Craig Finn

Why ‘The Chris Gethard Show’ Has the Best Musical Guests on TV

The Chris Gethard Show, a raucous public-access comedy show based in New York City, has long been one of my favorite things on television. It’s a proudly weird, sometimes sad, and generally indescribable program, but it’s the best possible way to spend a Wednesday night. Along with house band The LLC, TCGS also has the best musical guests of any late night show: a mixture of loud punk, quiet singer-songwriters, surf rock, experimental music, and more. Tonight the show returns to MNN studios with musical guest Wheatus to celebrate teenage dirtbags everywhere. I talked to Heidi Vanderlee, one of the show’s music bookers, about her role with TCGS, some of the most memorable musical moments, and her wishlist. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn on Writing for Middle-Aged Bros, Slogging Through ‘Infinite Jest,’ and the ‘Fargo Rock City’ Movie

There are few bands left quite like the Hold Steady, and even fewer frontmen like Craig Finn. He’s the Hemingway of modern indie rock bros, known for his quick turns of phrase and his drawn-out tales about nights that are hard to remember (and the substances that fueled them). At 42 and with six Hold Steady albums under his belt, these days Finn comes across more as the Springsteen everyman when it comes to chronicling a distinctly American life. This week, as the Hold Steady release Teeth Dreams, we spoke to Finn, discussing writing about troubled women for large crowds of rowdy men, what he wish he’d known about tour buses when he was young, how long it took him to read Infinite Jest, his favorite rock bios and new albums, and what’s going on (or rather, what’s not going on) with his screenplay adaptation of Chuck Klosterman’s Fargo Rock City. … Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Craig Finn of The Hold Steady’s Playlist for Adam Wilson’s ‘What’s Important Is Feeling’

Adam Wilson’s debut, Flatscreen, was the sort of hilarious novel that made us laugh and cringe to the extent that we still feel a little awkward labeling it a coming-of-age tale. With his second book, What’s Important Is Feeling, Wilson shows that he’s just as capable of telling unforgettable stories, and this collection gives us 12 of them by one of our best young writers. … Read More

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The Morning's Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Fiona Apple played her first comeback show last night at the NPR Music showcase at SXSW; watch video of her performing “Anything We Want” and “Every Single Night” here.

3. Apparently Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad is a huge LMFAO fan. He also enjoys jamming to Leona Lewis and Chris Brown. [via … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we celebrated some of our favorite library scenes from film and TV. We were excited to hear that Wikipedia will be joining the anti-SOPA blackout that’s currently planned for this Wednesday. We wondered what Coach Taylor would have made of Craig Finn’s solo debut, Clear Heart Full Eyes,… Read More

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10 Musicians Who Should Really Write Novels

Last week, we read about Alina Simone, who published her first book, a collection of essays, this past year. However, what’s fascinating about her story is that her editor (at big-name publishing house FSG, no less) didn’t discover her in a small literary journal, in a magazine article, or pluck her from an MFA program, but instead found her music on internet radio service Pandora and approached her to suggest that she write a book.

“It seemed like he already viewed music and literature as part of one continuum,” Simone has explained. “Certainly, the best songs out there read like the best poems or short stories.” Though we think there’s some room for argument on that point, we can definitely think of quite a few lyricists who we really wish would write novels — whether we think they’ve got the life experience or imagination to write a fascinating story or just enough chops slapping words together that we want to roll around in ever sentence they assemble. Click through to check out which musicians we think should write novels — and our first imaginings of what those novels would be like — and let us know who you’d like to see transition into fiction in the comments. … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear In January

A few days ago, we posted our selection of the albums we’re most looking forward to in 2012. As it happens, most of these are due for release a little later in the year — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s nothing worth hearing due out in January. We’ve pored over the release schedules for our regular monthly round-up of the 10 records that we we reckon everyone needs to hear over the next month, and the results await you after the jump — including a couple that we missed last week, and would definitely have included in our most anticipated records of 2012 if we’d know about them. (Note: this does not include She Who Shall Not Be Named, so don’t ask.) … Read More

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TV Shows and the Musicians Who Were Born to Soundtrack Them

In case you were wondering why fans of both The Hold Steady and Friday Night Lights have been losing their shit all week, here’s what happened: the band’s frontman has announced plans to release a solo album called Clear Heart Full Eyes, an homage to the show that was recorded in Texas and whose title is a play on FNL‘s most memorable catchphrase (“Clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose”). The news got us thinking about how wonderful it would be if our favorite programs were scored by bands we love, which led us to compile the following wish list of TV shows and the musicians who were born to soundtrack them. Add your pairings in the comments. … Read More

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Trend Watch: Writers Who Sing; Singers Who Write

It’s not enough to just be awesome at one thing anymore. More and more artists are multitasking, and we’re seeing a particular amount of crossover between the somewhat unlikely genres of music and literature. But wait — aren’t musicians supposed to be outgoing egomaniacs and aren’t writers supposed to be tweedy shut-ins? Well, the writer/musician isn’t exactly a new trend — remember Tarantula, Dylan’s stream-of-consciousness book of prose-poetry? And don’t forget that Leonard Cohen was actually a writer first. So maybe there’s something to this whole writer turned rockstar thing. Here are some multitaskers who make us feel bad about ourselves when we lie around the house all… Read More

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