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April 30, 2007: Any Major Dude with a Pretzel Complex
Listen to this show: | Add or read comments
|Artist||Track||Album||Comments||New||Approx. start time|
|The Laughing Hyenas||Hard Time Blues||Hard Times||
Good readin' here.
|Markus Kienzl||Peace Demonstration||Product||
|S.Y.P.H.||11. Frau im Harem||am Rhein||Never, ever do a google image search for S.Y.P.H.||0:11:02 )|
|Frog Eyes||Bushels||Tears of the Valedictorian||*||0:13:36 )|
|Buzzcocks||I Believe||A Different Kind of Tension||
|Electrelane||Tram 21||No Shouts No Calls||
|Dan Deacon||The Crystal Cat||Spiderman of the Rings||
|Darlene Love & the Blossoms||Make a Change||Laguna Tunes||
Kenny Laguna was Glen Jones' guest on the 11.11.02 edition of Jonesville Station.
|fIREHOSE||Sometimes||Sometimes, Almost Always EP||
|We All Together||Lo Mas Grande que Existe en el Amor||Singles||
"The Peruvian Badfinger", so say we all.
|Steely Dan||Any Major Dude Will Tell You||Pretzel Logic||
Thanks be to Chazaloo!
(And please note the discussion question at the bottom of this page.)
|Tarwater||A Marriage in Belmont||Spider Smile||
|The Dwarves||That's Rock & Roll||Free Cocaine||Discography covering '86-'88||1:04:11 )|
|The Mirrors||If I Swear||Another Nail in the Remodeled Coffin||
|Witch||Lazy Bones||Lazy Bones||Zambian fuzz jams, 1975!||1:19:10 )|
|Mondo Guano||Deadwood||7"||1:23:11 )|
|The Nomads||Nitroglycerine Shrieks||Raw & Rare||
|Eddie & the Hot Rods||All I Need is Money||Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town: A Pub Rock Anthology 2xCD||
|The Count Bishops||Train Train||Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town: A Pub Rock Anthology 2xCD||compilation||1:32:56 )|
|Con Brio||Apple||Cloud Control||compilation||*||1:36:11 )|
|Ron Franklin||Warming by the Devil's Fire||City Lights||*||1:40:01 )|
|Violent Femmes||Nightmares||3||1:43:01 )|
|Earthless||Cherry Red||Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky EP||
Photo by Shannon Corr.
|ESG||Six Pack||Step Off||
|Jaime Delgado Aparicio||La Arana||"El Embajador y Yo"||Soundtrack||*||2:05:38 )|
|Karl Hendricks Rock Band||The Last Uncompromising Hardcore Band||The World Says||*||2:12:31 )|
|David Bowie||Sound and Vision||Low||
|Poem Rocket||Put Your Hand in the Hand||Invasion!||
|Brooklyn All Stars Singers||I've Got my Ticket||I've Got my Ticket||2:21:08 )|
|Abner Jay||Woke up this Morning||One Man Band||
|Sun Ra||India||Toward the Stars||
|The Sleepers||No Time||The Less an Object||2:42:45 )|
|Circle||Gaurilla||"Tower" Featuring Verde||*||2:45:57 )|
|Madeleine Chartrand||Ani Kuni||MP3||
Music behind DJ:
Made in Sweden
|Lay Lady Lay||2:54:12 )|
This week's discussion question: Am I misguided in suddenly deciding that I'm interested in Steely Dan? The Steely Dan song I played tonight was picked out for me by WFMU's Charlie Lewis, who thought I would like it.
He was right.
I did like it.
Did you? Why do so many Steely Dan fans who are also FMU listeners seem to have a guilt complex about it? Discuss in the comments field:
Tue. 5/1/07 10:17am
One of the best parts of SD are Donald Fagan's lyrics. He's not a poet—he's a novelist. No mistaking him for Paul Simon. Fagan's demimonde is populated by has-beens, wannabes, never-weres, no-hopers, born losers, cuckolds, and the gone-overboard. Sort of like the WFMU staff.
The CD is cooking. You, in return, will finally burn me Buddy.
Tue. 5/1/07 10:52am
Yes, sir. And I still owe you a Pelecanos book. I'm on it like hair on a gorilla.
