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September 2012 Posts

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Date: Mon, October 01, 2012, 00:08:35 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, up on the hill

re. Steely Dan drug use...

Bill Cosby confirms that the boys "turned on"


Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 19:51:38 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

Before one of the Beacon Shows in '09, I think, there was a brief "Steely Dan" promotional TV show that aired on MSG Network. I'm sure that its out on YouTube if you look for it.
Don & Walt were being interviewed about the upcoming shows and they showed them practicing in between the interviews. One of the songs you hear for a brief period of time (4 seconds or so) was "Here at the Western World". It was being played in its original style, but I think they only did that tune once or twice (if even that) during the 2009 tour.
For me, that's one of the best songs, and they've rarely if ever dusted it off to play it. Hopefully, it will come back on a future reunion show.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 19:34:54 ET
Posted by: Regular Poster, but not recently

Regarding Funkaholic72's post from September 18:

Could be.

Or it explains INTSWY really well if Donald simply could have stopped smoking cigarettes again. Especially the part about holding his breath. Then again, Donald doesn't write autobiographical songs anymore, so he says.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 18:38:41 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Ted, I'm with you on the revamped Here at the Western World. I simply don't like it. Period. The original was pretty much perfect.

As for Jack of Speed, I really like the studio version. I just wish the drums sounded more meaty and powerful in the mix. Michael White's groove is one of my favorite drum tracks ever, but the cymbals have too much treble, the snare has no body, and the kick is mixed very low. It's a shame because there's so much nuance and feel in the playing! The hi-hat work in particular is just a thing of beauty.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 17:51:37 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

I think I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Manassas, VA concert on, of all things, a VHS cassette, back in '97 or '98 so I enjoyed Walter's take on "Jack of Speed".
Although I did like DF's version in 2000, I might have preferred the original version with Walter leading the way.
Still would like to hear a studio version of "Wet Side Story" someday and maybe DF will do a studio version someday of "The Second Arrangement", which "Rolling Stone" correctly called "The Holy Grail of all Steely Dan tunes".
To me, when they played this at the Beacon "Rarities" show last year, that was about as good as it gets.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 17:33:03 ET
Posted by: ted, Lenox, MA

Well, personally I don't care about what anyone thinks of that faster version of "Here At The Western World" they started playing live 6 or 7 years ago. It wasn't half as good as the original slowed down version that was on the record. I think DF killed that song by speeding it up the way he did. I didn't like his "judgement" on that one!

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 17:08:08 ET
Posted by: The Dean, On the way to see Dave Mason and Joe Cocker

I think the version of Jack of Speed I am listening to at the time, is the best. As Jassassin notes, they are both great, but very different. I like both sets of lyrics and both treatments. And to be honest I have wrestled with which I think is better. Still can't make up my mind.

Do I think the '96 version would have been better to record on 2vN? Well, I'd have to say no, just because I trust Walt and Don's judgement too much. Clearly they know both versions and I would guess they tried a few things before deciding on the album version. It might be as simple as the '96 version not sounding quite right in the studio, with Don on vocals.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 14:45:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, bootstrappin'

Bill Vopp,
There's so many things that are different in the early live versions of Jack of Speed compared to the final studio version ... The harmonies at certain places, most of the lyrics, the somewhat harder, more punchy whole and Walter on lead vox. I really can't make a choice. They're both/all so insanely good versions. But not much in this world beats Wayne's solo from Manassas in '96, though. He's totally killin' it. In fact, the whole version is absolutely against nature. Love it! :o)

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 14:17:49 ET
Posted by: Bill Vopp,

Does anyone else on the "Blue" think "Jack of Speed" ala live in Manassas '96 would have been mo' bettah than the 2VN version?

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 13:52:09 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Nothing at all makes me sure SD will put out another record.
Just a bit of optimism on my part.

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 13:28:41 ET
Posted by: ted, Lenox, MA

Hutch- What makes you so sure that SD will put out another record?

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 10:56:00 ET
Posted by: rurbuccaguedy, Sweden

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Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 07:55:23 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Some more thought regarding the new DF single "I'm not the same without you":

I was initially a bit underwhelmed, but now that i've heard the tune more often there is plenty to love!

The song just sounds very "light" (almost easy listening!) at first, only to reveal more substance later. It all sounds so effortless, that you get lured into thinking it is a bit boring at first. But the song is actually much richer and more complex than you would think!

I guess we are just so used to Donald's genius that we expect to be blown off our feet everytime he serves up new music. This songs doesn't really bring anything new to Donald's sound, and I believe therefore it is a bit underwhelming at first for those who like to be surprised a bit when listening to new music.

But if you keep listening there is much to love here: The chords changes are divine and a true work of labour, and there are lots of little licks and details throughout that add to the song's experience. The brass arrangements are just perfect and are true to the original Steely Dan sound IMO. Bass and drums lock in perfectly, and provide a steady groove. The lyrics are fun and Donald's vocal delivery is on point, he sounds very alive!

My verdict after lots of repeated listening:

"I'm not the same without you" is a typical Donald Fagen track, with all the familiar elements in place. Granted, there are no exciting surprises here, but it is still first rate DF material. I still take this DF "lite" sound over 99% of the crap that gets released these days!

Date: Sun, September 30, 2012, 03:27:26 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

MissJ, Hutch. It's that Charm and Balance (everything in balance Mr. Miyagi). They're back in spades.

Pixeleen, Lunch with Gina, Funn, and Mona just led back these heroic escapades. It's like someone switched the stars back on.

Pay attention to that bass folks. It starts down at the bottom...and not Erin Moran's

Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 21:42:54 ET
Posted by: erin moran?,

Wasn't that wild about her to begin with way back when in '77.
What she going now about 225 or 250 lbs.?

Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 21:20:59 ET
Posted by: MissJ, Houston


Thank you for that. That's the phrase I was trying to think of while listening to the song this afternoon. It feels like... going home again. The tune reminds me so much of Nightfly, and DF's voice is still as smooth at the 70's. I really, truly cannot wait for this album. The next two weeks are going to be brutal. :)

Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 20:18:12 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Loving the new tune more and more. So I'm trying to figure out... is it melodica then harmonica or harmonica then melodica, or is it the same instrument in the middle and at the end? They can sound similar, and I guess notes can be glissed and bent around on either one. Donald loves getting that higher register in there. Remember adding the "celeste" synth part to the top on the horn arrangement for Deacon Blues? No piccolo player in sight for the session.

INTSWY has that beautiful funky feel we know so well. The thumpy plucking guitar back there. Big brass with the smoothest crescendos.
Donald sets it up with more verses than you'd expect and when the chorus comes in those changes right there at 1:21... there they are, those familiar DF changes. All I can do is smile when I hear that because it's like going home again. It's an instant classic.

I wonder how much input Michael L. might have on the next Steely Dan record.

Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 18:59:18 ET
Posted by: TV, l

Anyone see what's become of Erin Moran?

Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 14:16:29 ET
Posted by: PGE, Wha..?

What has all this talk about 1970's TV-stars got anything to do with anything... in particular Stridberg and women's suffrage in the late 1890's?


Date: Sat, September 29, 2012, 11:23:16 ET
Posted by: Like a roman with eyes on fire, Rome (not)

Now that I have pre-ordered the new DF album, is there any talk of a tour to back it up? I was really disappointed that Dukes of Sept. didn't play at the Ryman. Look at the shows that place hosted this year...Crosby Still Nash...Bob Wier/Chris Robinson...Ringo's All-Stars...Bonnie Raitt... We need a DF show at the Ryman.

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 23:17:25 ET
Posted by: no, no, no, no,no,no no, no!, oh mama mia, mama mia let me go

You're all nuts.

Both of those chicks were built like 13 year old boys as were many of them on network TV

I don't know who was in charge of picking the network chicks back then, but they must have had a penchant for waifs. Among the few hot ones were Sally Struthers, Adrienne Barbeau, Linda Evans, Loni A. and Valerie B.

Today's chicks such as Sofia Vergara (annoying, though), Teri Hatcher, Demi Lovato, Lucy Liu etc. blow mostly all of them 60's and 70's network chicks away. It is one of the few things that we can say that have vastly improved since the 60's and 70's as all else circles the drain. Raise up your glass to diversity!

If this trend keeps going upward we can really look forward to the New Frontier of what Tomorrow's Girls (dangential) will be like!

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 20:24:38 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

I think Julie Kotter, played by Marcia Strassman was hot, too. Same kind of look/vibe as Bailey (Jan Smithers) on WKRP.

And just to make sure this is all kosher, the character of Andy Travis was based on radio programmer Captain Mikey. Mikey was also the inspiration for the character of Jeff Dugan in the movie FM. BAM! Dangential.

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 19:32:26 ET
Posted by: this is dangential,

hey dylan fan

Kotter's wife from what I remeber was a skinny anorexic bitch, but decent face and motherly affect to Kotter. Not hot.

She is a year older than DF and is from Passaic NJ, DF's hometown. DF moved, but they might have played doctor in grade school.

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 13:52:07 ET
Posted by: Me, here

I was into Mr. Woodman.

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 13:33:46 ET

My bad Vinny, I am not up to date on all the details.Lastly before
we get flamed for going WAY off Dan related themes, did anyone else
find Mrs. Kotter kinda hot???? Dylan Out

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 10:22:02 ET
Posted by: V Barbarino,

Nah, don't believe any dat shit. You gots to read today's news. Matter of fact, I wuz just cleared by da judge yesterday of all dem fake charges in connexion with dat massage dude at dat spa

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 10:03:34 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, high as a kite

The drug discussion is something that I won't participate in, apart from this post. The subject too interesting. I wouldn't be able to limit myself to a few words if we were to discuss it in general terms, and D&W's use of whatever substances is not my business. Neither do I have any info to share about that other than it seems pretty obvious they've had their share of the goodies and also the poisons.

One thing is a fact, though; LSD changed the world of music and art.

Date: Fri, September 28, 2012, 09:40:07 ET

V. Barbarino Tru Dat. PS: Who did you hit on while on the set of Kotter, Horseshack, Epstein, or Boom Boom or all three? Not that
there is anything wrong with that.just sayin

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 20:48:51 ET
Posted by: wistful 1,

Yeah, back in the day heavily medicated philosopher kings could really write lyrics especially from the 1960's blues jazz rock fusion band The Doors, They were the first band to combine those big time years before Steely Dan while Becker and Fagen were still in high school. Kick back and with a blunt and ponder these

"There is the Known, as well as the Unknown, and somewhere in between are The Doors"

"Sidewalk crouches at her feet
Like a dog that begs for something sweet
Do you hope to make her see, you fool?
Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel?"

"Yeah, all your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark?"

"Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan"

Such greatness could never have come about without medicinal assistance.

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 10:34:01 ET
Posted by: V Barbarino, gimme drugs, gimme drugs

And you wonder why basically tho whole music scene has turned to shit over the years as they all stopped or never started using?

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 09:41:28 ET
Posted by: Deaconblue, Brussels - Belgium

I can confirm that Sunken Condos will be aviable in Belgium on friday 12 october. I always buy my cd's online at www.cosmox.be

Sunken Condos
Donald Fagen
Leverbaar vanaf 12-10-2012

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 09:33:37 ET
Posted by: Mex,

There's any question that D & W did their fair share of drugs? That's like asking if pro wrestling is fake.

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 08:53:58 ET
Posted by: fagenism, Bleecker Street

Re: Don and jazz tobacco.

I always felt that Trans-island skyway (appsatively one of my favorite songs of all time) was about cannabis and/or Buckminster Fuller (not that the two are necessarily related). This part might be the most obvious reference:

The farm in the back
Is hydroponic
Good, fresh things
Every day of the year

As for Don and Walt's hypothetical use of hard drugs, I am with The Dean; not something I have any particular interest speculating about, especially not on a public forum.

* * *

MAN is INTSWY an epic song. Already feels like an integral part of the canon. Damn you Don and your consistent genius; damn you!

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 05:50:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, too good to be true?

Re: Release date

As I've mentioned before, the biggest record shop (online & physical) over here in Norway (Platekompaniet.no) claims to have SC out on the 12th of October according to their policy of always releasing new albums on Fridays.


I even e-mailed them about it, and they confirmed. Seeing is believing.

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 03:08:40 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

@PGE: That is a shame, I hope some shops will still sell it at the 16th!

I found one small recordshop where you can preorder, they promise to deliver at home on the day of release. I think I will place my order there!

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 02:43:10 ET
Posted by: PGE, Slip slidin' away...


Here in Sweden they seem to move it the other way. While some had it listed for an October 16 release, the date most online stores display now is October 17!

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 02:18:29 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

PS: I was just surfing looking for Sunken Condos' best price (vinyl) and now I have noticed that in my country The Netherlands the release date will be the Friday the 12th of October (instead of the 16th)!!!

This means four days less to wait than I had foreseen. What a great way to start the day!

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 02:13:28 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Hi, Third World Fez! I see you are from Minneapolis, hometown of Prince, my other favorite artist. Welcome!

I think the title Sunken Condos will most likely be related to climate change, but there might be a deeper layer that is related to our economy. We will know for sure in about two week!

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 02:06:27 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

I think I misread you too initially, The Dean, it is all good as far as I'm concerned! My excuses for sounding cranky...

Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 00:51:01 ET
Posted by: teendBins, Bulgaria

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Date: Thurs, September 27, 2012, 00:03:01 ET
Posted by: Jake, New York

Any Rascals fans out there? The original Rascals Felix, Dino, Gene and Eddie are gonna reunite at the Capital Theatre in Port Chester, New York on December 13-15. They were my favorite band when I was growing up.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 22:43:26 ET
Posted by: Third World Fez, Minneapolis

Disclaimers first, I guess. You've probably already covered this topic, but I just tonight discovered this blog. Also, I'm a longtime loyal fan of SD and DF and WB. But, I just gotta say that the title of Mr. Fagen's new album seems awfully tone deaf. It would be funny if so many people weren't struggling with housing and the housing market and the horrible economy, etc., etc. Just seems a strange choice. I know, I know, he's being sardonic and all, but, still.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 21:16:10 ET
Posted by: Charles Lawyer, how it all fits in

I noticed that the SC review article by Uncut Mag sounds like it would definitely qualify as original work that someone who actually listened to the album would be able to write and did not need to lift any ideas from the Bluebook.

PGE's post would not be original work because he only reported the existence of the Uncut Mag article.

When SC finally comes out to the public domain, any and all comments about the SC will be original work. Even if it is a single sentence that the album is great or it sucks, legally it is original work by that poster, even if it is now "public". If someone else also said it sucks later, it would be copyright infringement. Such a case would be frivolous and laughed out of court.

In any disputes, it is up to attorneys to determine whether it is useful or not, or has any value to whomever. This can be very time consuming, many billable hours and tedious and is a major reason why many lawyers have sizable incomes.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 19:40:46 ET
Posted by: Big Red, blazer

The saddest part about the "we didn't release 'Janie Runaway' as a single because of the sax solo" is the knowledge that this solo (while perfect, Potter is brilliant) is one of the few that us blues-based guitar players could more or less nail note-for-note after one listen.

Very happy they kept the alto. A wise child walks right out of here.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 16:50:37 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Where's the bartender?


My bad. I misunderstood your question. After reading it again, I'm not sure why I thought you were interested in our personal drug usage as well as that of Don and Walt. Again, my bad. Not sure why it merited that mean-spirited response, though.

I'm not a celeb, nor would I ever want to be. But we are a community of sorts here and I am far more interested in the personal stuff of people I know--or even those I virtually communicate with--than I am of celebs. I'm not judging those who think otherwise, that's just how I feel.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 16:42:53 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

PGE - that's sounds like a sweet review. Nightfly II - by 10/16 things will be AOK

Earl: Yep - he can't sleep. He may be thinking about partying... Either he's delusional or the post-apocalypse is really JB's Apocalypso.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 16:31:11 ET
Posted by: marcus miller interview,

In British Premier Guitar magazine there is an interview with bassist Marcus Miller which ends with a sweet paragraph about his experience on the Nightfly sessions.


Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 15:26:23 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Oh, and thanks for the amusing drug stories, folks, keep 'em coming! ;-)

@The Dean: you say you are not interested in
celebs and call drug use a private thing, yet you are here at a celebrity website sharing with the world that you've basically used all drugs but heroin! Thanks for sharing pal, but I wasn't really asking about your drug use, it was Walter and Donald's that I was interested in...

If anyone has some knowledge about this subject I would still like to hear more.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 14:46:48 ET
Posted by: PGE, ...

@PETE EVANS: I think he's a fan of previous work but surprised at the uptempo and more positive vibe of this record compared to Morph. Like he expected more of same and not a Donald with a "spring in his step", so to speak.

Of course you, me and more are'nt expecting anything but the best from Donald. :)

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 14:34:03 ET

Sounds like a really god review in Uncut as I said earlier, but why does Bud Scoppa call it 'unexpected' ? Why would a solo treat from Donald Fagen be unexpected, considering he is a genius song writer ?!!

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 14:26:57 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

PGE said about the Uncut magazine review:

"It gets 9/10 and is called "an unexpected solo treat"."

This is excellent news! Let's hope Sunken Condos is really as good as this review says it is. We'll be in for a treat!

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 14:21:15 ET
Posted by: Earl, DE

INTSWY: My take - a guy who is trying to put on airs that everything is so much better since the protagonist's subject has vanished from his life. Things aren't really better, they're actually worse...maybe a subtle hint to this is that he doesn't need sleep, but he really wants sleep because damn it, if he wanted to, he could sleep like never before!

No, he's really in hell, but he's not going to show it. Instead he's going to brag about how great he is.

For some reason, the "Walter" angle seems too obvious.

Excellent song nonetheless, love the groove, look forward to the rest of the album!

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 12:44:18 ET
Posted by: PGE, And just to get the final paragraph right

It should read:

And the review ends by stating that "Donald is back in his self-referencing sweet spot, and all's right with the world."

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 12:41:54 ET
Posted by: PGE, 9 out of 10 in Uncut Magazine

With the recent diskussion about copyright it wouldn't feel right to post the whole Uncut Magazine review of Sunken Coondos from the just released November 2012 issue (The Byrds on the cover). However, after writing


I might get away with a couple of quotes.

It gets 9/10 and is called "an unexpected solo treat".

The nine tracks is said to make "abundantly clear his current mood is reassuringly effervescent and self-mocking."

The reviewer Bud Scoppa is puzzled he can't google up some info on drummer Earl Cooke Jr who delivers such "righteously swingin' grooves."

"Slinky Thing" and "Planet D'Rhonda" both revisit the generation-spanning romantic escapades of "Hey Nineteen".
In "Slinky Thing" a "burned-out hippie clown" meets a "lithe young beauty" and in "PLanet D'Rhonda the older gentleman is lusting after woman "soewhere between 19 and 38" and "when she does the Philly Dog - I gotta have CPR".

Love in a bowling alley and 1950's US nuclear tests in the South Pacific are two other items mentioned as songs are reviewed.

The only negative thing in the review is in regard to the Isaac Hayes cover. A misstep but served up with "such exhilaration that Fagen can be forgiven for this indulgence."

And the review ends by stating that "Donald is back in his self-referencins sweet spot, and all's with the world."

Makes me want to hear the album NOW!

P.S. Yes, Al Gore does get a mention in the lyrics...

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 10:07:19 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

You ARE the celebrity deen...you're rockin' the blue

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 10:03:02 ET
Posted by: nocturnal emission dept,

@Dylan Fan

At least it wuz caused by Don and Walt and not that drag-hag Dylan.

Now that truly would be TMI.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 09:31:50 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach


I'll leave it to others to discuss Don and Walt's alleged drug use, if they wish to. I'm not an Entertainment Tonight kind of guy, It's not my business and to be honest, I really don't care much about their personal lives. I really don't have any interest in celebrity or celebrities.

I like their music-- a lot. That's enough for me.

But I will answer for myself. Let's put it this way--I have never used a needle.

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 09:07:29 ET
Posted by: Newark, MD's Eastern Shore, where we buy our alcohol and snacks in DE

Hey Funkaholic 1972: I heard that Don and Walt had never taken drugs and were clean until that plane crash at Celque, Honduras were they were exposed to natural medicinals by the indigenous tribe who discovered the wreckage and nursed our heroes back from near death. But one fact that is not so well known is that Walt and Don were so smitten by the tribal music that they recruited two or three Hondurans to play in "early" Steely Dan days, also known as the "Pre-Dan period"--if this is the era you are referring to. I hope this helps. Nwk

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 08:59:26 ET

Have not seen it yet but my sister reckons the new CD gets a good review in this month's Uncut magazine in the UK !

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 08:34:17 ET

Funkaholic 1972, this may help answer your question, I one time shared a joint with Donald and Walter in the very late 70's
however we were rudely interrupted by my alarm clock, so I
changed the sheets and went in to work. T.M.I. ?????

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 07:02:17 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

I was just wondering if the Steely Dan members were using drugs themselves a lot back in the 70's and 80's (and beyond)? If so, which drugs?

I've heard Walter has had some trouble with cocaine, but I don't even know if that is true.

Anyone who can shine some light on these matters?

Date: Wed, September 26, 2012, 00:16:01 ET
Posted by: prove it,

Quote the part of the article, and then quote the specific information that was taken from the Bluebook. It's just weird that some people here think an author is making money of their public comments.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 18:44:33 ET
Posted by: uh huh, yes, but,

"Mr. Aaron will have or has an advanced copy of the album, and I would assume the single. If he reads the Blue to get a flavor of some of the fandom, who gives a ****, besides an assortment of multiple personalities on LonGIsland."

a. He doesn't, or he probably would have or should have written some more than what he probably read off of the Blue.
b. He does.
c. He probably did and made money off of it and gave no attribution.
d. Irrelevant to the discussion.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 16:55:47 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Mr. Aaron will have or has an advanced copy of the album, and I would assume the single. If he reads the Blue to get a flavor of some of the fandom, who gives a ****, besides an assortment of multiple personalities on LonGIsland.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 12:41:22 ET
Posted by: copyright?,

How is publicly available information about a Michael Leonhart production credit even protected by copyright? The basic information is not intellectual property. Was information plagiarized from this site?

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 12:30:35 ET
Posted by: Charles Lawyer,

i would say that about 60% of what you see here would be original work, but of generally little or no money value. If you went to a show, or heard a song and made your own observations, analysis, opinions, or told a story, that would be original. It doesn't even have to be facts. Posting a set list or link to original work would not be original, which would be about 40%.

If you take any original work, even if you change the words, and make profit off of it, without giving credit, unless it is public domain that is technically illegal and certainly against the Code of Ethics. And THAT is no joke.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 10:10:23 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Jazz, us Yanks say "tempest in a teapot" or "tempest in a teacup"

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 09:22:42 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin,

AWKWARD, goddammit. No good day for writing! ;o)

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 09:21:29 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin,

Sorry for the akward looking first line in my previous post. I edited a bit while writing, but forgot to cut something, as you probably see.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 09:18:27 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Copyright 2012 Jazzassin


Just a general, solely juridical question about copyright laws:

Is it enough to just add a "Copyright 2012 Yourname" and your name/organization + year of publishing to anything you write on the internet to have it legally protected by US copyright laws?
Don't it have to be registered in an official register of some kind to be protected in a way that actually gives you the opportunity to pursue if anyone uses it without your consent (or even tries to claim it was their original work)? Just wondering ...

As for this particular case, it was after all just a piece of dry information that was eventually used and put into the blogger's own context, no word-by-word copied original text, original images or anything that would naturally be more likely to be protected by copyright laws. Does that make any difference?

I'm aware that the tort lawyer business is a much more lucrative thing in the US than over here, though.

@Charles L:

Sure, if anyone cut and pasted something I'd written in my kind of gibberish English or, believe me or not, close to perfect Norwegian language, and put it in a context where it appeared to be written by that person, I wouldn't like that of course. But I don't think it was like that in this case. As I note in the above, it was just a tiny piece of dry info, and if I was the source or mediator of it, I wouldn't feel very offended, at least not in a relative trivial case like this one. I think the discussion is what we in Norway would call "a storm in a glass of water".

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 08:11:43 ET
Posted by: Scoop, Brady

There's a columnist for a major newspaper who undoubtedly reads this board to get ideas. After a concert a few years back, several observations I made here appeared in his review the next day practically verbatim. The post and review are still online. I won't call him out because he's one of the few who doesn't produce the kind of boilerplate that DF's site satirized.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 01:39:11 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

Well, I put the drum info re: INTSWY on YouTube, without crediting anyone.

As for copyright issues, etc. Good luck pursuing any of that. It might be a matter of respect to credit a source on the internet, but the site would have to generate a lot of traffic as Security Joan mentioned - certanly beyond the million blogs out there - for me to expect anyone to start footnoting or even attributing.

Most of the stuff we see on the internet about SD is recycled, certainly in the places without any kind of claim to be doing anything but recycling, like original reporting for instance.

The questions and answers put to M. Leonhart that showed up here are an exception, although not completely rare. Lots of folks here have met members of the band and reported back things they've said or the gist of conversations. I doubt it very often gets picked up and used elsewhere.

Date: Tues, September 25, 2012, 00:02:37 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Thanks for the explanation, el jefe.

I can certainly understand how you could assert copyright, but how would a poster, posting under a random handle which can be used by anyone, assert copyright?

Of course, even of one could prove they posted something here, I can't imagine there being any realistic chance of proving the author of the article used something directly from here, unless it was pretty much word for word--and even that must be difficult. (As Jazz notes, if he did indeed get some of his ideas here, it would be nice if Victor gave a little plug to the Blue. I'm not entirely convinced this was his source--but it certainly may be.)

Another thing that might complicate matters a bit is the regular posting of articles, cut and pasted here, without source. I always source my material, but many do not bother.

Just a few thoughts. Keep in mind I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 23:25:54 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

BTW: All posts here are copyrighted by the poster and myself.

Best wishes,


Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 23:24:47 ET
Posted by: hoops,

Haven't seen this guy's other posts, just the one about INTSWY. I remember hearing from him a while back and featuring his page in the Dandom Digest, I'm pretty sure.

But regarding INTSWY, I wrote:


Jim 'hoops' McKay September 24, 2012 11:22 pm

Good to see reviews promoting Donalds latest. Thanks for it!

Good points but I quibble with one paragraph. You wrote:

but after overstating his improved state of affairs (Now people tell me the shape of my face is changing/Ive grown an inch taller since July) you eventually come to realize hes building a facade of ridiculously humorous proportions. Its a similar storyline told on Steely Dans Things I Miss The Most, only with a healthy dose of absurdity tossed in.

Whats absurd about that? When someone has the burden of a long term relationship, yes , ones face droops and ones posture slumps with the proverbial weight of the world on ones shoulders. Now that the bad relationship is over, yeah, ones face changessmiling a bit more and looking a little less droopy. Taller? Sure, slightly taller with shoulders thrown back. Depressed people actually do shrink a little and they stand a little taller if things get better. Not absurd at all.

Best wishes to you.


Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 22:44:12 ET
Posted by: Charles L, Yellowknife, NWT


Well, if you say so. I had to jump in here when I saw one of the biggest writers such as you on this Steely Dan site making jokes about potential thievery. It doesn't matter if it is 35 dollars, it is still a profit as one said today. Shit like this can happen as you say in Norway. Shit happens, as we say in Canada.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 21:50:03 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, blah blah


1. As the Dean says, we don't know for sure if this is how Mr.Aaron got his info.
2. As I said in an earlier comment, it's an open forum. And when things are posted in an open forum - and also without any formal copyright protection, and it's of this trivial nature, I can't see how it could possibly be a big issue. Info is spread around the internet this way all the time. The info was a result of a joint effort conducted by a fan, and meant for fans. I'm sure Victor Aaron is one too.
3. I also said that it would have been nice to give credit, but it's really not something to get stirred up about, imo. The profit motive is very exaggerated, as Joan points out.

The only joke is us writing more than one post each on this stupid subject.

I think this is the right time to break the GOOD news:

New Steely Dan Merch!

Cathegory 1:

* SD Bull Radar
* SD Flameproof Undies
* SD Troll Protection Helmet

Cathegory 2:

* SD Toothbrush & Pajamas
* SD Pacifier

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 21:30:39 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, Tossing tater tots to trolls, forgive me

Charles L., may I see your ID or hall pass? I think I remember you from 7th grade.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 21:14:06 ET
Posted by: Charles L.,


You put lots of effort and research into your posts. You don't find an issue with someone taking information that you researched, edited, wrote up and turning it into their profit? Without at least giving you credit as a source? You think its a joke? I can't be down with that.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 20:58:07 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, big deal

Nooo!! This is important stuff!! Don't try to trivialize this and make it less of a deadly sin than it really is!! When all is said and done, the world revolves around the Bluebook!! We don't want cosmic imbalance, which could in fact be the ultimate consequence of such unholy acting!!

What's worse; yesterday I read a comment on another forum, and there was both a comma and a couple of exclamations in it that I'm pretty sure was ripped off of the Bluebook. Some people have NO respect.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 19:45:30 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Is it really that hard to believe the author could have gotten the info from another source? I have seen the info posted anonymously on a youtube video and I have posted it myself. Plus, don't you think it is possible he actually spoke to Michael, or as Sec-Joan suggests someone involved with the recording, before writing the article? And as Jazz and Joan note, this is an open forum and the guy is writing for a blog, for Christ's sake. Some of you (probably one of you, actually) needs to get over yourself.

Might he have gotten some of the info here? Sure. If so, so what? But there is a good chance he got the info elsewhere.

This entire discussion was started by a troll--or at least a poster without a regular handle. Let's not give any credence to a rumor started by someone who can't even stand behind his/her post.

Talk about not having a job--I think NYBill must have no life whatsoever. Regular posting under multiple usernames, simply to stir up shit, on a forum dedicated to a band you don't really like reeks of a pretty crappy life, if you ask me.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 19:28:46 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, Philly

Agreed, the writer should have cited the Bluebook question session w. ML re: his drumming comment -- it certainly seems it is the most likely source. But I have to throw out that there's an off chance he personally spoke to someone involved in production...who knows.

However, profit motive?? (@seeing green comment) As someone who has been writing for print & web for over 30 yrs., I can guarantee that the person who wrote that article made in the neighborhood of .75 - $1 a word *at best*, which, by eyeballing that article, comes to the princely sum of about $350; and by looking at that particular website's probable traffic & ad revenue, my guess is much less. BUT hey, if you can direct me to "any world" where a short online piece pays $5000-$10,000 for somebody who isn't a major author, please clue me in!

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 19:27:32 ET
Posted by: Vic A.,

Lots of people make significant contributions here that the author could have used and spend much time doing so, especially The Dean who has likely not held a job for about ten years and has time for little else but drinking and partying at happy hour paid for by welfare checks.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 17:51:15 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, that's life

Another thing that indicates that the author probably lurked here to find something for his review is the fact that he knew Leonhart "plays" the drums on SC.

"Only this time, theres no Jeff Porcaro driving that groove, not even Keith Carlock. Nope, thats Michael Leonhart, trumpet player and Sunken Condos co-producer."

Maybe I'm wrong, but so far I haven't seen this info other places than in the AMA interview that Bluebooker "fagenism" compiled for us.
However, this is an open forum. As a journalist, you'll look for relevant info for an article wherever it's likely you'll find some, and use it for what it's worth. A line about the original source of exclusive information would've been nice of course, but hardly something one can expect these days I think.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 17:49:59 ET
Posted by: seeing green,

That article probably made five or ten thousand $US for the author. If this is true I'd reckon that it is he as they say in New Frontier who should push the yellow donation button down.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 17:09:16 ET
Posted by: Blue Girl, seeing red

I just wanted to say if that article was written by what is being said here there probably was a profit motive.

If true this was taking unfair advantage of the time and effort put in by the Dandom Bluebook posters since the first news of Sunken Condos coming out. Drum discussions, Things I Miss the Most? No mention was even given!!!!!

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 15:16:05 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

La La - VERY funny and oh so true

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 13:00:22 ET
Posted by: Out, Damned


Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 12:11:37 ET
Posted by: Spot,

To Doc Mu and Dean

I read that article and what you two should be seeing is Blue Spots before your eyes.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 10:50:39 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Yippee! A troll parade!

NYBill must be off his meds again.

Doc Mu, thanks for the link. The article was spot on. I wonder if Victor posts or lurks here.

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 10:43:48 ET
Posted by: yeah,

and he should care about what Young Wu thinks and not the old Dean, Lurker and old others who will suck up to even the worse songs that Steely Dan and Donald put out there

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 10:03:12 ET
Posted by: La, La

Since you've been gone.
I'm writing really cool lyrics now.
I don't care if they don't rhyme or if I cram
too many syllables into the stanzas or use sequenced drums
or what Lurker Ray or The Dean thinks

Date: Mon, September 24, 2012, 09:39:40 ET
Posted by: who;'s zoomin who?,

Doc Mu that was a nice article, but very little new there. You are right. It is spot-on.

Can't help but notice the direct groove comparison of I'm Not The Same Without You to Green Flower, its substitution of horn parts, specific harmonica details, lyric comparisons to Things I miss the most, and the author's use of the words "dreck", pop, "crafted" lyrics that appeared a week ago on the Blue within hours of each other. Hmmmm.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 22:45:10 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, up on the hill

has anyone mentioned the fact that none of the verses on INTSWY rhyme? a nice departure and a fairly brave one at that.

gotta say i think this single is so much better than "H-Gang" was. even Donald seemed to dislike that one, and started dropping it from his setlist on the '06 tour. and speaking of lead-off singles, chalk me up as one who has absolutely loved "Blues Beach" from the get-go. can't say the same for "The Last Mall" although it has grown on me.

i would love to see him tour behind the new album, even a mini-tour... I'd make the trip. but i really doubt it's going to happen. i don't think the '06 tour lived up to his expectations and he's been touring his ass off with SD and The Dukes. of course I hope I'm wrong... he does seem like he just really wants to PLAY these days.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 21:27:57 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Spot on review from Victor Aaron in his Sunday Special on INTSWY


But Fagen doesnt ever just sweat merely the arrangements and production, he invests decades-long experience in crafting lyrics that dont make their intentions too obvious, but if you noodle on it a bit you can usually figure it out. In this case, our antagonist is boasting how he is doing so much better after the dissolution of a relationship, but after overstating his improved state of affairs (Now people tell me the shape of my face is changing/Ive grown an inch taller since July) you eventually come to realize hes building a facade of ridiculously humorous proportions. Its a similar storyline told on Steely Dans Things I Miss The Most, only with a healthy dose of absurdity tossed in.

When Fagen sings the line I feel much stronger than I have in years, the arrangement, the melody, lyrics and, indeed, his nuanced vocal delivery make that verse a true depiction of where this man is at currently in his music career.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 19:19:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, guitar talk

Thanks for the links to the Galison videos & writings. What a performer. A new hero of mine. Amateur my ass! ;o)

You list the other musicians on SC, and I want to draw everybodys attention to guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel in particular.
Kurt is a true jazzcat. I first discovered him a few years ago when I browsed the home page of Roger Sadowsky, the luthier who makes Walter Becker's signature model guitars. There was this video of Kurt improvising an otherworldly beautiful little piece on of Roger's semi-acoustic models. It has since then become a video I've returned to many times, and as a guitarist myself, I must say it's absolutely outstanding playing in terms of harmonies and a very poetic tone and general expression. On other songs, particulary with his own band, he also proves to be very fast and technically limitless, and he can sure play with very rough edges when he wants to as well.
I'm very exited to hear what this fairly young master (42) does on Sunken Condos, and wonder if he and Jon plays on the same song anywhere on the album. If so, we're in for guitar treat of epic proportions I think.

Check out the impro here:


Another funny thing is, the other day Ray mentioned Mancini's fine album "Six Hours Past Sunset". I read that post with my guitar in my lap, I had actually just been trying to play two old standards; "Girl Talk" by Neal Hefti & Bobby Troup, of which a version was recorded by Mancini for the album in mention, and also "Days Of Wine And Roses", written by Mancini & Mercer! Synchronisity?

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 18:55:29 ET
Posted by: FH, 3

It caught my attention that the song goes pretty abruptly into the first verse. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a longer intro in the album cut.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 17:19:41 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Kmitb said:

"Just a thought....this was released as a single...tells me that maybe it was shortened and that it's longer on the album! We don't have track lengths...so we could be jumping the gun on the outro!!!"

That is a lovely thought, and totally possible! Would be a nice surprise...

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 16:40:18 ET
Posted by: KMITB, Mt. Belzoni

Just a thought....this was released as a single...tells me that maybe it was shortened and that it's longer on the album! We don't have track lengths...so we could be jumping the gun on the outro!!!

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 14:52:58 ET
Posted by: Jon @ his yellow stripe, Somewhere in Mass.

Check out "The Young Rabbits" on Blue Note for some killer Crusaders. Reminds me of the Marsh/Christlieb stuff.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 13:48:40 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

More Harmonica Thoughts

Interesting with all of the greats & "regulars" on
Sunken Condos that Donald didn't use Howard Levy.

Other guest appearances:

Will Galison is a great player who recently competed as
an "amateur" at The Apollo.

Performed/ recorded with: Sting, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Jaco Pastorious, Chaka Kahn, Toninho Horta, New York Voices, George Benson, Astrud Gilberto, Les Paul, Monty Alexander, Eddie Gomez, Bob Telson, Dr Lonnie Smith, Paquito D'Riviera, Randy Brecker, Lew Tabaken, Peter Cincotti, Tom Grant, Jaki Byard, Joe Morello, Billy Hart, Joe Lovano , Kenny Werner, Jon Hendricks. Toots Theilemans, Will Lee, Kermit Ruffins, Jeveeta Steele, David Byrne, Brad Terry, Quadro Nuevo, Madeleine Peyroux, Suede, Little Louis Vega, Levon Helm, Steve Tyrell and Jimmy Webb.

Here Will talks about working on Sunken Condos:




I think the harmonica can instantly register
sweet melancholy ever since "Midnight Cowboy".

And Donald Fagen is my favorite "Melancholyologist".

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 13:04:08 ET
Posted by: HouDanFan, Houston

I love how the interpretations and meanings come out for new songs. The Walter theory sounds a little far-fetched. I highly doubt that one. I'm loving the harmonica input as well.

I about fell out of my chair laughing last night watching a Chicago concert on TV. Now keep in my mind I dis-liked Chicago after about their 8th album. But they brought out a little old lady to sing "If You Leave Me Now" cause she was the highest bidder for a cause they were supporting. She was horrible and I bet the audience wanted their money back on that song. If Steely Dan did that there would be a mutiny on the bounty as well there should be.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 11:36:49 ET
Posted by: Hutch, ain't it the truth?

Listening to Not the Same at the Warner site on YouTube and reading some of the comments below. All extremely positive but this one stood out....

"If you don't dig DF, you're not alive".

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 11:20:09 ET
Posted by: Young Wu, Buffalo

Ok... so after two more listens of the new Fagen song I was hoping my opinion would change.

It has not.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 11:02:03 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, FYI

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned here before, but Larry Carlton actually released a new album recently.

From the press release:

This record is something special to Larry's heart. He took these previously recorded solo albums, ""Larry Carlton"", ""Strikes Twice"", and Sleepwalk"" and picked tracks from them that really meant a great deal to him. The tracks are Room 335, Nite Crawler, Point it Up, Rio Samba, Don't Give it Up, It Was Only Yesterday, Last Night, Song For Katie, Sleepwalk, 10 PM, For Love Alone, Strikes Twice, Springville, Mulberry Street. He then recorded new acoustic/electric guitar versions of these songs and called it ""Four Hands & A Heart Volume One".


Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 10:12:29 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Football Sunday in the USA


Just wanted to point out that it was Brain Strainer who made the comment about the possibility of a video. Not a big deal of course, but give credit where it is due.

Also I don't particularly like music videos. I'm not sure I can count on one hand the times I thought a music video helped the music---discounting of course videos with terrible music and beautiful half-naked women. There seem to be a lot of those, so let me rephrase: I'm not sure I can count on one hand the times I thought a music video helped an exceptional song. :#)

That's not to say I wouldn't be interested in any Steely-related video created under the purview of Don/Walt.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 10:11:33 ET
Posted by: ,

Yes, this is Donald's last for Warner's, under his current contract.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 08:41:38 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Nice one, moray eel! Can be added to The Dean's list of possibilities...

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 08:38:56 ET
Posted by: moray eel, no

An artist making music on his Apple free of studio execs?

Without you
I now have eyes to see
Some other destiny
A futurescape of brighter dreams
In which I bring off heroistic deeds


Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 08:34:13 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

The tonic for short 'outtros' is the instrumental only version of Green Earrings that is floating around out there. It's some kind of rhythm section run-through that goes on and on...and then on some more.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 08:10:30 ET
Posted by: moray eel, last album with Warner

My take on INTSWY:

Isn't this Donald's last album with Warner Brothers? Anybody remember Steely Dan's Taxicab Confessions where he wanted some record executives to disappear?


Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 07:54:48 ET
Posted by: The Greater Dandom, Everywhere

Happy birthday, Aja!

Released 35 years ago today.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 07:37:38 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Sunken Donald at work??

Working out the horn charts for INTSWY?


Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 07:33:52 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Jazzassin said:

"It doesn't bring me to musical ecstasy in the usual sense of the term, but I find it very fascinating and interesting. I also appreciate the work Gabe put into explaining and documenting it very much. Obviously done with utmost respect for and good knowledge of the Dan."

Exactly my thoughts. Very nice of him to not only put the music online, but also take the time to explain and document it. Thanks again for posting!

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 07:23:36 ET
Posted by: Deaconblue, Brussels

I agree with Jezoh that the outro with the horns is a little short in INSWY. These horns are so catchy, so exiting bringing the song to a climax. And that is the reason i think why this song becomes better and better each time we're listen to it.

In fact INSWY isn't so spectacular as a song. It's a good tune, nothing more nothing less. But what made it a so spectacular beautiful is Donalds arrangement, his exeptional melody feel, his extraordinary way to make bridges in a song, his vocal timing. Put then also those catchy tastefull horn arrangements and you have a really great song. INSWY is one of the best songs Donald Fagen made in the last 3 decades. This song arrangement is from the same level as his earlier Aja, Gaucho or Nightfly works.

And as Jezoh said, the only negative thing about INSWY is the short horn end, because it is so good. Just like in Kid Charlemagne where the Larry Carlton guitar outro brings the to a climax. But at the other hand i think that it opens a lot of perspectives for live performances.

I can't wait to hear the rest of sunken Condos and also hoping for a Sunken Condos tour

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 06:45:13 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, day glow freaks

I'm glad you liked it! It doesn't bring me to musical ecstasy in the usual sense of the term, but I find it very fascinating and interesting. I also appreciate the work Gabe put into explaining and documenting it very much. Obviously done with utmost respect for and good knowledge of the Dan.
Short after Gabe posted it here - I think it was last year, I brought it to a private event/party where I had the dj test some of it for the dance floor. The participants included many folks with tons of experience from the rave scene, and the response was solely positive.
I love that Steely Dan this way penetrates even the most remote corners of the universe of music.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 06:35:22 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

The Dean said:

"Depending of which theme you believe it could be (maybe NONE of these) vastly changes your listening experience, and could be the major determinant for any video that would be made for this song. "

And that is one of the reasons we love Donald (and Walter)!! It would be interesting to see a video for this song...

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 06:08:39 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Jazzassin said:

"Try this one on and see what you think. Not what I put on very often myself to say the least, but it's something different I can tell you.


Thanks for this link, I love the whole concept of this! Especially as it is hard to figure out what was actually sampled.

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 06:00:22 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

I'd rate King of the World as my #1 'end too soon outro'.

Saddo that I am I've even been known to crank the volume up to max for those last few bars just to wring everything I can out of the guitar solo (?Dias) before it cruelly fades away!

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 05:48:48 ET
Posted by: Jezzoh, Manchester UK

Dan Belcher Some of the outro's are so frustrating as they end too early. INTSWY is a another example of this.. it's really up and running when it finishes. The horns are fantastic.. pumping out a catchy rhythm and then.... it ends. Another example would be the fading guitar solo on Kid Charlemagne!

Date: Sun, September 23, 2012, 02:51:56 ET
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Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 23:24:55 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

@Funkaholic and all members

Remember a few days ago when we were discussing multiple meanings of these lyrics? DF very well could be speaking of Walt on INTSWY, for which we have now about four or five lyric interpretations. This is what is cool about a DF/SD or WB record. You get two or three songs for the price of one, depending how you read it.

If you look carefully, the INTSWY lyrics are not necessarily THAT romantic, like a sad sack who is REALLY losing a lover he cares about and feels that ECSTATIC about it. But he could be. That is something that DF has possibly tricked the casual listener into thinking.

So, I say that the Walt "lover" part is not even relevant. But there is clearly the loss of something in those lyrics, whether it be a lover, sobriety, sanity, and YES, a long-time musical partner such as Walt. And the result of what is happening to the narrator can be good or bad, depending on whether the perspective is his or the reader's value system. All we can tell for sure, ( maybe?) is he is NOT the same as before, but what we don't know is what his INITIAL condition was to begin with--clean or sober?, sane or insane?, etc.

And the use of a DOUBLE NEGATIVE in the title ("not" and "without") is what contributes to these multiple possibilities. In arithmetic, subtracting (loss) a negative, or multiplying by a negative creates a positive. When you do it with language, you can see how the game changes from the title and lyrics of "I'm NOT the Same WITHOUT You"

Without Lover--

a. He's happy to be rid of the bitch, over her and he's truly superfine, sober, sane and using metaphors, OR

b. He THINKS he is over her, but in reality driven to actual delusion/insanity

Without Drugs or Sobriety--

a. He is a junkie improving and getting off drugs, in reality feeling great, using descriptive metaphors OR

b. He is a beginning drug addict describing that "This shit is GREAT" and believes he's superhuman, no metaphors but hallucinations, life's better WITHOUT sobriety!

Without Walter Becker--

Could mean that DF has had an epiphany and broken free of artistic or time or effort issues caused by Walt when SD worked together (metaphorical) and what DF is NOW creating, and now has the confidence to do it alone is a brand new "futurescape" of visual art and music?

Depending of which theme you believe it could be (maybe NONE of these) vastly changes your listening experience, and could be the major determinant for any video that would be made for this song.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 23:08:06 ET
Posted by: T.O. Danfan, at home

Hey All

As I've mentioned here before.... I love all things Dan and all things Bruce. Here's a great crossover with Cindy steppin' out with Bruce on Shackled and Drawn. It was awesome live. She comes down front 5 minutes in.

Can't wait for SC and really been enjoying all the posts about it here.

Would there be this much of a frenzy if it was Walt's new one?


ps...that was a rhetorical question (I think)

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 21:36:35 ET
Posted by: There will be, videos in the New Frontier




Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 21:03:36 ET
Posted by: Denard, ___

I appreciate the risks they took on "Blues Beach." Nobody loves grooves and vamps and blues-based stuff like this guy, but to hear Don and Walt go all out for a pop tune was fun. Perhaps not their best, but I dug the fact that they tried.

And, frankly, they got killed for it. Especially here, when it came out. So it goes.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 20:45:45 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

@jazzassin: will check out that remix tomorrow (its 3 in the morning and the kids are sleeping), I will let you know what I think!

@people speculating the end of Steely Dan: maybe INTSWY is about WB, his old "lover"? Now that he has finally decided to go the solo route, Don feels reborn and revigorated? (i know that is a really upsetting thought, sorry folks!). Hmm, food for thought...

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 20:37:18 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa

Maybe I'm in the minority (or maybe I'm not), but I think "Blues Beach" is the best track from "EMG".
I like that its an upbeat fun track that gives you a 2003 version of the same type of song "Rikki..." or even "Rose Darlin" was in the 70's.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 19:53:55 ET
Posted by: PGE, Happy Birthday!

Need a reason to celebrate this Sunday?

Aja was released September 23, 1977 making it 35 years young today!

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 15:59:20 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

Dean said,

"Don really seems to be on a harmonica jag this century. And I'm not complaining."

Neither am I! Don has been on a harmonica
jag since "Nightfly". That synth faux harp
is all over it. One might surmise that
influence might be his unabashed love
of all things "Mancini".

Many a recording out of "Hank's Pad"
has a sweet harmonica. One of my
favorites has always been the,
"Six Hours Past Sunset" LP. Great
harp on that LP. Highly recommended
with a cocktail right about sunset.
Check it out. The cover of Morph
also seemed to be a nod to that LP.


You know who also is on a harmonica
jag these days? Mark Knopfler. His
new "blues" project "Privateering" has
Kim Wilson all over it.

Also highly recommended.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 15:22:35 ET
Posted by: Klaus&theRooster,

Hey all you Danfans, quick question. Is there any video floating around out there of the Dan's performance of Show Biz Kids from the Midnight Special (season 1, episode 32), I can't seem to find it anywhere aside from a few pictures and the snippet from their HOF induction video.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 14:59:23 ET
Posted by: vegas viv,

Odds are that that they are done. Donald does most of the work that he says in the article. He has to drag Walt into it every time. It depends on Walt and he is getting up in years and probably getting tired of it.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 13:36:00 ET
Posted by: Toni,

O.k I found one Interview

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 13:28:56 ET
Posted by: Toni,

Some time ago I read an interview on the internet in which DF said that the deadlime for the last SD-Album would be 2016. The interview however was quite old and I do not remember if it was made befor or after EMG. But I also remember from another interview that DF said that he and Walt would think about a new album and that walt would be doing something on his own at the moment. This interview is more recent. I think from 2011. I would love to provide you with a link unfortunately I do not have the time to search for those web pages. But if you google for Steely Dan or Steely Dan interview or Donald Fagen interview you should definately find something.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 11:11:29 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, No(r)way!


I thought I was a pessimist often thinking EMG (song) was a goodbye to SD.

But you really take the cake. ;o)

No, I can't imagine it means that. We'll probably never be explicitly or even between the lines informed about a final breakup.

But we can maybe guess that it's over when they are 110 years old and haven't released anything for the last 40 of them.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 10:48:11 ET
Posted by: Deaconblue, Brussels

I was wondering to what Donald Fagen is refering with the title Sunken Condo. Is he anouncing the end of Steely Dan? Because Here in Europe condo means co ownership.
So Sunken Condo = sunken co-ownership --> sunken Steely Dan.

I hope not of course but it is just an idea. So what you guys think about that?

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 10:42:07 ET
Posted by: Hank Silvers, lurking in anticipation

"I don't need sleep anymore." Wonder what drugs he's using to get through those sleepless nights. (And who's supplying him the Deludin.) At least I hope that those thoughts are the byproduct of his meds. But if he's happy, I'm happy!

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 08:45:22 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Ouch!

Hoops, have mercy. I just laughed my head off!

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 08:23:02 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Jazzassasin: speaking of erectile disfunction & leppers, what did the lepper say to the hooker? "Keep the tip."

We're at home here--the default is love & appreciation for all things Steely Dan. That's what I love about my Steely family versus my birth family. :-)

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 06:13:07 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

The DF pending album release has hastened my return to listening to the whole lot of it. (I take breaks from SD/WB/DF, often for months at a time).

My rambles include YouTube, where I like looking at some of the comments left by folks.

About Here at the Western World:

'This song is absolutely about a Nazi who escaped prosecution in Europe who found earthly respite in a South American country. The riff is horrifying, the lyrics are harrowing...this is suicide on wax.'

'finally listening to the lyrics for the first time. my dad played this when i was really small like 7. its about drunks and prostitutes. wtf dad?'

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 06:06:29 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, speak of the devil ...


Try this one on and see what you think. Not what I put on very often myself to say the least, but it's something different I can tell you.


Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 05:57:27 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, blues bitch

1. I just recievd my honorary membership diploma from the Leprosy Club for liking Blues Beach.

2. For Norwegian fans: INTSWY is also on WiMP streaming service.


Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 03:05:51 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

As much as I love electronic dance music (the leftfield stuff obviously!), i can't imagine dance remixes of Donalds' tunes. It just doesnt fit or even seem appropriate. His music is too sophisticated for that, i think...

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 00:38:47 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

Blues Beach is a fine song.

Deceptive SD mix of 'happy' little tune with a strange lyric underneath supported by a winning groove. Sweet baseline. Very clever transition
into the middle eight.

But i like Springtime, too.

Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 00:13:32 ET
Posted by: shark boy, sunkville


Date: Sat, September 22, 2012, 00:03:14 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

I tell ya, it took me a long time to warm up to Blues Beach. I have changed my opinion on it, but it still isn't one of my favorite Dan tunes. Actually i think parts of the song are fantastic--but the intro is still hard on my ears.

I find it a bit hard to believe how many are down on The Last Mall. I think it's a completely likable song. It isn't among the most sophisticated Dan tunes, but I can't find anything that would put someone off. Great opening guitar, clever lyrics (funny even), strong vocals and a killer unresolved ending. It is Black Friday-esque, actually.

All IMO of course.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 23:49:38 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, clarity land

...that's Blues Beach I was talking about.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 23:48:00 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, Medicine Park

I'm in the apparently small "like it" camp, although it took several listens to win me over, and IMO it is not the sharpest tool in the EMG shed.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 23:28:11 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Or if you don't like Blues Beach, you're probably a real dick. Blues Beach is a great tune. It would have been a great single back in the day of 7" 45 RPM.

Like Last Mall, it is short format and, especially since we heard it so far in advance of the rest of EMG, it's a little different from the rest of the album.

Be well.


Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 22:50:23 ET
Posted by: psst,...I'm with you,

liking Blues beach won't kill you, but its like having erectile disfunction or hepatitis C. which is not something you want to broadcast

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 21:10:50 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

I think I'm the only person who actually really likes Blues Beach.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 21:06:46 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,


Could be. Pixeleen and Lunch with Gina seemed like the Obvious singles. Last Mal and Blues Beach just fall flat.

BS: Oh no - Donald should release Show Biz Kidz with a Lady Gaga voiceover...The Fame Monster T-shirt Concession Edition.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 20:34:16 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Brain, you said:

"My comments might be better understood if I spoke in the generality of the value of a good pop single, and not necessarily the specifics of INTSWY.

I don't think the artists always "craft" 9 songs for an album, then pick the best two for singles. Many of the albums I have bought over time it seemed that the artist only had about one or two songs of good material, and the rest of the album was filler or shlock. It was if the artist was TOLD and the label put most of the effort into those songs, just to sell the record."

Hard to argue with most of that. Again, my experience is the label really drives the single selection--but I would assume the bigger the artist the more say they might have on the decision.

Doc, you might be right about Janie. My recollection is Pixeleen had an issue with radio play because of the amount of sax. But my recollection can be spotty. I drink, ya know. :#) If Don (and Walt) really cared about radio play (at the expense of the music) I'm sure there wouldn't be as many horn/harmonica solos in their songs.

As an aside, Don really seems to be on a harmonica jag this century. And I'm not complaining.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 19:22:09 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,


Your points are well put, and actually I agree with 90% of what you say. There should be artistic integrity, DF should not and does not care etc. My comments might be better understood if I spoke in the generality of the value of a good pop single, and not necessarily the specifics of INTSWY.

I don't think the artists always "craft" 9 songs for an album, then pick the best two for singles. Many of the albums I have bought over time it seemed that the artist only had about one or two songs of good material, and the rest of the album was filler or shlock. It was if the artist was TOLD and the label put most of the effort into those songs, just to sell the record.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 18:56:50 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

As far as I can tell Brain's argument remains: Don should do these things to increase awareness and sales.

My retort has always been: There are things Don simply won't do (and frankly doesn't care about) simply to expand his audience and make money.

Despite what "It's" thinks, I think the evidence clearly supports my position. In fact, I was more confident in my position after It's disagreed with it. (Notice he supplied NOTHING to support his comment.)

I think Don's pretty happy running his careeer the way he sees fit. It's worked so far, artistically and he makes a good living. Most of the compromises suggested would line his pockets but do NOTHING to improve the music.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 18:26:45 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Wow!

Now you're talking! ;D

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 18:14:55 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

@Doc Mu et. al.

Well if DF is trying to "hip it up" on INTSWY, he actually does have a tune in his arsenal that was 30 years ahead of its time. And it could fit well, almost as is into the New Millenium rap, hip-hop style, trance, industrial, or electronica realms. It has a consistent, infectious groove, simple, perhaps monotonous to some, but lends itself nearly ideally to popular musical tastes. With some minor tweaking, it might get five million downloads. Close your eyes, kick back and reflect for a moment:

1. The title would need to be changed to Sho' Bizz Kiddzzz.

2. DF could cut out some of the verses and change them to some ghetto gibberish to contemporize the theme.

3. Either DF himself could auto tune his voice and rap gibberish over it every 16 bars, or enlist somebody like Jay Z or Lil' Wayne to be featured vocalist.

4. Several versions could be released like the "Bodacious Brotha Bekka Mixx" or maybe "Mow-say-dees Kamikiri Dub".

5. Radio edit would run about five minutes, extended dance mix might go to 10 or 12 minutes.

Finally, you gotta have a 12-inch, 180 gram vinyl disque containing all various versions for the loyal SD/DF senior fan base who have to have anything put out by SD/DF/WB to complete their collections.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 18:01:49 ET
Posted by: Dave from Inquisitions, HQ

Luker Ray - is that 1993 "Reunion?" Tour video from which that medley was culled available? It appears to be pro shot. Ping pls.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 17:59:19 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Jezzoh, agree on the outro. It's the perfect length -- long enough to give you time to enjoy it, but it still ends leaving you wanting just a little bit more. And those horns are just so catchy!

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 17:53:04 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, still believing in art for art's sake

Brain Strainer,
To answer your last question first: I have no idea. My musical taste obviously differs from that of the vast majority, and I am more often than not just surprised by what is considered to be a good song worth peoples money and time. Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber sells more records in a week everytime they let go a fart than Steely Dan has done in their entire career. I'm not good at calculating what will be the next big thing at all, so I really don't have an opinion on that.
When I said it was a bit vulgar to advice Don to think more in terms of immediate accessibility to the masses, I meant just that. I know that a catchy single can help promoting an album, but there's more than one way to deal with this. One way is to first make the album, carefully crafting every song exactly as the artist would like them to sound regardless of the commercial potential, then pick (or let the company pick) one or two that when all is said and done presumably is the best choice for a teaser, even if none of them is very well suited to sell anything at all to a really large number of people. The artist and the whole project may eventually be of a kind that will never sell many copies no matter which song is picked for a single. This is probably what you could call art for arts sake, in which you say you don't believe.
Another way is to try to foresee what a really large number of people will respond to, and carefully craft songs that you think meets this description. Sometimes you hit bullseye, sometimes not. A massive brainwash-like marketing campaign and good or very odd looks usually helps a lot.
From what you write, it seems to me you think Don should do a little less of method no.1, and a little more of method no.2. That was what I found a bit vulgar, not discussing which song should be the promo single out of a collection of art-for-art's-sake-songs presumably not appealing that much to the masses anyway. In an ideal world where more people had a more developed musical taste INTSWY would've been an immediate hit single, but in reality we can only hope it will not completely drown in the sea of worthless junk music.
I think the problem with your arguing is that you seem to constantly insist that the commercial side of things should always be a primary focus. If Don had listened to such an advice, he wouldn't have been the Don that we respect so much and his music would probably never have been half as interesting as it is. He has said repeatedly that he makes music for his own pleasure and can only hope there's a market for it. Fortunately, it has turned out fairly well so far, even if the sales never matched that of many other artists.
That you don't believe art for art's sake even exists despite the massive evidence of the opposite is not easy to understand. Donald has, as mentioned here today, in fact regretted the choice of some particular singles, and has in retrospect come to the conclusion that some other songs would've been a better choice from a promotion purpose viewpoint. He never said he wished he had made the songs different. That's a big difference.
Discussing which songs from a given album is best suited to front it is of course not vulgar at all, but it's a discussion in which I just don't care to participate because, as I said, a have in fact no opinion at all. What annoyed me was the premise that it absolutely should have a huge hit potential, and that the artist should care enough for that to actually change the song to please more of the junk eaters.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 15:55:50 ET
Posted by: Jezzoh, Manchester

As with so many Steely songs I just love the outtro on INTSWY. I just wish it went on a bit longer, can't stop whistling it. Those shivery horns are stuck in my head. I love it.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 15:22:59 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

I don't know if Donald is trying to hip on the single. He just is.

W&D I believe selected Janie Runaway for the lead single on TvN, but the suits argued that radio stations wouldn't play it because of "too much sax."

W&D picked Black Friday as their first single from Katy Lied - they later regretted not releasing Bad Sneakers as the lead single.

When Irving Izoff came on board he selected the singles and promoted Aja. Good move.

Sometimes it's the suits, sometimes the artists.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 14:46:01 ET
Posted by: romefalls, Pack sand in your craw week

Can I keep my hopes up that there will be another Steely Dan album? Under the "Steely Dan" moniker? Not that Sunken Condos won't quell my pain or anything; I just think Steely Dan is a catchy name. Or something. And, as we all know, Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go - badass up-close thundermojo that they are - do not make a complete trifecta. In other words, they ain't done yet, are they????

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 14:22:46 ET
Posted by: Tommy Sharky, Atlanta

It was the opening scene of Sharky's Machine that put Street Life on the map.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 14:20:33 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,


I guess if the record company or DF chose it as leadoff promotional it doesn't matter. We're just looking at INTSWY, where opinions here range from loving it as is to pretty bad. I like it, I am just questioning artistically its potential for high visibility and sales. Many here have done the same, and still do with H-Gang and What I Do. So it is not vulgar to discuss these things.

Mary Shut the Garden Door is a good song, DF seemed to think much of it and used it on his solo tour.

But would Mary have made a good leadoff promotional single for MTC in your estimation? It won't be vulgar if you give your opinion.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 14:03:13 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

@BBJeebies of the UK

Your mentioning The Crusaders makes an excellent point. I had never heard of The Crusaders, though they existed for like 25 or 30 years when I first heard Street Life, I guess around 1980. The Crusaders were as unknown and as buried to me back then as DF is to a vast majority of today's music customers. Street Life was a strong pop single, heavy sirplay in multiple formats, but NOT what I would consider a sell-out "compromise" by The Crusaders. The point was I was THEN made aware of The Crusaders, bought a record or two of theirs from the cutout bin, and later regularly and instantly recognised them on "smoove" jazz stations. I would probably go to one of their shows if I ever saw them touring.

The same result using a strong, evenly grooved, catchy pop single could happen with today's teens or twenty somethings and maybe re-awaken some forty or fifty somethings that DF is still out there.

I may be wrong, I don't think INTSWY, as it is, with its many pop elements. abrupt changes etc. unlike Street Life with its infectious groove and few movements, is such as single. But I hope it gets visiblity and helps promote SC and DF.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 13:59:51 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, everyrthing must go?


I understand what you say, but think it's not in sync with what I believe is reality. I think if one pop artist in history is 110% unaffected by commercial concerns, it's Donald Fagen. Don't underestimate how dedicated to his music he is.
As you say, if you're not willing to even tweak a promotional, potential hit single one single degree to make it more eatable to the masses, you can as well just refrain from releaseing a promotional single at all. Which I guess is the case. I don't believe he planned to make a promotional single when he composed, arranged and recorded INTSWY at all. That's all label stuff I think. And I absolutely think he's a headache to his publishers sometimes. And that he doesn't give a shit.
What you, I or anyone else think would be "smart", or even a better musical solution is of no interest. Donald does what Donald does, and I think if he was that desperate for cash he would've literally sold his ass on the corner downtown before he changed a note in his music.
He's not like the rest, and that's why we have this unique musical legacy from him and Walter. Conciously trying to be "relevant" and hip was never his way. In many ways it's a minor miracle that SD has been able to survive with that attitude, but man am I glad they didn't listen to anybody's advice ever.
In fact, I think it's actually a bit vulgar and insulting towards true dedicated artists to advice them to think more like the cynical businessmen that always was a part of the music industry. I think Don & Walt relates to those guys mainly by making satire out of them.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 13:04:59 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,


It was not suggested that DF "compromise" his artistry. INTSWY was released as a single, and singles are primarily a promotional tool for visibility and the increase in record sales and concert tix. At this time, though I as a fan enjoy INTSWY, the way the song is configured, and without hearing the rest of SC seems does not seem like a strong pop tune for today's market for the way it is arranged to be a leadoff single But I think it could have been. With remixing INTSWY for some various formats, which many "respectable" artists have done, visibility and sales might be better achieved. It is just an opinion, it could be wrong, DF might have a #1 hit in INTSWY.

As I said earlier INTSWY has many of the strong pop DF/SD elements, but it might have been better to go with a strong underlying groove which it has, and minimize its many abrupt changes in mood and movements. If that involves compromise, then I'd say don't bother even putting out a promotional single, which MANY of the great artists of all time generally do not.

