Steely Dan: "Steely Dan's name has been popping up as a hip musical crush. Remember, this glossy bop-pop was the indifferent aristocracy to punk rock's stone-throwing in the late 70's. People fought

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There just aren't enough Steely Dan threads on here.

this quote was re: Two Against Nature. I'm sure the source of this is obvious. So is it the truth, or is it a baffling misrepresentation of a great band/duo of maniacs?

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Most ridiculous thing I've ever read on ILM, including the profession of love for The Rapture, Al Sharpton, and prostate tickling.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:57 (seventeen years ago) link

It's a quote from pfork, btw.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Figures.

Dan I., Friday, 13 February 2004 01:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Sorry but Steely Dan >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the vast majority of so-called punk rock music.

o. nate (onate), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

yep

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Steely Dan may be incredibly boring and overrated, but I'd still have to say that that quote is completely ridiculous. "Fought and died"? You mean played guitar and OD'd on heroin like morons? OH OKEY!

David Allen (David Allen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:02 (seventeen years ago) link

It's all wrong, anyway. They were a bunch of scathing smart-asses whose "glossy bop-pop" got much sample-love later and deservedly so.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:03 (seventeen years ago) link

I dunno..."Cylctron" vs. "Do It Again"...that's a toughie, yessiree bob.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:03 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah...

Walter Becker >>>>> Johnny Thunders
AJA >>>>> Never Mind the Bollocks
"Hey Nineteen" >>>>>> "London Calling"

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:04 (seventeen years ago) link

'Steely Dan may be incredibly boring and overrated, but I'd still have to say that that quote is completely ridiculous. "Fought and died"? You mean played guitar and OD'd on heroin like morons? OH OKEY!'

You're incredibly boring and overrated

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Possibly not overrated

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Well lead me to the non-boring Steely Dan, I may have heard the wrong stuff. Show me the light.

David Allen (David Allen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:07 (seventeen years ago) link

"Deacon Blues!"

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:09 (seventeen years ago) link

non-boring: all of it

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Can't Buy a Thrill
Gaucho

These bookends to their - original - career are funpacked, not as knowing as what comes in between. Though some may disagree violently.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Also download 'Josie'(from Aja). Tell me this isn't the coolest, streetest, dirtiest, sweetest thing ever.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:14 (seventeen years ago) link

aor at its most unimaginative...

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:17 (seventeen years ago) link

zzzzzzzzzz

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:20 (seventeen years ago) link

where the fuck is d4rn1elle when we need him?

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:25 (seventeen years ago) link

They could play.. Then, so what, so could the entire Californian studio mafia too. More importantly, Steely Dan wrote classy songs, and they are one of still very few examples of a band breaking up, reuniting several years later and still being able to make great albums.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:26 (seventeen years ago) link

punk wasn't necessarily about making consumer artifacts though. its like comparing the results of an evening out (vomit, scars, vague memories) with the results of staying in and doing a bit of knitting.

mullygrubber (gaz), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:28 (seventeen years ago) link

The pfork quote is obv. outdated ignorant crap. Really John Darnielle could explain why best. It betrays a hatred of the musical forms which the Dan use/are influenced by, the fact most happen to be black in origin is irrelevant, the fact that that they swing isn't. John Lydon was a fan of ABBA and Van Der Graaf Generator.
He didn't die; Sid Vicious did.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:28 (seventeen years ago) link

aw don't knock prostate tickling :(

g--ff (gcannon), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:30 (seventeen years ago) link

i saw them right when they first went back out on tour and they just sounded amazing. just one great song after another.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:31 (seventeen years ago) link

look, they were studio dudes. there is a *reason* they were studio dudes. they lacked the imagination and spark to do anything truly great. they are an energyless study in basic competence.

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Well put by Geir.

Great band. Once again, a Pitchdork writer postures but doesn't offer anything in the way of interesting musical insight. But hey maybe one of these days we'll get a "reassessment" of them too.