Tue. 5/1/07 11:07am
Sort of like the WFMU staff.
Tue. 5/1/07 12:20pm
The Madeleine Chartrand kicks ass mightily indeed ~ definitely strongly evokes Dead Can Dance for me, even though it apparently actually pre-dates them. Always interesting to stumble across a gem like that.
Tue. 5/1/07 12:21pm
Dewd, didn't I rave about SD to you sometime last year? Irwin's on the mark. I have this discussion with friends when I PROUDLY announce I'm a fan...where else can you find such smooth songs about, say, a man and his mistress trying to drive his wife crazy, or a rich guy who feels rejuvenated after falling in love with a runaway teen prostitute, or a young loser who wants to do his cousin?
SD celebrates losers, fk-ups, people who recognize their lost opportunities, and the dissolute. What else could you ask for?
Tue. 5/1/07 12:28pm
Tim, the Madeleine Chartrand track can be downloaded by right-clicking on this link:
It's from the amazing "Total Freakout Vol 3" compilation, which is well worth your money and can be bought here:
Tue. 5/1/07 12:31pm
Rory, that was Scott Williams' point, too. He specifically cited the opening line of the song I played: "I never seen you look so bad, my funky one" as supporting evidence to the fact.
Tue. 5/1/07 12:54pm
Here's a fun Steely Dan story. Back in 1977 (yes, I'm that old) I had just gotten a copy of Styx's Grand Illusion and a friend got Aja. We swapped records for a coupla weeks...and I never gave Aja back to him. Now who got the best of that deal?
Tue. 5/1/07 1:01pm
Maybe that wasn't such a fun story after all...
Tue. 5/1/07 2:05pm
any of your friends as a teenager:
MIKE LUPICA LIKES STEELY DAN! HAW HAW HAW! I THOUGHT YOU WERE PUNK, YOU SCENE SELLER OUTER! ETC.
Tue. 5/1/07 2:05pm
guilt complex??? hmm, most of my music nerd friends seem to be big SD fans and happy to say so.
Tue. 5/1/07 2:33pm
i couldn't have cared less about steely dan until Art (WPRB DJ) dissected the song
"hey nineteen" in a blog and i was so disgusted that i became fascinated
direct quote from said blog follows:
"(1) Steely Dan - "Hey 19"
This is a song about an older man who won't dance with a young girl because
she doesn't know who Aretha Franklin is. However, he will allow her to go
down on him. Also: cocaine and tequila.
and then i started hearing it everywhere. especially on the smooth jazz
radio station i had to listen to at my last desk job. note to the Dans: if
you can be played on a smooth jazz station, you're not a rock band, by any
stretch of the imagination. you are a dustbin for unholy souls.
i will however, admit to the following:
i enjoy the song "peg" a little too much, but mostly due to a friend's story
about having to play it repeatedly in his high school marching band at
i have often wished for a mash up of "rikki don't lose that number" and phil
collins' "(billy) don't lose my number".
skating a little lower now,
Tue. 5/1/07 3:34pm
Tue. 5/1/07 4:57pm
I feel far more guilty about enjoying the toons and presentation of mid-period
ZZ Top. It makes me laugh and larf. Secret pleasures...
Tue. 5/1/07 5:21pm
A couple of difficulties with Steely Dan:
1. Popularity: the sad thing about popularity is that it makes it difficult
to appreciate the music for what it is. Someone can try to tell me that "Stairway to
Heaven" is a great song, and it might be, but I'd have a tough time sitting through
the first 5 seconds of that song without felling like I'm wasting my aural time - and
an attempt as a serious listen is doomed to failure due to bias and life's associations.
OK, I went through Aja charting and saturation on the FM radio - so it's me I guess.
I guess the fact that you couldn't get away from this music on the FM dial was
not Donald Fagen's fault.
2. Audiophiles: Half-speed mastered, re-mastered, SACD, Electrostatic speakers,
monster cable, voltage regulators, blah, blah, blah...stop it. These people can be really
annoying and what do they listen to: Steely Dan - you know they do! And they smile when
they do it. And that's because they insisted on making the most precise sounding
records of all time. I guess that's not Elliot Scheiner's fault.
