Indie-rock superfriends Craig Finn and Patrick Stickles are touring the country together, presumably trading riffs, laughs, and high-level songwriting tips. The Edina, Minnesota-reared Finn, of course, is the leader of literary rock heroes the Hold Steady; Stickles is the force behind sky-reaching New Jersey punk greats Titus Andronicus.
Ahead of Titus and solo Finn's stop Saturday at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis, the rock 'n' roll bromancers shared each other's top five songs with City Pages. Enjoy!
Patrick Stickles on his favorite Craig Finn songs:
"Nassau Coliseum" (Lifter Puller)
"An epic rumination on post-graduate confusion and an indicator of things to come from one of our great modern lyricists."
"The Swish" (The Hold Steady)
"The Hold Steady come out swinging with fiery bars that are as quotable as they are inscrutable."
"The Cattle and the Creeping Things" (The Hold Steady)
"In which we learn the backstories of the principals in Separation Sunday (maybe our young century's finest rock opera) by way of their early Biblical scholarship."
"Chips Ahoy" (The Hold Steady)
"As the Hold Steady ascend to rock-star status, Craig Finn takes his place as an eminent poet of the horse races, like some kind of gentle-hearted Charles Bukowski."
"Honolulu Blues" (Craig Finn)
"A personal favorite from the solo bow of my one-time Greenpoint, Brooklyn, neighbor, sorrowing the pains of riding the notoriously inconvenient G Train."
Craig Finn on his favorite Titus Andronicus songs:
"My Time Outside the Womb”
"My first favorite Titus song. I really like the line where he’s talking about his elementary school and some kid says, 'There’s nothing about this place that's elementary.' I heard that and knew this Patrick Stickles guy was onto something."
“A More Perfect Union"
"One of the most anthemic songs I’ve ever heard and I especially like the minor league baseball reference, 'Yell like hell for the glory of the Newark Bears.' This one kills in their set every time, and also is a moving part of my running mix. It’s a perfect song."
“(I Am The) Electric Man”
"A fun song about a not-so-fun event where Patrick was electrocuted at their practice space. I really love that they were able to turn it into a positive thing and make a cool song out of it."
"Amazing video for this song too. This seems like the Titus theme song at this point — it speaks to the fury of their band firing on all cylinders. On their records and live, they do so much more than stay dimed out, but this is a great sample of their power."
“Come On, Siobhán”
"Siobhán is traveling with Titus on this tour and she is a very lovely person, so I appreciate a song about her very much."
Craig Finn + Titus Andronicus
When: 8 p.m. Sat., March 12.
Where: Mill City Nights.
Tickets: $20-$45; more info here.