Lately, New York's the Hold Steady has gotten more ink than a hipster covering up that embarrassing Lorax tattoo he got in college -- and with good reason. The boisterous quintet sounds like '70s-era E Street Band on meth and PBR, with motor-mouthed frontman Craig Finn spouting tales of Catholic schoolgirls gone very bad. While Finn bawls his literary lyrics -- a treasure trove for pop-culture and music geeks -- guitarist Tad Kubler grounds the grooves and Franz Nicolay anchors the band's sloppy, punk-polluted classic rock with soulful keys. Finn and Kubler played together previously in the fabled Minneapolis band Lifter Puller, and those Midwestern roots show in the Hold Steady's Replacements-esque, carousing live show. For any remaining doubts about the Hold Steady's coolness, please note that the band will be playing a seventh-period benefit show at Littleton High School before its gig at the Larimer Lounge. Now, that's hip.
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