The Hold Steady's Craig Finn got on the phone with us for a few minutes last week prior to the band's headlining slot on Friday at the Heineken Inspire Miami event at the Moore Building, and it wasn't long before we were peeking at Florida's seedy underbelly.
Of course, Finn and his punk-leaning "bar band" -- who just released their fifth album, Heaven is Whenever -- are always searching for subject matter that includes pill-poppers, barflies, hoodrats, and pretty much anyone else who went through a skater phase, went through a raver phase, or went through a
razor blade phase.
A segment of the interview regarding the Sunshine State:
"Certainly a lot in the past, we've sung a lot about [Tampa's] Ybor City,
which is on the West Coast of Florida. But "Hurricane J" [from Heaven
Is Whenever] is right there. Maybe "A Slight Discomfort" is the
discomfort of summer down there. A Ponzi scheme is something I've always
been super interested in, but it never made it into a Hold Steady song.
My other favorite thing is celebrity impersonators. They go to a bar,
pretending to be someone not super famous -- but just enough to get a
bunch of free drinks and some adoration."
For the unitiated, one of the Hold Steady's finest, wooziest songs, "Killer Parties," includes a few Florida references. Read the lyrics and listen after the jump.
"Killer Parties" off Almost Killed Me:
If they ask about Charlemagne
Be polite and say something vague
Like another lover lost to the restaurant raids
If they ask why we left in the first place
Say we were young and we were so in love
I guess we just needed space
We heard about this place they called the United States
We found out Virginia really is for the lovers
Philly is full of friendly friends that will love you like a brother
Pensacola parties hard with poppers, pills and Pepsi
Ybor city is tres speedy but they throw such killer parties
Killer parties almost killed me
If she says we partied then I'm pretty sure we partied
I really don't remember
I remember we departed from our bodies
We woke up in Ybor city
Heineken Inspire Miami, with the Hold Steady, Cold War Kids, DJ Chad
Hugo, DJ Irie, and DJ Skratchy. 3 and 9 p.m. Friday, May 21.
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p.m. Saturday, May 22, with Fabolous, Wale, DJ Irie, DJ Skratchy,
Mesclasonic DJs, and Tito el Bambino. The Moore Building, 4040 NE Second
Ave., Miami Admission is free; 21 and up. Click here.