Pink Floyd hardly ever tore up the Billboard Charts with promotional singles, but they sold a ton of albums and sold out concerts.

Another purpose of the single is that today many music customers buy only singles, which might be a better reason to put out the best, most catchy tune on the album (which Warner or DF may have done?) With some exceptions, I regretted wasting money for many of the albums I bought because besides the two or three hit singles, the other eight or nine songs were schlock.

I should have just bought the singles.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 12:34:39 ET
Posted by: Jerry Lewis, at the telethon

All this talk of money, money, money reminds me - it's always a good use of money to occasionally click on the little yellow button and contribute to the blue.

Jim is too nice to ask - let's don't make him beg.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 12:24:27 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, It's just that ...

... working hard and taking care of business by selling, not giving away the art is not the same as compromising on a musical level to please an even bigger market, which was just suggested.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 12:17:58 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Ahh, here we go. Turns out the quote is from the Boston Globe reporter responsible for the band playing both Aja and Royal Scam on what was originally just an Aja night in 09 ...

Q. Back in the day, your rep was that you didnt like to play live, partially because it sounded terrible. Youve done quite a bit of touring in the last 10 years, so does that mean things have improved to meet your standards?

Becker: We didnt like to play live for $3,500 a night, but we love to play live for $400,000 a night, and I dont care who knows it.


Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 12:14:44 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

I think it's safe to assume that Fagen makes the majority of his money these days from touring. He's no idiot and he's not going to work for free, but I would bet his cut from the last few records is far outweighed by touring. As WB said in an interview (paraphrasing; some zeros may be out of place) "We didn't like playing for $3000 a night (in the 70s) but we love playing for 300,000 a night."

They can certainly tour more comfortably now than back in the 70s, but being on the road for months at a time is still no picknick. For guys their age, as accomplished as they are, with no new material to promote, to be touring as much as they do ... there's a financial reason, no doubt.


I saw Wayne Krantz, Keith Carlock, and Nate Wood play in Somerville last night. It was an absolutely mindblowing experience. Go see them on this tour if you have the chance. Some of the most ferocious live music I've ever experienced ...

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 11:59:49 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer, grooveseential facts

1. No doubt he and we enjoy his art, but DF needs/wants money. As he nears eligibility for Social Security, he has wisely been working harder than he ever has been while he still has the strength, touring furiously etc. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, DF richly deserves the fruits of free enterprise and hard work at his age, it is the American Way.

2. Warner Bros. needs/wants money. Not necessarily Warner (don't know) but many major record labels are on the ropes, and do not have the best track record for being generous to and developing artists. Many of them are in a dire financial position, (probably not so with DF) of keeping their nostrils above the red ink.

Radiohead GAVE away a critically acclaimed album "In Rainbows", which is a true example of doing it for art's sake. Obviously they are not on the corner with a tin cup. As a corollary, DF could give free concerts in Wal Mart parking lots and give away Sunken Condos as a download, just because he is really is into and wants to share his art and that he is probably richer than Radiohead. This does not, and will not happen. If you don't believe this, see 1. and 2. above.

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 11:47:24 ET
Posted by: KMITB, Mt. Belzoni

Didn't know opinions are wrong "Its"

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 11:07:19 ET
Posted by: BBjeebies, UK

The run-out of Don's new track keeps making me think of B.B King (and the Crusaders) album 'Midnight Believer' from the late 70's. It's the groove, the progression, the horns and the backing vocals. Anyone know that album?

Date: Fri, September 21, 2012, 10:18:42 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

I agree with Brain Strainer...deen you are wrong yet again

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 23:27:57 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

I think there is a disconnect here, Brain. You may not believe in "art for art's sake" (I'm not sure anyone made that particular claim) but the evidence is fairly convincing that Don works within his comfort zone artistically and doesn't pander. As KTIMB notes, Don makes his music for the love of music--and he has made a good living doing it. But do you see him on American Idol? Have you ever heard a Steely Dan song in a commercial?

I find the Sammmy Davis comparison particularly offensive. Sammy went through a horribly offensive stage where he was desperate to be "hip". I saw him on talk shows wearing big chains and attempting to act like a kid. It was repulsive, to tell the truth. It was also unbelievably affected and inauthentic. Real fugazi, man. :#) Plus, while there may be some similarities in the ages of the men, and the younger audience--the times have completely changed. The music of the 60's and 70's has changed the landscape of pop culture severely. I don't think your analogy holds water these days.

I don't think Don is hurting for money, given the royalties he still collects on the Dan collection. And I think he would be fairly happy making music in his own studio--and those of friends--and there would still be an audience for those recordings. I'm certainly not saying he never makes any compromises. And people do change and mature as they get older. But if he really was looking to become more relevant, or was concentrating on sales, why in the world would he be making music with harmonica solos (and sax solos) instead of guitar solos? He could easily jam more commercially acceptable instrumentation and composition into his music if he was looking for radio play. He could easily be pairing up with commercially relevant young artists instead of his contemporaries (the Dukes) or nearly unknown jazzbos (Mike L)---but he isn't doing that.

So where is your evidence that he is interested in finding a newer younger audience or that he is in this line of work to amass more money? I don't see it. Unlike the typical worthless pop artist, I don't think you will ever hear Don or Walt talk about "reinventing" themselves.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 21:10:43 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

INTSWY brings back the later Old Testament/Nightfly feel that has been missed by many, myself included, albeit with a newer novel style. There are still eight more cuts on SC to maybe bring on some Scam or CTE mojo.

To make an analogy, several pop icons from the 1940's to early 1950's made comebacks in the 1970s with catchy pop tunes, notably two guys by the names of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. (New York, New York and the Candyman). To today's younger listeners DF is in that same category chronologically as those guys were to most of us. So it is not beyond DF to do something similar, he has the proven chops as I said earlier. I also don't buy that he is "doing for the art" alone. He has to amass money for retirement like the rest of us, as well as keep his contract with Warner Bros. At least enough sales to pay for the plastics, cardboard, ink, clear vinyl and jewel cases.

@The Dean

Yes, A shortened, tweaked version of Security Joan had enough pop to have worked as a pretty strong "comeback" single for DF.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 20:25:43 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

jwmusic in Maryland,

I owe you a drink. So elequently put. I
think you so nicely just encapsulated how
many of us here feel about the new Fagen single.

Nicely done.

As for the added drums in "Countermoon"
Here is the Peter Erskin live "add".
But stick around for the end game between
Zingg, Becker & Fagen at the end of
"Tea House On The Tracks".

Easily my favorite live version of the
medley from the 1993 "Reunion?" Tour.


Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 20:17:35 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, land o' apps

Jazz - You speak my language!! Can't wait to see the end result. I will definitely be happy to link to it from my Dantrack mobile guide sites/app (which tracks retail-playing locales) since it's such a kindred project.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 19:27:42 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Dean - yeah it's hard to tell. With Donald's style and penchant for mangling consonants, I try to go with the nasally vowel sounds. I hear what sounds like an long "e" with a long"i" inflection as in "thIngs"...but could be very well wrong - I'm used to it.

Love the way the instruments interact, particularly as mentioned in the outtro...like TvN with the multiple voice thing...just Much looser with a very jazzy call and response that reminds me of Dixieland a bit.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 19:09:23 ET
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Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 19:07:21 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Still Drinkin'

KMITB said, "I agree with The Dean.". Better watch that kinda talk. It's likely to get you locked up.

Vlad: Insightful as always.

Doc: I can hear "futurescape of brighter things" or "bright arcades" depending on what I want to hear. I'll have to put the cans on later. Both make sense, in a way.

Jazz: Great project. But I'm thinking you have far too much time on your hands. Maybe you should drink more. :#)

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 18:56:39 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the "good" hotel, Haiti

I should add to my last post that this project, even if it's really not that big, will probably take a few weeks or even a month +. I will not work continuously on it, but rather make a few mods now and then in my spare time until finished. But I will surely come back with a link to the project sooner or later.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 18:30:47 ET
Posted by: Fagenette, Briteton UK

Love it, Jazz. Can't wait to see it.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 18:04:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Any World Travel Agency

I've found a new Dangential little hobby project.

I guess many of you have Google Earth installed on your computers; this wonderful digital globus that allows you to virtually travel around the planet and zoom in to explore detailed views with topographic representations, 3D buildings, often with photographic textures and the even more detailed StreetView mode made from millions of "drive-by photo shooting" images creating a fairly seamless travel-by-car experience in cities and other urban environments.

What I do is I try to find all genuine place names mentioned in Dan/Don/Walt lyrics, and add words/comments and symbols that, when I zoom to the proper level, presents lyrics quotes from the SD songs, or comments on situations from them.
An example would be Bard College, Annandale, where I've added the words "My Old School" and a little police officer on the campus.
The plan is to get every possible SD place that I can find in Google Earth represented in the program, which will give an amusing effect when I play with it. I will also add stuff to other places that's important in the band's history. Wouldn't surprise me if Chicago gets a bonus treatment too, e.g. something like "Home of the Blue".

When (if) finished, I will save my modifications to a file and upload it to a page where other fans can get it and load it into their own version of Google Earth.
If you're a bit geeky like myself, you can always do the same thing independent of my version of the world according to the Dan, of course. It's good fun on a rainy day! ;o)

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 17:52:45 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, Vladivostock

Vladimir says that Sunken Condoms will be makes our wildest dreams come true. Vladimir lets deep musics people see the details, but I'm Not the Same Without You it is good sounds. Good sounds.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 17:10:27 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

JW - well-described. I don't ever think I've ever heard Dona;d pull off (with ML's assistance) more deceptively simple sounding, complex arrangements and tight harmonies so EFFORTLESSLY - at least that's the way it sounds. It's a Triumph...and if the SINGLE (often the weaker recording) sounds this good, we're in for a treat indeed.

FWIW I think it's "..a futurescape of brighter things in which I bring off heroic escapades."

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 16:47:04 ET
Posted by: KMITB, Mt. Belzoni

I agree with The Dean. He makes music for the art...for the love of music. It shows with the perfectionism he and Walter have shown throughout four decades. I'm not sure that picking the "right" single will lure in anymore people. Remember...the buying public landscape has changed. No longer do people listen to the radio and get hooked on a song to buy the album. Often times...its listening to 30 second samples on Amazon to determine if it's worth a purchase....OR....selecting individual songs and not buy the whole album. And really...this stuff is for people who know him and what he does. I don't think hooking in teenagers is what they are thinking about!!!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 16:32:19 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!


Not to pick apart your last post--hell we all have our opinions. But I thought I'd chime in with a couple of comments.

First of all, I don't believe Don picks the single. I recall him saying in the past that record execs pick the single. Also, based on my limited stint consulting to the labels, the labels picked the single--not the artists, in all the cases I knew of. But since I have a relatively small sample, I can't say that is always the case. As I have only heard this one song from SC, I can't say if it was the best choice for a single. But I always thought Security Joan would have made the best single from Morph. But I'm not the best guide as I am not a singles-driven listener.

Secondly, I don't think Donald thinks in terms of sales when he creates his art. He (and Walter) have said as much themselves. The idea of what "the market" wants is probably pretty foreign to his sensibilities. Thank God for that!

Finally, and this is totally a guess, but I don't think Don gives a rat's ass about club mixes and such. I wouldn't be surprised if they annoyed him, actually. I know they annoy the shit out of me.

Don and Walt have always insisted they make music for themselves and hope there is an audience for it. That's one of the biggest things that sets them apart from the vast majority of others in the field.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 16:13:36 ET
Posted by: jwmusic, Maryland

I've been listening to "I'm Not The Same Without You" after burning it to a CD via Itunes. I think the track is the work of a master: the chord progression at the bridge, the supremely tuned backing vocals, the razor-sharp guitar work (I assume its Jon Herrington),
Fagen's great vocal delivery (Donald Fagen's singing is one of the most orginal, I'll say iconic sounds in the history of American popular music), the "harmonica patch" performances(another signature Fagen sound), the horn arrangement, the way the horns and harmonica SWING through the outro choruses! - I'm very surprised to read some of the critical posts on this particular website; I can't wait to hear the rest of SUNKEN CONDOS. I grew up during what I believe was the greatest period of pop recrodings, the 1970's. Today, in 2012, this music is truly TREASURE.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 16:05:33 ET
Posted by: SDV, up the neck

yeah i saw that, thanks... a b5 (or #11) works but i just don't hear it in the actual tune. i definitely hear the 6 (or 13). the more i hear this song the more i dig it, and figuring out the chords always gives me a deeper appreciation of the Donald's work. i want more!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 16:02:43 ET
Posted by: Howard, @home

Thanks for the feedback on the INTSWY chords.

SD6string - that shape works pretty well. I was trying to find a voicing with the 13th that keeps "the stack of 3rds", which would mean something like 13 x 13 12 12 10 but I don't have enough fingers for that one! Your shape is about the best option with the 13th on top.

That chorus line - guess we need to wait to see the lyric sheet, but I definitely hear a hard "k" sound, so "brighter days" doesn't work for me but "bright arcades" seems to fit.

Anyhow, I must have listened to the track about 40 times or so and it's still sounding great, can't wait for the album.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 15:24:24 ET
Posted by: SD6string, Toronto

@ Shark DeVille

I posted my suggestion for that F13#11 chord on guitar as:

X 8 9 8 8 10

It puts the 13 on top with the piano and vocal line, and still incorporates the #11 (or b5). See if it works for you.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 14:02:01 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, futurescape

really lovin' the new tune. not hearing much similarity to anything Don has done before... it's pretty refreshing. definitely hearing the nod to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" as Donald mentioned and a funky disco vibe in general. I'm also loving the sharkster graphic for the single release!

great chart, Howard. I transcribed it too and have to admit some of your chord choices sound better than mine. I'm not hearing that F9b5 in the chorus though... I'm going with F13.

I'm also not hearing "bright arcades" ...sounds like brighter things or brighter days to me.

can't wait to hear the rest of this sucker!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 13:50:37 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, FYI

Spotify URL for INTSWA if you use Spotify streaming service:


Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 13:22:34 ET
Posted by: listen closer,

subtle guitar fill at 1:38 - gold.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 12:51:43 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

INTSWY definitely has many of the infectious signature Steely pop elements, but there are TOO many. The song jumps around with numerous movements and hooks that throw you off a basic groove. It is like too much of a pastiche, busy. Like if you made a highlight reel of snippets of the Greatest Hits. It also sounds rushed, as if to cram in all of the catchy Steely hooks.

If you like the Dan, you will generally like the song. DF could have probably broken INTSWY into several decent pop songs by capitalizing on several of the infectious hooks. In the hands of a modern DJ such as Kaskade, David Guetta or Armand Van Buuren, you could take that outro, and loop in every 16 bars or so the female vocals "I'm Not the Same Without You", for example, and formulate a pretty cool club or extended mix. INTSWY would probably get more attention and buzz in today's market, which is a far different, not necessarily better landscape. Maybe this is in the works?

Using the big DF/Dan highest sellers as a guide, you will notice that on such songs as IGY, New Frontier, Josie, Hey19, and especially Deacon Blues, they went with an infectious groove, and a few key movements.

In putting out a consistently grooved INTSWY the song might have wider appeal, and maybe in its current form it does (who knows?). It wouldn't be like DF is whoring himself out for sales. On the other hand many of the great, classic artists have not, or do not put out promotional singles, only the album. Today's market, though, generally wants singles (songs) as opposed to albums.

But this promotional single, which is the intended purpose, to increase visibility and popularity, a consistent groove, with maybe two hooks or bridges is "What You Do".

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 12:41:58 ET
Posted by: listen closer,


The sforzandos in the beginning. How often does that happen in pop? He could've just written straight notes, or even crescendos.

The chords sounds great.

Listen to the guitar during the verses, it fills in the space in a very subtle but nice manner every so often (beyond the comping/noodling it is doing the rest of the town).

Listen to Fagen's vocal articulation and inflections. There are subtle stylings all over the place.

The layering of the keys, horns, and harmonica.

The placement of key chords, little embellishments hear and there.

The form and chords.

It's all delectable.

It's not the most mind-blowing thing he's written, for sure, but it's still excellent.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 11:51:52 ET
Posted by: RFRF, US

For me, what's missing with everything from EMG on, including this latest single, is that it's not greater than the sum of its parts. Don always had a way of getting music into places where most pop music just had voids. I don't find myself admiring any great care put into this or that part of the song. When tVn came out, there was a thread on the SD newsgroup about the album's "golden moments"; little nuances that you appreciated. There were many. Those have disappeared with reduced recording budgets. This material is merely competent.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 10:51:25 ET
Posted by: FYI,

Lincoln Schleifer was in the band 'Curious George' with Drew Zingg and Jeff Young which was Fagen's first backing band when he started playing out again in the late 80's/early 90's. Curious George then changed their name to 'Jeff Young & The Youngsters' for the NY Rock & Soul Revue live at the Beacon CD.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 10:43:50 ET
Posted by: Technicolor Motorhome, SE USofA

Just heard "I'm Not The Same Without You" for the first time. Reminds me of some Gaucho tracks a bit. The drum mix is a bit light, kind of like Kamakiriad stuff.

Did anybody ever answer whether they think there will be any DF gigs in support of the new album?

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 10:26:29 ET
Posted by: Nevelle C.,

DF sounds so funny/dopey when he sings the line: "For a really LONG (almosy sounds like "Laaach") time now".

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 10:02:35 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

I do like INTSWY mainly because sonically it is in the Post Royal Scam derivation chain of Glamour Profession, then Greenflower etc., which are personal favourites. I also like the replacement of some guitar parts on Greenflower St. with the sax. And i especially like DF (Leonart?) tacking on the sax solos for the extended outro. It is Greenflower St., more enriched, featuring a "horny", and I do believe a LEONHART imprimatur.

From a marketing/sales standpoint, INTSWY aa a "lead" single however, does not appear to have the "pop" necessary for this album to take off and to sell seats at the venues, which is the primary intent of releasing "singles" to begin with. You have to go back to Tomorrow's Girls some 20 years ago for DF to display that kind of needed pop. Recently, though DF possibly could have worked with a slick producer and doctored up Brite Nightgown, a song with lots of OOMPH! for promotion instead of releasing H-Gang and What I Do as singles.

DF, no doubt, still makes, clever, superior quality music. Nearly the entirety of SC still remains to be seen and heard, and it is possible that DF still has it in him to deliver the kind of POP that's needed for a promotional single. At this point, though, it will be not very surprising if the only times people will hear INTSWY other than on their personal sound-producing equipment would be in an elevator, a medical office or in the produce aisle.

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 09:41:18 ET
Posted by: KMITB, Mt. Belzoni

Warner Brothers has put up a copy of Fagen's new tune...sounds much better...


Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 09:00:04 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, randomville

Speaking of the Facebook page of drummer Gavin Harrison & his post of INTSWY - check the comments, it's funny that some surmise that the "drummer" must be Keith Carlock, and a few more compliment the drum sound!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 07:15:03 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

Although I really enjoy the new song, after many repeated listenings I have to admit it is not that spectacular after all. "I'm Not The Same Without You" doesn't bring any new elements to the Donald Fagen/Steely Dan idiom. It sounds like an outtake of the "The Nightfly" album, an album that was recorded over 30 yeas ago.

Which could be seen as a good thing perhaps, as it means his style and songwriting are still there. It is just that I was hoping for some new angles, especially now that he is working with a different producer. Something with bit more of an edge maybe?

In the recent interview with Michael Leonhart it was mentioned though that there are 3 new songs that bring new elements to the DF sound, so there might be a few more surprising tracks on the album.

After all this "complaining" I would like to add that I still take songs like "I'm Not The Same Without You" over 99% of music that is released these days! If the whole new album was in the same vein as this tune I would still be a happy man, there would plenty of stuff to enjoy.

What I do really like about "I'm Not The Same Without You" is the vocal delivery, his voice is really on point. It sounds even hoarser than normal, and the vocals seems to have a bit more energy and bite than usual. Donald sounds really vital, he even gives us a bit of vibrato here and there!

I love the bit at 01.31 minute where he sings:

"I can hold my breath for a really long time now
I can hold my own
Im not the same without you"

I now regard this first single as a reintroduction to Donald's signature sound, a nod to his most successful album "The Nightfly". A way of saying "hey people, I am still here making enjoyable music that is comparable to my heyday stuff", perhaps gaining back some old fans that lost track of DF/SD since 1981.

I am still hopeful there will also be more leftfield material on "Sunken Condos". Can't wait until the 16th of October to hear the other tracks!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 06:50:39 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa

"I'm Not the Same Without You" is one of those songs that just gets better with each listen.
It sounds like it would have fit in comfortably on "The Nightfly" album.
Can't wait to hear the rest of "SC".
Donald brings an essential element that today's music has
forgotten to include..."melody".
I guess at 48, I've already graduated to "old fart" status.
Complaining about the music of these youngins !!!

Date: Thurs, September 20, 2012, 05:32:37 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, holding my breath

Yes, that's drummer Gavin Harrison. He obviously likes this funky gem even if the drums are puzzled together by a nasty trumpeter ... :D

As if I hadn't already said enough here about my enthusiasm for this song, I will say it one more time:
This is so obsessive it threatens to ruin my life soon. I spend way too much time listening to this song these days.

It's an old trick often performed by hit record producers to make the songs just a little too short and leave the listener hungry. Fade it out just as the intensity is at it's peak. That this song is actually four and a half minute long is hard to accept when it's over. All you can do is put it on again. Play it again, Don!
It's such a joy to find that a man in his mid-sixties with such a glorious musical past and iconic status delivers one of his most obsessive, haunting pieces of art ever after all these years! It's just outstanding, and I can't get enough. I don't think I'll survive the album if it's anywhere close to this good. I suspect it is. Goodbye and thanks for all my friends. At least I will die as a very happy man!

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 23:47:51 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Just listened to INTSWY on youtube. As has been mentioned it is MUCH better than the one supplied by Rolling Stone. Thanks for posting this.

The funny thing is, read the comments. At least two people say they found the video from a post on Gavin Harrison's facebook page. That is DRUMMER Gavin Harrison. Is that ironic, or is that simply what happened?

Finally I noticed the account that posted this video has only posted one other video: Paging Audrey.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 23:15:25 ET
Posted by: sharky, sunky

howard - you are the king figuring out them screwy chords

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 23:12:30 ET
Posted by: shark boy, sunkville

new version sounds 100 times better. shame on RS

i still would like to hear the crashes better.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 22:53:35 ET
Posted by: Klaus&theRooster, Down at the Lido

I was interested to see the comments on "Countermoon", the only version I knew for 20 years was the original CD pressing version that I got on my CD in 1993 (and ripped into itunes, etc.) until I recently got the remastered Nightfly Trilogy. Countermoon is markedly different as are a few other tracks on kamakiriad i think, the vocals are definitely louder in the mix. Also, the intro to "Green Flower Street" is longer than my CD version. The remasters were so essential for Nightfly and Kama, the CD pressings have no depth, no low end, no dynamics, it was really amazing to hear them remastered for the first time. I also recommend getting the royal scam and pretzel logic reissues from itunes if all you know is the original CD version, they're much crisper. The Steve Hoffman Katy Lied remaster is far superior as well but you might have to do some finagling to find it.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 22:38:16 ET
Posted by: SD6string, Toronto

Howard - Nice work on the changes for "I'm Not The Same Without You". Thanks for posting!

In your notes, you mention the F9b5(no 3rd) chord that omits the 13th in the piano voicing because it doesn't fit nicely on the guitar.
I was creating a chart of my own for this song yesterday, and I had that chord as an F13#11 for which I came up with this voicing:

X 8 9 8 8 10

It puts the 13 on top and drops the #11 (or b5) to the D string. It also leads pretty easily to the E7sus4 chord that follows.

Let me know what you think...

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 20:32:19 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Dean - I agree mostly. I think the 2nd E2E album, when it works is more organic the first and the harmonies when they are on are much clean. But man, there are some awful songs. Jabberwokky, Something Good are truly cringeworthy

On the other hand, the title track is excellent, Lucky is pretty good, and TWA Sari hits a great groove and then in the chorus "new land, hope and dreams" tight harmonies are like buttah - very 40s sounding. Mermaid man is kinda awful, but has some killer harmonies again. Falling for a Funny One - awful lyrics, nice production

The first album has more angst/jaded mindset but the synth stuff is, yeah, really dated. It's all Gary Katz produced of course but More Hopeless Knowledge and a number of similar sounding tracks has the weary Dan/Becker attitude...cigarette drooping, Jim Beam guzzling post modern stuff...

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 19:23:22 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Still Drinkin'

You are correct on all points, Jassassin. I was a bit hasty in composing my post as this is prime drinking time for me. What I was getting at is, I really like the instrumentation in this song: the intro and pretty much all of it--except for the vocal portion (and not because the singing is bad--it's just a terrible and hokey song).

While I really like the first album, and much of the 2nd, the music sounds a bit dated to me--unlike that of The Dan. Still good stuff, don't get me wrong--but not timeless.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 18:57:01 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, clarification


I hate to sound pedantic, especially towards you who has always appeared to me as one of the nicest and most polite, reasonable and knowledgeable posters ever.

But your reply to KMITB's post about E2E's "Jabberwokky" needs a little correction. It's not at the intro to Jabberwokky that the similarity to INTSWY occurs. It's, as KMITB said, 59 seconds into the song that it in a way resembles the intro to INTSWY.
I'm sure it was just a typo anyway. :o)

Apart from that, I totally agree the first, self titled E2E album is their best one. The cover alone is a piece of art too, and could probably have been the cover of a SD record never made.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 17:52:03 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Love E2E--the first album mostly but also a bit of the second. And the intro to Jabberwocky is nice and relevant, I think. But man is that a horrible song once the singing starts--and I'm a big Deborah Berg fan, too.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 17:51:01 ET
Posted by: Facts, R

Harlan Post Jr. was the name Fagen used in his "Memory Man" video appearance. Also has a credit on Morph for string bass I believe.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 17:44:22 ET
Posted by: ready freddie,

Sure sounds like Freddie Washington on "Not the same..." Really great how the bass and drums work as a single entity.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 17:42:43 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, again

Ah, KMITB! I see you already put that one up! I was too involved to be able to read properly!

Nice comparision to E2E btw. Absolutely relevant!

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 17:40:02 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, tubalicious

A version with higher resolution/ better sound than the RollingStone Mag stream version is up on Youtube.



Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 16:42:58 ET
Posted by: KMITB, Mt. Belzoni

I'm back lurking on this board as the new Fagen album gets closer to release...and I am glad to be back around.

I remember a few years back a discussion came up about various songs Fagen played on for other artists. One song in particular caught my eye and I decided to look it up...Jabberwokky by Eye to Eye.

I have loved that song every since my ears first consumed it...and now it has come back in Fagen's new song. Some may think I'm a little crazy, but the opening chords to INTSWY are very similar to the chorus to the Eye to Eye tune. Take a listen and decide for yourself...but I can hear it.

Eye to Eye - Jabberwokky
59 seconds in.

Donald Fagen - I'm Not the Same Without You

As for basically everyone here...can't wait until the 16th of October!!!


Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 16:25:32 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, SubAqua

Howard, great job. Very readable changes and detailed enough to get the right sound without getting too technical. Clarity requires some skills!

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 15:35:21 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, @Howard Wright

Hi Howard,
Thanks a lot for the brilliant work you've always done with your transcriptions. Your site has always been a fine resource. It's been bookmarked in the SD section of my browser's BM bar for years.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 15:31:30 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

"A futurescape of bright arcades in which I bring off heroic escapades"

Bright arcades? I think you just might be right on that, Howard. Now that you have provided that, that is what I now hear.


Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 15:22:32 ET
Posted by: Howard, guitar chord book in hand

For all those interested, I've put up my guitar transcription of Donald's wonderful new track "I'm Not The Same Without You". Great fun to play along with this one.



Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 15:15:08 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, in the trap


Harlan Post is probably the step brother of drummer Chip McSticks who played on Al Jarreau's 1984 album "High Crime", then? ;o)

Lincoln Schleifer used to play with Warren Haynes, btw.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 14:56:25 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

99% sure "Harlan Post" was a name Fagen made up. I have a recording of a solo show where he says he wanted to change Walt Wieskopf's name to Harlan Post, Jr.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 14:41:50 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, in a hurry

I guess Warner's has a new audio format coming...and of course their catalog includes all four solo Fagen albums, AiA, 2vN, EMG and probably 11ToW. But will they come out in Pono? ( I keep reading as "Porno.")

New Neil Young interview at the NYTimes:

"and Pono, a proprietary digital musical system that can play full master recordings and will, he hopes, restore some of the denuded sonic quality to modern music."

and later

"Young gets most worked up when he talks about Pono, the music system he has developed. It is beyond the hobby stage: Warner Brothers has agreed to make its catalog available on Pono, and Young and Roberts are negotiating with other record companies and investors.

We walked out of the train barn past a Hummer that runs on biodiesel and hopped in yet another car, a 78 El Dorado, to listen to the Pono system. Right now, it needs a trunk full of gear, but Young and Roberts are working with a British manufacturer to come up with a portable version. He gave a demonstration that replicated MP3s, CDs, Blu-ray and then the full Pono sound.

'You are getting less than 5 percent of the original recording,' he said at first. He put on Aretha Franklins 'Respect' and then switched to Pono. The horns jumped and the car was filled with lush, liquid sound. He madly toggled between different outputs to make sure I was getting it."

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 14:32:10 ET
Posted by: PGE, ooops! Dropped half the article quote

Add this to my previous post:

Mojo clip continued re: the demos -

"Becker remains philosophical about the situation. "It's embarrassing, but if people are that interested in it, I guess it's OK," he says. "My son got hold of it, and he liked it better than any of the Steely Dan records! 'Dad, I love that song Android Warehouse!' I thought, Holy shit, what does he think this is?" Despite this welter of activity, though, the duo were making little headway in the songwriting business, and welcomed the offer of a paying gig as pianist and bass-player for Jay And The Americans, despite the anachronistic nature of music."

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 14:29:08 ET
Posted by: PGE, old vs new

@hoops: So I take it then that the 20 year old script that run the Blue is, in some way, the equivalent of a live drummer on a Steely Dan recording? :)

@fagenism: Those old and often released demos are - correct me if I'm wrong - legally fine but moraly questionable. I don't know if Kenny Vance is the man who own(ed)/decided to release the demos. He was at any rate the guy that recorded them.
Bottom line is that Donald and Walter are less than thrilled to see those demos from way back appear as Steely Dan recordings.

Cue a quote from an article in Mojo magazine:
"Kenny Vance, the man from JATA, became one of the duo's first managerial suitors, and promptly had them record some rough demos of their songs, which subsequently appeared under variety of titles like Berry Town (sic) and Sun Mountain. They also recorded a soundtrack for a low-budget movie a friend of his was making, called You've Got To Walk It Like You Talk It Or You'll Lose That Beat - the album of which, likewise, also magically appeared, prominently bearing their names, once Steely Dan became a bankable prospect."


Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 14:02:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, death by funk overload

Doc Mu,
Are we 100% sure that's Ready Freddie on bass? Two more el.bass players are credited on SC (Harlan Post, Lincoln Schleifer) according to Michael L. in the AMA interview. Not that I doubt it, just wondering if it's officially confirmed.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 13:48:54 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

It's the way the "hyper-real" drums mesh with that magnificent pulsating bass by Freddie Washington. This thing vibrates like the 7-dimension dancing waves/strings that make up upon sub-atomic particles and the multiverse.

Suddenly, Fagen is hip and relevant again. This is now a force of nature...

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 13:34:24 ET
Posted by: fagenism, -

Why are all the early Becker/Fagen demos on sale via the iTunes store? Sun Mountain, Come Back Baby, Visual Thinking et cetera, all credited to "Donald Fagen & Walter Becker"? Surely these must be bootlegs?

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 13:08:06 ET
Posted by: Jives, Glasgow

Yes indeed SS...the drum vibe is Ed Green and I Got The News.

Good spot.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 13:00:25 ET

Hoops, of couse I am jesting, you are Da Man!

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 11:15:54 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

DYLANFAN: Surely you're jesting; I'm the king of typos...it's from being an artist ;-) . As long as the screen looks aesthetically pleasing--nice fonts, symmetry, etc. I'll click OK and forget to check the spelling.