3. Live: They did not tour or play shows through the period that they released these records:
Katy Lied (1975), The Royal Scam (1976), Aja (1977), Gaucho (1978-1980) So what, you
might say, why does that matter? Well, it's just that at that point it becomes "studio music"
and it's now a conglomerate of musicians and producers and (if you look at the years above),
you'll notice that these are not the only similarities with "disco" music. I didn't like disco all
that much, but that's not Walter Becker's fault, I suppose.
4. Musicians: I went over a friends house one day and he had Deacon Blues or something
up on the piano and I started going through the changes and it was some weird perfectly
constructed jazzy type progression thing which was just upsetting to comprehend musically.
Not touring gave these guys way too much time to tweak this stuff to some bizzarely perfect
zone. In the words of Amazon (on Aja): "...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. 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." Hmmmmm, I guess I really don't
like over-tweaked jazz-pop-fusion, but that's
not Jeff "Skunk" Baxter's fault.
Perfect for testing a public PA system.
Tue. 5/1/07 8:25pm
the minutemen's dr. wu redux is about all the dan i need i my life anymore after way too many afternoons of drunken dad bringing that noise...
i totally support rory & scott's point. too bad it just has to sound like steely dan.
Tue. 5/1/07 11:51pm
"Fagan's "Cousin Dupree" and SDan's "Everyone's Gone To The Movies" are about pedo-insestuous relatives thying to get into the kids knickers.
Wed. 5/2/07 12:11am
Glad you liked the song, Mike!
A lot of people who first became aware of Steely Dan around the time of Aja's popularity forget (or maybe never knew) that, aside from their few early top 40 hit singles, their first four albums were not universally popular, and did not sound anywhere near as smooth. When I was in high school, my best friend and I were the only ones we knew who liked them. Those records introduced sounds, harmonies, chords, and chord progressions that were new to rock music, and had jazz flavors, but were still rooted in a rock context. Their records were not as jazzy at first, but even as they became more slick and musically proficient, to me the contrast of the smooth surface and the world of losers, junkies, hookers, and other antiheroes that lurked underneath was very appealing.
Antiheroes had been around for a while, especially in film, but characters like these had not starred in many pop songs before, or with such regularity. Irwin mentioned the novelistic quality of the lyrics, and I agree, but not just because they portray a character or tell a story. There's a tension between the losers in the lyrics and the precision and beauty of the music that sets up a complicated relationship between the stories being told and the people telling them, and which raises interesting questions about where the writers stand in relation to their characters and stories. This was very refreshing in the early and mid-70s, the heyday of the confessional singer-songwriter.
In "Only a Fool Would Say That," when the narrator says, "a world where all is free -- it just couldn't be," does that express the view of the song's writers? Or is it a way of using a persona to say that maybe it could be, but that saying so directly wouldn't do any good because figuring out if it could be is something you have to do for yourself? (unlike other songs of the day that commanded the listener to love one another, join hands on a love train, or jump on a peace train). I don't have a definitive answer, but I think it's an interesting question. And this is just one example (and from their first album!); there are many others.
And I've barely talked about the music...
Wed. 5/2/07 3:08pm
The academic nature with which Charlie and Jim have made their respective cases for/against Steely Dan are truly head spinningly impressive. I thank you all! I spent some time yesterday re-acquainting myself with the band's hits, and I have to say, those are not songs that I'm particularly fond of, if only for their ubiquitous nature and palid delivery. It would seem that my late blooming intrigue shall be spent with the deepcuts.
Next week, so help me, we talk about something modern. Nobody suggest Del Shannon.
Wed. 5/2/07 6:11pm
...I have to say, those are not songs that I'm particularly fond of...
well done, jedi!
Mon. 5/7/07 3:12am
"something modern," let's see, how about . . . irr. app. (ext.) ???
"Their Little Bones" is still one of my all-time favorites (and yes, lil BAD BRAIN enjoyed this immensely too!)
hhmmm . . . maybe this kinda balances out any guilt complexes *i* have about all those Shaun Cassidy, Lief Garrett, Hudson Brothers, etc. 45s -- ?????
that's rock-n-roll -- ???
-- kathy z.
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