Pelican and a Review of The Hold Steady

The post-metal quartet Pelican brings its thundering instrumentals to the Sound Opinions studio. Later, Jim and Greg review the latest album from The Hold Steady.

Pelican
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Pioneering DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles passed away this week. Knuckles’ musical legacy is arguably as important to dance music as Chuck Berry’s is to rock or Kraftwerk’s is to electronica. In the early 1980’s, Knuckles helped cultivate House music’s sound from the ashes of disco at a venue on Chicago’s south side called The Warehouse. (Hence the name, House). The space was an oasis for misfits of all shapes, sizes, and colors to come together and celebrate being alive. As Knuckle’s musical stature grew over the years performing at various clubs and remixing other artist’s songs, he never lost his generous spirit. In a 2012 conversation with Jim and Greg at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Knuckles remarked that he’d never regarded music as a competive sport. Even though you have people on the dance floor, and people that come out and say this DJ is better than that one, I’ve never looked at it that way and I’ve never let that influence me because I’m too busy having a good time and showing people a good time, said Knuckles. He was 59 years old.

Pelican

Heavy Metal, Post-Metal, Grindcore, Post-Grindcore...you name it, Pelican has been called it. But, however you categorize this hard rocking instrumental group, they bring an awesome noise—especially live. Trevor de Brauw, Bryan Herweg, Larry Herweg and Dallas Thomas talk about their desired intensity and play songs from their 2013 album Forever Becoming, the band’s first release since the departure of founder Laurent Schroeder-Lebec.

Teeth Dreams The Hold Steady

Teeth Dreams

Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-bred Beat-rockers The Hold Steady have undergone a few changes since their 2009 visit to Sound Opinions. The band took a break after the departure of keyboardist (and moustache idol Franz Nicolay, while frontman Craig Finn put out a solo album. Now the boys are back, with an extra guitarist, Steve Selvidge, and a sixth album called Teeth Dreams. It’s their first venture with producer Nick Raskulinecz (best known for his work with Foo Fighters, Rush, and Evanesence), and as Greg points out, their sound is slicker than ever. Perhaps too slick—while the band can still rock, the album is bogged down with slow, melodramatic experimentation. Greg has to say Try It. Jim scoffs at the lyricist’s literary bent—with Finn so obviously ripping off Raymond Chandler and Jack Kerouac, this host has to wonder if it’s parody. Regardless, Jim prefers The Hold Steady live, in their bombastic, Springsteen-ian element—as for Teeth Dreams, it’s a Trash It.

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