New Franz Nicolay Video – “Jeff Penalty” (Stereogum Premiere)

Jeff Penalty fronted the reformed Dead Kennedys for a bit and all he got was this eponymous tune by Hold Steady keyboardist and World/Inferno Friendship Society accordionist Franz Nicolay. Just kidding, he also got to play a ton of shows with his childhood heroes. “Jeff Penalty” comes from Nicolay’s solo album Major General. As far as I know, Penalty’s a documentarian and a drummer and not an Abstract Expressionist painter, but that’s the ostensible theme of this accompanying video (directed by Thomas Bayne of Adult Swim’s Venture Bros) until you get to the surprise ending. So stick around to see Mr. Penalty. The track was inspired by a World/Inferno and a Jello-free/Jeff-led Dead Kennedys show at Irving Plaza, which Nicolay has termed “a true-life tale of punk-rock redemption, a triumph of joy over ideology, when a thousand cynics learned to stop worrying and love the songs.” In that spirit, we also have an MP3 of Nicolay’s “World/Inferno Vs. the End of the Evening,” because it’s nice getting as self-referential as possible (note Franz multiples in the above thumbnail). Speaking of references, after listening to “Jeff Penalty” you’ll get a sense of how much Nicolay influences Hold Steady or vice versa.

Speaking of the Hold Steady: Nicolay appearing briefly on the painting is very reminiscent of this. Franz in a somber mode:

Franz Nicolay – “World Inferno Vs. The End Of The Evening” (MP3)

Major General is out via Fistolo. Nicolay is out and about and recently stopped by Daytrotter. Soon he’ll be stopping elsewhere. All dates are with Moneybrother.

04/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
04/22 – Redding, CA @ Redding Downtown Eatery
04/23 – Salem, OR @ Ike Box
04/24 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern (late show)
04/25 – Portland, OR @ East End
04/27 – Sacramento, CA @ The Press Club
04/28 – Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
04/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland