Fun with the Hold Steady

I'm assuming you were as excited as I was by the big front-of-the-arts-section writeup that the NYT's Kelefa Sanneh gave the Hold Steady yesterday. One of the many things that's cool about the Hold Steady, that the NYT seemed to get, was how many American place names, mostly city names, are in their songs, and how this generally works to create a very American sense of wonder about the sheer number of people out there doing things like going to parties and having sex and throwing up and stuff.

There was a part at the end of the piece where Sanneh didn't make the point I thought he was gonna make, though. He writes:

After the first chorus Mr. Finn reels off some whimsical directions. “Take Lyndale to the horizon,” he sings. 'Take Nicollet out to the ocean." And that’s the Hold Steady’s hometown: a singular city that goes on forever.
What he doesn't point out is the obvious debt (in a good, non-plagiaristic way) this line owes to Bruce's "Blinded by the Light," whose protagonist receives the following driving directions: "Take a right at the light, keep on straight until night, and then boys, you're on your own."

For more evidence of the influence of early Bruce on THS, how about: "She looks shallow but she's neck deep in the steamy dreams of the guys along the harbor bars." That, from "Certain Songs," sounds like it came straight off The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. And it's equally awesome. Or, to seal the deal:
Tramps like us, and we like tramps,
And Charlemagne's got something in his sweatpants
(from the appropriately titled, "Charlemagne in Sweatpants").