Nice Tix: The Hold Steady and Thao Nguyen grow up, pair well with lattes
When there are bands in the underground making commercial-sounding music, hipsters love to say, “Man, these guys could be huge!” Then, of course, these bands get huge and the underground gets grumpy and moves on to the next budding Starbucks soundtracker.
When the Hold Steady started out of the ashes of the overlooked Minneapolis band Lifter Puller, they sounded like AC/DC, but with an alcoholic American Literature professor on vocals. Over the course of four albums, the Hold Steady took on more and more of the hardscrabble, factory-workin’ characteristics of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and the J. Geils Band. Now, somewhat inevitably, the Hold Steady are touring with Drive-By Truckers and the Counting Crows. What, Bob Seger wasn’t answering the phone?
Even though the recent Stay Positive disappoints with uncharacteristic forays into harpsichord and Bon Jovi balladry, the Hold Steady remain an invigorating, euphoric live band, no matter what flannel-clad troupe it’s touring with. The Brooklyn-based band visits the Riviera with the Truckers on November 14. Tickets go on sale this Saturday.
When indie singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen blew through town a couple weeks ago, we said:
Beefed up by horn arrangements and hand-claps, We Brave has a distinct crossover quality. It’s not hard to imagine her prowess translating to a wider audience—or playing over the stereo at Starbucks. Nguyen is easy on the ears or, as she would say, soothing, “like a lick of ice cream.”
Sure enough, this week it was announced that Nguyen would take part in the latest installment of the Hotel Café Tour—pretty much the unending extension of the Lilith Fair—alongside relatively unknown neo-Feists Meiko, Jaymay and Alice Russell. Previous tours featured Katy Perry, KT Tunstall, and Imogen Heap. Now’s your chance to hear next year’s Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. Tickets for the Park West gig go on sale this Tuesday.