More seriously, my PCs, smartphones, and Macs have spell checking built-in and all my posts have spell checks, although I sometimes overlook them--see above. ("The red underline of a misspelled word gives color to my post.")

Finally since it's a perennial question for all: yes, this is forum based on a 20-year old script. Yes, I run other forums on other subjects that are much, much, much more modern and sophisticaed and a lot less of hassle. Why do we keep it? It's functionality actually encourages a certain internet culture that can't be had with the more technically advanced forums. Go fig.

Best wishes and lots of pleasure to you all.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 10:32:36 ET

How about spell check HOOPS??? Supposed to be "overtoke"

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 10:30:55 ET

JungleMusic, I believe the lyric in question refers to taking a
bong hit. This is also often referred to as an overtoak. "ALLEDGEDLY"

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 08:27:42 ET
Posted by: Lem, J

re: The Countermoon tweaks


At 1:25 and 1:26 there are a couple of (forgive any incorrect terminology) "double snare hits." Those were missing in the original pressings. There's a few other fills added, but those are the most obvious.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 07:59:40 ET
Posted by: Howard, .

The new track also reminds me quite a bit of Kulee Baba, probably the drums and the general, lively bounce of the track.

Before long I hope to have the chord changes available from a website near you...

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 06:37:28 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, paperboy

Good observation of the similarities between the drums on I Got The News and I'm Not The Same Without You. I totally agree.

Earl Cooke Jr. II,
I'm glad we didn't have to perform first aid procedures, and that you found relief in the way the drums sound on the new single.
Also, I'm glad you took my silly post with a grain or two of salt. It was of course meant more than a little tongue-in-cheek. ;o)

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 04:58:41 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

After two or three listens to the new track, the drums are reminding me of the way Ed Greene played on I Got the News.

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 03:29:00 ET
Posted by: The Wicked Librarian, Left Coast

Rebelin' in the Years played by Paul Schaffer's band on Letterman tonight with President Obama on the show.

Way, way cool as far as I'm concerned!

Date: Wed, September 19, 2012, 02:50:25 ET
Posted by: Fagenette, Brighton, UK

I'm getting my copy from an indie in my old home town. I've supported it for years and they've managed to stay afloat by moving into a bigger shop and making a coffee shop in the back which is very popular with the local mummy contingent. The coffee isn't cheap and neither are the cakes so you can see how he pays the rent. The record section always seems to have browsers and someone chatting away with the owner but don't see many purchases taking place to be honest.

However, he's going to let me have SC as early as the 12th, so there certainly will be a purchase taking place on that day!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 23:03:11 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Twenty years ago when Kamakiriad came out there were three inde record stores on the retail strip near the university where I worked. There were a few more nearby. I went to the midnight sales for Kama, 11TOW and AiA.

Today, all those stores are gone and the only places to buy CDs in town are Walmart, Kmart, Target, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, at the big box strip 30 minutes away from the campus. God: I miss Tower Records!

Now I live back in Chicago. We do have one inde nearby. I've shopped it since the early 1970s. It's in trouble. There's maybe 25% of the customers they used to have; half of their stock is South American versions of the usual U.S. releases--new Lady Gaga, Eagles, Rolling Stones etc--the gist is that somehow they save money that way. And they only stock what they know will sell--few rarities like they used to have, save for some bootlegs which they appear to duplicate themselves. But they will special order. That means, I could do that on Amazon and get delivery to my door.

Nevertheless, I do try to buy from the inde. Their Steely Dan section of late has been a couple of copies each of Aja and 20th Century Masters compilation for $4.99 each. They used to have every SD title. A cool thing they do--no doubt to beat big box sales across the street--is put new releases out as soon as they arrive, often five or six days before the official Tuesday here in the USA.

Since the first of the year, I've mail-ordered LPs of The Nightfly and Leonard Cohen's new one, as well as a "flat" (12" x 12" cover reproduction) of Joe Jackson's new one. Cohen's LP included just the CD without a jewel case. Cohen's and JJ's came from their online store. They delivered in good condition, in a flat box, albeit at about 5 PM. JJ's came four days before official release date. The Nightfly 180 gram came from Amazon. They shipped it in a huge box, maybe 12" X 12" X 16" with tons of styrofam peanuts. It was on porch when I came home. Speaking of which, so was my Nightfly box set on the porch a few years ago. It had rained the whole day...I picked up the soaking wet box off my porch and it fell apart. Luckily, the box set was wrapped and the autographed extra box was slick and I could wipe it off. So if you have delivery and won't be home, maybe you want it sent to a FedEx/Kinkos or UPS Store.

So far, it seems like Amazon is least expensive for the LPs since they have free shipping over $25. Yet, if you order from DF.com, maybe you will get it early or at least for sure on the release day. Just my guess.

Anyhow, those are my ramblings on inde record stores and buying our next favorite release. Maybe something will help you.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 22:55:15 ET
Posted by: CJB, YVR

I'm a big supporter of the indie record shop that's about a half-mile walk from my day job. They can order anything in print in for me, offer me trade or cash for the CDs and vinyl I've outgrown, and have exposed me to way more interesting new music than .com's ceaselessly churning algorithms ever have. Plus, I enjoy seeing my $$$ stay in my community, instead of supporting Jeff Bezos' wack-ass plans for space travel, and minimum wage warehouse jobs for everyone further down the Amazon totem pole.

I like browsing for stuff in person -- books, music, DVDs -- and am willing to forgo a dollar here or there for that privilege. But, most of the time, the indie record shop is very close in price to Az, and I get to interact with real people who know my name and taste, and help build the local music scene where I live.

Anyone in Vancouver: Red Cat Records, totally worth your time and $. Find me there on the 16th, cash money in hand!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 22:50:17 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

Ben, I had the pleasure just yesterday of walking into a local shop and buying an album on the day of its release. That's in Hong Kong, mind you. I have friends in the place where I was brought up, Vancouver, who say they don't even know where to go anymore to buy a CD.

This shop in HK by the way had the entire Rolling Stones offering of SHM discs in the store, as well as the recently released Roxy Music career spanning box set.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 22:13:00 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Ben, as I posted last month, I have pre-ordered through my local record shop, as I always do. Can't necessarily call it a mom and pop shop, as I have never seen mom there. But the guy who owns it could be a "pop". Great service, terrific selection of used stuff--vinyl, CD, DVD. I may pay a couple of bucks more, but I trust him to have it on the day of release. If he lets me have it a day or two early, I won't tell.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 21:58:48 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, 10,000+ ft above Wisconsin

Ben, back when I still had access to mom & pop record stores, I only went to them... Sadly, where I live there is literally no such option, they've gone the way of dinosaurs...so f&*#ing Amazon it is...

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 21:36:09 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Ben, I plan on checking for the vinyl at a local place ... but I need iTunes to deliver it, guaranteed, on Oct 16 ... life is short, etc

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 20:22:25 ET
Posted by: Ben, Indy: Afloat Apartment

I know many in the DanDom are fans of these pre-order high-tech purchase options for The New One, and there's nothing wrong with that, but does anyone else dig going into a local Mom and Pop music store and paying an extra couple bucks for new music? Their customer service is worth it to me, and they usually bring out new stuff a day or two prior to the release date. Just trying to give props to the Little Guys and Gals still hangin' on out there somewhere!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 20:15:52 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer, Houston TX

@Doc Mu and others

Now presume that the TTIMTM narrator is a real scoundrel, a heartless no-good "you know what" (a true Enron type) and that the sex and talk are objectified, no more ranking in importance than the comfy Eames chair etc. and all else that that was taken away from him via divorce.

Changes the overall theme significantly?

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 20:09:54 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

oops - yes I did re: TIMTM. It's quite a juxtaposition.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 19:49:05 ET
Posted by: Earl Cooke Jr.,

No, Jazzassin, I'm one of those vocal skeptics and not experiencing any shock or melancholy.

ML did a fantastic job, the track is tasty and tight, like Wendel with HAL's personality from 2001: A Space Odyssey. None of the prior comments have been invalidated, it's just that ML and DF are pros and know how to enhance a recording to support the song. It's a relief, I will give you that much.

I more impressed by the keyboard blending, which we haven't really heard since Aja, maybe a bit on Gaucho.

Also, this is probably the first Fagen/Steely record using a Minimoog. I am personally very excited to hear how they worked it in. I always thought Moog was a better timbral fit with the Rhodes than the Arps, Prophets, Korgs and Yamahas that were used in the past.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 19:40:24 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

I didn't really mention TIMTM, but the sex, the talk come first... then he drifts off to the stuff. Remember, that character is some Enron or presaging later Goldman Sachs guy filming, whose divorce was probably preceded some soft porn post board room moments with Miss Fugazi...

Here, we're partying because the *** is gone...

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 19:19:40 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

@Dr. Mu or others

You quoted from Things I Miss the Most, making an analogy with INTSWY under the presumption of a broken hearted guy getting over it, making progress etc.

Now from the perspective that ff the narrator in Things I Miss the Most was otherwise happy about the breakup, but lost everything else in a divorce settlement, what sorts of things would he have "missed the most"?

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 18:27:48 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

It's a tribute to compensation and semi-delusion in getting through tough times...as opposed to the pathology in MTC

Howard - good to see you, and I concur with you lyrics of the second portion of the chorus. That and the chord progressions are some of the highlights of the song.

The vocal performance and sound are a tribute to the great mix. Very natural, nothing's forced, something like Larry Klein's mix of C$. There's a nice use of space between the vocals, horns, piano are outstanding. The piano and vocals are up in the mix as they should be. Nothing's too high or too low or saturating the sound.

Frankly, I vastly preferred Eliot Scheiner's stereo DVD-A mix of Kama and RvN over the unbalanced CD version. Kama sounds tinny and TvN like listening through cheesecloth. Carlock seems stressed on the first half of EMG. Things seemed more groovelicious on Morph, while this is the next step. The wild declarations that permeate INTSWY are arguably most apropos about the recording itself!

"I can hold me breath for a really long time now" is a great chuckle in a lighter way like "I'm trying meditation - so far so good...I'm building the Andrea Doria out of balsa wood..." There the protagonist has the home of the brave - Jim Beam and Black Daniels nearby! Here, just my bad*** self is enough.

I get the Diva survival thing and kind of imagine it as the song that Whitney Houston could have told Bobby Brown if she had headed out the door in 1993 and left that loser when she was on top of her game, rather than letting cocaine and booze slowly destroy her voice and life.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 18:09:04 ET
Posted by: Lem, J

In the chorus, right before "gotham shutters" and after "all beware."

Although I retired my original copy years ago when I found out about it, the fills still stick out to me.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 17:57:20 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, really, really, really on the quick

Lern--where does it happen...how many minutes and seconds in? Many thanks!


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 17:47:58 ET
Posted by: Lem, J

I have an early copy of Kamakiriad with the missing drum filles on Countermoon. I think it sounds better.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 17:20:24 ET
Posted by: Bluebook Brokenheart, Club

I recently went through a breakup - just, ahem, 2.5 weeks ago ... I didn't want it, she did. No blowups, no infidelities, just a loss of interest on her end. Loving this song right now ...

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 17:06:26 ET
Posted by: muzz, london town

Cool thanks very much. Looking forward to the new record. Hoping to see SD action this side of the pond at some point. Always worth the wait.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:59:38 ET
Posted by: J, Glasgow

Actually yes it was mentioned in Brian Sweet's book.It was after mastering and release he pulled it back in for tweaks to that track.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:57:07 ET
Posted by: Jives, Glasgow

Hoops i think you're correct it was Springtime not Countermoon.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:56:04 ET
Posted by: Jives, Glasgow

@ Muzz

Yes Muzz i recall that just prior to releasing Kama Fagen pulled the album back from mastering to lift elements of the track Countermoon.If i recall correctly itt was either the snare or hi-hat that wasn't as upfront in the mix as he thought.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:55:22 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

I heard the same thing about Kama...that apparently there was a second pressing a couple/few of weeks after it came out where a noise or a note was removed, I think from Springtime. I can't find that so I certainly wouldn't take this as accurate. Furthermore, I acquired some additional copies of the CD from the cut out bin and couldn't hear anything different. That said, Donald has one of the most amazing ears and I sure don't.

So to sum it up, I've heard that, can't say that I heard DONALD say that; nor could I hear a difference myself--I'm I've of no help! :-)


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:48:44 ET
Posted by: muzz, london town

Vague q about Kamikiriad...........

I remember reading somewhere long ago that DF had withdrawn early pressings as he was unhappy with the mix of a track or two. Anyone know anything about this?

I said it was vague ;)


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 16:24:06 ET
Posted by: Howard, @home

Wow, what a great track. Great vocals, great changes, great vibe.

I hear the chorus line as something like "bright arcades in which I bring off heroic escapades"


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 15:59:12 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, nurse


A handful of drummers and some sympathetic skeptics who used to hang around on this site for a long time until the end of last weekend seems to have mysteriously vanished in the air sometimes between sunday night and monday morning.
The disappearance is assumed to be connected to the release of Donald Fagen's new single "I'm Not The Same Without You", on which Steely Dan trumpeter Michael Leonhart has the main responsibility for the drum tracks.

If anyone encounters any of these drummers or sympathetic skeptics, please note that they are likely in a state of shock. Do not try to wake them up in an abrupt way. Please put them in a shock treatment position (feet up - head down) to ensure proper blood supply to the upper regions.
Then, put a good pair of headphones on them and play Steely Dan's "Aja" with Steve Gadd on drums on a moderate sound level.

When they eventually wake up from the coma, expect the victims to be hallucinating and rave about flesh and blood drummers, sampling, drum sequencing, nasty trumpeters and someone called Wendel.
This is symptomatic for the particular type of post-traumatic stress syndrom that has struck them, but it will gradually fade during the next few hours.

Occasional weeping and melancholy may occur. Common techniques of comforting, like a beer and a good joint, is recommended.
When the patients seems reasonably recovered and at least remember their own names and date of birth, please play "I'm Not The Same Without You" for them, and, in a calming voice, pat their back and tell them to "relax man, it's only Michael."
Should this procedure succeed and the drummers get fully recovered, please escort them back to the Bluebook.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 15:58:29 ET
Posted by: 123,

Agree Mu, buts Hoops seems to think I am naive.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 14:19:24 ET
Posted by: Jives, Glasgow

Great track,a real vibrancy therein.

My first thought was the narrator getting over grief (perhaps Fagen's mother?),he's feeling better and more alive because the pain is receding.

Then again it also sounds like someone getting into an amphetamine habit and it's mundane reality itself that is being forgotten.

Who can say?

Lovin' the tremendous fade out...slinky horn and harp lines immense.

Cant wait for the albbum.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 13:01:12 ET
Posted by: Colonel Hall, London

Sounds like it could have been from The Nightfly. Which is a good thing. D.F. says that the character evolves "into something a bit more than human at least in his own mind." A bit like that country song that goes something like "Every night I sleep like a baby. I wake up every hour and cry."

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 12:57:16 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Brain Strainer,

Interesting take. You seem more like an actual member of the community when you post normally. Good job.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 12:50:45 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, sitting duck

Re: Pronoun trouble

Bugs was always a prick!

Jazz carrots, anyone? (cough, cough)

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 12:40:45 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer, mother's little helper

@Funkaholic, Fagenette et. al. Well, WTF, all members...

RE: INTSWY lyrics

I'm going to give you another one.

Who says that the narrator is RECOVERING from a bad romance or drug addiction? Just for Funn, I say that the narrator is actually getting INTO drugs and alternative realities. Using that premise, analyse those INTSWY lyrics now....

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 11:51:53 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach


Ah yes, pronoun trouble!


My bad. But you interpreted correctly. The lyrics on The Blue seem to be much more accurate than at the cheesy lyrics site.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 11:05:43 ET
Posted by: Fagenette, Brighton, UK

Giving up drugs...hmmm, could be. The 'girl' could be Mary Jane and the holding my breath thing could fit in with that.

However, let us hear 'Good Stuff' before deciding that our narrator has really given up the wacky backy...

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 11:01:14 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

jazzassassin. Indeed, it's The Donald sounding more alive than ever. If Morph is wabout death. This is post-death. A resurrection - he's alive again. "something cooler than I was before" What he's preaching really describes the propulsive and snappy life not heard since The Nightfly and an off-song in the 80s.

I also really dig the last part of the chorus, the blues harp. The mix is right. Michael L let Donld be who he is.

FWIW, an early review of the single picks up on the rejeuvenation. If Morph was Donald's Soul Cages, this could be his Ten Summoner's tales...I know that's hyperbole, but you get what I mean.


The "I'm Not the Same Without You" track is one of the best songs Fagen has ever produced within the confines of the past three decades and even rivals some of his earlier Steely Dan collaboration work with Walter Becker and their rotating cast of bandmates throughout the 1970s. There is little if any sense of strain or struggle.

If all, or even most of the songs on Sunken Condos are as well composed and defined as this one, any true Dan fan should not find it disappointing at all.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 11:00:55 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Holding my breath

Great posts since the single dropped! Have we gone overboard in analyzing it and comparing it to older music from the artist?

Yes. Of cource. But it's just so much fun! And no-one gets hurt in the process.

Regarding the lyrics. What do you make of the phrase: "I can hold my breath for a really long time" ? Why does the narrator bring that up? Has is to do with the shark outfit on the single cover? Or has he quit smoking? Or is it an expression that is just unclear to a person who hasn't got english as a first language?

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:42:32 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Re: Lyrics trans


Thanks for the link to the Lyrics Premiere.
From what you write I feel a little confused about which you think is most accurate ("This site"? "Here"?), but must assume that you think our common efforts on the Blue is closer to the truth than the "Lyrics Premiere" version, to which I eventually agree. Especially the part that you came up with, the part about "bringing off heroic escapades" is all I can hear now that you pointed it out for me.
Never trust the www if it's not blue/greenish/cyan (or not that cyan after all). And maybe, but only maybe, not even if it is! ;o)

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:40:08 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

@ Brain Strainer: some very good points you've made there!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:37:28 ET
Posted by: SA,

Your English is bad? Hey, my social skills are bad. My apols to you, Toni. In fact, you may have my first born.

(He's a crack addict on Wall St..)

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:34:16 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Hi The Dean! I am in jest as well, just having some fun here! ;-)

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:21:47 ET
Posted by: Toni,

Never mind. You probably mistook me because of my bad english skills (it is not my native language) and after all this is still the internet which was build to blame people :). So again no problem. Now I am really begining to like it. Can anybody please tell me how big the difference between the low quallity rolling stones version and the probably higher quallity iTunes version is?

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:20:14 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer, relieving the Strain....


DF listed track by track on Morph what the songs were about. Check it out. Nevertheless, to be objective, it should be viewed with a grain or two of skepticism.

INTSWY would not be the first instance where SD, WB, and DF lyrics have been interpreted in multiple ways, and more specifically where emotional trauma or delusion have possibly been put forth interchangeably as a result of girl trouble or drug issues. It is the ingenuity with which these lyrics are written. The protagonists of Dr Wu and Lunch with Gina, for examples, appear on first take to be dude who's got it bad for Katy or Gina, who is being dissed, and going out of his mind.

Or is the dude a strung out junkie needing a fix in both examples?

So, the protagonist of the song INTSWY very well could be DF's explanation of emotional survival of a breakup and being on the mend; it could be about beating a drug addiction etc.

It could also be both, or NONE of the above.....

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:10:37 ET
Posted by: SA,

Nevermind. I see you love it, Toni. I take it all back. :-) except the part about giving it more time which you did.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 10:09:37 ET
Posted by: SA,

Toni says: "I hate it" and it should have never been released.

Just the opposite here. I hate you and you should have never born from your mother's womb! Go back!

Seriously, sorry you're missing out on the fun. Give it some time or at least take on the KKK and tell them to be nice.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 09:53:33 ET
Posted by: Toni,

O.k. One night of sleep has changed my attitude. Yesterday it was: I hate it. I am so disapointed and the chorus realy sucks, but I Iike the drums and the groove.
Today it is more like this: It is okay. However I still wish the chorus was not there. And the drums are not just good the are FANTASTIC!! How could we ever doubt that they are good? In my opinion they are some of the best drums ever. Lets see what tomorrow brings. I can not wait for the song to become available on iTunes in my country.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 09:49:20 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Funkaholic, it was I who suggested the drug interpretation--but it was in jest. I thought I made it clear that someone would eventually come up with that interpretation because someone comes up with that suggestion for EVERY Don/Walt/SD tune. As PGE notes Donald has given a pretty straight-forward interpretation for the song. Plus he specifically says "girl" presumably to the subject of the song. [Of course that does't mean Don isn't fucking with us here.]

fagenism, you are indeed on fire.

Jazzassin, great post. Of course you know Barn Stainer is simply playing "do you hear what I hear", but he seems to think he/she hears "the truth" or at least something at a deeper level than you, or me, or anyone apparently. Also there is real confusion about the difference between sonically similar and "derived from" in his posts. I have always contended that, if the posts were more collegial as less pedantic, they would have value. As you note, there has been plenty of discussion about what tunes have similar sonic traits. I'm pretty sure that is why almost nobody plays along any more.

Here's a take on the lyrics. I'm quite sure those quoted here are closer to accurate than what is on this site:


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 09:28:52 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

PGE said:

Donald is quoted over at rollingstone.com saying this about the song:

"'I'm Not the Same Without You' is a gloss on those anthemic tunes in which the singer tells a story about how she's going to make it through a recent breakup and bravely carry on. I say 'she' because I'm thinking of songs like Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' or 'These Boots Are Made for Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra," says Fagen. "In 'I'm Not the Same Without You,' the narrator not only survives but rapidly evolves into something a bit more than human at least in his own mind."

I've read that too, and that is a satisfying and even quite pleasing meaning of the song. But in the past Donald hasn't been very staightforward as to what the lyrics of his songs actually meant, now he is giving it away on the day of release!

Would Donald be willing to fess up a longterm cannabis habit? It might be a bit too personal to let the public know about in a direct way.

Anyway, I still believe the song is about drugs! ;-)

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 09:09:40 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Amen to that, Jazzassin! Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. I am experiencing similar notions/feelings here, although I haven't got as far as 50 listens yet.

I for one am glad I now have the mp3 version which is a lot better than the lofi RS stream. You can now actually hear the production, and I am not disappointed by the work of ML at all. The groove of bass and drum is tight, and the overall sound is solid. Can't wait to hear the other 8 tracks!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 08:59:57 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, rather impressed!

Re: Jon H. AMA interview


I know you personally as a very modest man, but I have to stress that regardless of how cheap you sell yourself you definately are THE KINGPIN these days!

Questions for Jon will come your way!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 08:45:30 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, a very tender prey

Much have been said here about the new single since we all got to hear a compressed preview for the first time just a few hours ago.
I think two subjects in particular has been focused in our minds during the virgin listening procedure:

The first is about the drums. After many weeks of speculations about how they will sound and work for the new songs, and worries about the said lack of "real/live/played" drums and a flesh & blood drummer to do it, I would guess I'm not the only one who immediately tuned in to drum listening mode to try to dissect what's going on and make immediate comparisions to previous Dan/Don stuff, both things we know were played by crack session drummers, things we know were 100% programmed and things we know were a bit of both.

The second subject is one that was not necessarily in our minds until we clicked that blessed "play-button" on the RollingStone page, but would fill us with associations and recogniton from the first bar the moment we did; what previous songs by Dan/Don does this resemble the most?
Many similarities to many fine songs has been mentioned, and frankly, I think all of it makes sense. A drum & bass groove here, a melodic line there, some horn riffs resembling this or that, piano parts reminding us of another favorite song, snappy guitar details in a style that's been a trademark since late '70s and so on ad absurdum.

As for the drumming, I for one find the rhythmical/groove aspects of "I'm Not The Same Without You" to be amongst the most compelling and obsessive in years from the Dan/Don camp. "Funky" is a huge understatment to describe what the drums and bass are doing (sorry, I'm not able to separate the drums from the bass when they're as tight as this, neither do I want to. It's most relevant to think of them as one two-headed monster). It's like a euphoric locomotive dragging the massive train of music behind itself with ease while almost levitating from the tracks, still kept cool and under perfect control in mysterious ways.
However much I may disagree with the Brain Strainer's premises that this or that song "is in fact the same as" another song, let's make a comparision to e.g. "Greenflower Street", since it was what the strainer suggested, and since it actually has some similarity to the new single in terms of generally uptempo groove and urgent sounding drums (thanks SS, for that accurate description).
The drums on GFS were played by legendary drummer icon Jeff Porcaro and processed by Fagen, Nichols and Scheiner. The drums on INTSWY are played & processed by "not-supposed-to-be-a-real-drummer" Michael Leonhart. Listen to the two songs a couple of times and ask yourself which has the funkiest, most attacking drum track. To my ears there's no doubt that INTSWY beats GFS by a mile in terms of funky drums. Yes, I know, GFS was never meant to have the exact same feel or funkiness in the first place, but still the sum of what's going on in GFS resembles the feeling of the drums being "ahead" in a way, without really rushing it. The hi-hat work is particulary similar in the two songs, but INTSWY feels more fully developed and explicitly funky. I challenge ANY drummer to try to come up with a funkier groove that also fits the song like a glove like Leonharts work does for INTSWY.

Ok, so what about the other subject? Is INTSWY really derived from this or that song? Does it sound more like GFS, The Nightfly, Century's End or any other song of your choice?
I'd say the best answer would be "Welcome to the musical world of Mr. Donald Fagen".
He has a very recognizable style. Some call it his comfort zone. Most comfortable zone I can imagine, that is! The new single is clearly not a revolutionary step away from anything he has done in the past. But would anyone really want it to be that? After all, his songwriting style and the way he constructs the arrangements is unique, and no one else does it like him. There would be a big hole to fill if he stopped making Fagen Music as we know it. All the different aspects of his music is one of a kind, and if he didn't make such music anymore, who else should do it? And what do people think he should do instead?
I very much appreciate that artists have their deeply personal style and musical voice in the big choir of pop music, and think it's much better that they gradually develop that style through their career towards more and more perfectionism, than that they constantly look for things that will appear to the audience as very new, different and surprising on a basic level.
Of course INTSWY reminds us of things he has done in the past. Of course he sounds unmistakably like himself. I can't understand why that's a problem, as long as he don't sound like a parody of himself and as long as the songs are not less original and sophisticated than they used to. In short, as long as he hasn't "lost it". When I buy a Fagen album I expect very recognizable Fagen music. I also expect a lot of developments on the detailed level without moving away from the signature elements. I don't want weeds in the flowerbed, I just want some new flowers of the same kind that fits in with the old ones and makes the bed bigger and even more excitng and glorious.
So far, this first preview of what we will get on the 16th of October is very promising I think. Insolently Fagenesque at first listen - it seemed to just effortlessly glide in with no resistance and left me wondering (like new Dan/Don stuff ALWAYS does for me) if I really hadn't heard this before? Then, after repeated listens, gradually revealing it's glorious details and unique flavor. Now, after appr. 50 listens, I only hear INTSWY, and the need to make comparisions to other songs of his has vanished completely. Now I only hear this beautiful new song with it's obsessive groove, insane big band type horn section details, a couple of harmonica solos probably made in heaven. Eventual similarities to other Fagen songs is no longer of any interest, I just note that they are there, and I'm grateful just to be welcomed in to Donald Fagen's Musical Garden of Eden once again, and happy to find he hasn't moved out since last.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 08:25:54 ET
Posted by: PGE, Donald about what the song's about

Donald is quoted over at rollingstone.com saying this about the song:

"'I'm Not the Same Without You' is a gloss on those anthemic tunes in which the singer tells a story about how she's going to make it through a recent breakup and bravely carry on. I say 'she' because I'm thinking of songs like Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' or 'These Boots Are Made for Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra," says Fagen. "In 'I'm Not the Same Without You,' the narrator not only survives but rapidly evolves into something a bit more than human at least in his own mind."

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 08:06:02 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Regardig the lyrics:

Someone had already suggested the song is about drugs. I think this is a very plausible explanation.

I can't imagine that Donald would still use harddrugs (don't know if he ever did?), but I could totally see him being dependent on cannabis. He is just the type of person that would be sensitive to developing a smoking habit, I feel.

It is known that (prolonged) use of cannabis can make u feel down, and/or non-energetic. There is quite a big chance that prolonged use will make you less ambitious, and your development as a person can come to a halt.

Before you jump on me: I am not saying this applies to ALL weed users, but in general this seems common (also from what I have seen in my own circle of friends).

Anyway, if you would quit the habit, and the veil of smoke is taken from your view, the world can seem a much brighter place, with new possibilities! The lyrics totally make sense to me in that way:

"Since you've been gone
An awesome change has come about
My life is different now
I'm not the same without you

I'm evolving
At a really astounding rate of speed
Into something way cooler
Than what I was before

I feel much stronger
Than I have in years
My mind is sharp
And my spirit's sound

Now people tell me
The shape of my face is changing
I've grown an inch taller since July
What in the world is going on

Please tell me ...


Without you
I now have eyes to see
Some other destiny
A futurescape of brighter days

I can hold my breath
for a really long time
I can hold my own
I'm not the same without you



Without you ...

Since you've been gone
It's like someone switched the stars back on
I can see into everybody's hearts
And everybody's dreams, girl

I don't need sleep anymore
But if I close my eyes
I'd sleep the sleep of the gods
I'm not the same without you"

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 07:42:05 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Thanks "POST" for the iTunes update, I was finally able to purchase the track now!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 06:58:38 ET
Posted by: Chris, Nh

Revised interpretation: the narrator ran into his ex during a manic episode, the lyrics are his response to her asking "how are things?" Maybe it's the guy from What A Shame before his first trip to rehab ...

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 06:45:46 ET
Posted by: Post, 1

Single now available on Itunes.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 06:03:18 ET
Posted by: fagenism, Bleecker Street

Ask Me Anything #2: Jon Herington.

With the positive response to Michael Leonhart's AMA, Jon Herington has agreed to do one too. This one will focus on Sunken Condos, his long Steely Dan career as well as his solo stuff - whatever you want. (For those not yet in the know - an AMA is a chance for devoted fans to ask deeper, less generic questions, not usually covered by the conventional media.)

Let's be as informal about this as last time around, if everyone is cool with that. Send your question(s) to thedawnkid@gmail.com with "Herington" in the subject. Popular questions will be high-priority, obviously.

And with that... Back to I'm not the same without you!

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 03:39:21 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

I'm Not the Same Without You - sounds great !

A little bit of everything in there, including some urgent sounding drums. Someone else already mentioned it but I don't think I recognize that kind of drumming anywhere else in the canon.

Funny chorus. For me it started off dull and I was momentarily despondent. But then it shifted and went into the richest part of the song

'changing the shape of my face'

As soon as I heard that line I thought of Paul Simon's Allergies:

'But my heart is allergic
To the women I love
And its changing the shape of my face'

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 03:18:46 ET
Posted by: Green Flower Street??!!,

Don't know what tune you previewed, but at least you managed to make the Strainer as relevant as the real-drum/fake-drum discussion.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 01:48:49 ET
Posted by: ,

add BNNY to the list.

Donald done got his groove back.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 01:42:30 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,


The follow-up to the Nightly. I'll be damned - thought it was a possibility before the funky talk. Title track from the Nightfly, Lazy Nina, Century's End, Love will Make it Right, True companion the blues synth harp, a variation of the Porcaro/Purdie shuffle. It's all here. It swings, it pulses. Kinda funky.

The resemblance with Funn relates to the chord progress which Fagen was owning up until he crashed with writer's block.

I think it's great! - kinda shocked at the griping, frankly. A 1000X better than H-Gang or particularly Blues Beach and Cousin Dupree where the lead singles were by far the weakest songs on the album. If that's the case here, we're in for a real treat.

The sounds is the most jazzy ensemble light, bouncy, ALIVE feel. almost like The Nightfly album played by a live band.

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 01:40:28 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

The latest Strainer basically asked which tune in the studio Fagen Trilogy would be the closest song that the new Sunken Condos lead single "I'm Not the Same Without You" sonically resembles.

There were a wide range of suggestions, owing to the rich catalogue of SD/DF music, very good listeners, and DF's tendency to incorporate snippets and various movements at various junctures in a song, which tends to create many different impressions/interpretations.