I saw 'em on the reunion tour as well! I drove three hours to see them in Indianapolis, in fact, because I couldn't get tickets for CHicago. Good show overall, although I will admit to being a bit disappointed at the time, probably just cuz I had built it up so much in my mind.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:33 (seventeen years ago) link

they are an energyless study in basic competence.

If you want to insult them, fine, but accusing them of mere "basic competence" is a tad silly.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:39 (seventeen years ago) link

'look, they were studio dudes. there is a *reason* they were studio dudes. they lacked the imagination and spark to do anything truly great.'

Where have your favourite bands made their greatest albums? In their kitchens? On a beach in Spain?

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:42 (seventeen years ago) link

not really. what is the difference between a musician and brilliant musician? a musician is "competent". a brilliant musician has a command of songwriting and a creative spark thatgoes beyond competence. LISTEN to Steely Dan for God's sake, how can you argue this?

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:43 (seventeen years ago) link

uh, great tunes, witty lyrics?

mullygrubber (gaz), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:44 (seventeen years ago) link

where?

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:44 (seventeen years ago) link

XTC, Prefab Sprout, Scritti Politti and Todd Rundgren are studio acts too. And they are all great. Just like Steely Dan.

Not to mention The Beatles from "Revolver" onwards.....

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:45 (seventeen years ago) link

"Steely Dan's fifth album, The Royal Scam, was released on both sides of the Atlantic in May 1976. It was a nine-song collection which, despite Gary Katz's criticism of ABC Studios, had again been recorded there with additional sessions at A & R Studios in New York.

"By now, Becker and Fagen's pool of musicians had expanded into a veritable orchestra of session players. They thought nothing of flying a guitar player or a drummer -- or indeed both -- across the country to play little more than a few bars of one song which might not even make it onto disc. Expense didn't enter into it; their foremost consideration was to find the right stylistic match and to create as perfect a rendition of each composition as was humanly possible. Within a few years they would take their obsessiveness even further, using the latest technology to create absolute millisecond-perfect drum tracks, using either a drum machine, a computer, a live drummer, or a combination of all three.

"At the sessions for The Royal Scam, Fagen and Becker began to record each tune with six or seven different rhythm sections, switching the players around to try almost every configuration possible. They would record all the songs with Rick Marotta and then record them all over again with Bernard Purdie to see what each drummer could bring to the tunes.

"Bass players, guitar players, and keyboard players would flit in and out of a variety of studios so often they never knew what was going on. Different combinations of musicians were playing all the songs on successive nights and no one knew in advance -- including sometimes Becker and Fagen -- who (if anyone) would end up on the final track. On some frustrating occasions, after countless unsuccessful takes, a song would be dropped because Becker and Fagen decided that none of the multitude of efforts had come close to their vision of the song. Often Becker and Fagen's microscopic fastidiousness bewildered the session players, who thought every facet of the track sounded fine but which for some reason Becker and Fagen refused to accept. And no amount of talking could persuade them otherwise.

"Fagen and Becker took their controlled experimentation further with each album; it would reach its limit on Gaucho when it became increasingly unlikely that they would ever be satisfied with virtually any basic track. During Gaucho they employed an astonishing forty musicians and singers and worked on one song for so long and listened back to it so many times that they actually wore the oxide off the tape."

-from Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years, by Brian Sweet, Omnibus Press 1994

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:46 (seventeen years ago) link

best driving music this side of AC/DC

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:46 (seventeen years ago) link

(that's not a response to anyone, that's just a passage i really like)

(xpost)

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:47 (seventeen years ago) link

I think Bernard Purdie is Pretty brilliant.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Steely Dan fans are inexplicable to me. This is a mediocre band at best.

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:48 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't have the energy to try to persuade anyone, but I think they made some great music, and their songwriting actually stands out as a strength.

Feel free not to like them.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link

i do, i do!

