On Second Thought
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday

By: Josh Love

Posted 05/17/2005 - 08:36:45 PM by IanMathers:
 To be fair, for some of us the tin-eared dialogue was part of the cheesy/violent glory of Sin City, although even for those willing to suspend their disbelief there were some real eye-rollers. This is good and thought-provoking, in any case.
Posted 05/18/2005 - 07:53:48 AM by J.Timmermann:
 FANTASTIC piece, Josh! (And I really like this record, albeit not as much as their first one, at least as of yet.) I listen to very little straight-up current rock and generally dislike or despise most of THS's ostensible influences (Springsteen excepted, though I'll take Nebraska/Tunnel of Love/Darkness on the Edge of Town over Born to Run/in the U.S.A./The River anyday). I'm not much of a "lyrics person" either per se, but between this, The Sunset Tree, and Kathleen Edwards' new one (Gretchen meets Lucinda meets Shania!!!), I'm apparently one this year (though M.I.A. blows 'em all away in at least six statistical categories right now--best flow, most consistent, real stories etc.) Ironically, this and Mike Powell's Separation Sunday feature are probably my two favorite pieces that have run here recently!
Posted 05/18/2005 - 07:54:56 AM by J.Timmermann:
 realEST stories. d'oh.
Posted 05/19/2005 - 04:53:14 PM by iambelmondo:
 This is a really well thought-out, well put-together piece; i guess my one main question is: at what point do you determine that an author is no longer talking about a specific woman but women in general? For Sin City I can see - it's a two hour movie with a lot of female characters, the majority of which are powerless. But in fairness to Finn - the record really only has room for 2 major characters, and I'm not sure it lends itself as easily to this sort of critique; For a record like, say, Louis XIV, where they're repeatedly dealing with "women" in a general (and usually derogatory) sense, I think this kind of interpretation would hold. But for a record like Separation Sunday, which is mostly a narrative about specific people in a specific time and place -- I'm not sure it's meant to withstand gender criticism.
Posted 05/20/2005 - 05:54:03 AM by JoshLove:
 I'm not really suggesting Finn is using Holly to project any unseemly prejudices against women so much as I think he's lazy in letting her fill that culturally-proscribed role of weakness and incapacity, made worse by the fact that he's not willing to put his own ass on the line.