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Ariel Bitran
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Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Steely Dan's playing at the Beacon in New York. Chances are I'd be paying the low price ticket for those pretty crappy balcony seats at the Beacon (which I've been at before, and its kinda tough to enjoy a concert from there). I know they tour rarely, and I consider myself pretty into their music. My question is, is it worth the $154 for a better seat or even the $75 for the mediocre seat or is their live show not that good? This is more looking for a general opinion on their shows since I've never seen one. Even if I don't end up going, I'd like to know how they are live.

rvance
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


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Steely Dan's playing at the Beacon in New York. Chances are I'd be paying the low price ticket for those pretty crappy balcony seats at the Beacon (which I've been at before, and its kinda tough to enjoy a concert from there). I know they tour rarely, and I consider myself pretty into their music. My question is, is it worth the $154 for a better seat or even the $75 for the mediocre seat or is their live show not that good? This is more looking for a general opinion on their shows since I've never seen one. Even if I don't end up going, I'd like to know how they are live.

Never got the chance to see them live, but check out "Live In America" for a taste. It's a big venue tour and the musicianship is phenomenal (as is the recording). They'd probably be killer in a smaller space. Donald Fagen was in Vegas last year (?) and the tickets were more expensive. Sometimes history is worth the $$$. The Dan have the ultimate pop/rock/jazz synergy with the most intelligently ironic lyrics. They will be a joy. Go you must!

jazzfan
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Ariel,

Based on your response from another thread, if you do decide to go the Steely Dan concert just be prepared to be one of the youngest people at the show. In fact you may even have to convince a few of the old folks in attendance that, despite the resemblance, you are not their son.

In all seriousness, why do you want to see a group with more relevance to your parents' generation than to your own generation? Tickets for a White Stripes concert can't possibly be more expensive than the tickets to Steely Dan.

I suppose that you could use this Steely Dan concert as the first in a summer long series of retro rock concerts. Steely Dan, The Who (as part of their 54,673rd farewell tour), The Police, Cream, The James Gang and whatever other group of 60+ year old rockers now needing a quick inflow of cash to help defray the cost of the retirement home decides to reform for (hopefully only) one last tour. Just remember that when someone at the show mentions "acid" they're talking about acid reflux and not LSD.

In any event, enjoy.

Ariel Bitran
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


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Based on your response from another thread, if you do decide to go the Steely Dan concert just be prepared to be one of the youngest people at the show. In fact you may even have to convince a few of the old folks in attendance that, despite the resemblance, you are not their son.

It wouldn't be the first time at a show where I've been the young'n. I was a baby at John McLaughlin. I don't mind much, especially at a show like this. It all depends on the people in the audience really. Old or Young? doesn't matter. The bigger question is sitting or standing?


Quote:
In all seriousness, why do you want to see a group with more relevance to your parents' generation than to your own generation? Tickets for a White Stripes concert can't possibly be more expensive than the tickets to Steely Dan.

relevance isn't important. I like their music and I know they don't tour much at all. and I'd like to see the White Stripes as well. It all has to do with life expectancy of the artist. I managed to see B.B. King fairly recently, and he's fading, but he tore the Alabama Theater apart. But overall, I just want to know how a Steely Dan show is? is it exactly like their recordings? or do they rock out at all?

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

The musicianship and production values will be as good as it gets. Surely you've heard the music, so if you like the music it'll be a low risk venture.

If you go, give us a report.

Dave

rvance
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:
Ariel,

In all seriousness, why do you want to see a group with more relevance to your parents' generation than to your own generation? Tickets for a White Stripes concert can't possibly be more expensive than the tickets to Steely Dan.

Charles Lloyd just cut a new album that's getting rave reviews. But he's 70 years old, so it can't be relevant. Too bad...

rvance
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


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I managed to see B.B. King fairly recently, and he's fading, but he tore the Alabama Theater apart. But overall, I just want to know how a Steely Dan show is? is it exactly like their recordings? or do they rock out at all?

Saw B.B. King at Humboldt University in Arcata, CA last year. Shoulda seen all the collegiate types trying to be "relevant", shouting and dancing their asses off. Great show, even though he had to sit down the whole time. And I stood in the back for $75.

The "Live In America" album rocks out and with slightly different/more elaborate arrangements of their tunes. You will like.

hwkn
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

The album's actually called Alive In America btw.

Buddha
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Hey, Ariel!

Steely Dan live can be grace or garbage.