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:50 (seventeen years ago) link

I always recall JBR's story about hearing some random Charlie Parker cd and realizing that a couple bars in the middle of one of his solos were transcribed to form that cool little coda at the end of "Parker's Band". I think that is brilliant. I always meant to try to hear the Parker cut.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Steely dan's music, with it's incredible sonic palette, sly hooks and phat beats is almost tailor made for the Timberland/Neptunes era. They've won and they'll continue to win.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Broheems: The Parker cut is called "Bongo Beep" and is easily slskable.

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:59 (seventeen years ago) link

the burden of proof is on you, Orbit dude. You ain't doing too good so far.

dan roolz, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Cool! I will seek it out.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:02 (seventeen years ago) link

LISTEN to Steely Dan for God's sake, how can you argue this?

LEAVE GOD OUT OF THIS.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:04 (seventeen years ago) link

SD are massively brilliant, lyrically and musically, and I think they're actually a lot more diverse than people give them credit for. It's rock/pop music as subversive satire or really wry melancholy.

This is the first time I'm squarely in Geir's corner! :o

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:04 (seventeen years ago) link

the opening quote is ridiculous, of course. but i wonder aloud to the people "who were there" (mistahs sinkah, kogan, and currie?) -- was steely dan one of the enemies of the punkers? i would think that they'd just have ignored them instead of actively sneering or abusing them.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I loved them when I saw them on tour last year. "Everything Must Go" features so many lyrics that catch my ear or crack me up, and I'm not much of a lyrics person. It's such a great concept album, like midlife crisis as metaphor for the end of the world. Or maybe the other way around.

Oddly enough, the only other Dan album I listen to regularly is "The Royal Scam," which I feel has always gotten short shrift. I once heard a DJ mix in "The Fez," and the crowd went nuts. The interview I once did with Becker/Fagen was a hoot, too.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:12 (seventeen years ago) link

that early 70's band rocked live. or at least on the stuff i've heard. i would have loved to see that.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:13 (seventeen years ago) link

The first episode of the new 33 1/3 podcast series is Prince Paul and Posdnuos talking about Steely Dan. So, yeah...that works! https://t.co/cFtKWZmFcD

— Charles L. Hughes (@CharlesLHughes2) September 10, 2021

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 15 September 2021 01:26 (one month ago) link

Only made it through 15 minutes. Maybe too familiar with the material but also Life is too short to sit through amateur podcast hosts trying to find their way

calstars, Wednesday, 15 September 2021 02:52 (one month ago) link

Tablet Magazine: A Conversation With Donald Fagen.
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/conversation-with-donald-fagen

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 25 September 2021 12:39 (three weeks ago) link

Tablet Magazine: A Conversation With Donald Fagen.
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/conversation-with-donald-fagen

This was a great read, thanks!

birdistheword, Saturday, 25 September 2021 22:19 (three weeks ago) link

A few months before the lockdowns I got an email from someone calling themselves “Donald Fagen.” Surely this was one of my friends gaslighting me

Gaslighting officially means everything now

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Sunday, 26 September 2021 01:52 (three weeks ago) link

Flame is the game
The game we call gaslighting Tablet

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Sunday, 26 September 2021 02:20 (three weeks ago) link

http://sdarchive.com/2vngibson.html

William gibson appreciation essay

calstars, Monday, 27 September 2021 02:21 (three weeks ago) link

Lots of interesting stuff in that Tablet interview.

The vibe of the LA music scene must have been very different compared to New York. Even just the players in LA must have been a different feel entirely.

It was different. LA musicians didn’t play as hard, and there was maybe something secondhand about it, in that they were playing R&B, but it was mostly white guys trying to play like Black guys. In New York you had actual Black guys [laughs].

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 September 2021 14:50 (three weeks ago) link

Lots of interesting stuff in that Tablet interview.

The vibe of the LA music scene must have been very different compared to New York. Even just the players in LA must have been a different feel entirely.