On the first listen, right at the intro "Glamour Profession" pops immediately into sonic focus, as was suggested by the posters Fagenism and Steve M. of Scotland. Glamour Profession would have been the correct answer if the question involved vintage Old Testament Dan, as well as Godwacker, an even better match to "I'm Not the Same" as an additional suggestion from Steve M. In fact, Godwacker was most likely derived from the tune in question for this Strainer, for which the key was to stay within the studio Fagen Trilogy. There are, however, strong vintage Old and New Testament elements used in "I'm Not the Same.." which may not be readily apparent to those who lust for "classic" Dan. They are there, but unfortunately they are derived from post Royal Scam Dan.

Post intro the song moves into a VERY familiar groove, not as lush as or "disco-y" Glamour, but a Godwacker-like vamp. Later, however, when elements of piano and the minor key, descending, female background vocals and later, HARMONICA (IGY) are folded in, it seemed clear that for the tune in question we were dealing with something very much in the "Nightfly" third the Trilogy, And many of the suggestions from multiple posters such as the Nightfly title track or elements therefrom, and Goodbye Look lend credence to selecting the tune in question.

The tune we were looking for is Green Flower Street which is most sonically similar and upon which "I'm Not the Same Without You" the second cut on Sunken Condos was probably based. Ironically, or intentionally, Green Flower Street is also the second cut from the Nightfly LP. First with the correct answer was Hoops of Chicago and is on the board with his first point in solving a Strainer. The all-time active leader is the poster "My Guess" with seven points.

But we are NOT done with "I'm Not the Same without You" just yet--- which the next Brain Strainer (1 point) or possible Brain Hemorrhager question (1.5 points) will also entail......

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 00:31:57 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

The latest edition of the Dandom Digest was just mailed a few minutes ago. This one covered from from September 15-17, 2012. (The previous Dandom Digest was dated September 1-14, 2012.)

If you are a subscriber, you should see it in your email box in the next couple of hours. If you don't receive it, check your spam filters first; then, if it's not there, please email me.

As I regularly remind subscribers, some people have problems with delivery of the Dandom Digest, usually because of their spam filters, firewalls, etc. That's why this sort of notice is posted here--so you can look for it.

The following are the subject headlines of the Dandom Digest for September 15-17, 2012.


- Preview New DF "single"
- New DF Single: "I'm Not The Same Without You"
- Unofficial Banner Ad to Promote Sunken Condos
- 9/18: "I'm Not The Same..."
- WoW! Sunken Condos LP & Softcover CD at DF.com
- Michael Leonhart Answers Fan Questions About Sunken Condos
- Unofficial Banner Ad to Promote Sunken Condos


If you are not currently a subscriber but would like to receive the free Dandom Digest email newsletter, please email me at hoops AT dandom DOT com or see http://www.dandom.com/dandomdigest.

For the record, the Dandom Digest is a newsletter with unofficial content written by and for the fans of Steely Dan. The newsletter is independent of, nor to be confused with, the glorious and much more glamorous official newsletters from steelydan.com, walterbecker.com, donaldfagen.com and other sites of Steely Dan associates.

Thanks for your support through the years, especially Pete and Shari, as well as Mr. & Mr.s Winterbottom, and remembering Mark and Bill, and not to mention one or two people who request anonymity.


Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 00:25:37 ET
Posted by: you talkin bout Frankie Beverly and Maze?,

Date: Tues, September 18, 2012, 00:11:51 ET
Posted by: kuleebaba, West of Hollywood, well, north too

I like it. For me, already better than anything off of MTC. And better than the single "Blues Beach", so I'm sure looking forward to the album.

Late 70s/early 80s feel, but more funk than usual out of Donald. Some of the guitar reminds me of... Maze, maybe?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 22:22:06 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago


If you only knew, if you only knew.

But, "123," you don't.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 22:07:05 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

M/O/D/P - Didn't mean to take it the wrong way. Sorry for that. As I say, I'm glad for us all specially in this exciting time with a new release. Just didn't want to see a whole new "thing" get started I guess.


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 21:50:46 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto

Hi Hutch - I wasn't being sarcastic or taking a cheap shot anyone - the poster(s) or the board itself. Not at all. I know that sometimes the printed word can be taken in a way not intended by the writer.....it happens all the time here, I know. I just wanted to say that when I first heard that lyric, it really DID make me smile knowingly. The moment was kinda cool, and I realized immediately that I had been given a little bit of DF in advance of actually hearing the song.

I remember once being given a casette copy of King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair" LP, quite some time before it was released. As it happens, the mix on the tape ended up being significantly different from the released version, making things that much more interesting. I didn't copy or share it, but only because it would have caused problems for the person who gave it to me, but I still wanted to thank the poster who tipped us all off here. I wasn't intending to be deliberately contentious, and nothing mean-spirited or malicious was intended.


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 21:25:22 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

El Supo, thanks. Odd that I have never heard of that before. I will have to check out the book, or perhaps I will pull a Tony DiNozzo and see one of the movies it spawned. :#)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 21:15:29 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

M/O/P/D - You know, it is what it is. I won't waste a second of time reading or posting anything more about that whole thing.
It's a thing of the past. If they did they did. Good. I'm happy for them. I was fortunate enough to get a burned cd of 2vN a couple of weeks before it was released. It's a very cool thing. What's done with it in regard to this forum is up to the individual. And I don't fault someone for whatever they might do.

Now... back to Sunken Condos!

I feel like this is probably one of the "weaker" tunes based on past singles. With all those synths and ML's input the rest of it will probably be something pretty unique in the realm of groovaciousness and funkability.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 20:55:56 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto

"I don't need sleep anymore
But if I close my eyes
I'd sleep the sleep of the gods"

This lyric sounds quite familiar. I think that's because I read it right here on The Blue recently, around a week or two ago. I don't remember who posted it, and of course it's all gone now ("potential liability" reasons, I get it....fair enough), so I don't know whether I should be thanking "Micheal" or "Snake Mary" for the now-revealed-to-have-been-legit sneak peek. It was one of those two posters. So, thanks from yours truly to whomever it was. 'Cause I smiled knowingly as I heard it sung for the first time.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 20:43:56 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

The verses remind me of Pagoda. The solos and chorus are somewhat unique though. Good song.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 19:56:14 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

The latest Strainer is shown below. There have been no doubt some excellent listeners with some insightful discussions and postulations thus far. The answer will be revealed on the News @11.....

"There has been significant buzz of late in anticipation of the upcoming release of Sunken Condos, the fourth solo studio release by DF. Key among some of the information that has been recently leaked in dribs and drabs was that that Sunken Condos was going to be a strong artistic move away from the Fagen Trilogy. Rolling Stone recently posted a clip from Sunken Condos of the tune "I'm Not the Same Without You", which has been reputed to be the second cut off the record, and possibly the lead single, and it is a good one, since it was posted in its entirety.

Though Sunken Condos is being billed as a major move away from the Trilogy, well, let's just say that DF is not exactly squealing smoking tires in distancing himself from the Trilogy based on a listen of "I'm Not the Same Without You". Let's just say that "I'm Not the Same Without You" IS virtually the SAME as a tune in the Fagen Trilogy (not boxed set), an old favourite of mine, and apparently one of DF's as well. And DF IS correct, he truly wouldn't be the SAME without it. Name that tune.

Difficulty level is about a 4."

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:57:58 ET
Posted by: astounded, no,

Anybody hear a nod to "Things I miss the most" in the opening chords, with the guitar doing the horn motion?

A nod to Snowbound with the descending line "No, no, no" (Snowbound after "then it's dark again, Oh-oh-oh, then it's dark again")

And then some Morphish chromatic horn lines at the end?

Also seems to be a touch of "Big Noise New York", except that's a lamention, where "I'm not the same" is a celebration tune.

123, nevermind about the drums. Doesn't matter.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:57:32 ET
Posted by: El Sup, Louisville, KY

Dean: Sorry I didn't post back to you earlier but I just saw your inquiry about Gregory Lewis. His book The Monk was filled with dead babies, savaged nuns, sexually perverse clergymen and the devil himself. Oh, and it was written in 1796. The anagram Coked Nun's Sons struck a chord.

Good to hear from you too,

El Sup

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:48:44 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Loving these lyrics ... to me it's the manic post-breakup phase taken to absurd levels ... that moment when you've convinced yourself you'll truly be better off now, seconds before reality comes crashing down around you...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:45:38 ET
Posted by: El Sup, Louisville, KY

First impressions of I'm Not the Same Without You:

Starts out with a STRONG Things I Miss the Most feel and quickly shifts into a playful Kulee Baba/West of Hollywood blend.

Interesting but not something that grabs me right out of the gate. Of course, I'll reserve judgment until I can listen to it properly.

El Sup

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:07:29 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, finally!

Thanks Dean! Cheers!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 18:03:41 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Still Drinkin'

The final line of the chorus is:

A futurescape of brighter days
In which I bring off heroic escapades

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:59:49 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, turning my ears inside out

Anyone hearing what the last few words at the end of the chorus is?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:48:45 ET
Posted by: Haha, l

Imagine if it was an inch longer instead of taller...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:47:06 ET
Posted by: 123,

Yeah, Hoops. It's fresh and positive, but still with melancholy and ambivalence. Complex and deep.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:45:32 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Klaus, there are some credits here---but not for each song:


Will Gallison is listed as playing Harmonica and Bass Harmonica

Young Wu--my advice to you is to be patient. Wait to hear a higher fidelity and reserve harsh judgement until you have heard it a number of times. Way back in the early days of the Dan, there were songs, and even a few albums, I though I really didn't like that much. But after a while, after repeated listening, they revealed themselves to me.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:45:04 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, trans

Thanks, folks! That makes sense.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:44:32 ET
Posted by: hoops, on the quick, again

Hey how about it, I'm Not The Same With You....and I"m better off than I was! Now that's a message that's good to hear. Cool, Baby!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:40:04 ET
Posted by: transcribe, k

can hold my ****

I can hold my own

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:38:35 ET
Posted by: Klaus&theRooster, lyrics

everything but the last line of the chorus

Since you've been gone
An awesome change has come about
My life is different now
I'm not the same without you

I'm evolving
At a really astounding rate of speed
Into something way cooler
Than what I was before

I feel much stronger
Than I have in years
My mind is sharp
And my spirit's sound

Now people tell me
The shape of my face is changing
I've grown an inch taller since July
What in the world is going on

Please tell me ...


Without you
I now have eyes to see
Some other destiny
A futurescape of brighter days

I can hold my breath
for a really long time
I can hold my own
I'm not the same without you



Without you ...

Since you've been gone
It's like someone switched the stars back on
I can see into everybody's hearts
And everybody's dreams, girl

I don't need sleep anymore
But if I close my eyes
I'd sleep the sleep of the gods
I'm not the same without you

No, no, no



I'm not the same without you

Repeat & fade

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:38:18 ET
Posted by: transcribe, k

I feel much stronger
In the **** years

Than I have in years

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:37:01 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, strict judge

I totally agree. But is it ok for me to love it now, after 25 listens? ;o)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:35:27 ET
Posted by: transcribe, k

I've grown an inch taller since July.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:32:28 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Since when has any SD, Fagen, or Becker music been so accessible that one's ultimate opinion could be determined without repeated listenings over several days or weeks? Why all the rush to judgment?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:28:34 ET
Posted by: Klaus&theRooster, At the Lido

What I hear in the new single- Sting's solo stuff, TOTO, Nightfly Outtake-esque, Chuck Loeb, Stevie Wonder, very excited to hear the rest. Do we know who's on harmonica? Howard Levy? Or is it a synth like on IGY? Are there credits for it yet (I know that's asking a lot)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:28:21 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, lyrics transcription

This is how far I got without help. I'd really appreciate if anybody with better ears/understanding of the language could help with the rest, eventually correct parts I haven't got just right.



Since you've been gone
An awsome change has come about
My life is different now
I'm not the same without you


I'm evolving
At a really astounding rate & speed
Into something way cooler
Than what I was before


I feel much stronger
In the **** years
My mind is sharp
And my spirit's sound


Now people tell me
The shape of my face is changing
I've grown and it's **** ****
What in the world is going on

Please tell me ...


Without you
I now have eyes to see
Some other destiny
A futurescape (?) of brighter things
in which I **** **** **** **** **** ****


I can hold my breath
for a really long time
I can hold my ****
I'm not the same without you



Without you ...


Since you've been gone
It's like someone switched the stars back on
I can see into everybody's hearts
And everybody's dreams, girl


I don't need sleep anymore
But if I close my eyes
I **** to sleep with the gods
I'm not the same without you

No, no, no



I'm not the same without you

Repeat & fade

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:12:13 ET
Posted by: Young Wu, Buffalo

Wow. No contest... that is the worst Steely Dan/Donald Fagen song I have ever heard. It's the exact opposite of everything I love about Fagen.

Nothing about it stands out at all. The lyrics, the music; it's soulless.

It sounds like some cookie-cutter generic quickly recorded nonsense that a failing classic rock artist who was in a shitty band in the 70s would put out so he could go back to playing casinos. Not a Fagen track. It's gotta be the least interesting song that he has ever put out.

Really hoping the rest of the album isn't like this. Because that is the fist time ever that I have truly been disappointed with a song from one of the boys.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 17:02:31 ET
Posted by: 123,

I don't what you mean.

Drummers record tracks without a rhythm section all the time.

And they track short parts all the time, and have them edited.

What's the difference here?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 16:48:37 ET
Posted by: astounded, no,

Well ML is not "playing" the drum track in any traditional sense as you can hear from this first track. He is manufacturing drum parts from short live performances and "hyper-realizing" them in the computer. The drums were not played as part of the rhythm section, hence the made-up name for the drums credit.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 16:44:57 ET
Posted by: 123,

It's funny how different peoples' tastes are. This is instantly better than anything on Kama or MTC for me. Those songs just didn't capture the rich, dark textures of the Dan/Nightfly that I loved (although I still enjoy those albums).

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 16:42:18 ET
Posted by: 123,

Any one else "astounded" (;)) Leonhart is playing drums on this? Sounds amazing.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 16:28:38 ET
Posted by: ted,

Toni- Agreed, I like it, but I don't love it. I want to hear that growling DF attitude that made us all fall in love with this stuff in the first place.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 16:03:04 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, not the same either.


Re: Century's End
No, that wasn't just you. Me too.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:51:25 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Thanks PGE for the link to the studio pictures! Certainly much appreciated!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:50:30 ET
Posted by: snare man,

i would say the snare is very pre-1990s Dan. Dead and dry (Gadd), rather than poppy and cracky, which is more like Carlock in the New Age.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:35:38 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, a minor variation

@PhilfromPgh No joke, I truly couldn't remember any songs from them in that key. But of course you're right. Should have checked. It just jumped at me when the song started.

I'm pretty sure it's a real harmonica. Will Galison is credited.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:34:43 ET
Posted by: Toni,

Am I the only one who does not like it? Please do not get me wrong I am a huge Don, Walt & Dan fan, but this, mhm. I like the drums and the harmonica etc. however I really do not like the chorus. I mean this "I'm not the same without you but now I have eyes to see" realy sounds like a cheap love song, what do you think. Maby its only because of the washy sound on Rolling Stones... I'll still buy the Album even though I am not as exiteed anymore. I am even a bit frightened, so far I have loved every single Dan piece. Can someone please tell me about something that makes me absolutely love this tune, too. Thank you

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:28:44 ET
Posted by: DeaconBlues16,

I kind of got a Century's End vibe from listening to this track the first time. Did anyone else get that or was it just me?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:18:59 ET
Posted by: BillfromPgh,

So is that a real harmonica or a synth? I'm assuming real based on the credits. Have only heard the track at low volume on work computer speakers so far.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:16:16 ET
Posted by: BillfromPgh,

Pretzel Logic, for one that bar bands have been known to cover. Kid Charlemagne for another. Green Earrings, too (more of an Am7sus). I'm sure there are more. Things I Miss The Most may have been in Am, I'm at work so I can't tell for sure. Or were you being facetious? If so, sorry if I didn't get the joke.

>A-minor! Don't remember a song be Donald or Steely Dan in A-minor. A very supprising choice!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 15:13:12 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Divers goggles

A few more interesting random things:

The percussive guitar, signature Dan. Does a kind of conga thing but with more notes.

An octave guitar in the intro and re-intro, sounds like 12 string Rickenbacker.

Nice to have 4 verses instead of regular 2 before the first chorus.

Oh, and I third the somebody transcribe the lyrics plea.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:51:52 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Shark Fin

A few thoughts upon the first few listenings:

A-minor! Don't remember a song be Donald or Steely Dan in A-minor. A very supprising choice!

The snare, the snare! Deeply tuned. Very 70's. But not very Steely Danish.

The piano: Much of the gospel-ish doodles and movements we know from The Nightfly. And the devine sound when the Rhodes doubles the piano.

There's a more life in the performance than I've heard since Katie Lied. Not as surgical clean as every album since then. Kudos to ML.

The awesome saxophones soli in the out-ro. So beautiful. Reminds me of the saxophones in Glamour profession.

The chord changes are the usual suspects. Similar devices as heard overall on Gaucho (including The Second Arrangement) and Nightfly. Not so much Kamakiriad. Maybe Snowbound.

The shortest Donald Fagen intro ever! 4 bars of close range brass harmonies and ACTOIN! Great stuff.

The cover of the single: The 50's gentleman ready for some adventure with divers glasses and a shark fin. And a cool detail, a white jaded circle as from the vinyl record inside. Very retro.

And retro would be the word for this track!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:51:20 ET
Posted by: PGE, download file available

Check your favourite online download store. It's for sale as a one track single. I got my 256 kbps mp3 from cdon.com here in Sweden. Better sounding than the online streams (Rolling Stone, Spotify.)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:37:02 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

It is already for sale at Amazon.co.uk:


I wasn't able to purchase unfortunately, due to "geographical restriction", but I think if you're from the UK it should be no problem!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:23:38 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

Have to agree with Fagenism about Glamour Profession, especially the chorus and the bridge.

Also hear the aforementioned Nightfly piano and a touch of Godwhacker in the guitar.

I love it, classic DF/Dan, for someone of Donald's vintage to still be making music with all the elements I love after all these years is a rare treat.

So next month I've got Sunken Condos and the new Iain M Banks Culture novel 'The Hydrogen Sonata' to look forward to. Roll on those cosy autumn nights!

A decent malt is in order also methinks!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:21:11 ET
Posted by: Hicnic, Louisville

Ok, so i started playing harmonica a few months ago (at age 55) and i signed up for these emails from JP Allen, a player out of Hawaii. Today's topic is Terry McMillan, a harmonica player who passed away a few years ago. What caught my eye about this blog post is the following:

"I remember the first time I heard, A Cold Day In Hell off Larry Carltons CD, Renegade Gentleman. I actually thought Terrys harmonica was a guitar for a moment. For me, the first 30 seconds of that song is one of the greatest moments in harmonica history."

There's a youtube of Terry - amazing player - thought i'd pass on for a change of pace.



Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 14:20:05 ET
Posted by: Pete Evans, Manchester UK

Guess you guys have heard the preview track for the new album on Rolling Stone ? Sounds great, can't wait for the new one !!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:48:51 ET
Posted by: fagenism, -

As far as sounding as an earlier Dan/Don song is concerned, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Glamour Profession. Anyway; I love the song and find it a lot more exciting than H Gang (which I guess is a relevant comparison).

Jazzassin's lyrics transcription request hereby seconded.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:42:42 ET
Posted by: PGE, I guess it's a "single"...

And here's a Spotify link.

amazon.com link (although you can't seem to click and buy it right now. Release date is September 14 but "available September 18".)

amazon.co.uk link (working.Yours for 0.89.)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:32:52 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach


Your answers are here:


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:19:19 ET
Posted by: Technicolor Motorhome, SE USA

Is there going to be a DF tour in support of the new album? Also is there is list anywhere of the musicians who played on it?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:15:56 ET
Posted by: amazing!,

this is so nightfly! it's amazing! this is the return to that classic steely dan / fagen vibe i've been missing!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:15:49 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, eternal return of not the same without you

Anyone tried to transcribe the full lyrics to Not The Same yet? I can't seem to get it all right. Donald's pronunciation isn't always easy to catch for a non-native US english speaker. Considering all the funny things others have admitted to hear on the SD and DF albums, I suppose it's not just me, actually. ;o)

@curious cat: LOL. There will be spoilers. (For what it's worth without a soundclip to listen to. In other words; not much.)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:08:56 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,


Wholeheartedly agree with you, it would be nice to have some of that feel/attitude on this album! I would be slightly disappointed if all the rest of Sunken Condos was in the 'I'm Not the Same Without You' vein...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 13:02:41 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Larry, what are you talking about? I never said anything about "good" all of the albums we are discussing are GREAT, IMO. And I think Morph ranks with most of the SD work. But Nightfly is very different stylistically from Royal Scam--don't you think? I assumed Ted was making a stylistic reference when he made his Royal Scam comment--after all, he mentioned attitude. I guess I was a bit confusing in my post--I was addressing your comment in the first paragraph but not in the second.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:52:04 ET
Posted by: curious cat, US


Forget about 12 October. Since you are six to nine hours ahead of the US on 16 October we fully expect you to be cranking out spoilers from SC right after you purchase it. You have been given your mission.

Same goes for the UK, which is only an hour closer.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:51:18 ET
Posted by: PGE, wayback machine is sometimes working...



Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:49:31 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Very nice track. Definitely hear a little of "The Nightfly" title track in those piano chords, good call to whoever posted that. I hear some Goodbye Look in the way Fagen phrases some of the vocals.

Overall it falls on the poppier/"slighter" end of the spectrum, which singles tend to do.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the record ...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:46:48 ET
Posted by: Larry,

Dean- What are you talking about? The Nightfly was as good as any SD record. The rest haven't been. That simple.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:43:33 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Larry, Blues Beach? Not really hearing that at all. It's a bit more What I Do, IMO. Still I find it interesting that some posts complain he remains in his comfort zone, while others wish he would sound more like he used to (with SD).

To those who want Don to leave his comfort zone, I'd ask, Why? His zone is pretty broad, allows for complexity. groove, chops and a glorious sound. It's isn't as if he makes the same song over and over again (despite what Barn Stainer seems to think). And to both of these disappointed viewpoints, I'd remind them to keep in mind it is ONE song from the album. And it is probably the most instantly palatable to a certain radio format--at least that is what I would suspect. Finally as Hoops points out, this is a Donald Fagen album, NOT a Steely Dan album. If you are looking for The Royal Scam, you are looking in the wrong place.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:41:09 ET
Posted by: ted,

Funkaholic1972 - For me personally it's all about "attitude". This song is more fluffy like his most recent work has been. I guess with age you loose some of that anger/attitude. I still love it, but prefer the rough and grough "Don't Take Me Alive" Fagen opposed to the poppy, fluffy "Blues Beach" Fagen. Hopefully the other tunes will have some of that mid 70's SD edge.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:40:06 ET
Posted by: The X Factor, Minneapolis

Sneak peek listen to DF's "I'm Not The Same Without You" off of Sunken Condos at RollingStone!


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:36:40 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, early bird?

I had an email conversation with my domestic record dealer, "platekompaniet.no", today.
The thing is, they have constantly since the first advertising of SC been insisting on their page that it will be out on the 12th, not the 16th of October. I assumed this was wrong, since all other sources including Fagen's own site says the 16th.
They answered that all new CDs are always out on fridays in Norway, and that the date (Fri, Oct.12) is actually right for the Norwegian market.
IF this shows up to be correct (seeing is believing), I guess I will be amongst the priviliged and relatively few of us that will be able to spend a dizzy weekend with Sunken Condos before the rest.
No use to order from them from across the pond, the UK or Oz I guess, since overseas shipping will take longer than 'till Tuesday, Oct. 16th anyway.
I will be more than happy to write as many teasers and spoilers as you can take during that weekend. ;D
Until otherwise proven I prefer to think it's just bs. More typical would be that they don't have it out until Friday the 19th, if this Friday thing is right at all. We'll see.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:30:28 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,


I meant that the song seems to hark back to the Nightfly days. I wasn't referring to the classis Dan stuff when I said that.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:27:23 ET
Posted by: hoops, Chicago

I first became aware of Catherine Russell in the 90s when SD came back to tour; I was disappointed when she wasn't in the band for Tour2K. I was thrilled out of my skin when she was back starting with the EMG album.

I had a certain brief encounter with Catherine about 2000; not adequate to describe here, nor would she remember. But her brief words in a particular situation spoke volumes about what a great person she is. I'm huge fan of her as a musician and as a person.


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:25:53 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

After a few more listens I agree it is very Nightfly-ish, I do really like it! Even if this song is not as adventurous as some of us might have hoped for, any new DF or SD material is likely to be better than 90% of musical output these days.

But if you came to get your "Royal Scam" on you will most likely be disappointed: DF solo has always been slicker than that...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:24:42 ET
Posted by: Larry,

Funkaholic1972, said "Maybe this preview is meant as a nod to the oldtime Fagen fans, to reassure them he can still do this type of song.

Old-time?? Reassure?? ...this song sounds very "Blues Beach" to me...nowhere near old time vintage SD! Not sure what you're talking about?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:21:55 ET
Posted by: hoops, Chicago


I appreciate where you are coming from...that's what makes an SD album and SD album.

On the other hand, Donald's always asked in interviews, "What's the difference between a Steely Dan album and a Donald Fagen album?" Part of that answer is probably "attitude."



Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:19:50 ET
Posted by: Elgin, Boston

Catherine Russell feature yesterday in Sunday 9/16 LA Times:


"I like anything that swings, generally the sound of music between the 1920s and '50s," says Russell, 55, while relaxing backstage before an Oakland performance with the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue, a tour on which she's singing backup for Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald.

"I like good storytelling, and I like the blues. I like humor and unpredictable lyrics, a good melody and interesting harmonies. That's really what motivates me."

Now recognized as one of the most savvy and sophisticated interpreters of classic jazz and blues, Russell has found an avid audience with a series of albums, high-profile gigs and appearances on the public radio showcase "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. Her biggest West Coast tour includes a gig Wednesday at the Catalina Bar & Grill followed by her Monterey Jazz Festival debut Saturday.

For more than two decades Russell largely supported herself as a first-call backup singer, touring with artists such as David Bowie, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Rosanne Cash, Jackson Browne, and, more recently, Steely Dan. When she released her first album under her own name, 2006's critically hailed "Cat" (World Village), Russell wasn't so much making a midcareer swerve into vintage jazz as claiming her birthright.

The daughter of Luis Russell, the Panamanian-born pianist, composer and bandleader best remembered for his work with Louis Armstrong in the 1930s and '40s, she was raised by her mother, the bassist, guitarist and vocalist Carline Ray, a graduate of Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music who performed with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Though her jazz career is flourishing, Russell has no plans to give up her work as a backup singer, particularly when she gets a call for a tour with Steely Dan. Last year she also performed widely with the American Beauty Project, interpreting songs from the signature 1970 Grateful Dead albums "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty" with Ollabelle and Jim Lauderdale.

"Backup singing is a different thing altogether," Russell says. "I love vocal harmony and the skills that go into it, so I hope I never stop doing the backup thing."

With her long dreads piled on top of her head adding at least 6 inches to her diminutive stature, Russell doesn't seem suited for staying in the background. On stage, she looms in the spotlight as her mischievous, phosphorescent smile punctuates her double-entendre-laden repertoire. Some of her employers clearly felt she had more to offer.

"Catherine has music in her DNA," writes noted jazz fan Donald Fagen in an email. "You can hear that history and soul in every note she sings."

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:08:43 ET
Posted by: ted, sydney australia

I don't know about the rest of you but.... I want to head DF sing with the "Royal Scam" attitude. I'm not into the fluff.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 12:04:15 ET
Posted by: hoops, on the quick, in chicago


Someone asked about using the Sunken Condos banner for their website.

Sure! Go ahead!

There's not an official one out as far as I know...I just made that myself in a creative, anticipatory mood Saturday. So if you want to use it, go ahead. In fact, if you want, link to the one on my site and when I update it, so will yours.

Here's the code.

<a href="http://donaldfagen.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=1134_58181" target="_blank"><img src="../sunkenanimation.gif" border="0" align="middle" alt="Order Donald Fagen's New Album!"></a>

You can add codes to change the display size-- for instance, insert width="322" height="43" before "border="0" to make it half the size.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:57:38 ET
Posted by: hoops, on the quick, in chicago

I really love it! Just finished the first listen!

Great! Reminds me of Kulee Baba and Greenflower, some of the other DF solo B-sides. Very Nightflyish. THUMBS HUGELY UP! Got me wanting more.

Gotta run...keep the faith.


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:54:31 ET
Posted by: Earl Cooke Jr.,

Track sounds great. Thanks for posting this, and thanks J. for posting the ML interview.

Futureman gets credited as percussionist. He does play the traditional drumset in concert, studied drums, and is generally a phenom like his brothers. It is interesting that the Earl Cooke drum part on the new single has the feel of Futureman's Drumitar.

Anyway, just having a bit of fun with the drum discussion. Any new material by Don and Walt is fantastic. Their tastes are toward "hyper-real" drum sounds which means taking a couple of good feeling bars of real playing, then looping, tempo changing and adjusting individual hits to perfection. Not many pros could get through a take of "I'm not the same..." and ML certainly did not play more than a couple bars at a time, then constructed verses and choruses and bridges. That's why they used an alter-ego instead of crediting the playing to ML straight out.

Drums are both real and "programmed" and will sound absolutely perfect, just as DF desires. And since they don't care what anyone thinks about it, neither should we!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:28:15 ET
Posted by: Hans, US

Piano riffs are lifted right out of The Nightfly title track.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:22:11 ET
Posted by: XDF, ewqe

The piano sounds so familiar but I can't place it.

Chiropractic adjustments can make you an inch taller.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:07:44 ET
Posted by: My Guess, X

Florida Room

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 11:05:19 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Regarding "Don stays very much in his comfort zone":

I agree this track by no means strays away from the usual Donald Fagen vocabulary. It is definately solid, but no surprises here.

But Michael Leonhart had already said the would be a few tracks sounding like the Trilogy stuff. Maybe this preview is meant as a nod to the oldtime Fagen fans, to reassure them he can still do this type of song.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:48:38 ET
Posted by: donny, comfort zone

it's is right.

when the hell is donny gonna break out of his comfort zone?

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:45:50 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Correction on Patience Strainer's last post:

I don't believe SC was ever promoted as being a "STRONG artistic move away from the Fagen Trilogy" or a "MAJOR move away from the Trilogy" (cap emphasis mine). From what I read, it was not part of the "trilogy" thematically and was going to be lighter in tone with a strong groove. I don't think it was ever suggested SC would be dramatically different than what you can expect from Fagen. Nice straw man you're constructing there, though.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:40:11 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

There's oh so much NOT too like about this tune. Do you really think this track would have seen the light of day if wasn't credited to DF? I'll give you that it is slickly produced...but toward what end? I had in my mind this Leonhart collaboration would yield lackluster results but I honestly didn't imagine a rendering this forgettable. ML should stick to JUST playing in the SD horn section.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:36:49 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

There has been significant buzz of late in anticipation of the upcoming release of Sunken Condos, the fourth solo studio release by DF. Key among some of the information that has been recently leaked in dribs and drabs was that that Sunken Condos was going to be a strong artistic move away from the Fagen Trilogy. Rolling Stone recently posted a clip from Sunken Condos of the tune "I'm Not the Same Without You", which has been reputed to be the second cut off the record, and possibly the lead single, and it is a good one, since it was posted in its entirety.

Though Sunken Condos is being billed as a major move away from the Trilogy, well, let's just say that DF is not exactly squealing smoking tires in distancing himself from the Trilogy based on a listen of "I'm Not the Same Without You". Let's just say that "I'm Not the Same Without You" IS virtually the SAME as a tune in the Fagen Trilogy (not boxed set), an old favourite of mine, and apparently one of DF's as well. And DF IS correct, he truly wouldn't be the SAME without it. Name that tune.

Difficulty level is about a 4.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:34:50 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Thank Jazzassin for the Google search tip. I could (should!) have thought of this myself actually!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:29:06 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

"I can hold my breath for a really long time"

Donald sure knows how to stand the typical love song/breakup song on it's end, lyrically. Terrific composition, keys and horns. Can't wait for full fidelity.

Thank you ccw, whoever you are.

Back to Jazzassin's point for one moment (we really are beating this drum thing to death, aren't we?)--is Roy Wooten (Future Man) a drummer? I have never seen him use a pair of sticks or brushes? Let's say he indeed can, and occasionally does, play traditional drums. When he plays his synth drumitar for Bela Fleck, is he drumming? Sure as hell sounds like it to me.

