When: Tue., Feb. 7, 9:30 p.m. 2012
It doesn't take much squinting to see the Hold Steady and their fans as one of America's happier and better-adjusted (not to mention most booze-drenched) cults, but anyone expecting front man Craig Finn to dish the same kind of radically affirmative rock on his recently released solo debut, Clear Hearts, Full Eyes (Vagrant), will probably be thrown by the album's opener, "Apollo Bay." A pensive, brooding blues that recalls Neil Young's "bad vibes in Laurel Canyon" phase (circa On the Beach and Tonight's the Night), the song is a clear indication that Finn was serious when he told interviewers he was using the album to vent a bunch of stuff that doesn't fit his main gig's mission statement. He also seems to be getting a whole lot of country music out of his system—at times Clear Hearts comes off like the best specimen in the niche subgenre of spiritually exhausted country-rock since the form peaked in the 70s. —Miles Raymer Mount Moriah opens.
Price: $14, $12 in advance