It was different. LA musicians didn’t play as hard, and there was maybe something secondhand about it, in that they were playing R&B, but it was mostly white guys trying to play like Black guys. In New York you had actual Black guys [laughs].

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 September 2021 14:50 (three weeks ago) link

Oops. Phone issue

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 September 2021 14:51 (three weeks ago) link

JBL alerted me to this via Instagram...

Paul Giamatti: What do you think I'm yelling for?
Oscar Isaac (as the Bodacious Cowboy): *stands there in a spangled leather poncho* https://t.co/i7VURxge6A

— Good Steely Dan Takes (@baddantakes) October 8, 2021

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 8 October 2021 18:14 (two weeks ago) link

lmao

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 October 2021 18:17 (two weeks ago) link

“no fun” police here but im honestly tired of the baconing and memjng of the dan. stop making them wacky.

brimstead, Friday, 8 October 2021 18:38 (two weeks ago) link

illegal fun, eh?

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Friday, 8 October 2021 18:45 (two weeks ago) link

They... were wacky.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 8 October 2021 19:16 (two weeks ago) link

“no fun” police here but im honestly tired of the baconing and memjng of the dan. stop making them wacky.

― brimstead, Friday, October 8, 2021 11:38 AM (fifty-seven minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Someone needs some Cuervo Gold and some fine Colombian

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 8 October 2021 19:41 (two weeks ago) link

definitely doesn't make sense to take them too seriously, so many of their lyrics boil down to things that made Don and Walt laugh

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 8 October 2021 19:46 (two weeks ago) link

they took composition and performance extremely seriously though

calstars, Friday, 8 October 2021 19:48 (two weeks ago) link

yeah fair enough, i get it now. they are ridiculous. it’s like making fun of croz or michael mcdonald. I just love their sweet sweet harmonies so unironically.

brimstead, Friday, 8 October 2021 19:55 (two weeks ago) link

I mean, how can one *not* have a little giggle at the phrase "spangled leather poncho"?

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 8 October 2021 19:59 (two weeks ago) link

the steely dan meme is p great and the opposite of baconing imho

flopson, Friday, 8 October 2021 22:16 (two weeks ago) link

Steely Dan's meme has been popping up as a wacky musical bacon

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Friday, 8 October 2021 22:30 (two weeks ago) link

The only one that comes to mind is the dog in the car with the windows up - "The AC is on, he has water, and is listening to SD" - which I still like.

nickn, Friday, 8 October 2021 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

i find the meme to be surprisingly true to the subtle things that idiosyncratic greatness of the band. baconing would be like "Steely Dan write harmonies so rich Elon Musk can't afford them". instead it's stuff like this

https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/002/199/808/cae

flopson, Friday, 8 October 2021 23:15 (two weeks ago) link

lmao

also the lyrics to Gaucho are one of the funniest things in the world to me. i'd love to be a fly on the wall the day when they brought all those session singers into the studio and see their expressions when they read that they were asked to sing 'bodacious cowboys such as your friend will never be welcome here/high in the custerdome'

flopson, Friday, 8 October 2021 23:30 (two weeks ago) link

Tbf, a good bit of the baconing comes internet shirt publishers flogging clever clever SD fan art tees, like all the 'Dan as Punk' ones (Goo, Bedtime For Democracy, and Never Mind The Bollocks, alongside more generic Black Flag and Big Black designs I have seen) on social media.

FWIW, I used to have a 'Is There Gas In The Car...?' tee, would love one or two of those aforementioned Punk ones, and wish the designer had picked a better lyric for the Goo tee.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 8 October 2021 23:57 (two weeks ago) link

i agree they could've picked a better lyric but the drawing of them on the goo t-shirt is hilarious

flopson, Saturday, 9 October 2021 00:05 (one week ago) link

i really want a t-shirt with the gaucho album art on it

flopson, Saturday, 9 October 2021 00:07 (one week ago) link

i def got myself a black flag/black cow shirt and i am not ashamed

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Saturday, 9 October 2021 00:12 (one week ago) link

Have the "Goo" shirt and am slightly ashamed.