With that said, based only on hearing I'm Not the Same Without You, I'm thinking Carlock (or another top drummer) probably would have made the drum part a bit more interesting. But as has been discussed, knowing how Donald has worked in the past, other things would have had to change, too. I'm guessing Don liked the results enough to not have to tear them apart again. Now the old Fagen probably would have spent another year, and tripled the budget, to do just that. But since the that girl's been gone...

And come to think about it, is it really about a girl? I guarantee there will be those who insist it is about drugs. After all, doesn't one get stronger/better when they stop shooting up? Just sayin'...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:24:21 ET
Posted by: swgabriel, Plano, TX

I really like the new song! It does remind me of "Nightfly," which is a very good thing. I can't wait for the album--preordered it this weekend!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:17:31 ET
Posted by: shark boy, sunkville

the song is great but i have the feeling it is like when they released cuz dup first - it could be one of the least interesting track on the cd.

so hold on to your seats!

i was hoping that the snare would be less "boxy" and more light, papery and snare-y.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:06:20 ET
Posted by: mc's punk, around

new singles is cooooooool!

is it a real single?

picture sleeve is hysterical and continues theme of the cover art.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:04:46 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, CCW, thanks for the preview link!!!!!!

If those drums and bass lines aren't groovy enough, I don't know what is! The snare is, as it often is with Don, a little thin sounding to my ideal taste, but it's definately very typical Don. And it sure fits with the overall sound.
The song sounds a bit generic Don and reminds me of many other of his in terms of melody at least. There's tons of great details here of course. The horn arrangements, and some insane sax parts in particular, are outstanding!


I think some of the studio pics can be found this way:


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 10:01:23 ET
Posted by: fagenism, -

This track has left me satisfactorily speechless.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 09:37:06 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Thanks ccw. Really liking this song.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 09:23:53 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Thanks CCW, the track is sounding promising after a quick first spin! Would love to hear a better quality version though...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 09:09:52 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

Could anyone repost (or mail me?) those pictures of Michael Leonhart's studio that were recently posted here? The old links don't seem to function anymore unfortunately..

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 09:06:15 ET
Posted by: ccw, dc

new track is up for preview! http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/song-premiere-donald-fagen-im-not-the-same-without-you-20120917

it sounds great.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 09:00:20 ET
Posted by: Name, Location

Kudos to ML for having a sense for spoilers and not discussing the lyrics. I would have stopped reading.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 08:48:57 ET
Posted by: Bren, London UK

Fagenism...many thanks for arranging the Q&A with Michael...much appreciated.....and the possibility of a solo tour, will keep this particular condo,well afloat....

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 05:26:55 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Re: Drums again

Played or programmed? Or both?


"ML: I think its safe to say that the use of WENDEL and other drum
machines was an expensive and time consuming affair. The results are
glorious, but Donald always prefers a flesh and blood drummer with
an incredible feel to a machine. Indeed, there are a handful of
great drummers out there as well as some newbies, and my initial
idea, as well as Donalds, was to bring in a few drummers for the
final drum tracks. Donald had been a fan of my drum feel and sound
for many years now and said why dont you lay down some drum tracks
at your studio. After hearing these initial drum tracks, Donald
said this was the sound and feel he was hoping for so we decided to
use this approach for the whole album. As stated above, the goal was
always hyper-real and never synthetic, programmed or sequenced."

I repeat: "DONALD HAD BEEN A FAN OF MY DRUM FEEL AND SOUND FOR MANY YEARS NOW and said why dont you lay down some drum tracks
at your studio. After hearing these initial drum tracks, Donald
said this was the sound and feel he was hoping for so we decided to
use this approach for the whole album."

Michael Leonhart IS known to be a versatile multi-instrumentalist. If Donald had been a fan of his "drum feel & sound" for years, Michael must be assumed to also be a drummer after all, don't you think? His career is not based upon being a drummer, we all know that. Neither is it based on his guitar playing, but yet he plays a lot of guitar, e.g. on his solo album "Slow".
If Don is a fan of Michaels drum feel and sound, it's not likely he means "fan of his programming", but literally a fan of him as a drummer. He's probably not in the league of Carlock, Lawson, Erskine and all those guys in terms of being a really versatile and favorable live drummer. But the way it's described in the interview, I believe that his particular attitude to drumming is what Donald wanted for SC.
He has definately done more behind the kit than just hitting each drum once and sampled the sound for programming purposes. To maintain a given drummers particular feel and style in the recording process, they'd have to let the drummer play continuously over multiple bars, maybe the whole song. Then they would use the recorded drums as a basis for further work in the field of copy/paste/ and quantization/sequencing. And they would definately not break it down to single hits on each drum, but probably used longer parts just to maintain the drummer's particular style on the final track.
They planned on bringing in a few better known (or "real") drummers, but in the end chose to stick with Leonharts grooves. Had they chosen to use Carlock, they would surely have messed around with his playing in the process too. That's just how they do it. I don't think it would've been a more or less "live" result with another drummer, just a little bit different in terms of style. And Donald preferred Michael Leonharts style this time, even if he's not known as a drummer.
I think this is exciting, and can't wait to hear what it actually sounds like!
What's more; I'm really, really curious to hear the extended use of acoustic bass on SC! The mere presence of acoustic bass, bass flute, violin and other very "real" instruments on the album also more or less guarantees that the drum tracks don't sound machine-like. It just wouldn't fit with the concept I think.

Twenty-nine days to launch! Yee-Haa!

Finally, a bad drummer joke:

-How do you properly level a drum podium?
-Check that the drummer drools equally much on both sides.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 05:18:28 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

Oh, and I don't give a shit about the drums being programmed/processed or not: as long as the result sounds good, it is good for me!

I grew up on a diet of synths and drum machines anyway, being a kid in the eighties... ;-)

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 05:15:49 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,

PS: sorry for all the exclamation marks. I just can't contain my excitement, haha!!!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 05:13:57 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

I will probably end up buying both vinyl and CD.

I just love the look of that vinyl (doesn't it look FAB guys!!), and eventhough the price is very high, I don't think I will be able to resist! And I love the warm sound of vinyl, so that is another reason to buy it.

The CD will be for in the car. It will also be fun to compare the sound of the CD and the vinyl, I love geeky stuff like that! ;-)

Great stuff with the Michael Leonhart interview BTW, what an exciting read! Tansk for making that happen to all involved. Great set of questions!!!

It must have been so exciting for Michael as a (relatively) young guy to work with a legend like Donald. Can you imagine the thrills of being locked up for months in a studio with Donald, and create an album with the "Ultimate Master Of Grooves And Harmonics"?!?!

Can't wait for the album to drop!

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 01:41:58 ET
Posted by: Seb,

See? I wasn't lying.

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 00:56:10 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Smulyfan thanks for the heads up.

Here is a tidbit about a concert that may be the basis for the new CD:


Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 00:44:04 ET
Posted by: smulyan fan, hey you crazy cats

gary tells me this is going to drop soon.

anything that gary plays on is classy, cool and smokin!

Gary Smulyan Music 629 like this
April 25 at 10:46pm
Just arrived in LA and really looking forward to playing and recording the next 2 days with Tim Hagans, Billy Harper, Sonny Simmons(!!!! Wow), Peter Erskine, and many other great musicians on Mark Masters' new Steely Dan Project for Capri Records...

Date: Mon, September 17, 2012, 00:30:07 ET
Posted by: Earl Cooke Jr.,

"Donald and I then sat and put together the ultimate hyper-real drum track using all available modern techniques. The goal was always hyperreal and never synthetic, programmed or sequenced."

You're right. I should have said "constructed". Still, no real drummers involved. Drum tracks were constructed from groove looped fragments played live by Michael. There you go. Some live drums, lots of editing to be "hyper-real".

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 21:45:27 ET
Posted by: Denise, Hinktown

Hey thanks Faganism, that was an interesting read. So looking forward to hearing SC.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 21:09:29 ET
Posted by: What part of,

"The drums were all played *live* by yours truly
(credited to EARL COOKE, JR.) "

is hard to understand NYB?

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 19:47:57 ET
Posted by: Earl Cooke Jr.,

Too bad no actual drummers were involved on these recordings. Leonhart did not "play" the drums, he programmed them; he is not a drummer.

But bass flute, bass clarinet, bass harmonica? That might make up for the drums.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 19:27:45 ET
Posted by: should read,

...first TWO BFF albums

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 19:25:28 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Al Jackson, Jr! YES!!!

Carlock channeled him a bit on What I Do. We're going to hear some filthy groove, I'd suspect. Should be a great one!

SS: that's an interesting question. I think the real Michael has answered that question re; Fagen. In spades baby!

Ben Folds puts an emphasis on the tune and arrangements, but mostly it's chemistry and spontaneity. Ironically, I'd argue his best album is the DIY Rockin the Suburbs.

I can't imaging that BFF could even make an album that's not that. Some tracks like EraseMe and Michael Praytor illustrate that immediacy. The title track could have been from the first two BFF albums. There's a bit of jazz and classical sprinkled in - possibly more than usual with some Songs for Silverman tone and ballads mixed in heavily.

One of those ballads is Jesse's Sky High that is a licorice version of Every Breath You Take, and if released as a single instead of the jump tune Do it Anyway, which features some rockin piano runs, would probably be a singles hit. On Being Frank is a mix of Reinhold and SfS. Hold That Thought, Away When You're Here, and the catchy thank you for Breaking My Heart clips are ballads that more resemble Ben's solo work than BFF.

The FIDELITY is High like SfS and the incredible Has Been, the miraculous William Shatner album...OK this may be Folds best album and arguable one of the best albums of the last decade...I'm not kidding.

BFF sacrificed some fidelity on the first 3 albums.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 18:32:44 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, T-29

Thanks Fagenism for this interview. A real treat. What a relieve to get the drums issue out of the way!

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 18:07:59 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

When I read the question, "Also, is it ever intimidating working with a living legend?" I was hoping that he would answer: "I don't know - you'll have to ask Donald."

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 18:01:35 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Fantastic interview. Thanks for putting it together!

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 16:45:25 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar, Reggae Sunday!


Outfuckingstanding! Just about all of my questions answered. Makes me even more excited for SC--if that is possible. I will have the new Van (release date 10/2) to keep me occupied until then.

As for what we are buying. I'm taking the CD for now--hopefully it is in the soft box as I despise the jewel cases. I may swing for the vinyl should I get my turntable (and real stereo/5.1) properly set up. But to be honest, as much as I like the vinyl sound, they only sound great for a few playings for me. I have never been that good at keeping vinyl in pristine shape. No matter how hard I try (and I really don't try that hard) pops, scratches and warping just seem to happen. Like some here, back in the old says I used to record a new album to tape ASAP. Still shit seems to happen to me. Other people get involved and then it seems to be all down hill. But I have a better situation now (no big parties these days) so maybe I will give it another go with vinyl.

Oh, and I am still laughing pretty hard at the post that suggested drums play a small part in SD/Fagen music. What a croc.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 16:40:17 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Reading till the peepers pops out

fagenism, you are SO the man tonight! Thanks a lot for your brilliant work, and thanks just as much to Michael Leonhart, who most kindly answered many of our questions!

Jeez, Michael L. says he plays all the drums himself, and he & Fagen edited it into what we will hear on the album!!!! Is it anything music thayt boy don't do? He also plays keys on the album.

Great read! Thanks again both of you, and also to all who asked interesting questions!

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 16:31:36 ET
Posted by: fagenism, Bleecker Street

Believe it or not, fellow Steelers:

your Sunken Condos questions have been answered by Michael Leonhart!


Have a great night now.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 16:11:28 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Knock, knock ...

Vinyl or CD: Yes please, I'll have both. I prefer soft over jewel case, so I'm happy about that part. Wonder if it will be available as DVD-Audio or SACD/ Hybrid CD a bit later?

PGE, the iTunes mastering probably is about that the tracks are supposed to be compressed to a lossy format, and the customers are mainly listening through headphones from a mobile device of some kind (phone/pod/pad).

@ Mark B, London,

On Sept.10 you replied to my comment about the assumed programmed drums this way:

"Your comment that no one will be complaining about drum machines (lets call them what they are/ it is) on SC.

If it's true that the drums on SC are programmed pre-programmed or computationally cogitated, then - as a pro-drummer and huge SD fan - I'd be hugely, hugely sad and it will undoubtedly affect the timbre."

Ok, if you say so, I have to trust it that there will be complaints after all! I guess I was a bit over-enthusiastic in my predictions about that part. Anyway, let's wait and listen before we jump to conclusions. There are many ways to get a drum track these days, I can't imagine we will hear anything sounding like what we knew as a "drum machine" a few years ago. Unless Don & Michael L. WANTS it to sound like one at times, of course. Would surprise me quite a lot of course, but you never know. If you like at all any of the drum parts on anything Donald has been recording since Aja, you DO like manipulated drum tracks at least, because not much has been untouched. I admit that a drummer has an obvious advantage over other people when it comes to decide (conciously & unconciously) WHAT to play, and the excact feel and groove. The sounds themselves are nowadays indistinguishable from a live drumkit, since they are usually sampled from one.
So the question is; How much do you trust Donald Fagen when it comes to getting it like he wants it? The two of you may not agree on how the record should sound like of course, but I don't think we have any reason to fear that the drums won't be up to at least the standard that we're used to from 2vN, EMG and Morph, even if they didn't use a real drummer (If that's correct. We don't know that yet). It's a long time since they (SD) utilized drummers in a more traditional way, you know. Even when they have the best ones in at the sessions, they Hitler around with them and edit the result anyway!
We should never judge any given record from what it's NOT - that's all about our own expectations, but rather from what it ACTUALLY IS. 16th of October will be the day of truth. And then a few weeks to really digest it, of course! ;o)

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 14:52:09 ET
Posted by: PGE, correction

Read "As we know Sunken Condos was also mixed in a version that would sound extra good on iTunes." as "As we know Sunken Condos was also MASTERED in a version that would sound extra good on iTunes."

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 14:50:20 ET
Posted by: PGE, vinyl, CD...?

@Fonkaholic1971 & hoops:

I plan on getting both CD and vinyl versions. No 5.1 announced yet?

What I am pondering though is if I should buy the iTunes version and listen to try and hear what a "mastered for iTunes" version might sound like. As we know Sunken Condos was also mixed in a version that would sound extra good on iTunes.

Could perhaps the audiophiles on this Bluebook chime in?

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 14:40:37 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe It

While we wait another 4 weeks
for Sunken Condos, why not check
out Mark Knopfler's new 2 CD set,

It's a monster! Basically it's
Mark's "Blues" project with plenty
of help from Kim Wilson on the harp
on many of the tracks. I think it's
his best work since his 60's British
Invasion/Surf Guitar homage, "Kill
To Get Crimson".

Great package. But get the UK
3 CD set with the bonus live disc!

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 12:43:40 ET
Posted by: Horrible video, Todd

I've listened to the 'Morph' vinyl more than I've listened to EMG, Circus Money, or Morph on disc. It's on my turntable right now. Something about being able to drive that warmth with a bit of power works for me.

40 bucks for the new one on vinyl, though. Yeesh.

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 12:30:40 ET
Posted by: Milt, R

Are programmed drums audible on this vinyl thing?

Serious question, is the Michael Harvey credited with vocals on more recent albums a real person?

Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 11:58:40 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

I'll bite, Funkaholic--thanks for the topic.

At this point, I plan to buy the 180 Vinyl, and what I think will be two slightly different CD packages containing the same CD. That would be a cardboard "softpak" and the traditional jewel case. But it could be there will be only the softpak sine I haven't seen a jewel case mentioned specifically as packaging. We'll see what else floats our way.


Date: Sun, September 16, 2012, 03:31:09 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

It is the 16th of September today. Exactly one month to go and Sunken Condos will be ours!

Will you buy vinyl or CD? Or both?

Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 22:10:07 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

See photo 20 of 23.


Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 22:04:42 ET
Posted by: Dan Fan,

Looking forward to getting Sunken Condos.

Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 14:31:44 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

The latest edition of the Dandom Digest was mailed out last night. This one covered from from September 1-14, 2012. (The previous Dandom Digest was dated August 26-31, 2012.)

If you are a subscriber, you should already have it in your email in box. If you didn't receive it, check your spam filters first; then, if it's not there, please email me.

As I regularly remind subscribers, some people have problems with delivery of the Dandom Digest, usually because of their spam filters, firewalls, etc. That's why this sort of notice is posted here--so you can look for it. Last time, some of you who get the Dandom Digest, especially those of you who get it at a work email address--had it automatically refused because the word "fuck" appeared in it.

The following are the subject headlines of the Dandom Digest for September 1-14, 2012.


- MTC released in Hi Res

- REDUX: SUNKEN CONDOS: Official PR, Info from DF.com
- REDUX: SUNKEN CONDOS: Track Listing, Pre-Order on iTunes
- Clear vinyl & gatefold sleeve...
- WoW! Sunken Condos LP & Softcover CD at DF.com

- CBAT 40th: Redbeard Interview with DF & WB

- Catherine Russell Fall Dates: Show the Love!

- DON'T MISS! Online! See The Jon Herington Band live gig
- REDUX: Jon Herington Band Fall NY, NJ & New England dates

- Drew Zingg Album Preview
- 10/11/12: Krantz/Carlock/Woods Play Chicago, elsewhere
- REDUX: Autumn Dukes Dates in Hawaii & Japan


If you are not currently a subscriber but would like to receive the free Dandom Digest email newsletter, please email me at hoops AT dandom DOT com or see http://www.dandom.com/dandomdigest.

For the record, the Dandom Digest is a newsletter with unofficial content written by and for the fans of Steely Dan. The newsletter is independent of, nor to be confused with, the glorious and much more glamorous official newsletters from steelydan.com, walterbecker.com, donaldfagen.com and other sites of Steely Dan associates.

Thanks for your support through the years, especially Pete and Shari, as well as Keith & Janet and Mr. & Mrs. Winterbottom, and remembering Mark and Bill, and not to mention one or two people who request anonymity.

Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 09:36:48 ET
Posted by: Brian Alder,

Little Drummer Kid -

Here's an SD tune where a real drummer and his real drumming chops are absolutely vital:


No B-52s references on the Blue, please!

Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 02:33:47 ET
Posted by: Chris, Nh

Myron, I don't know what your friend said, but the reviewer is an idiot. I can understand criticsm of Krantz's solos (although i vehemently disagree). To accuse Krantz of bad technique shows that it went over his head.

Date: Sat, September 15, 2012, 00:15:21 ET
Posted by: Little Drummer Boy, There actually IS a Drums, Pennsylvania!

I really don't see why many in Dandom get all jacked up about Carlock and the drumming on Steely Dan and Donald's recordings. Their music is NOT and has generally never relied on drums. The drums are mostly non-existent in their sonic importance to the vast majority of the songs. You have to work hard to hear them in many cases. The Steely Dan and solo Donald "sound" is created predominantly using the following, in order of precedence:

Keyboards--Pianos, organs, synthesizers etc.
Wind instruments
Guitars, and other stringed instruments

Drums and other percussive instruments

As you can see, DRUMS are WAY, WAY down on the list.

Now here is a link to a tune where percussion is absolutely vital to carry the essence of the piece, which you can use as an example:


So, I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about drums in the least when dealing with Steely Dan or solo Donald works as they have been composed and performed from the get go in 1973.

Rest assured that if history is any indication, the keyboards, horns and strings will drown out any drums on Sunken Condos. And it won't matter. You will probably will still enjoy the songs as always.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 23:27:21 ET
Posted by: Myron, H

I remember a friend, a guitarist, commenting that he thought Krantz was "off" at Fagen's solo show at the Beacon. And a review in a Chicago newspaper dissed his playing on that tour as well.


Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 23:15:47 ET
Posted by: drewshi, santa barbara

Just heard from someone who interviewed Donald Fagen today that it's all programmed drum machines!

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 23:07:37 ET
Posted by: Victor J, are they live, or are they memorex?

The human ear cannot tell the difference with synth or "real" drums, except where someone misses a beat. Machines don't make mistakes.

If you want to create sounds that are not producible from actual drums, then you need synth drums where there are nearly infinite possibilities.

Therefore appreciators of the music really shouldn't care one way or the other.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 21:48:54 ET
Posted by: drewslo, san luis obispo

Just heard from someone who interviewed Donald Fagen today that it's all live drums!

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 21:09:05 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Couldn't bring that email from WK up for some reason but went to his site and found this.

Wow! Pretty insightful.


Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 17:53:53 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, there today, here tomorrow

Jon G, dang, that's what I was half suspecting (that they weren't brand new interviews - why I said *apparently*), but the interviewer has been tweeting about it like it's new & exclusive! Sigh.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 17:47:44 ET
Posted by: Jon G., MM

Not to rain on the parade, but the clips from that Redbeard interview aren't new. I believe they're from the 20th or 25th anniversary of the CBaT release, because I recall the snippets from various SD sites (on RealPlayer!) floating around a decade ago. Used to listen to them incessantly.

As with all things Don and Walt, totally give it a listen. I am. But if the clips provided are any indication, they're replaying an older interview on CBaT.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 14:39:28 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

@Greg M - Indeed, it was quite telling. After his signature was a line that said "Howie 61," which I thought might be a tribute to someone - Google informs me that it's his latest album. I felt so sympathetic after reading his email that I ordered the album, even though the cover contained neither fish nor robots.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 14:25:57 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

wow, that's some email from Wayne....

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 14:17:21 ET
Posted by: LC, i

Not that she's on this tour or anything...

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 14:16:38 ET
Posted by: LC, i

As far as marketing Wayne's tour, Tal Wilkenfeld provides some nice eye candy. Interesting that Carlock is not beyond such a low key gig despite the big names he's toured with in recent years.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 13:04:06 ET
Posted by: PGE, Я твой работник

@JungleMusic: Thanks for playing! :)

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 12:33:36 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Krantz and Carlock are going on tour next week, and Krantz send a very entertaining (and honest, and somehwat sobering) email about it to his list today.

I love what these guys do together and I'm hoping I can make it out to Boston. Here are the dates:


And here's the email:

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 12:24:55 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, here and there

Hey! This is *apparently* a new interview with DF & WB that will be online as of October 1, on the 40th anniversary of "Can't Buy a Thrill". It was tweeted about last night as the first of a two-part interview. http://www.inthestudio.net/previews/steely-dan-cant-buy-thrill-40th-anniversary/

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 09:34:34 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, Minsk

Yes, this Sunken Condoms naming is very confusing with Vladimir. It is reminds me of "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get," which is sounds like somethings Vladimir might say. But Mr. Jeff Porcaro had good drums on there I'm not knowing how he even knew what to plays though.

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 08:15:27 ET
Posted by: Ports, Minneapolis

Not sure if this is new but Morph the Cat is now availible on
HD Tracks High Rez downloads.


Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 01:43:55 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

Mu, this is for you.

As a BFF fan and a sworn SD/DF/WB fan, which outfit (BFF or DF) will have a harder time keeping up the standards on their respective new releases and why ? Or, who would you expect to put out a better album ?

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 00:57:14 ET
Posted by: dipdvqxaavn, HZMckfsVuJ

ksR4tv <a href="http://wgrmwhopeinb.com/">wgrmwhopeinb</a>, [url=http://nysunayvepqm.com/]nysunayvepqm[/url], [link=http://akuslglykygz.com/]akuslglykygz[/link], http://eqkixzhhpkqh.com/

Date: Fri, September 14, 2012, 00:24:51 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto, for now anyways

OK....rather than add to and/or provide too much more fuel for the rapidly-developing idiocy unfolding here, I'll just confirm on the record that, although Toronto is a small city with a population of only three people (the Blue poster known as T.O. Danfan, Mr. Don "My name's not Ken" Breithaupt, and myself - that's our total population - you can look it up), "NYJeb's" guess at my secret identity, while admittedly close (there are only three people in town after all), is in fact incorrect. I am not he/he is not me. But I'd be lying if I said I'm not flattered by the suggestion.

And anyways, "Jeb", I said I agreed with you. I even tipped my nonexistent hat to you. What more do ya want??

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 23:27:05 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Well we all know that Katy Lied was a TERRIBLE album. You know this because there was no song titled Katy Lied and the album title was very "incongruous " (sic) to the song titles. Clearly you wouldn't have to listen to the album to know this. The title of the album and the songs tells you everything you need to know. Same with Can't Buy a Thrill and Countdown to Ecstasy. Just fucking horrible! Worst shit you ever want to hear! You can tell by the titles.


Give it up, NYBill--er--jeb. Your act is old, stale and stupid.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 23:14:16 ET
Posted by: jeb, omaha


You must be Ken Breithaupt of Toronto?

Anyhow, I guess ridiculous is the wrong term. Incongruous or Impertinent might be more apt to convey my concerns.

My standard of the congruity of an album title title, as applied to solo Fagen work, even if it is not a title track would be Kama. The Kamakiri vehicle took Fagen to situations and places in succession thru all eight cuts. Nightfly obviously had the title track, and it was the centerpiece of Fagen's youthful fantasies (to be an overnight DJ) and hopes of youth and contemporary events of the late 1950's.

Morph was puzzling, supposed to be about death, maybe based on Morpheus the God of Dreams, or MAYBE that a cat has nine lives and "morphs" each time to confront many of the depressing, dark people and events symbolized by tracks on the album.

Now having said that, WTF might Sunken Condos have to do with ANY of the nine track titles we have seen on the record?

Furthermore, M/O/D/P, WTF is YOUR insight into this obviously vexing observation, other than to marginalize it or myself?

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 22:30:11 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto

QUOTE: "I am beginning to think that the title Sunken Condos is ridiculous and it is hard to see how it relates to these song titles as a social issue.
it doesn't even look like it could appear in any lyrics to the songs.
It seems way off topic as if Fagen was drunk or high, or both one night during the home mortgage crisis and was looking at his fish tank and came up with such a title." UNQUOTE

Funny thing, "Jeb", I was thinking the exact same thing! Thank you for your cogent, insightful contribution here. Although many people come to The Blue to read legitimate, interesting commentary from credible (or at least entertaining) sources, I come here mainly to read anonymous posters' pre-release assessments of music they haven't yet heard, based on criteria like whether or not the album title is actually referenced in the songs' lyrics. Because, as we all know all too well from past experience, any song cycle wherein the title ISN'T referenced in the lyrics has proven to be, as you say, "ridiculous". Even worse, it now looks like the album's title may very well be, as you say, "way off topic". The situation at hand simply couldn't be worse, I'm afraid. So even though we don't actually know any of the lyrics to DF's new one, nor do we even know the "topic", your conclusion is obviously a well-thought-out one. My hat is off to you, sir!

It's really too bad that DF has produced such a disappointing piece of music with Sunken Condos. Even though we haven't heard it yet, we understand. I think I'll go now and cancel those Amazon/CD Universe pre-orders. Thanks for helping to confirm my worst fears about this new opus, "Jeb"!

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 22:07:44 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

BFF is more than a great warmup to SC. Just listened to the clips and they sound fantastic. Arguably taking the best notions of his solo career and the original BFF on a high fidelity version of themselves. Lots of attention to detail.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 20:02:42 ET
Posted by: jeb , omaha

I am beginning to think that the title Sunken Condos is ridiculous and it is hard to see how it relates to these song titles as a social issue.

it doesn't even look like it could appear in any lyrics to the songs.

It seems way off topic as if Fagen was drunk or high, or both one night during the home mortgage crisis and was looking at his fish tank and came up with such a title.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 19:59:28 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Three's a crowd

OK. It's silly. But I had to. Here's the robot from Queen's News Of The World visiting Ben Fold's robot and the Royal Scam in the Sunken Condos.

On topic: Great to hear that Cat and Carolyn are on the album. The info is seeping in. Soon we'll have the name of the drummer!

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 19:28:29 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Would you pour me a cuban breeze, baby?

PGE: Brilliant. Amazing stuff, the likeness between the two covers.
Here's my version!

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 18:54:18 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Is this the first we've heard of Cat and Carolyn appearing on Sunken Condos? First I've heard and I'm damn glad to hear it.

Thanks Elgin and Team Cat.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 17:24:05 ET
Posted by: Elgin, Boston

Catherine Russell "Strictly Romancin" Coast to Coast Tour: Upcoming Appearances 2012

Come out and show ms. Cat some Dan/Dukes "love"~!!! For ticketing info on all shows visit the "tour" section at

Sat Sept 15, Bethlehem, PA � Blast Furnace Blues Festival at Steel Stacks (different stages but same venue visited by Steely Dan in 2011 and Dukes earlier this summer!)
2:00pm Musikfest Caf�, 6:15pm Blast Furnace Room

****Wed Sept 19 Los Angeles, CA � Catalina Bar & Grill**** Catalina debut~!

Fri Sept 21 Sacramento, CA � Harlow�s

Sat Sept 22 Monterey, CA - Monterey Jazz Festival

Sun Sept 23 Woodside, CA - Jazz at Filoli
1:30pm (Sold Out)

****Tue-Wed Sept 25-26 Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley****

Catherine Russell shows coming this fall East and Midwest:
Fri Oct 5 Madison, NJ - Shanghai Jazz
Sat Oct 6 Narrowsburg, NY � Tusten Theatre
Wed Oct 10 New York, NY � Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
Sat Oct 13 Greenwich, CT - Greenwich Public Library
Wed Nov 14 Evanston, IL (Chicago) - Space
Thu Nov 15 Bloomington, IN � Buskirk-Chumley Theatre
Fri Nov 16 Vincennes, IN � Red Skelton Center for The Performing Arts
Sat Nov 24 Rockport, MA - Rockport Music Hall -Shalin Liu Performance Center

Dukes of September Rhythm Revue: Thank you Mr. Donald Fagen for a truly fun and fine 40 city summer tour, with Catherine garnering raves and much "blue book love" for her rendition of Erma Franklin's "Piece of My Heart", duets with Boz Scaggs ("Miss Sun") and Michael McDonald ("Takin' It To The Streets"), and killin bg vocals throughout w/the great Ms. Carolyn Leonhart, both of whom sing on Sunken Condos! And the Dukes party continues in Hawaii & Japan:
24 - Honolulu, Hawaii - Blaisdell Concert Hall - w/Dukes of September
25 - Maui, Hawaii - MAACC Amphitheater - w/Dukes of September
29 - Nagoya, Aichi Japan-Zepp - w/Dukes of September
30 - Osaka, Japan - Grand Cube Osaka w/Dukes
01 - Toyko, Japan - Budokan w/Dukes

Looking forward to seeing you along the trail! Dan and Dukes friends have another excuse to gather!
Cat Team

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 15:56:49 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

I'm glad that PGE has too much time on his hands. I expected something like the cover from Alan Parsons' I Robot. Instead, I got to laugh out loud.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 15:07:18 ET
Posted by: PGE, Sunken visit...

@Napoleon, U.K.:

Robot visits other album cover. Like so, perhaps:



Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 13:45:51 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

When 11TOW first dame out, it didn't really hit me. I probably never gave it a fair shot--which is weird. Can't remember why I didn't listen to it more when it first came out. Typically I listen to anything from Don and Walt a bunch, as their stuff takes some time to reveal itself. Perhaps it was due to the comparatively minimal production. Dunno

But after C$, I went back and started listening to 11TOW again, and I have to say I think it's pretty damn good. I still like C$ better, but I like 11TOW much better than I used to.

"inferior fans". Pretty funny

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 13:18:04 ET
Posted by: Milt, Y

Actually, I much prefer 11TOW. But it's an acquired taste and I can understand inferior fans thinking C$ is better. ;)

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 12:01:45 ET
Posted by: you CAN get what you want,

Just so you know, JOE JACKSON is touring again, and this time he has the Bigger Band. His most recent tours were with one or two other players. The Bigger Band has four of his main studio collaborators that have been used over his 30 plus year career. Reviews so far say the band is tight and the reproduction is quite close to the originals.
This is a MUST SEE.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 10:50:10 ET
Posted by: sid, finch

Circus Money is fantastic! 100 x better than 11TOW!

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 10:30:08 ET
Posted by: Jason K, virtual insanity

I defy anyone here to say that Circus Money was not a vast improvement over 11 tracks of dreck.

Either Walt B. got better with time, or the producer Klein brought it out, or whatevah. And maybe, a younger, creative Leonhart has done the same with SC as the poster Chris said earlier.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 10:21:12 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Nice to see El Sup back. BTW, Sup, who is Gregory Lewis? A quick Google reveals a reporter who died last year.

