Double whiskey, coke, no ice

So there's a new record from the Hold Steady that you don't have to be particularly web-savant to find on ye olde internet. I'm not a particularly big fan of theirs, though this is changing with just about every song I hear, but I was keen to listen to 'Constructive Summer', if only for Stereogum calling it "the opening and arguably best track on Stay Positive". Gotta say - the song is really resonant with me, with its celebration of drinking, friends, and more than anything else, the long hot days of summer.

As it happens, I'm having one of the dreariest summers of my life. Taking classes, napping all the time, spending almost entire days at home alone, 96% of my friends are out of town... I don't mean to come off as a sad-sack, though... After all, the solitude just led me to watching the entire first series of 'The Wire' over three days. That show is fantastic! Turns out, everyone was right when they said "Best show on television".

I don't really need any excuse to get all wistful and nostalgic, but this song, 'Constructive Summer', really makes me think of the summer of 2005 - the last truly great summer I had. There's one line in the first verse - "Our songs are singalong songs" - and that recalls the song we wrote in 05, 'That Guy', which became an anthem among my group of compadres, a singalong at just about every party for three months. There was even a doo-wop remix! There's a line in 'Constructive Summer' about "Drinking on top of water towers, with love and trust that shows all summer" which pretty much encapsulates that summer of 2005. There's even a shout out to St. Joe Strummer.

Craig Finn's lyric "Let this be my annual reminder that we could all be something bigger" is particularly powerful - the summer being the lowest ebb of my year, when most people I care about have gone their own way for a few months and there's precious little to do anywhere.

For now, though, I'm loving this song, and thinking of that time we walked around the Tuscany apartment complex in Tallahassee, Florida, trying to get back Matt's santa hat, which was stolen from off his head by some drunk girl in the world's most terrible party.

Stay Positive is out in mid-July. should have a new live show from the band posted next week.

[The Hold Steady official site / myspace]

3 comments: said...

I found your blog because I googled double whiskey coke no ice. It's a title of a dillinger four song I recognized in the same hold steady song. I thought it might have been from a movie. I guess not. I like your post about this song though. Good writing. I've been drinking whiskey. Usually I try to be a little more well spoken. Thanks.

gawain5000 said...

The line is actually, "our psalms are sing-along songs". I'm trying to figure out if these guys are a christian-rock band in disguise, or if they just happen to have a lot of songs with themes about religion. Seems like they sing about partying and bars, but is that just to get to the need for something bigger (i.e. God). Or am I seeing too much into it? I like them a lot, I think. But I fear finding out that they are Jesus-freaks. said...


Craig Finn, responsible for The Hold Steady's lyrics, is influenced by catholic religion, but not necessarily a "Jesus Freak". I'd say he's too intelligent for something like that. :)

But read yourself:

Find It