After five years of service with the Hold Steady, keyboardist/accordionist/pianist Franz Nicolay revealed in a statement on his official Website that is he officially no longer a member of the band (via P4K). "You should know: I've left The Hold Steady. I told the band I'd be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t's and crossed the i's this week," Nicolay wrote. "Five years seemed like a nice round number. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the experience."
During Nicolay's tenure with the Hold Steady, the group released perhaps their three most acclaimed albums, 2005's Separation Sunday, 2006's Boys and Girls in America and 2008's Stay Positive. In fact, on his Albums of the Decade ballot, Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield named Separation Sunday the seventh best album of the 2000s (The Hold Steady's 2004 debut album Almost Killed Me, which the band recorded before Nicolay joined, was Sheffield's Number One pick.) Last year, Nicolay released his solo album Major General.
• Editors' Roundtable: RS Staffers Debate the Decade's Best Music
• Hold Steady's Finn Scripting Movie of Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City"
• The Hold Steady Talk Live Disc "A Positive Rage," Seeing Replacements and Cheap Trick