365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

T-shirt #124: Steely Dan

This is a good image, but
it is my t-shirt, and I am wearing it.
T-shirt #124: Steely Dan: AJA

I am going to let the music mostly carry this blog entry because that is as it should be when featuring music. But first a few comments and then a few more mixed in between musical videos.

I did not discover Steely Dan until I was in college. So many of the people I met were huge Steely Dan fans, and one of the albums in continual play in many dorm rooms was Steely Dan's AJA (1977). I love this entire album, and "Deacon Blues" is my favorite song. I found this nifty live version (see first video).

In 2006, I had the pleasure of seeing Steely Dan live and in concert at what I will always call PINE KNOB but has been renamed as the DTE Music Theatre.

At the 2006 show, I had many choices for concert T-shirts, but with my love for Aja and given that this was my first time seeing Steely Dan, then this was a no brainer. This shirt. Yup.

I have had a few chances to see Steely Dan since 2006, and I have not been able to make it. I hope they keep touring. This is a show that I would love to see with my wife, Liesel, who also loves Steely Dan.

So here's a few videos with music and some more text interspersed.

Steely Dan- "Deacon Blues" (HD) 

Live in San Francisco on 

October 23, 2009

"You call me a fool 
You say it's a crazy scheme 
This one's for real 
I already bought the dream 
So useless to ask me why 
Throw a kiss and say goodbye 
I'll make it this time 
I'm ready to cross that fine line " - "Deacon Blues"

From the You Tube clip poster: "Trivia: "The song, while contrasting winning and losing in life, does so by taking as an image the contrast between the perennial powerhouse, Crimson Tide football team, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the five years before the song was written, the Crimson Tide had lost only 8 games total, while Wake Forest had a losing record every season. Group member Donald Fagen said, "Walter (Becker) and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said, 'You mean it's like, they call these cracker assholes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I'm this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?' And I said, 'Yeah!' He said, 'Cool! Let's finish it!'"- (Wiki) Recorded at Steely Dan's performance in San Francisco, California at the Masonic Hall in Nob Hill on October 23, 2009."

ON AJA: "History gives Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen the last, hearty laugh on this, the crown jewel in their remarkable canon of  '70s Mensa pop. Sneaking onto the charts a half-decade earlier with sinuous, jazz-inflected "rock," the dysfunctional duo's acerbic, anti-heroic visions had been critically lauded for their band identity and killer guitar riffs, then promptly challenged when the two songwriters retired from the road, dissolved any formal band lineup, and used the studio as laboratory. Aja carried the added indignity of its increased focus on sophisticated jazz models and musicianship, which carried the Dan's ambitions even further in terms of suave harmonies, intricate song structures, and brilliant playing. Time has proven them wiser than their rock crit detractors: These seven songs abound in knotty plots, sneaky imagery, and drop-dead brilliant performances from a blue chip studio repertory studded with first-call jazz players epitomized by Wayne Shorter's towering solo on the title song. From the hard-boiled jazz romance of "Deacon Blues" to the twisted Homeric vamp of "Home at Last," the veiled but ominous swing of "Peg" to the sci-fi eroticism of "Josie," Aja is a modern pop classic and the coolest fusion record no one ever thought to lump in that category." --Sam Sutherland

Obviously, I also love this next song ("Peg"). I will not over do it. I love the entire album of Aja, so I could post the entire thing, and I am already going to post an entire album. Stay tuned.

Steely Dan: Peg (live 2000) (HQ)

 The goal here in the picture to the left  is to show me looking at the Steely Dan greatest hits album which was my first one by them with most of my records in the background. The picture did not turn out as well as I would have liked, so I will have to try another. The picture is here courtesy of Adam Kemp.

"Peg, It will come back to you. Then the shutter falls, you see it all in 3D. It's your favorite foreign movie."

Steely Dan: "Dr. Wu" 9/17/2011 Beacon Theater NYC

"Are you with me Doctor Wu ?
Are you really just a shadow
Of the man that I once knew?" - "Doctor Wu

This next video for "Kid Charlemagne" comes from the tour I saw. And here's my ticket. :-)
The lyrics for "Kid Charlemagne" were loosely inspired by the exploits of the infamous 1960s San Francisco-based LSD chemist Owsley Stanley (WIKI).

Steely Dan 2006-Kid Charlemagne

This video above for "Kid Charlemagne" is great, but it was the closing song of the first set, so the recorder left the recording running for two full minutes after the end of the song as people cheered and clapped and called for an encore.

I could post more Steely Dan songs as there are so many that are good. I went on a rampage a couple of decades ago and collected every album and the boxed set on CD. I find that I can listen to Steely Dan ongoing and never tired of them.

But if I am discussing most listened to albums, then check out T-shirt #97, in which I listed the albums I have listened to most often in my life.

One album that I literally listened to every day for almost three years is Donald Fagen's solo album (one of four) Morph the Cat. I was hoping someone had posted the entire album to You Tube, and lo and behold, they have.

If you have never listened to this album and you love Steely Dan's funky and jazzy style, then you owe it to yourself to LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM IMMEDIATELY and often and save it in a special place. I think it's as good as ANY of the Steely Dan albums and arguably tied with greatest albums, for me, with Aja.

Check out this link to a good review of Fagen's first three solo albums:


"Fagen released two albums under his own name—the critically acclaimed The Nightfly (Warner Bros., 1982) and less well-received but equally superb Kamikiriad (Reprise, 1993). In the midst of revived Dan activity, Fagen released his last album, Morph The Cat (Reprise) in 2006, winning a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album. While it was well-deserved, it’s a shame the disc was recognized for how good it sounded rather than how good the music was." - Jerry "allaboutjazz.com"

Donald Fagen 

Morph The Cat ( Full Album )


I am a little compulsive. After years of sticking my tickets on a bulletin board, I started saving them in binder in plastic protectors. Expect to see more from this book as I work my way through the concert T-shirts.

- chris tower - 1307.23 - 9:07