Thursday, October 1, 2009

2005 : 50 "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" by the Hold Steady

A few years back, I did some writing on the Hold Steady, noting that while their 2005 album Separation Sunday rarely strives, on a sonic level, to provide anything more than old-fashioned bar rock, it lyrically functions at a very high standard, ultimately emerging as a song cycle that rivals The Mountain Goats' great All Hail West Texas.

The characters on Separation Sunday are born-again Christians or people struggling with drug addiction, or both, and all activity on the record is permeated by an air of dead-endedness, although one punctuated by moments of clutching, desperate hope. See, for instance, this moment in "Your Little Hoodrat Friend":

Your little hoodrat friend's been calling me again
and I can't stand all the things that she sticks into her skin
like sharpened ballpoint pens and steel guitar strings
she says it hurts but its worth it
tiny little text etched into her neck
says "Jesus Christ lived and died for all our sins"
she's got blue-black ink and it's scratched into her lower back
says "damn right he'll rise again"

Jeremy Bushnell

Listen: The Hold Steady >> "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"

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