Sometimes, Donald Fagen gets chatty and it turns into a damn Lou Reed concert - with The Donald talking about something while the band plays the hook from a song or two, and then...it ends.

Other times, it's two plus hours of el fantastico!

The band is just fantsastic, that is really what I think, which makes for a feeling of almost anything can happen and a true "live" vibe.

When they get their soul/gospel/pseudojazz vibe going, it can be sublime.

The Donald is in fine voice, and seems to be enjoying what he does.

When Steely Dan is on, it's as good as riding the dragon...better!

Steely Dan is worth the gamble.

Go sober, but get loaded during if it's an "off" show, and, even then, it will achieve sublimity.

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


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Charles Lloyd just cut a new album that's getting rave reviews. But he's 70 years old, so it can't be relevant. Too bad...

Now you know that I'm not going to take a statement like that and just let it go. Why don't we compare the discographies of Steely Dan and Charles Lloyd and just see which one as stayed fresh and relevant over the past 32 years.

Steely Dan Discography:

1972 Can't Buy a Thrill
1973 Countdown to Ecstasy
1974 Pretzel Logic
1975 Katy Lied
1976 The Royal Scam
1977 Aja
1980 Gaucho
1995 Alive in America
2000 Two Against Nature
2003 Everything Must Go

Total 10 albums in 36 years with one gap of 15 years and two gaps of 5 years.

Charles Lloyd Discography:
(Note: does not include his any of his recordings prior to 1972)

1972 Waves
1974 Geeta
1978 Weavings
1979 Autumn in New York
1979 Big Sur Tapestry
1982 Montreux (1982) [live]
1983 A Night in Copenhagen
1989 Fish out of Water
1991 Notes From Big Sur
1993 Acoustic Masters I
1993 The Call
1994 All My Relations
1994 In Concert [live]
1996 Canto
1999 Voice in the Night
2000 The Water Is Wide
2001 Hyperion With Higgins
2002 Lift Every Voice
2004 Which Way Is East
2005 Jumping the Creek
2006 Sangam [live]
2008 Rabo de Nube [live]

Total 22 albums in 36 years with one gap of 6 six years and one gap of 5 years

I would think that it's Steely Dan who have been resting on their laurels while Charles Lloyd has been out there touring and recording and generally working his butt off. By the way, the same thing applies to Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello or the Rolling Stones versus any group/artist from the 1960s/1970s with big gaps in their existence, reforming to play over priced concerts to a bunch of aging baby boomers who have lots of money but haven't heard any new music in 25 plus years. Sorry but if I want to relive the past I'll pop my copy of "Woodstock" into the DVD player, however, when I want to some new and fresh music, I'll go and see some 70 year old jazz musician.

Buddha
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Hey, Jazzfan, you reminded me of something I heard at a concert.

I took the wife to the most recent Simon and Garfunkel tour and before one number, Paul Simon introduced a song as "one of our older songs."

It struck me as funny, because all their songs are pretty much older songs, but I knew what he meant.

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:

I would think that it's Steely Dan who have been resting on their laurels while Charles Lloyd has been out there touring and recording and generally working his butt off. By the way, the same thing applies to Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello or the Rolling Stones versus any group/artist from the 1960s/1970s with big gaps in their existence, reforming to play over priced concerts to a bunch of aging baby boomers who have lots of money but haven't heard any new music in 25 plus years. Sorry but if I want to relive the past I'll pop my copy of "Woodstock" into the DVD player, however, when I want to some new and fresh music, I'll go and see some 70 year old jazz musician.

I myself prefer to look forward to the future, without forgetting or enjoying the reflections of the past, and have been, for the past 5-6 years, been listening almost exclusively to electronically based music such as ambient oriented and created stuff.

It is truly cutting edge, as the palette is one that has been heretofore non-existent and unrealized. That is part of what defines it as the true cutting edge of sonic endeavor in the rolling edge of human existence. The true mark of the 'times', the 'leading edge' of humanity, as an evolving group.

The evolving and quickening edge of humanity, via self erudition and self taught inner transformation, by a near defacto point, requires music without lyrics. The emotion must be self created via the sonic palette. The right ambient music, can easily achieve this. The whole point is to shut down the 'voice in the head' to allow the depth of the unconscious mind to come to the fore, and so it can be dealt with and cleared. Music with human lyrical content severely retards this aspect.

altair
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

@jazzfan ... If someone unfamiliar with the work of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen read your post, she or he would agree with you. It does seem like couple of old farts came back to cash in on "old fame".
I'd just like to add some more information. During the Steely Dan break, Fagen had three solo albums (check out Nightfly) and Becker had one.
"Two against nature" received Grammy for best album in 2000. Although, I wouldn't call it a relevance proof, it does indicate that this is more than just rip-off return. However, it is true that SD have reputation for being a studio band, more than live act.

