Press "Enter" to skip to content

Help! I’ve Been in My 30s for 2 Years Now and I Still Don’t Like The Hold Steady

I like to think I’ve got the hang of this whole “Being in my 30s” thing. I take care of myself, I have a respectable career, and I’m in a committed long term relationship. On paper I’m making all the right moves. There’s just one problem: I still can’t get into a single Hold Steady album!

There’s something wrong with me, right? Am I in some kind of arrested development state? I feel like a fraud.

I mean, I get it. It’s serious stuff. This is serious, heavy song writing about very mature and adult subject matter and it’s important. And it’s good! It’s really good! I just don’t think it’s enjoyable or written with any consideration of the human ear. Or good.

This is music that tells the story of being into music when you were younger. How cool is that?! Seriously, I’m asking, how cool is that? I can’t tell.

Related: Here’s How to Convince Yourself It Was Good You Wasted Your 20s And Then Write An Article About It


I know how this is supposed to work. I know that they write songs with titles like “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” with lyrics like “There was a side to this city I didn’t want you to see, there’s just these guys I know, we go back pretty deep, and I hope this whole thing didn’t frighten you, there were times that it terrified me, I know what they said, I don’t know if it’s true, and I hope this whole thing didn’t frighten you,” and I know I’m supposed to be all like “Aw hell yeah dude! I’m in my 30s and I relate to that story about bringing a girl back to your home town and running into your old crew and they’re all rough around the edges and shit but I’m all like Mr. Grown-up sophisticated man now.” But I just can’t.

Do you know how embarrassing it is to be 32 and still have The National be your go-to mature emotional resonance band? What am I, 26-29?

The weird part is I’m a disillusioned recovering drug addict from the Minneapolis indie scene.

Pick up a Hard Times shirt from our digital merch table:

Article by Dan Rice @DanRiceComedy