As I mentioned earlier, of course this is all opinion and everyone is entitled to his/her own (no matter how incredibly stupid it is---joking of course, sort of). But I think the point is, using a band like Aerosmith as a comparison to Donald Fagen on a Steely Dan board is odd, to say the least. Some annon poster questioned what the reaction would be if a poster on a punk band's board used SD as a comparison. Well my guess is it would be similar to what is here. It likely wouldn't be a comparison most of the community could relate to. I would guess the poster who used SD as a comparison on a punk board would be much like the poster who uses Aerosmith on a SD board--probably a troll looking to cause a stir.

As for the clarification post, I don't think the sales of SC will have anything to do with the quality of the album. If you look at what music sells the most, one might actually conclude that sales and quality are inversely related. While I don't that is entirely true, it pretty much destroys the "more it sells the better it is" argument some use. Popularity and quality are independent of one another, IMO.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 09:36:35 ET
Posted by: clarification,

We are fans here but we use a comparison to Aerosmith of artists whose work and sales went up during their late period. Elton John, Paul McCartney, Steppenwolf and many others quality went down with age. So Chris nh makes a good point about the later period, in Fagen's case Morph the Cat. While decent, to many fans, it is downhill from Royal Scam, the best album of the early period. So maybe Sunken COndos will be better than ever and the quality and sales will go up, like it or not such as Aerosmith, a band that was once basically left for dead.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 09:35:35 ET
Posted by: Napoleon, whilst we are waiting..., U.K

Hello everyone. Since Donald Fagen's new album artwork has been revealed for Sunken Condos, I couldn't help but draw comparisons with Ben Folds Five new album artwork.

Ok so it doesn't mean much but I just found it amusing. I just imagined the robot sitting out there in the same scene

See what I mean?



Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 09:25:10 ET
Posted by: Ugh, OL

I find Aerosmith as repugnant as anyone, don't even like their 70s stuff and I like a ton of hard rock from that era that most on this board can't stand.

But it's one dude's opinion. He thinks Aerosmith has gotten better and more refined with age; and compared to the gunk that band probably put out from 1978 until they cleaned up, he's probably onto something.

If some aging punk or indie band's message board went off on a poster for hoping their group "aged as well as Steely Dan when they reunited," we'd be harping all over that crowd for not understanding the Dan's genius, maaaan.

Lay off. Sometimes this board was better when there was absolutely nothing to talk about.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 09:12:55 ET
Posted by: Young Wu, Buffalo

How... does a Steely Dan fan compare anything this band has ever done to Aerosmith? Aerosmith gets stronger with age!!?? What the fuck have they put out on the last 25 years? Christ, that's some stupid bullshit.

"Let's hope Fagen is more like Aerosmith"

Gotta be trolling, right? If not, you revoke your Dan Fan membership. Because that may be the most insane comparison I have ever heard. It's just... an astronomically stupid comment. You really must not be a fan.

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 09:00:18 ET
Posted by: El Sup, Louisville, KY

Ah ha -

I kinda liked Coked Nuns Son. Very Gregory Lewis.

El Sup

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 02:53:22 ET
Posted by: ruwhbt, vegrPIyEtUhdiF

OVOEN1 <a href="http://enkauqajexqc.com/">enkauqajexqc</a>, [url=http://iudxiclivskr.com/]iudxiclivskr[/url], [link=http://ctwccmyqcyyl.com/]ctwccmyqcyyl[/link], http://mnwdxfndawjc.com/

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 00:38:50 ET
Posted by: ah, ha!


Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 00:32:53 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto, a bit better now but still apalled

Dean - Good to hear it's not just me, and that someone out there feels my pain.

Should I ever have the opportunity, I would put Kulee Baba, The Bear, Second Arrangement, This All Too Mobile Home, et al, up against any of the simplistic crud dished out by either the thoroughly-embarassing "Van Halen" or the cartoonish, musically laughable "Aerosmith". I still can't believe someone drew those tenuous comparisons, and I still can't believe that the comparisons were done in the context of disparraging the amazing Morph the Cat....as well as dumping on (pre-release, don'tcha know) the as-yet-unheard (by most of us, anyways) Sunken Condos.

On the other hand, 10,000,000 "Journey" fans singing "Don't stop, belieeeeeeevin'!!" at the top of their lungs can't all be wrong. Can they??

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 00:12:58 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Yes, the introduction of Aerosmith and Van Halen into the discussion was truly outrageous. A new low on The Blue? Don and Walt flush stuff better than anything those two bands have ever released. Of course, IMO. Musical taste is individual and we all have our opinions. But Aerosmith? Van fucking Halen? Seriously?

Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 00:12:51 ET
Posted by: romney sucks, right?

man. i may have to break out the turntable


Date: Thurs, September 13, 2012, 00:08:08 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Toronto/jaw on the floor

Well, I haven't heard the new one over the phone, nor have I heard it in the rain, or even on a train. Haven't heard a note....although I have pre-ordered CD and vinyl copies from both Amazon and CD Universe, not that anyone here gives a flying Pagoda of Funn about my awesome buying power. That said, I'm certainly willing to believe that there are folks here who have heard it. That just doesn't seem to me to be that much of a stretch, really, especially in this digital age.

What I cannot believe is that someone here just slagged the truly brilliant Morph the Cat, and did so while attempting to draw loose musical comparisons between DF and such lowbrow cookie-cutter acts as "Van Halen" and the truly awful, mawkish "Aerosmith". Please tell me that didn't just happen.

What next? Someone who hasn't heard Sunken Condos, but just knows it won't be as good as "Journey's Greatest Hits Vol 1"? How about an "REO Speedwagon" reference vis-a-vis the album we're all holding our collective breath on, or perhaps a favorable comparison of the body of work recorded by "Foreigner" to the entire SD catalog??

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 23:01:00 ET
Posted by: Chris, Nh

I heard some of the record over the phone and it sounded fantastic - much more varied overall than MTC. I can't speak to the lyrical content or any finer points of the record, but much like Klein brought out something unexpected in Becker, Leonhart seems to have done so here.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 22:32:06 ET
Posted by: sunken what??,

Like this poster Abraham, I am not getting a good vibe about this new record. The title of Sunken Condos looks like it has nothing to do with any of the song titles, and the information given by those who have said they have heard it. It just doesn't fit in.

Chris nh said something about an artist's late period, and I have seen this many times. Van Halen has not put out much of any quality since maybe the late 1980s. On the other hand, Aerosmith got stronger with age.

Let's hope Fagen is more like Aerosmith and does not go downhill from Morph the Cat, descending further down to the pits.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 20:30:10 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Klaus, thanks for the kind words. Everyone from the Blue I've met, certainly including you, has been a good person to share a couple drinks with.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 19:56:37 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

The gatefold artwork of Donald's
new one looks like "Mona" never
made it out of the condo before
the flood.

CDs spinnin'
AC hummin'
Feelin' pretty.

If Snake Mary says that Elliot Schiener
mixed this album, then Elliot Schiener
MIXED this LP.

Elliot also "twiddled the knobs" on
"Musically Adrift" which often sounds
like it, was recorded in 1978.

Which is a GOOD thing.

Check it out. Looking forward to hearing
"Sunken Condos".

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 19:31:30 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Lawson was a good fit for the band of 2000. Great timing to the point where it might appear boring to some drummers.
His solos certainly were somewhat boring. On the groove tracks he was better suited for SD than Erskine, I thought - not talking TWMan.
Carlock added another dimension though, and Barney worked out great with both of them. (Except his occasional, out of place slapping of the strings in 2003)
Ted Baker was absulutely fabulous live, much more so than Jeff Young, who was a good back up that could sing.
Carlock/Beard/Washington seem like the "A-team" for B/F.
Great call!
Just my opinion.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 18:40:47 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Still Drinkin'

Klaus, I hear ya. I have met a couple Blue posters in person and have corresponded off-the-forum with several others. All seem like real good people to me.

I think I am fairly familiar with the regular posters here, but I'm sure there are a few infrequent posters I do not recall. But when I see a name I don't recognize, and the poster is unusually loud/arrogant engages in personal attacks, is hyper critical, etc---well, I usually just assume it is NYBill using one of his numerous pseudonyms. I'm probably wrong sometimes--I'm sure there are a few other malcontents hanging around. But I bet I'm right more often than I am wrong, when it comes to this.

But you are probably right. We won't be having a beer with It's Like This.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 17:40:35 ET
Posted by: Klaus with a new rooster, Ohio

Dean / why do I think we may never have a beer and a live face to face discussion w IT? I have met Mr Belcher and can attest to his knowledge and love for Don and Walt. Good dude in my opinion looking foreward to meeting the Dean someday. Oh Rog wish you were here the voice of reason

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:53:09 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Abraham - you bring up a good point. MTC, to me, is a typical "artist's late period" record with periodic flashes of brillance sprinkled among a certain sameness that the young artist would not have been happy with. So you get these incredible moments like the refrain of Great Pagoda ("from poisoned skies/and severed heads" has some of the most gorgeous harmonies I've ever heard) but immediately preceding are a handful of stanzas uncomfortably bordering on schlock.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:42:30 ET
Posted by: PGE, Jon Herington Band live in Philadelphia

Jon Herington Band at the PSALM Salon i Philadelphia September 8

Catch it while it's available!


Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:40:29 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Greg, I agree with you about Young's backup vocals. He was also very adept at covering for Fagen when he needed to back off on a high note. The female backup singers do that too, but it's not as seamless for obvious reasons.

(Pure speculation: in 2006 they toured with two backup singers and Jeff Young only had some keyboards; no baby grand. I don't know what an extra backup singer and a baby grand amounts to on a ledger, but I do wonder if they needed to keep costs down on that tour for whatever reason.)

First, it goes without saying that everyone who's played with Steely Dan is an exceptional musician with more talent and grace than most in the business - so I'm certainly not dismissing him entirely. I do rank him last on the Steely Dan Keyboard Player Hierarchy, though. I've heard a few DFB soundboards where he audibly fudges some important parts and his solos fall more on the scale of a solid rock and blues keyboard player than the pure virtuosity consistently on display by Baker and Beard.

There's also the question of the Josie intros. Baker and Beard both have a moment to shine before that song is played, and I have always been amazed at what they come up with. For whatever reason, in 06 and 07, Young was not afforded that opportunity.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:32:01 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Greg, Dan and Klaus, obviously I with all of you. But you can't really argue with a poster who only makes proclamations and doesn't realize his/her opinion is just that--an opinion. Reminds me a bit of the poster who claimed Steely Dan would be better off if he played with them. Funny stuff, don't you think?

Abe, I have heard some complain about Morph--but never about the lyrics. I think it's lyrically brilliant. I suppose there are some who think it is not, but this is the first I have heard of it, I think.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:16:36 ET
Posted by: Abraham, F

A lot of discussion about the music on SC, but will Don rebound lyrically from MTC? Many considered it to be not his best effort on that front.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 16:08:35 ET
Posted by: Klaus and the new rooster, Ohio

Dan with you bro this shit gets so insulting sometimes by so called experts that I hardly post anymore guess it dont count that we have spent thousands going to shows buying the music go ahead attack it

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 15:21:58 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Come on, It's Like This. If you want to disagree with my opinion (on something that is entirely based on opinion, no less -- I never disagreed that Ricky is an excellent timekeeper. I just find his style boring to my ears.), that's fine. But can you at least do it without insulting my family name?

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 14:22:19 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

<<<Carlock/Washington/Beard all hit that sweet spot of faithful interpretation of the source material + the taste and chops to expand and improve upon it.>>>

Agree tremendously.

<<<IMO, the only major misstep was Jeff Young ... he's competent enough, but talk about no chops.>>>

Disagree for a few reasons.

1. He is a stellar player and I find no errors.
Refer the following live cuts:
Jeri(all chops),
Maxine (perfect intro and organ work),
New Frontier (left hand playing the double synth up-beats in perfect time, while right hand playing tasty wurly),

2. A male voice in the backup is welcome, and he covered that perfectly (again, true to the source material, while taking some exciting liberties)

+1 to Jeff Young.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 13:58:18 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

<< Funny, both Ricky and KC are studio guys who should really never set foot on the road.>>

You may need to convince Sting, Phil Collins, John Mayer, Wayne Krantz, Michael Jackson*, etc. of this.

*yes, I realize that he is dead.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 12:44:58 ET
Posted by: 88 Fingers Louie, BedRock

Making a rare post to share that on the drive to work this week I have been listening to Sirius/XM Channel 32 "The Bridge" and on Monday heard "Bad Sneakers", Tuesday "Change of the Guard", and today "Doctor Wu". I was buggin' baby! Today I noticed the time was 8:40 east coast. You don't hear these kinda cuts on any radio. Some Steely love over there for sure. Hope it continues. Listen up if you can.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 12:26:36 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

I said nothing about time-keeping. I don't credit dean with walking-home sense when it comes to judging musicianship...I've read too many of his rediculous posts (what's that lame 70's rocker guitar player he keeps gushing over -I think he's an ex of cher's; need I say more- the guitar guy is SO inconsquential I can't recollect his name). Anyway, believe it or not, there's much to be left wanting for insofar as KC's playing (ex: soloing). Chris has always been spot-one and has the read on Ricky. What I said was Ricky's pocket was amazing. Kid Charlemagne demands restrained snare work (dean: read and understand instead of typing) and I just can't quite understand all those notes KC seems to think fit. Tremendous lack of groove understanding. Funny, both Ricky and KC are studio guys who should really never set foot on the road.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 11:52:36 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

I like the 08-present rhythm section quite a bit ... Carlock/Washington/Beard all hit that sweet spot of faithful interpretation of the source material + the taste and chops to expand and improve upon it.

Lawson was a monster and his pocket cannot be overstated. But he seemed to have a "session musician" mentality live that lacked any sense of spontaneity. I do love listening to shows in 96 and 00, though, and marveling at how perfectly well placed every drum fill is.

IMO, the only major misstep was Jeff Young ... he's competent enough, but talk about no chops.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 10:30:41 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Funny, I always thought Ricky Larson was the weak spot in that band, too. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting he isn't good and in some songs he sounds fine. But he doesn't have the versatility of Carlock across all the tunes---IMO of course. I'm with Dan on this, I think his playing is a bit plodding at times.

I always find the criticism of Carlock interesting. Typically his critics complain he ONLY plays in the pocket with Steely Dan. That he is a great time keeper, but not creative/interesting/etc. I think this is the first time I've encountered someone who suggests he doesn't keep time well.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 09:42:31 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

Belcher (how appropriate) - "metronomic"? been wanting to use that word, eh? Perhaps you should stick to assessing white wine music instead of drumming.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 09:34:10 ET
Posted by: It's, Like This

Ricky absolutely kills Carlock with his being in the pocket (contrast recent youtuve offerings 1 to 4). Carlock sounds like a high school drummer trying to get his funk on...Carlock would do well to deconstruct his playing in an effort to lose some of his habitual ghost-noting.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 09:00:41 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

fagenism -- I on the other hand can barely watch the 2vn live DVD anymore because of Ricky Lawson's drumming. He just feels so plodding and dull and metronomic to me. There is no feeling or emotion in the way he plays in my opinion. His take on Jack of Speed is a good example.

Date: Wed, September 12, 2012, 06:36:58 ET
Posted by: fagenism, -

I hope my senses are not clouded by nostalgia here, but I have to admit I am partial to the Two Against Nature era rhythm section: Lawson, Barney, Baker.

Speaking of which; did they perform any other tunes than Kid Charlemagne for that Storytellers segment? I think the KC performance is one of the most played Dan clips on YouTube, so I am surprised no one has uploaded more material (assuming more material was played and saved by someone, obviously). I just really love the look, feel and sound of the KC performance.

Fellow Lawson fans should check out the early albums by The Yellowjackets, of which Ricky was a founding member. Russ Ferrante and Bob Mintzer wrote some otherworldly muzak over the years, which helps pass the time when waiting for condos to sink.

("I would rather watch paint dry" hereby replaced by "I would rather watch condos sink".)

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 21:46:57 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

The Dean - That Freddie interview was outstanding. Best description I've heard of the art of bass playing.

My only complaint with Tom was that his tone live was a little bit muddy. That could be due to numerous things from the bass to the amp to the soundman at the time. Who knows? The idea of too many notes could be a factor as well. Freddie uses an old Fender Precision bass and I believe Tom played an ESP bass during most of the SD shows.

They've both played Aguilar and Eden amps so, again, who knows.

Here's an interview I hadn't seen from the EMG days. Found it researching the amps.



Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 21:18:56 ET
Posted by: organ grinder, down on the corner, out in the street

There's more than the issue of compromised fidelity on trying to squeeze sound (grooves) onto a side of vinyl, there is the problem of tracking. If the grooves are machined or wound too tightly, the record will skip. I have had quite a few records with this problem that would only work with the finest stylus. Other times, with a cheaper turntable/needle they sometimes would skip all the way across the record to the middle. You could sometimes adjust the counterweight on the tone arm balance, but bearing down too hard would wear out the record.

Many times, I would play the vinyl once, and make a fine cassette recording, or later burn a CD. Those vinyl copies still serve to this day as my "mastering" discs and are maintained at 65 degrees F so as not to warp....

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 20:23:44 ET
Posted by: Request, For DJ Lester

Can Donald's site lose IGY playing already?

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 20:19:01 ET
Posted by: JungleBook, Marine Blue?

Thanks Steve. Hadn't come across this earlier. Wow, now I just want the vinyl. What an artwork! Here's a direct link to the pics: http://donaldfagen.shop.musictoday.com/

The empty 4th side is no mystery: Two sides of vinyl isn't enough for all the 9 songs. The grove on each side would be too crammed and that would result in compromised audio fidelity. However; three songs a side gives each side enough room to sound as good as possible. So the fourth side isn't needed and is left uncut.

I have such an album in my modest collection so it's not unheard of.

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 20:16:33 ET
Posted by: Vert, Q

First I ever heard of a 3 sided album was a Joe Jackson live album in the 80's. It was too much for one record and not enough for two. At his insistence, it sold for the price of a single album and not a double.


Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 19:41:29 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland


Just checking that everyone is aware that the gatefold and back cover art from the 180g Vinyl edition of SC is up for viewing on Donald's site?

ps: 3 sides on a 2 disc set with presumably one blank side, what's that all about?

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 18:28:35 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. Still Drinkin'

Just came across this little tidbit. Not a comparison between Tom B and Freddie W, but some insight into Freddie's playing:


A few excerpts:

The Groove
�The first aspect of the groove is to lock onto the tempo. Then you focus on your bass part and come together with the drum part. I listen to where Keith puts his kick, hi-hat, and snare, and to the intent behind it�what he�s trying to do. Then I try to blend with his subdivisions. For me, my body language signals that the groove is really happening. I�m always thinking in half-time when I play; I have a half-time pulse. If I�m moving like this [sways in halftime], it�s grooving. If I�m standing still it means I�m waiting to see where the groove settles [laughs]. Once that�s accomplished, the other essential ingredient is to make sure the groove stays there and has consistency. A key with Steely Dan is that when the groove is happening, it makes the songs sound less sophisticated.�

Space & Note Duration
�I�m way into space and simplicity. I listen to what everyone else is playing and think, how can I stay out of their way? I�m comfortable leaving space because I know someone else is going to fill it in. My thought process is, How can we all dance together? Often, it comes down to the length of notes. There�s an art to note duration� how long you let them ring and where. I�ll play a short note to let Keith�s snare release because it makes the music clean.�

�I tend to reduce bass lines down to their key components. For example, �Peg� is a fairly busy part, but my focus is on locking in the three-note accent [sings the dotted-eighth, dotted-eighth, and eighthnote pattern]. In a slow shuffle like �Home At Last,� I�m just focused on the downbeat. Everything else I play in the middle means nothing if I don�t hit that downbeat. Same with �Babylon Sisters�; I�m aiming for the downbeat and the rest is all about waiting, which is so much of what groove playing is. On the other hand, on �Glamour Profession,� Anthony Jackson never plays on the one, so my goal is to make it feel like I�m playing on one.

With busier parts, like �Gaslighting Abbie� or �Kid Charlemagne,� I still look to nail the downbeat. A lot of players get intimidated by 16ths, and they end up playing them rushed and all the same. Because of my half-time approach, I think of the pulse in eighth- or quarter- notes. The rest is just filling the blanks in-between with ghost-notes and dead notes. It�s almost like hide and seek�play here, hide here, but keep it all in the flow. What�s cool about �Charlemagne� is that it�s a bit looser in the pocket. I think of the pocket as a sine wave, and you want to make the bass line do this [runs hand above and below the wave].�

�Everyone has their own rules and methods to achieve a groove. Ultimately it�s about what you feel the groove should be, and if you can make people believe and feel what you�re feeling and playing.�

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 16:53:46 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Greg, a fair question actually. I realize you aren't trying to start any sort of war--I don't think you are that kind of poster. I'm no expert--I'm just giving my impressions from having listened to a bunch of both guys over the years.

This isn't meant to be definitive, but the first thing I did was search Kid Charlemagne and found the 2vN version with Barney and a version from 2006 with Freddie. Since there was a big difference in sound quality, I clicked on a couple more.

Here are two from Barney:



Here are two from Freddie Washington:



Yes there are some dramatic differences in recording quality, but I think you can at least year the bass notes in each. I didn't have to listen for more than about 20-30 seconds of each to hear Barney playing more notes ("busier" is what I call it) than Washington.

BTW, I don't think it is intrinsically better to be busier or to be more restrained. Depends on the song, the artist, what the busier guy plays, etc. In this case, I think I like Barney's approach to Kid C a bit better.

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 13:54:14 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

not starting a fight - just curious.

Any examples as to where Barney's interpretation is "busier" than Freddie's on a particular tune?

(BTW, I dig Freddie as well and enjoy his live work with don/dan)

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 12:19:02 ET
Posted by: Snake Mary,

By the way Mark, if anyone mixed this album, it would be Elliot Schiener, I'm sure of that. He'll do wonders with it sonically even if the drums are programmed using Pro Tools.

Snake Mary

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 12:01:14 ET
Posted by: Snake Mary,

In response Mark B regarding drum machines, Don' would never use one. As Carlock said, they recorded loads of snare drums, crash & ride cymbals etc & put them into Pro Tools, so you get a real live drum feel, defiantly not like a horrible old drum machine! The sound will be more like Kamakiriad. Century's End is a good example, programed drums but using acoustic drums, so you have the feel & nuances but it's just not live, it won't sound anything like Shanghai Confidential I can assure you of that.

Snake Mary

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 10:26:15 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

I'm with you, Hutch. I dig the playing of both Barney and Freddie. Barney is a bit busier while Fred is all about the groove--at least that's what I hear. Anyway, Don sure seems to like Freddie's playing.

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 09:42:37 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Tom Barney did a great job with SD for several years. But I have no problem at all with what Freddie has been doing. Great bassist.

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 09:19:57 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

<<Lurker Ray- Thanks for the Metal Leg interview! Some really great inside info I never heard before.>>


Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 05:29:49 ET
Posted by: krqthvax, bTvVlYRuxLIj

fNVhAq <a href="http://dtclzregydny.com/">dtclzregydny</a>, [url=http://miuwnichvwrr.com/]miuwnichvwrr[/url], [link=http://affojmxfniup.com/]affojmxfniup[/link], http://ircnlkptwlet.com/

Date: Tues, September 11, 2012, 00:04:50 ET
Posted by: Larry, NJ

Lurker Ray- Thanks for the Metal Leg interview! Some really great inside info I never heard before.

Date: Mon, September 10, 2012, 22:21:38 ET
Posted by: Mark B, London

re Date: Wed, August 15, 2012, 10:36:11 ET
Posted by: Jazzassi:L-

Your comment that no one will bi complaining about drum machines (lets call them what they are/ it is) on SD

If it's true that the drums on SC are programmed pre-programmed or computationally cogitated, then - as a pro-drummer and huge SD fan - I'd be hugely, hugely sad and it will undoubtedly affect the timbre.

The greatest SD or SD related album to date was Circus Money and Royal Scam to name a few.

I've also been told numerous times by a key SD band member that their rich sound was mostly down to Elliot Schiener. But all know that.

No amount of mix wizardy can hide the inauthentic cold sounds of a f****g drum machine!

I have interviewed nearly all the ex SD Drummers. See my features on the facebook group;)


Date: Mon, September 10, 2012, 21:56:04 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

"And providing the harmonic underpinning to our music... Tom Barney".

Tom Barney... Sorely missed in recent years!

Date: Mon, September 10, 2012, 21:39:23 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

jazzassin - We talked about Walter's bass line on Gaucho and now I'm getting into what he's doing on Jack of Speed. It's intesting how a certain bass line can drive the song in one direction or another both with the rhythm and the notes. I remember WB introducing Tom Barney at the Va. Beach show in '96 by saying, "And providing the harmonic underpinning to our music... Tom Barney". People ask me sometimes, "Isn't it easier to learn bass than guitar... only four strings"? Yeah right.

I'll bet this new Donald Fagen album is gonna knock our sox off.
Have we ever been disappointed? Not me.

Thanks Hoops.

Date: Mon, September 10, 2012,  13:13 ET
Posted by: JungleMusic, Skate a little lower now

Nice: http://matsw.blogspot.se/2012/09/donald-fagen.html

Date: Mon, September 10, 2012, 05:52 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972,The Hague, Holland

Still no Sunken Condos soundclips unfortunately. The wait is hard, I have to say. But the 16th of October is getting closer and closer!

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 19:55 ET
Posted by: Big Fan, dhk3ATcharter.net

From Drew Zing's Facebook page. He's on a mini tour with MM. I alawys liked his work on the 93-94 tour. Went to Loomis Chafee HS in Windsor - made a big deal when they played at the Hartford Civic Center in 93.

I have it on pretty darned good authority that a Mr. Donald Fagen just sat in with MMcDonald...Drew is on this tour...and they played PEG...and Drew, I imagine, RIPPED A HOLE IN THE TUNE...that DF sat in, on good authority...that DZ ripped PEG, granted and...PRICELESS.

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 13:18 ET
Posted by: .,


Donald chose "Sunken Condos" as the new projects
title instead of "Boogie Showers". :O)

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 13:12 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

ISSUE 21, APRIL, 1993

Inside the Nightfly sessions

An interview with Daniel Lazerus

If you look closely at the credits of "The Nightfly" you will see that listed among the well-known engineers Roger Nichols and Elliot Scheiner is the Overdub Engineer, Daniel Lazerus. At the age of only 24, Daniel had the unique opportunity to play an integral part in the recording of one of the best-sounding albums of all time. In this interview con-ducted in Winter 1992 at Memphis Restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Daniel talked to "Metal Leg" editor Pete Fogel and publisher Bill Pascador about his career and working with Donald Fagen. And if anyone can shed some light on the meaning of the term "boogie showers", please drop us a line...

Metal Leg: How did you get started as an engineer?
Daniel Lazerus: If it hadn't been for Dick LaPalm and Roger Nichols, nothing would have happened for me.

ML: So did Dick LaPalm put you in touch with Gary Katz?
DL: Yeah. What happened was I was working at the Village Recorder Studio and Gary Katz was at the session. Gary was producing and Roger was engineering. Roger had a couple o f commitments at the time and he just said to Gary Katz, "Use this guy." I really owe a lot to Roger and Donald.

ML: You had already been working with Gary?
DL: Yeah, as an assistant engineer. I'd done everything from working with the Stones to Fleetwood Mac. I started off at a studio called Wally Heider Recording, which was in Hollywood. I worked in a couple smaller studios around Hollywood until I got the gig at the Village.

ML: How does Gary work in the studio?
DL: He's like Roy Thomas Baker -- he's got this amazing, outrageous style of recording guitars. Gary's style is very room-oriented, really strong concern and focus about getting the room really tight, getting drums really tight, getting the bass, and building these tracks up, really concentrating so much on the room and certainly that's how "The Nightfly" was done. It was an exacting, perfectionist style of concentrating on really getting the groove so solid.

ML: At what stage of the recording process did you become involved?
DL: They came out to the Village and I was the assistant engineer. Elliot Scheiner cut all the basic tracks in LA and when they decided to go to New York, Roger was gonna be building the new Wendel computer. He was going to have to dedicate a lot of his time to that, because he was literally building it from scratch in his home. Roger suggested to Donald and Gary that they take me to New York, which was the chance of a lifetime. I was twenty-four years old and they let me record the remaining eleven months of "The Nightfly." I literally moved to New York to do that album.

ML: Were you part of the entire recording process?
DL: I was there for the whole album, but Elliot did the basic tracks in LA and I was the assistant engineer on that. And I recorded one of the basic tracks, because it was a song that Donald wrote towards the end of the album, "Walk Between The Raindrops." So I recorded that entire track and then Elliot mixed the album.

ML: You had said that if you listen carefully, "Walk Between The Raindrops" has a different sound than the other tracks.
DL: That was for two reasons: one is that Elliot did all the other tracks and he is one of the best tracking and mixing engineers that exists and at this point he had been doing it for something like fifteen years. The other reason was that I was a very young and a very new engineer. All the other tracks were recorded at the Village Recorder in LA and the room there sounds much different than Soundworks in NY. So it's actually the sound of that room. Soundworks wasn't the most opulent place for me to think of recording live drums; it had a very low ceiling and was kind of a boxy studio. It's a good studio, don't get me wrong, great for overdubbing, but I would've preferred a "liver" room with maybe higher ceilings. So it's a little bit of a tighter drum kit sound on the rest of the album.

ML: What is River Sound studio like?
DL: It's a really happening little room there. It was great to see that happen, because for years it had been a dream of Gary and Donald's. Back after "The Nightfly" they had been talking about having their own place and I was really happy to hear from Roger that they got their own place.

ML: You worked on Rosie Vela's "Zazu." Were you in the studio for Rosie when Donald and Walter got back together, when Walter started playing "Tonto" on that little keyboard?
DL: Yeah, it was in LA at the Village Recorder. I knew it was kind of a big deal that Walter would be coming by, and as it turned out, he sat down with the little keyboard thing and started playing a bit for "Tonto" that we used.

ML: Rosie Vela said that while Walter hadn't even gotten to the studio, Donald's favorite track was "Tonto." When Walter came in, he said his favorite track was "Tonto," also.
DL: That was a good moment. Up until that time I hadn't met Walter, I had only heard of him and had been a fan like anyone else and so I knew it was a pretty significant moment for Donald also to be in the studio with Walter.

ML: "Zazu" is a good sounding record. It did much better sales outside the United States.
DL: Yeah, they seem very aware of that album in Europe also. Funny how that is; I don't really know what happened there. I'm not sure why it didn't move so big, 'cause I thought it was a great record.

ML: Are you involved in Rosie's second album?
DL: No, I moved back to Los Angeles. I'd been in New York about five years and after I finished doing "Zazu" -- Elliot mixed that album -- I went back to LA to sort myself out a bit. I spent about three years just doing various mixing projects and decided to make the move to London. The move to London's been great, the only thing that's different is I'm a musician actually; I've been a drummer since I was a little kid and I play jazz piano and blues harmonica and some guitar and since then I've been able to write again and play on albums and sing and do things like that. The projects that I've been working on now I've been co-writing, playing keyboards, playing blues harmonica, doing all the programming, it's been my route to production. What I've enjoyed about producing is getting back to the playing.

ML: Have you worked with anybody that we know?
DL: Well, one is an artist named Natasha Oldfield, sister of Mike who has quite a career in Germany, so I've played on quite a few of the tracks on that album. That's the album that I mastered a few days ago with Bob Ludwig, which is why I came to New York. It's a very strong record.

ML: Speaking of mastering, did you hear that MCA is using deteriorating master tapes for the Steely Dan CDs in production right now?
DL: No, that's unreal! That's pathetic. I'm pretty certain that we put a lot of those masters into the digital domain. Roger and I worked on that together. I cannot believe that MCA did that, especially with a band that's winning Grammy's for their audio.

ML: You were involved in recording Donald's song "Shanghai Confidential" for David Parsons the dancer.
DL: When was that released?

ML: 1988.
DL: From "Bright Lights, Big City." Somebody told me they'd seen this thing -- the name when we did it originally was "The Squash Lesson." (He hums the melody.) Kind of a Clint Eastwood thing. Donald did it for a friend of his. I love that track, it's a really cool groove, it's so simple, it's really just like a streamlined four-piece thing with Marcus Miller, Steve Khan. Donald did all the programming of drums and he did all those keyboards. He was studying albums of Chinese orchestras and actually recreated all those sounds on one synth. He really worked hard at it and he came in and just punched up all of those different things on one synth. It was like something out of England with the little plopping on keyboard and he just worked really hard till he had his sounds.

