Craig Finn's new solo single: Can you count the Twin Cities references?

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Craig Finn: He's been where you've been Shervin Lainez

If you answered "seven," then you've probably heard the song "Preludes" off Craig Finn's forthcoming album, We All Want the Same Things.

The Hold Steady/Lifter Puller frontman teased the lead single from his third solo LP on Monday, and it's packed with Easter eggs for Twin Cities listeners. The warmly bustling, horn- and flute-accented rumination alludes to familiar places thusly: 

  • "Wirth Park had a body" (75 percent sure on the "had a body" bit) 
  • "The Holiday guy couldn't make change" (OK, this one's regional, but the corporate offices are headquartered in Bloomington) 
  • "I came back to St. Paul, and things have progressed and got strange"
  • "I got stuck in a snowbank, I was too drunk to drive to Edina" (Finn's hometown; see "Hornets! Hornets!"
  • "And the guys in Northeast ride bicycles up to the market"
  • "And the North Stars went South, and my friends all went out to Seattle"
  • "I was down on the trails by the river when this guy jumped out, he was waving a pistol" (We can reasonably assume he's talking about the Mississippi River, the nitrous-y baptismal hotbed so central to 2005 Hold Steady LP Separation Sunday)

Unlike in the dramatized Lifter Puller/Hold Steady universe -- with its wayward teens, townies, junkies, and dealers -- the scenes in "Preludes" are ripped from the headlines of the Craig Finn Times. Here's Finn explaining the autobiographical song to National Public Radio:

"As for 'Preludes,' this was what I remember 1994 being like, coming back to the Twin Cities after being away for college. It's a time in my life that I felt most adrift, but there was a also a feeling of wonder in being out of step and alone. This is the song that is closest to being autobiographical, but I think it fits with these other character studies. I was trying to figure out my place in a world that didn't seem to have a lot of room for me."

We All Want the Same Things is set to drop March 24 via New York City indie Partisan Records (Torres, Heartless Bastards, Deer Tick). 

In semi-related/extremely dated news, here's an old fan-generated map of geographic Hold Steady references: 


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