Most companies begin with rather humble beginnings — in fact, Amazon, Apple, Google, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard and even Mattel all started in garages. Although now based in Newport, KY just outside of Cincinnati, OH, Powerhouse Factories, best known for being the one of the preeminent print shops for rock concert posters in the country, originally had a humble start themselves — founders Pat Jones and Ben Nunery started their company in the garage of a rental house on their college campus. Both Jones and Nunery bounded over their shared love of music and design, and while in college they developed a reputation for their interactive guerilla-style art installations.
Because of the company’s appreciation of music, they decided that they could turn their two dimensional prints into a fully immersive three dimensional experience by inviting bands to come in to record and shoot live, intimate sessions in their studios in a series they called Powerhouse Factories Live. Recently, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the critically applauded, indie darlings The Hold Steady stopped by Powerhouse Factories and recorded live acoustic versions of “Spinners” and “Ambassadors” off the band’s sixth full-length album, Teeth Dreams.
If there’s one thing you should immediately take away from this live session it’s this – Finn is a particularly gifted songwriter. His lyrics manage to focus on and describe psychologically complex, sometimes conflicted souls, and he does so with a profound, knowing empathy and with a novelist’s attention to detail. In fact, he manages to express the innermost thoughts and fears of his characters in a way that feels familiar – as though he could have easily been talking about your life or that of someone you know.