I could follow up on Matt Bell's excellent blog post a few weeks back by telling you how goddam awesome the new Hold Steady album, "Stay Positive," is. I could tell you all about how the songwriting is just as brilliant as previous albums, each song a little hardscrabble poem/short story of it's own. I could tell you that they're stretching their boundaries without getting all My Morning Jacket on it, not that there's anything wrong with that. Which is to say, they still sound like the Hold Steady, but a different, more mature, evolving, even more Springsteen-y version of the Hold Steady.
Or I could just give you the lyrics to Ask Her for Adderall, which is a hidden track and maybe the best song on the album.
If she asks, don't I'll tell her that I'm living hand-to-mouth.
Don't tell her I've been sleeping on your couch.
If she asks just tell her that we opened for the Stones,
It's her favourite band except for the Ramones.
If she happens to suggest
A love based on trust and respect,
Tell I've been wasted since last week.
If she wants to stop on by,
Tell her that I almost died.
Tell her I ain't seein' people yet.
But see if she'll send cigarettes.
If she asks don't tell her 'bout the bloodshed in the streets,
The less she knows, the less she can repeat.
If she happens to bring up
The pin pricks and the throwin' up,
Tell her it's just part of growin' up.
If she wants to get involved,
Tell her to stay in St. Paul.
Tell her I'm not up to takin' calls,
Ask her for some Adderall.
Now Holly won't say hi to me
'Cause I'm in love with my anxiety
If she asks just tell her that we're too far gone to deal.
She should know exactly how that feels.
If she wants a scene report,
Don't tell her 'bout the kicked in doors.
Tell her we ain't even keeping score no more.
If she wants to help the cause,
Tell her we need sterile gauze.
Tell her she should look through all her medicine
And see if she's got Klonopins
Now Charlemagne don't seem the same
He's skinny, scared, and off his game
He's been hiding from those gentlemen
With the same tattoos as Gideon