New York Review of Wooks (swim), Saturday, 9 October 2021 03:13 (one week ago) link

definitely doesn't make sense to take them too seriously, so many of their lyrics boil down to things that made Don and Walt laugh

― Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, October 8, 2021 2:46 PM (eight hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

But also there's a deep core of melancholy that I sometimes feel like Fagan and Becker always tried and never quite succeeded to keep at a distance by being clever

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 9 October 2021 03:53 (one week ago) link

They cried when they wrote these songs

Extinct Namibian shrub genus: Var. (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 9 October 2021 03:59 (one week ago) link

You have to have a sense of humor about your favorite artists (or at least I do). That's part of the fun is laughing at/with them.

Hannibal Lecture (PBKR), Saturday, 9 October 2021 13:55 (one week ago) link

On the subject of Steely Dan themed clothing, Cara Delevingne's overalls in the picture up above are actually her subtle tribute to Denny Dias.

i'd love to be a fly on the wall the day when they brought all those session singers into the studio and see their expressions when they read that they were asked to sing 'bodacious cowboys such as your friend will never be welcome here/high in the custerdome'

Then come back 15 hours later to see their expressions when they're recording take 237 of those same words.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 9 October 2021 14:29 (one week ago) link

Japanese issue of Steely Dan's 1978 'Greatest Hits' album pic.twitter.com/ubXhZ0YFfy

— Barney Hurley (@barneyhurley1) October 9, 2021

calstars, Sunday, 10 October 2021 01:43 (one week ago) link

Have the "Goo" shirt and am slightly ashamed.


Still too self conscious to wear mine outside the house. Also don’t want to attract SD weirdos

calstars, Sunday, 10 October 2021 01:44 (one week ago) link

I’ve posted that before. God I’m such a dick I just feel like these Twitter losers only stopped thinking the Dan is lame like a year ago lol

brimstead, Sunday, 10 October 2021 16:01 (one week ago) link

i think ilx over the years allowed people to sort of race to the forefront on a lot of music opinions. not like that is good or bad in any way. just makes it feel weird when some wave spotted by people here 15 years ago crests now.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Sunday, 10 October 2021 16:54 (one week ago) link

Remember, that glossy poptimist controp was the indifferent challops to the rockist establishment in the early Oughts. People fought

Extinct Namibian shrub genus: Var. (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 10 October 2021 20:14 (one week ago) link

The pinned tweet on that Steely Dan takes page is great

no one:

me: pic.twitter.com/F82HewCBxL

— Good Steely Dan Takes (@baddantakes) September 15, 2020

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 10 October 2021 21:22 (one week ago) link

I’ve posted that before. God I’m such a dick I just feel like these Twitter losers only stopped thinking the Dan is lame like a year ago lol

― brimstead, Sunday, October 10, 2021 5:01 PM (three days ago)

Don't feel bad, they are liking Steely Dan incorrectly.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Wednesday, 13 October 2021 10:48 (one week ago) link

Spotted this on the gram :

https://i.imgur.com/J907t24.jpg

calstars, Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:17 (five days ago) link

Catch me dead wearing anything with that Tide logo.

pplains, Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:41 (five days ago) link

saw someone with that exact shirt on the subway today!

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:54 (five days ago) link

Hmm , must be trending on Etsy or some shit

calstars, Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:59 (five days ago) link

Catch me dead wearing anything with that Tide logo.

Love this shirt, but yeah, could've left that out. Aja skull is a sick touch though.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Sunday, 17 October 2021 03:04 (five days ago) link

I’d take the Aja skull by itself on a shirt.

brimstead, Sunday, 17 October 2021 04:53 (five days ago) link

I just want to say I love this thread title ending "People fought."

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 18 October 2021 03:27 (four days ago) link

People fought with the Fez on

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 18 October 2021 04:17 (four days ago) link


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