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Does anyone actually like their job?
A question for The Hold Steady's Craig Finn, from the 25-year-old version of your correspondent
In this edition of the newsletter, I have the Spotify playlist I promised, news of our YouTube debut, some listener feedback about our advertisements, and, of course, a new episode. Also, the show got a nice review in Vulture this week.
As always, if you have time to rate and review the show, it helps more listeners find us. Or, just share an episode with a friend or seven. And if you’d like to financially support our work here, you can do it at this link.
Okay, let’s begin.
This week’s show
This is one of those questions, like airline coffee, that I’ve found fun to just ask in real life. When I ask this question, one kind of person thinks it’s silly: “Of course, many people do!” Another kind of person just sort of stares off into the middle distance, sometimes for several weeks.
For reasons having to do with my slightly dysfunctional mind, I had a decade-long fixation on whether Craig Finn, the musician, specifically liked his job or was pretending to. I was convinced that liking his job had become sort of his brand. And because I had a difficult relationship to work and was perhaps projecting my own troubles on someone else, I got genuinely fixated on this question for years.
Anyway, a decade later, we finally got to talk about it. That conversation helped with my still unsettled mind, and I think you’ll get something out of it if you’ve ever made or wanted to make creative work, or struggled with the discomfort that is human ambition, or thought about the possibility of living a life other than the one you chose. But let me know what you think? I’m always here on email.
Our new YouTube channel is up
Go say hi and drop a comment if you’d like. You can also … I’ve never this said this before … please like and subscribe.
Our full episodes will be up on YouTube every Friday afternoon. Josh Parsons at braintickle took our logo art (by Olly Moss!) and turned it into a strangely hypnotic animation. Go check it out, you’ll see.
Listener feedback on our ads
We’ve heard from some listeners who don’t love the amount of ads on the show. We’re grateful to our sponsors for making this endeavor possible, but we also hear you that ads are an interruption to the story.
Nothing to report on this yet except to tell you that we’re thinking about ad load as a part of the listener experience we’d like to improve down the line. It’s nothing we expect to change this year but, in the interest of transparency, here is what our notepad of ideas looks like internally —
-more host-read ads for a more consistent experience?
-in the future, an ad free version for paid subscribers?
-setting a goal of reaching a certain amount of subscribers so that we could just have a reduced, less intrusive ad-load for everyone?
If you have previously under-communicated feelings about advertisements, our email inbox is open. You can also just comment on the Substack page. Some people don’t mind them at all, and see them as the price of free, which is fine too.
Also, if you’re someone who is thinking — “You know, I’d become a paid subscriber to the show, if only they offered me X” — then please let us know what your X is?
We’re doing a quarterly meeting over Zoom with our paid subscribers this September, so if you’re already a paid subscriber that’ll be a forum where you can make requests.
Thanks as always. And if you’d like to subscribe, I’d anticipate there’ll be a pink-ish purple button near the end of this sentence.
A playlist for you
I promised this in the episode. A playlist of some of my favorite Craig Finn songs, with a heavy weighting toward The Hold Steady but some Lifter Puller and some solo work in here too.
That’s it for us this week. We’re not publishing next Friday, but we’ll be back again the following week, on September 15th. As always, schedule is here. We have some stories we’re working on that it physically pains me not to release early, but I’ve been informed they’ll be stronger once they’ve been written through, edited, and mixed.
Thanks for listening, as always.