|This is a good image, but|
it is my t-shirt, and I am wearing it.
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.
"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: "Dr. Wu" 9/17/2011 Beacon Theater NYC
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).
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.
CLASSIC ROCK REVIEW
"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"
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