I’ve been thinking about Slope Day. It’s early, I know, but I can’t help thinking that last year’s less-than-stellar concert showed how much potential greatness can be had if the right group shows up. Rap is out, I think, for fairly obvious reasons. For one, the biggest names (Jigga, ‘Ye, Fiddy – can you tell I’m down with the street?) are pricey or have already played Cornell recently. Also, much as I love rap — who doesn’t enjoy a little Biggie bumpin’ in the car? — the genre is not always conducive to live performance: the music overwhelms the vocals to depressing effect. Then there’s the risk you’ll be forced to listen to the sounds of fake gunshots for five minutes.
What would be ideal, I think, would be a group that can manage to play loud but still sound good. We need something that rocks, and not in the KISS sense either. I’ve been thinking of a band that fits that description that Cornell could maybe afford and one name came to mind: The Hold Steady.
I’m not going to wax eloquent about their rough-and-tumble, Bruce Springsteen-on-steroids sound. Instead, I’m just going to ask (or order) you to listen to “Boys and Girls In America” and tell me I’m wrong. Or tell me who ought to come instead. I’m open to ideas.