Btw, I like Charles Lloyd, Ron Carter, Sonny Rollins, Roy Haynes ... IMHO, age has nothing to do with "creative juices".

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:

Quote:

I would think that it's Steely Dan who have been resting on their laurels while Charles Lloyd has been out there touring and recording and generally working his butt off. By the way, the same thing applies to Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello or the Rolling Stones versus any group/artist from the 1960s/1970s with big gaps in their existence, reforming to play over priced concerts to a bunch of aging baby boomers who have lots of money but haven't heard any new music in 25 plus years. Sorry but if I want to relive the past I'll pop my copy of "Woodstock" into the DVD player, however, when I want to some new and fresh music, I'll go and see some 70 year old jazz musician.

I myself prefer to look forward to the future, without forgetting or enjoying the reflections of the past, and have been, for the past 5-6 years, been listening almost exclusively to electronically based music such as ambient oriented and created stuff.

It is truly cutting edge, as the palette is one that has been heretofore non-existent and unrealized. That is part of what defines it as the true cutting edge of sonic endeavor in the rolling edge of human existence. The true mark of the 'times', the 'leading edge' of humanity, as an evolving group.

The evolving and quickening edge of humanity, via self erudition and self taught inner transformation, by a near defacto point, requires music without lyrics. The emotion must be self created via the sonic palette. The right ambient music, can easily achieve this. The whole point is to shut down the 'voice in the head' to allow the depth of the unconscious mind to come to the fore, and so it can be dealt with and cleared. Music with human lyrical content severely retards this aspect.

Yup, every generation thinks itself to be at "the cutting edge," finally fully fleshing out and defining the definitive human condition, reflected by the current fashion.

Good thing you weren't the age you are now during the early 80's, or we'd be sifting through didactic sermons on how cutting edge disco music is, and how feathered hair and leisure suits delineated the paradigm of human progress.

Go buy some Miles or a little Bach and get back to us!

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Bitches Brew is always a tough read for me. The variations of the variations are fun, though. Some of the old mono versions are quite excellent.

Miles, for me, has always been similar to Ry Cooder, in that his solo (seemingly self influenced, etc) works are tough going, and not quite 100% on, but he seemed to play best with others. Like Ry. I prefer the likes (pick some names, kinda thing)of Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Grant Green, Ike Quebec, Some "Melodious Thunk" (He's another tough one-but on the other side of the hill from Miles), almost all the old school blues players, etc. The older rockin' blues players, the guys who really lay it down with style and power. Like Muddy's recording 'folk singer'. At the same time, I'm also a huge fan of 'Massive Attack',and have incredible respect and liking for the first album, self titled, of 'Rage Against the Machine'. An awesome album of incredible heartfelt power and anger. For such a young group of guys, they slammed the tunes and pounded that line around like few have ever done, or heard. Music...is where you find it, kinda thing.

It's not like I haven't listened and don't enjoy, but my standard fare right now is, er, kinda different. As well, I have 23 different Tangerine Dream albums, which I have not listened to in a very long time. I keep changing the game.

One of my all time favorite audiophile cartoons, is from the old 'Audio' mag, which had the best. It showed an image of a angry man (a listener) holding a smoking gun, standing behind a radio DJ who is now dead, and slumped over the console. The story goes that the DJ had just announced his new classical music show, which was called 'Going For Baroque'.

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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


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. . . which was called 'Going For Baroque'.


At the University of Minnesota where the Golden Gopher is the mascot, the phrase is "Gopher Baroque".

Given the thread, Bach to the Future is also relevant.

rvance
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:
Now you know that I'm not going to take a statement like that and just let it go. Why don't we compare the discographies of Steely Dan and Charles Lloyd and just see which one as stayed fresh and relevant over the past 32 years.

Sorry, Jazzfan- "Relevance" is just one of those lame, pejorative buzzwords left over from the dumb part of the '60's that trips my switch. I think of all those whiny, professional students crying for a college curriculum that reflects their self-absorption and belief that only the politically correct, new and trendy has any value. It was the death of critical thinking. When I studied Latin in high school everyone complained that it wasn't relevant.

