Concerted effort


Published: October 2007

Craig Finn ’93, songwriter and lead singer of the Hold Steady, returned to campus on September 25 to be interviewed publicly in the University’s “Master Class: Alumni in Residence” program, sponsored by Boston College Magazine. After graduation, Finn moved to Minneapolis where he formed the band Lifter Puller, which released several well-received albums. His current band, the Hold Steady, formed in 2003 and now plays 300 concerts per year on both sides of the Atlantic. Its Separation Sunday (Frenchkiss Records, 2005), was “one of the best-reviewed records of the year,” according to National Public Radio. Finn is “one of the best writers in rock, demonstrating grit and spunk and wit and intelligence,” according to the review of The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant Records, 2006). “He not only has a commanding rousing voice, but he also says something worth hearing, displaying gifts for both scope and depth that are all too rare in contemporary rock—indie or mainstream.”

At the master class, Carlo Rotella of the English department, who writes about contemporary urban culture, posed questions on topics ranging from Finn’s favorite hangouts as a college student to his creative process. Audience members asked how he expressed his faith in his music (the Village Voice called Separation Sunday an “egregiously American Catholic album”), how band members coped with disagreement, and what it felt like to sing “Rosalita” with Bruce Springsteen on the stage of Carnegie Hall. Finn, unassuming in jeans and an open-collar shirt, wearing dark, round spectacles, looked more like a graduate student than a rock star as he replied. @BC presents a video of the session, which took place in Lyons Dining Hall.

This feature was posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 and is filed under Videos.
Writer: Daniel Soyer