we were 17 and stuck up in osseo
i've binged on local music posts lately, but couldn't resist a clever application of showmewhere googlemapping to a substantive problem of real importance. more cowbell offers this interactive map and guide to just some of the twin cities mentions in the hold steady’s lyrics.
in concert, craig finn drops twins references like batgirl. in song, he provides a specific sense of place -- lowertown, france avenue, edina high, lyndale, 169, thunderbird, lowry east, penn ave -- while evoking a universal sense of adolescent wanderlust that could come from anywhere (e.g., what suburban kid couldn't have been involved up at the northtown mall?).
novelists do this all the time (faulkner, updike, et al.), but how many other songwriters take local references to such extremes? aside from bruce from asbury park, that is. one could accuse mr. finn of pandering to the locals, but, truth be told, the hold steady is (mostly) a new york band.
like all good minnesotans, mr. finn vows to return to twins territory upon completion of the outdoor ballpark in 2010, though i'm not holding my breath. in the meantime, the band just released boys and girls in america today. i can't offer a review yet, but can tell you that your little hoodrat friend provides a very nice soundtrack to the hold steady guide to the twin cities.