Hold Steady to play Rachel Ray's SXSW party

The wholesale decline of Western economies. The crumbling of titanic ice shelves into the arctic sea. The critical success of Ryan Adams' poetry. Depleted uranium. Hoobastank. It's always been a damning, inhospitable planet.

But we're in rain-of-fire, river-of-blood, plague-of-locusts territory now, as Rachel Ray announced last week that the Hold Steady would be headlining her second annual SXSW party.

Oddly, Craig Finn is the least of Ray's odd bedfellows, as she has also announced that every sordid detail will be made clear at her SXSW pre-party, to be held at the excruciatingly hip Santo's Party House in Manhattan, the party pad partially owned and operated by Andrew W. K.

It's hard to believe that Ray could be so well informed. Her raspy, button-nosed, can-do-attitude would never indicate that she's been prowling Rolling Stone's penthouse suites (which are, incidentally, Pitchfork's boiler rooms).

But her party last year, which included Holy Fuck and Ravonettes, was scholarly enough to indicate that Ray's affection for the medium may be quite a bit more than a PR stunt.

In any case, Ray insists that yet another big name is forthcoming. Whoever it ends up being, these might be all the signs you need to keep a Holy Book of your choice a little closer to the night stand. The Torah, the Koran, The Belljar, it doesn't matter. Just don't come running to us when the Seventh Seal opens and you haven't repented for stealing your mother's laundry quarters when you were 12.

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