, building up a record library (which became an addiction early on and continues to this day). After moving to Saskatoon in 1979, he got into the “music biz” in a big way – running a record store (Records on Wheels), producing and hosting radio and TV shows, promoting concerts, doing some freelance writing, and starting up a record label (Rockin’ Rod records). Luddite that he is, Ron still favours vinyl analogue recordings over all other forms of recorded music.

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