I can't think of a term less meaningful in the study or appreciation of anything worthwhile than "relevant." It just reeks.

jazzfan
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:
Sorry, Jazzfan- "Relevance" is just one of those lame, pejorative buzzwords left over from the dumb part of the '60's that trips my switch. I think of all those whiny, professional students crying for a college curriculum that reflects their self-absorption and belief that only the politically correct, new and trendy has any value. It was the death of critical thinking. When I studied Latin in high school everyone complained that it wasn't relevant.

I can't think of a term less meaningful in the study or appreciation of anything worthwhile than "relevant." It just reeks.

I know what you mean since I have a similar reaction "sustainable" and all it's variations.

Back to the topic at hand, I suppose that deep down what really upsets me about all these reformed rock groups from the 1060s and 1970s doing tours after not producing any new music (as a group) in god knows how long is that the whole thing reminds me of some of the entertainment in Las Vegas. You know how in Vegas there always seems to be at least one act appearing at one of the casinos that makes you scratch your head and think "Now where the hell did they dig them/him/her up from?" In other words, the generation of my youth is now becoming the nostalgia generation looking for ways to relive their now lost youth. The only difference is that these many of these reformed groups are/were popular enough to be able to play concert halls rather than Vegas lounges.

Here are some other long gone groups that we might get to see once again and where we might have to go to see them (Note: Dead or missing members are of little or no importance, just witness The Who and Led Zepplin):

The Hello People - Vegas lounge

Grin - small venue

The Byrds - large venue

The Beatles - the Grand Canyon

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - The Super Dome

The Hollies - small venue

The Zombies - small venue (but this time they would really be zombies)

The Band - large venue

Boston - large venue

The Cars - large venue

The Youngbloods - Vegas lounge

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Vegas lounge

Jefferson Airplane - Dodger Stadium

Grand Funk Railroad - Yankee Stadium

The MC5 - Vegas lounge

The Fuges - Vegas lounge

Quicksilver Messenger Service - small venue

Humble Pie - small venue

The Faces - large venue

The Young Rascals - large venue

Iron Butterfly - large venue (Note: they will be playing only one song)

Spirit - small venue (but they would be perfect in a Vegas lounge)

Black Sabbeth - stadium

KBK
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

The only one of those I'd pay money to see, is the original lineup of Black Sabbath. Maybe one or two of the others. The guys who tear the place up so bad, it's on fire. Love that stuff. Actually, looking at the list again: The only others- the Beatles, in their Sgt. Peppers phase.

The line that went around Canada, after the Hockey strike was over, was:

"Hockey is Back..and Celine Dion is still in Vegas!! Life is good!"

(Meaning, we don't want her back. You can keep her, thank you very much) (While you are at it, bring back the idea of cameras used in hockey games so the game can actually be seen, not turn the game into some shit version of the idiot who trash-directed the last two Jason Bourne films.)

Buddha
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

In a couple months, I predict an announcement of a big Sabbath tour with the original line up.

And lots of "Hi Fi" remixes.

Just a hunch.

KBK
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?


Quote:
In a couple months, I predict an announcement of a big Sabbath tour with the original line up.

And lots of "Hi Fi" remixes.

Just a hunch.

Will they look just like a Telefunken U-47? With Leather?

Ariel Bitran
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

So I didn't get the tickets, but I have a good reason! First of all, I needed recording equipment badly and with only about the value of the concert ticket to my name, I couldn't go spend it on something unless it would give me continuous value. I got an RCA cable, some drumsticks, and other guitar gear necessary for recording. I also need the spare change for a phono-preamp.

But most importantly, thanks to the RCA cable (before I was using a KRCA to a single 1/4" input), I can now record in stereo and I've been experimenting with the stereo image. I pretend to be one of the Stereophile Test CDs where you here JA walking around and clapping in different parts of the recording hall so you feel the depth, space, sides, and distance. Its amazing, I've been recording mono my entire personal recording experience, and I can't explain the joy there is in hearing a percussion instrument sound naturally on the left or the right. While I'm not in a cathedral (my apartment with plaster walls actually) nor do I have excellent mics (just a couple audio technica dynamic low-z mics), through the recording process I have been better able to understand what audiophiles are looking for in their recordings. fun stuff.

Elk
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Re: Is Steely Dan Worth It?

Recording is a blast, even if it isn't state of the art.

One also learns a tremendous amount about your own playing that is invaluable.

As one of my musician colleagues notes, "you can't play it if you can't hear it". Her point is that if you do not appreciate fine phrasing, intonation, tone, etc. you cannot produce these sounds yourself.

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