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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Steely Dan is Not Music. Or, How I Learned to Appreciate Steely Dan.

posted by on July 17 at 13:36 PM

It all started when I shared the new Maritime song with my friend Mac…

Mac: It’s pretty decent. Maybe if I liked music…
Me: Yeah, you don’t.
Mac: No, I really don’t. All I wanna do is get chonged and listen to Aja by Steely Dan, and that doesn’t really qualify one to speak subjectively on the subject of music.
Me: At least you know where you stand.
Mac: Ya know, I know enough to know what ain’t music. And Steely Dan, my friend, is not music.
Me: What is it?
Mac: Background noise for supermarkets, something to distract you while you dig around for a bag of frozen peas that isn’t a solid block.
Me: And that’s why you like it?
Mac: No. I like it because it’s patently offensive to the sensibilities of just about everyone. And I kinda suspect that they did that on purpose.
Me: You think the band had that much self-awareness?
Mac: Steely Dan?
Me: Yeah.
Me: I had no idea…
Me: So that’s why you like them?
Mac: Because they’re dudes who are pissed that they couldn’t write show tunes? And have spent the last three decades engaging in the biggest injoke ever created as a result of that rejection? Yeah, just a little. I mean they wrote a song based on “a modest proposal.” How can I not get down with that?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, Steely Dan:

RSS icon Comments


I love Steely Dan and feel no shame.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | July 17, 2007 3:08 PM

Best Band Of All Time

Posted by zetajonesdouglas | July 17, 2007 4:00 PM

Up on the Hill,
They think I'm OK,
Or so they say ..

Posted by --MC | July 17, 2007 4:16 PM

I also love the Steely Dan. The first four records will be part of my record collection forever. But still, they make me kind of queasy. In a good way.

Posted by David Schmader | July 17, 2007 4:19 PM

Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you, my friend.

Posted by Paulus | July 17, 2007 4:37 PM

easy to appreciate, hard to love. i mean, i LIKE a lot of steely dan songs, but i can never LOVE the polyesther smoothness of their aesthetic, the coked-out numbness present in it all.

but i can dig it and put it on when im feeling fort lauderdale, thats for sure.

Posted by jz | July 17, 2007 4:47 PM

The Dan are a polarizing entity, yet the image in the video of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter - possibly the world's only session guitarist slash missle defense consultant - rocking the fuck out clearly demonstrates the higher plane that Steely Dan function on, aesthetics be damned.

Posted by hertzdonut | July 17, 2007 5:18 PM

Steely Dan = thoroughbreds long-striding in a field of Clydesdales.

Posted by pete maravich's socks | July 17, 2007 7:41 PM

Hey Nineteen must have been on Solid Gold 400 weeks. Kind of a brief clip of it at the end, but the rest of it serves as a reminder that everyone was on coke in the 70s.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | July 17, 2007 8:12 PM
Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | July 18, 2007 12:46 AM

Steely Dan is most definitely music, and is most definitely awesome. I feel I've said this on here before, but it bears repeating. Anyway, they rule.

In high school I meant to use one of their lines as my yearbook quote ("They got a name for the winners in the world / I want a name when I lose"), but I never got around to having a picture or a quote in my yearbook (which kinds of makes the quote that much more perfect, now that I think about it).

Posted by Levislade | July 18, 2007 9:26 AM

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