ML: You were also involved in the Hoops McCann album.
DL: Yeah, did that album actually come out? Donald and I actually did two mixes for that. We did "Rapunzel" and we also did a version of "Black Cow," only to find out that the person who had been involved in the arranging...

ML: Joe Roccisano?
DL: Yeah, had been sent the wrong master. There were two or three different takes of "Black Cow" and they had sent us the wrong one. So Donald and I did this really great mix of "Black Cow" but it wasn't the right take. So I never knew if they used what we did or not. That's the only mix we did together. I would love to get a copy, I haven't heard it. The Hoops McCann Band, that was a really sweet idea... It's funny, this is the second time I've been back in America in three years but it's great to come back and speak about these people. I kinda would have liked to see Donald if I could stay longer. I got some great album projects out of just doing "The Nightfly." Jean Michel Jarre did an album called "Zoolook" in 1984. He came to New York to work with me because he liked "The Nightfly." It was the first album that he had done using real musicians and using all this keyboard stuff.

ML: Do you have any good "Nightfly" stories?
DL: You can't imagine. I couldn't believe I could be paid to do a job like that. Larry Carlton was so brilliant, we just used his Fender Speed amplifier, not very loud. On "Walk Between The Raindrops" we did the "Oh, Miami" vocal the last day of recording. It was an idea that Donald had talked about. Gary, Donald and I ran out and did that on mike about three times. That's me, Gary and Donald going "Oh, Miami."

ML: We heard stories that to get the party sound on "Ruby Baby", you hid a microphone in Studio 54.
DL: We talked about that. We actually threw a party in Automated Sound and recorded it, so it's the first digitally-recorded party in history, I'm sure. We set up a bar and invited everyone who was involved with the album, girlfriends and everything and played "Ruby Baby" over the monitors in the studio. We had mikes in the room and played it kind of low -- Donald was standing on top of a chair at one point clapping, that was pretty energetic for Donald. And we multitracked and did a couple of different takes. It was a great night.

ML: There were some problems with "Ruby Baby," right?
DL: What we found out was the piano in Los Angeles on which Greg Phillinganes had played his solo had been a little bit out-of-tune with itself, the piano itself was out of tune, but Donald loved Greg's solo so much that we re-recorded "Ruby Baby" and then tore it down then re-recorded it, re-recorded it all to try and make the tuning of all the other instruments fit the out-of-tune piano solo. Donald spent a lot of time and his own financial investment to make that track work around the solo because he loved it that much. He actually tried to tune the whole track to the out-of-tune solo.

ML: "Maxine" had an interesting history, too, right?
DL: He actually created the song "Maxine" by taking an existing track that he'd recorded in Los Angeles doing the basic tracks. That was a different song and up until he decided that he didn't want to do that song for the album, he took the drum track which was Ed Green, studied at home, took that vocal and wrote that song. That album was originally gonna be called "Talk Radio and the track "The Nightfly" was also "Talk Radio," but Donald eventually decided on "The Nightfly."

ML: What do you think of his choice of doing "Green Flower Street" live on the New York Rock and Soul Revue?
DL: I haven't heard that album -- I've only heard of it. I actually made my singing debut on "Green Flower Street." It's one little ad lib at the end of the song.

ML: One thing that we want to ask you about is on "I.G.Y." At the very end of "I.G.Y." you hear a miniature electric piano that sounds like...
DL: Yeah, that was from the original tracking date in LA. I think Donald decided it sounded cool coming out of the fade. Yeah, you've gotta have your headset on and be a real audiophile to catch that, but I know exactly what you're talking about. I think that goes back to Donald's original rough scratch part.

ML: What was the first song Fagen put on that album?
DL: Ruby Baby, Green Flower Street...

ML: What about New Frontier?
DL: What a great drum track, does that guy play steady or what?

ML: Is that Jeff Porcaro?
DL: No, that's Ed Green.

ML: He's on Aja as well. He played on I Got The News. Are there any other tracks Donald didn't use?
DL: There was a beautiful track that we did later use for David Sanborn for the soundtrack for "The King Of Comedy." "The Finer Things" was originally gonna be a track for "The Nightfly." It was cut during those days.

ML: Were there vocals on that?
DL: Just a sax bit and at the very end there's background vocals.

ML: Was there anything else that didn't make "The Nightfly?"
DL: Just this one track that he later made into "Maxine." It's funny, I'm not really clear what the track was or what it was that he didn't like about it.

ML: Donald was supposed to have started on a follow-up to "The Nightfly" in 1983 or 1984 and then stopped. Did you work on it?
DL: The second album we did definitely start around '84. And we recorded basic tracks for it in Los Angeles at Jeff Porcaro's home studio, but it was quite a remarkable studio. We did tracks with Phillinganes and Donald was doing some keyboard work and Rick Marotta was playing drums. He did three things, one of them I remember was called "Big Noise, New York," I'm pretty sure that's what Donald called it. And it was great, really good. We did those basic tracks and then came back to New York and seemed like within a few months Donald didn't want to go with any of those tracks.

ML: Was it like "Nightfly" style or a different type of style?
DL: From what I remember, it was kinda like "Nightfly" style. "Ruby Babyish" groove, always groove with Donald, monster grooves. We got through about four tracks for the album. I did the recording of it with Roger and he was doing his Wendel stuff. I had no reason to assume that it wouldn't be the next record. It was a kind of "Third World Man" -- a kind of a monstrous, elephant-sized groove, it was real nice, too. I had only done "The Nightfly" and that was remarkable but I am also a fan having loved Steely Dan up until that time. I did "The Nightfly" which was a bit more unique 'cause it was a solo project, but I listen to stories like you do and can only say that I'm aware that Donald and Walter have at different times obviously shelved remarkable tracks.

ML: They were supposed to have done some writing in '86 and also are supposed to do an album with a guy who was in the "Gospel At Colonus," Sam Butler.
DL: Oh yeah, Sam, great guitar player. Donald and I produced that album together. He sings so good that guy and he's a killer guitar player. The way that album came about was "The Gospel At Colonus" was being done at the Academy of Music -- New Wave Music Festival -- and it was getting a lot of amazing reviews. Donald went and saw it and then called me and said 'Daniel, I'll even pay for you to go see this show, it's wonderful.' So I went down to see it and then just got it into my head that I should find out if anybody had approached Bob Telson about recording this amazing show. He said there had been some talk about it and I said 'Let me speak to Donald 'cause he really likes the show,' and Donald approached Warner Brothers and they went for it. We were recording the album within about a month or so.

ML: How did Donald react when people recognized him on the street?
DL: I'd been with Donald when we were doing "The Nightfly" and people would stop him and say 'Aren't you Donald Fagen?' and he would just say no. I'll never forget after we had done "The Nightfly" Donald and I went to some restaurant and the waiter was obviously gay and after we'd finished the meal he came up to Donald and he said `Aren't you Donald Fagen?' and Donald was very elusive. Then the guy said, 'My boyfriend and I take boogie showers to your album all the time.' Donald just goes `Oh.' When we get outside Donald turns to me and says 'What the hell is a boogie shower?' I think that haunted him for a few weeks. All that work and that's the accolade he gets.

ML: Any other "Nightfly" stories you'd like to share?
DL: Here's a classic story from recording "The Nightfly" at Soundworks. About six months into recording the album -- it took a couple of days less than one year to do -- I was working five days a week, taking weekends off. I came in and Donald was doing some vocals and he goes "Something smells weird." And so we kind of go "Yeah, yeah, yeah." But as the day goes on there "is" a peculiar smell in the control room. So next day we come in and we mention it and it's a little bit worse the next day and Donald's going "I can't work, there's something nauseating in the room." What it is we have no clue. This goes on and on and finally Donald says "I'm not gonna come in and work until you can find out what it is." So he starts to take days off and that is a concern for Charlie Bonatti who owns Soundworks. So we said "Call us if the smell is gone and we'll come in and work." We arrive at the studio and there's candles and sticks of incense burning and that's how they got rid of the smell. They tried checking everything; he has people coming in and going through all the air conditioning and finally they just start to tear apart the studio and literally tear out part of the control room, all the equipment, they take away the console, they tear up carpeting, they tear up floors; the studio is gutted and finally they start tearing up the floorboards and back in one corner of the room is a little drainpipe and there is a very moist, very dead, very big rat. And it just came out of this pipe and died from eating poison. We literally took about a week off from the album because of this dead rat.

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 12:57 ET
Posted by: Brutus Charisma,

Hoops, please do not include me in that contrived group of poseurs you've previously mentioned. My most recent post states that DF really enjoyed/enjoys the terrific subtly gorgeous tune composed by Marion McPartland entitled "Ambiance". I never really suggested that I am privy to any inside info pertaining to his upcoming SC CD.

Thanks -

Brutus C.

[hoops: Sorry...Noted and corrected below. Thanks for the link, BTW. ]

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 10:19 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Shark: The name of the song Green Flower Street probably was inspired by the jazz standard. On Green Dolphin Street. Music by Bronislau Kaper (score for Gigi), lyrics by Ned Washington (When You Wish Upon a Star, Nearness of You, Stella by Starlight) inspired by a novel of the same name by Elizabeth Goudge and introduced on the film version. Covered by many. Here's Miles Davis' version:


However...Musically, I don't think there's much of a connection. Perhaps the Keith Garrett suit taught a powerful lesson ;)

There's a 0% chance NY Bill has heard even a single note of Sunken Condos. El zippo.

Date: Sun, September 9, 2012, 09:41 ET
Posted by: Hutch, ...well, uh

The anticipation is driving me mad! It's an exciting time here on the Blue.

Date: Sun, September 09, 2012, 09:19:37 ET
Posted by: hoops,

Two things: One, what's been written is still so generic that any one could decently make it up in a convincing way. Two, if on outside chance that I'm wrong that this is made up, then I've been reminded that if someone sign a non-disclosure, they're not supposed to discuss the topic in question or tease about it in any way to any one --and featuring posts without knowing who is posting them leaves me solely holding legal liability for the information appearing. (You know, if Mike leaves me a confidential identity, etc.) So either way, it can't stay. So that's part of it--if Donald Fagen wants it leaked, then he and or his associate will in much better way than these weak teases.

These days, it's not uncommon to leak album info as part of the marketing. In the news, consider what's going on at Apple. But back around the time MTC came out, the record company wanted it hush-hush. So about 3-4 weeks before MTC came out, the European marketers complained to me about the lyrics and info about the album being leaked on the blue. Someone would write something like, "Beautiful day, Blessed Yankees have an ally at spring training." At that point, that was over my head. Of course, How I could I know that people were including lyrics in the posts if I didn't know what the lyrics were. So I told them to send me a copy so I could keep them off. Surprisingly, they did about 3 weeks before. That hasn't happened this time.

Sometimes --not in the past couple of years--I've had to give info in vague ways so people keep the faith and stop fighting or arguing some dumb. But this is all comes across as someone trying to brag who shouldn't. We've learned to next to nothing productive about the album and the cost to me has been high these past few days, the busiest for me for the whole year. So Michael, Nigel, Snake Mary, [] Skippy, others: sorry, but I have a ton of major things going on and it's too hot for me to have to take, what three hours out to sift through all this crap today. I have to make a TV appearance in a few hours. I was hoping to get 7-8 hours sleep and instead I got 4-5 hours having to waste it on discussion on a bunch of what is at best weak teases of info that stroke someone's ego. So I have to prepare so we are on moderate mode here.

Date: Sun, September 09, 2012, 01:37:48 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, up on the hill

"The original Slinky Thing is an old jazz instrumental standard, which made many of us here think that DF derived from it, like Green Flower Street was derived."

what was Green Flower St. derived from? this is news to me.

Date: Sun, September 09, 2012, 00:55:05 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

hoops: It's all cool. I had been away for a week, and got a kick out of it all really.

Looking forward to the real thang.

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 22:53:29 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Rhymes was first released only as part of the full-album download of MTC on the day of the album's released. It was not released separately before nor was it available as an individual track if you alrady owned the album on CD. So if you were like me, you bought the album at least twice that day: CD/DVD-A version and iTunes for Rhymes.



Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 22:21:32 ET
Posted by: N. R. Jackson, Pseduoland

Does anyone remember when "Rhymes" was listed as a bonus track for the Morph the Cat download from iTunes? Was it as soon as the release was announced or did it pop up there closer to the release date?

Any chance we may get something similar this time?

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 22:01:07 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

A little behind these days because I'm very busy with work and family.

Michael = NYBill = B.S. I'm swamped but I had to edit that abuse (and references to it) out. Email privately if you feel there was an error with your post.


As mentioned, I'm behind. So last night I FINALLY emailed The latest edition of the Dandom Digest. It covered from from August 26-31, 2012. (The previous Dandom Digest was dated August 1-25, 2012.)

If you are a subscriber, you should see it in your email box in the next couple of hours. If you don't receive it, check your spam filters first; then, if it's not there, please email me.

As I regularly remind subscribers, some people have problems with delivery of the Dandom Digest, usually because of their spam filters, firewalls, etc. That's why this sort of notice is posted here--so you can look for it.

The following are the subject headlines of the Dandom Digest for August 26-31, 2012.


- Autumn Dukes Dates in Hawaii & Japan
- Jon Herington Band Fall New England dates
- Jon Herington Band Fall NY area dates
- 10/11/12: Krantz/Carlock/Woods Play Chicago
- Jamie Leonhart sings on Sunken Condos
- REDUX: SUNKEN CONDOS: Official PR, Info from DF.com
- REDUX: SUNKEN CONDOS: Track Listing, Pre-Order on iTunes
- Extra Verse In Mel's "Goodbye Look"
- RE: SPOILER: 8/23-kettering, OH
- SPOILER: 8/24-Indy: "pure perfection"


If you are not currently a subscriber but would like to receive the free Dandom Digest email newsletter, please email me at hoops AT dandom DOT com or see http://www.dandom.com/dandomdigest.

For the record, the Dandom Digest is a newsletter with unofficial content written by and for the fans of Steely Dan. The newsletter is independent of, nor to be confused with, the glorious and much more glamorous official newsletters from steelydan.com, walterbecker.com, donaldfagen.com and other sites of Steely Dan associates.

Thanks for your support through the years, especially Pete and Shari, as well as Keith & Janet and Mr. & Mrs. Winterbottom, and remembering Mark and Bill, and not to mention one or two people who request anonymity.

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 21:38:17 ET
Posted by: Beast w/o A Name, Mt. Symmetry, NJ

Nineteen years ago today, I saw the Fresh for '93 OrchEstra at The Greek Theatre in LA.

It's hard to believe that 19 years have passed between now and then, SD's first tour in 19 years.

How long us die-hards waited and waited.

I've seen some significant shows in those intervening years.

Greek 1993
Irvine 94
Roseland 1995
Irvine 1996
Hollywood Bowl 1996
Walking Distance and 3 Y2K shows
Roseland 2003
Heavy Rollers Mohegan Sun
Wang Center request night - 09
Royal Scam with Larry Carlton - Beacon 09
Rarities 2011

Irvine 1994 was among my favorites for setlist, band arrangement and Dennis Chambers. Rarities was certainly another for its dream setlist.

We've all been happy fans for live SD music these past 19 years.
Cheers to Steely Dan for keeping things going. Here's hoping for more....

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 20:42:03 ET
Posted by: brutus charisma,

This is one of DF's personal favs. Ask him...


Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 17:15:13 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

His music biz connections run deep and if you
have never heard his LP "Musically Adrift" from
1999, due yourself a favor and check it out:



Not sure why these blokes in the UK have such
a fascination with birds named, "Valerie"? ;O)

Steve Winwood
Samuel Purdey

But "Musically Adrift" is stellar!

Can't wait to hear "Sunken Condos", but the
new Mark Knopfler 3CD set just arrived from
the UK and should hold me until then.

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 15:46:04 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

M. Leonhart has what looks like a nice collection of guitars in his home studio. He's probably no slouch and may have laid down some tracks on SC.

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 15:35:53 ET
Posted by: Snake Mary,

It not Herrington or Krantz, must be some new kid on the block.

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 11:22:24 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

Date: Sat, September 08, 2012, 07:18:51 ET
Posted by: Pete Evans, Manchester UK

Me and the many thousands of UK Steely and Don fans will ignore these posts and just let the new one take care of itself ! We can't wait Don and look forward to seeing you and giving you the greatest welcome you get anywhere either side of the New Year for some solo dates ??!! ( PLease include Manchester this time !! ).

Date: Fri, September 07, 2012, 22:47:36 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

There is no real musician in the universe who would not want credit on a Donald Fagen album.

The album will be out soon enough and snippets out within a week I would guess.

Date: Fri, September 07, 2012, 17:06:57 ET
Posted by: ,

The original Slinky Thing is an old jazz instrumental standard, which made many of us here think that DF derived from it, like Green Flower Street was derived. It could have remained instrumental, or DF put lyrics over it. Go listen to the original, which can be Googled and see if he derived the song from that, or only used the title for his original composition. Interestingly, the Google tagline also mentions the "Keith Jarrett Trio", but does not display anything additional when you select the link. DF had better have stayed away from anything to do with Keith Jarrett!

Date: Fri, September 07, 2012, 09:47:26 ET
Posted by: Victor J,

It says that Marlene was the Queen.

I would speculate that another telltale sign is at work here and Miss Marlene is actually a veiled tribute to the Blue Angel herself, Dietrich. If so, this would be the latest example of Steely Dan and DF dropping names of legendary female entertainers such as Tuesday Weld, Retha' Franklin, etc.

If this turns out to be correct, you heard it here first.

Date: Fri, September 07, 2012, 06:17:58 ET
Posted by: PGE, Even I would play an instrument here!

Michael wrote:
"One thing I can say is that I was rather surprised by the sheer amount of instruments played by both Don and Mike."

Well, if you've seen these photos from Michael Leonharts studio



I am sure you agree that just standning upp and turning around to go grab a cup of coffee would have you (involuntarily) playing/making sounds on at least half a dozen instruments you barely know the name of!

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 21:16:15 ET
Posted by: earl cooke on drums?,

Well, Google reveals a bassist named Earl Cooke, but not one drummer. Perhaps he is so old school he doesn't have an internet connection.

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 13:57:51 ET
Posted by: PGE, Shuffling through an old harddrive

With two Brothers Johnson tunes covered by the Dukes this summer I was suprised to rediscover that what DJ Walter B started his Celebrity Shuffle on Sirius Radio with four years ago was yet another Brother Johnson hit; Strawberry Letter 23!

(Followed by The Band's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Bob Marley's I Shot The Sheriff and P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) by Parliament. :)

@Lutz: Regarding Knopfler's new one. Look at the deluxe version available. Doubt that Sunken Condos will get the same treatment.

"The When of the that as Her her pulsating apparatus".
Now THAT'S a cryptic Steely Dan lyric line if I ever heard one. If I ever will hear it...

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 13:19:44 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, really, really, really on the quick

Nicholas! Shit! Damn the auto-fill on my browser. Now I'm in trouble!

Well, now that's out of the bag...you'll note that "I" is not among the words or lyrics listed. I suspect that's because Donald's not being autobiographical on this album.

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 12:59:30 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Jim -
When you're posting that kind of confidential information, you should really use an alias so that you don't get identified as the one who violated a confidentiality agreement. How can we ever trust you again?
I have it on good authority that there's also an "and" in there.


Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 10:52:11 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, really, really, really on the quick

[Edited references to some bullshitter here.] Here are some of the words and lyrics on the upcoming "Sunken Condos." Remember! You heard it hear first...



"of the"




and my favorite...

"her pulsating apparatus"

OK...the last one is probably not on "Sunken Condos," but Donald and Walter are free to use it if they want. A-OK by me, even encouraged by me.

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 10:40:26 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, St. Petersburg

Mr. DYLYNFAN, why are you always let Vladimir get under your skins? Plus Vladimir knows Yakov Smirnoff and you, Mr. DYLYNFAN, are no Yakov Smirnoffs.

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 10:22:13 ET

Vladimir,Yakov Smirnoff called and he wants his lame and tired act
back.And Ned that is really F*ckn Funny!!!

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 06:03:37 ET
Posted by: fagenism, -


For the longest time I heard:

We buried Barry White
Clock everything you see


'Bout an orphan girl
With this crazy red hair

^ As a Swede, this always made me think of Pippi Longstocking.


THANK YOU to everyone who sent in questions for Michael. Please do not hold your breath - if/when I get answers, you will have them right away.


Re: drum machine on 2vN title cut.

This is relevant for a bunch of different reasons. Michael Leonhart's work on this cut and Almost Gothic stand out as some of the most sublime moments of the entire Dan catalogue in my book. This, more than anything else, has me extremely excited about SC. On the other hand, the handclap on the title cut always gets me puzzled when listening through this otherwise perfect album.

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 01:32:05 ET
Posted by: Lutz, Sf

and to make the wait for condos a little easier,
Mark Knopfler just released and new 2cd set!

Date: Thurs, September 06, 2012, 01:29:08 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

In regards to Circus Money.
A strong effort - why some folk would suggest that Morph was superior I don't get. They are both fanatastic and Walter is a little more unpredictable and mixes it up very well.
There was talk from Donald about Walter's new project around the time of the first Dukes tour and even Hoops here was mentioning his soon to be released # 4 if I am not wrong?
Wouldn't that be something to have Solo efforts back to back and a SD tour 2013 with some of that...

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 22:10:26 ET
Posted by: open book test,

Time is up.

For the first time ever, and probably in response to inquiry here from the Blue about previous work, Don gave the meaning of each song on Morph the Cat.

H-Gang is not autobiographical. It is about the birth, life and death of a band in a nutshell.

Check out the meanings of the other seven cuts. You might be amazed and SHOCKED.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 18:40:14 ET
Posted by: Ben, Indy

DF's stepdaughter's tour info:


Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 17:32:00 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Steve M. - I had forgotten about that part! I heard a little bit of the first song. Stripped down production, guitar, piano, live drums and a female vocalist. "Must be a reference vocal," I thought. Gotta love dream logic.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 15:10:58 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

I still prefer to believe it's her Booker novels and her remedies!

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 15:04:00 ET
Posted by: Ned, Q

I like listening to a new CD a bunch of times without even caring what the song titles are. Then I look at the lyrics sheet and it usually costs me some of my favorite lines. What a bummer when I discovered that the final line of Black Friday was "I guess I'll change my name" and not "Against Wilt Chamberlain."

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 14:18:40 ET
Posted by: open book exam, Bard College

All of you, get out your Morph CD. Quick, go get it and review credits and other information. You have until 8:30 to provide interpretations of what H-Gang and Mona are about.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 14:06:13 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, Moscow

Mr. Hoops, Vladimir is not says you have the copy of Sunken Condoms. Vladimir says Mr. Hoops SHOULD haves the copy.

Vlad Outs!!!

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 13:46:41 ET
Posted by: anymanleft, Rio Grande

I can tell you all I know, the where to go,the what to do
You can try to run but you can't hide from what's inside of you...

Those memorable words have always rung so true...Brilliant!

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 13:00:15 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, really, really, really on the quick

As I said, most are not all that literal. I see Mona being about some lady he knows or an archetype of a woman he knows...and it being about how she feels about life, especially after the loss of love and, oh yes, 9/11. Characters that reflect DF's interests and concerns.

I suspect my answer partially relates to songs like Sign In Stranger...clearly DF wasn't in a future space age witness protection program as has been an interpretation. But at the same time, it clearly reflects Don/Walt's interests.

My other hunch is that the new songs probably WILL reflect his own interests and say something about him, but he probably wants people to stop asking what the songs are about. Remember after Morph came out, DF started explaining what songs--SD songs included--were about. For me that took away some of the magic and provocativeness about what the songs could mean. In short, it killed some of the mystery.

Anyways, we'll have to see.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 12:49:38 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach


How is H Gang autobiographical for Don? Really? Don't you recall when Don was finally sprung from the big house and called Walter and the boys to get the band back together? Then the resulting movie?

Seriously, I always take Don's words with a bit of leeway and a grain or two of salt. I doubt all of the songs on Morph are autobiographical in a strict sense,

With that said, it might be an oblique reference to Don breaking out of his writing block "cell" and getting back to writing and playing with Walt and the "gang"--touring the country (and all the hinktowns) with renewed vigor. All dressed up in fictional characters, of course. Just a thought.

With that said, how is Mona autobiographical?

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 12:22:26 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Crazy days so haven't been able to get here much...

Saw a post last night that I wanted to reply to--can't remember who wrote it.

No, I don't have an advance copy of Sunken Condos. Haven't even heard a note.

I'm with some others...I don't know what to expect. Sure, it will sound like Donald, but I expecting it to be different...maybe in line with Shanghai Confidential, Confide In Me, Big Noise, NY demo, etc. Perhaps stripped down and more programmed. I dunno.

Speaking of which, I know someone will help me understand this, but how are the lyrics to H Gang autobiographical? Clearly it can't be literal, but how, on some level is it autobiographically about Donald?


Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 12:19:54 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

"My advice would be to approach the album without any preconceived notions."

Now you're sounding like me, Michael.

PGE, maybe Men in Black's neuralizer would be of some help. Set it to wipe about 15 years or so.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 12:07:32 ET
Posted by: PGE, but ... but ... but...

Nichael wrote "My advice would be to approach the album without any preconceived notions."

Fair enough. But do we have to adjust our sculpted receptors?

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 10:26:08 ET
Posted by: Michael,

I mean in response to what Toni said he dreamed about, "Well, the intro sounded like i.g.y. and I was a bit upset." My advice would be to approach the album without any preconceived notions.

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 09:51:37 ET
Posted by: Evan G., caribou


What do you mean by IGY Part 2?

Date: Wed, September 05, 2012, 07:41:46 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Don't go into SC expecting to hear I.G.Y. part 2. That's all I'll say.

Date: Tues, September 04, 2012, 20:39:39 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, Minsk

Yes, yes, Vladimir is wonders how many angels are dancing on the top of pins and what will these Sunken Condoms songs will be soundings like. What Vladimir cannot believing is that for all of the much work that Mr. Hoops does why is Mr. Donald Fagen does not send him a CD now and ends the fever dreams. Mr. Hoops he earns those kind of considerings.

Vlad outs!!!

Date: Tues, September 04, 2012, 12:15:42 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

"Unlike my previous albums, I wanted to get away from a theme. I've sort of had it with my autobiography. I'm still addressing things now in songs that are personal. But instead of looking back, they are set in the present. And I'm not the protagonist. There are characters."

So - it's basically a Steely Dan album the way the subjects of the songs are concerned?

I had a dream last night that I was given an advance copy of Sunken Condos as part of a job that I also had in the dream. I was not to make any copies. I made one for myself, of course -- in a scene very similar to the one in Office Space where they copy the virus onto all the computers -- but was faced with a dillema: do I leak this to fans on the Blue? Before I made my decision, I woke up.

Date: Tues, September 04, 2012, 12:08:46 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

RIP Hal David.


Date: Tues, September 04, 2012, 04:18:26 ET
Posted by: Fagenette, Brigton, Uk

Nigel, our onion peeling friend is not me yet shares the opinion that Slinky may turn out to be an instrumental....we shall see!

Date: Mon, September 03, 2012, 22:39:44 ET
Posted by: Nigel, Leeds

peeling the onion = dummy UK fan

"1 Slinky Thing--Jazz instrumental. Theme non-specific"

Oh no! Not that English woman again! Sweetie, aint' gonna be any instrumental songs on Sunken Condos. Stop hallucinating!

Date: Mon, September 03, 2012, 22:04:16 ET
Posted by: peeling the onion,

From this quote, and and some recent news that has come out, we might be able to revise some of the speculation about these song titles. From experience, though, it seems Don's personal stuff consists of heartbreak (lamenting-going thru remnants of broken relationships); psycho chicks; unattainable, idealized, or extra-terrestrial super-chicks and slutty chicks.

"Unlike my previous albums, I wanted to get away from a theme. I've sort of had it with my autobiography. I'm still addressing things now in songs that are personal. But instead of looking back, they are set in the present. And I'm not the protagonist. There are characters."

1 Slinky Thing--Jazz instrumental. Theme non-specific.

2 I'm Not the Same Without You--heart-Sick boy probably like Things I miss the Most, Second Arrangement waxing nostalgic about things from break-up, broken-hearted. If not this could be interesting.

3 Memorabilia--Ditto #2 above

4 Weather in My Head--This could be a game changer, an environmental song?

5 The New Breed--Could be like Change of the Guard, or Tomorrow's Girls?

6 Out of the Ghetto--Though it is a cover, breaks the formula somewhat, like another Brite Nitegown, DF's getting in touch with his "blackness"?

7 Miss Marlene--Another psycho, idealized (Almost Gothic) or slutty chick song, like The Night Belongs to Mona (psycho), Jamie Runaway (slutty), Negative Girl (unattainable)?

8 Good Stuff--Maybe and hopefully a good DRUG song, which would be getting back to the REAL ROOTS of Steely Dan, like Charlie Freak, Kid C, Dr. Wu, etc.?

9 Planet D'Rhonda---Extra terrestrial or idealized, super-chicks like Tomorrow's Girls, Pixeleen?

DF is beyond the Trilogy, so it is touted. Hopefully he has broken the cycle as far as topics. The best hope is to bring on the funk, as has also been portrayed and would live up to the billing.

Now what do you think? Starting to zero in on it.

Date: Mon, September 03, 2012, 12:12:44 ET
Posted by: DR Jazz, NOHO


The second annual Northampton Jazz Festival will be presented on Saturday, September 15 in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. The NJF will feature two stages on Strong Avenue (behind Thorne�s Market) and a space in the Market.

Attendees can enjoy food, beer and wine from local restaurants that make Northampton a favorite among �foodies� everywhere.

Headlining the Main Stage:

� Matt Wilson�s Arts & Crafts Band�Fresh from a performance at the Village Vanguard in New York, Wilson � who for 5 consecutive years was voted #1 Rising Star Drummer in the annual Downbeat Critic�s Poll � leads an all-star quartet including noted organist Gary Versace;

� Gary Smulyan Quartet � The winner of the 2011 Jazz Times Readers & Critics Poll, Jazz Journalists Award and Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Baritone Sax will lead a quartet including guitarist Peter Bernstein, keyboardist Mike LeDonne and drummer Kenny Washington;

� Sheryl Bailey 3 � This New York guitarist possesses �one of the best tones of her generation,� (Guitar Player Magazine).

The Fest will run from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and is free of charge.


Date: Mon, September 03, 2012, 09:22:40 ET
Posted by: Paul Hitzen, Bourne

Re: The Mary Turner interview: WB sounds so brilliant and well-spoken (as he had even during the Robert Klein interview when he was at a personal emotional nadir in his life). It's hard to believe that he was so drug-addled at that time.

DF obviously sounds witty and equally well-spoken. However, WB speaks ingenuously and with greater lucidity.

Strangely I say all this being a bigger DF fan!:)

Date: Sun, September 02, 2012, 23:18:04 ET
Posted by: RP, NC

From a printed interview with DF I read today, dated 7-08-2011. Referring to Sunken Condos..

How's the solo album you just finished?

Unlike my previous albums, I wanted to get away from a theme. I've sort of had it with my autobiography. I'm still addressing things now in songs that are personal. But instead of looking back, they are set in the present. And I'm not the protagonist. There are characters.

Date: Sun, September 02, 2012, 19:05:56 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar, Reggae Sunday!

Great interview, Ray. I don't believe I have ever heard that one.

Thanks for posting it.

Date: Sun, September 02, 2012, 13:23:00 ET
Posted by: LR, SoBe

Steely Dan 1981 - Interview with Mary Turner

Always really loved this interview. It
was the first time I actually heard the
"playful" back and forth banter between
Donald & Walter. Some great stories &
insights from former band members also.

For those who have not heard it before:


Happy Saturday All.....

Date: Sun, September 02, 2012, 13:04:16 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe

This site says that there will be a
180 Gram "CLEAR" Vinyl release of
"Sunken Condos". Way cool, very
"water" like!


Date: Sun, September 02, 2012, 03:49:55 ET
Posted by: Len, Is there cyan at Berklee?

Yes, H Gang and the first two weeks of the Morph tour came before the release of the album.

re: programmed drums.

MD: How did you come to play on Steely Dan�s Two Against Nature?

KC: Through Wayne, who played their tour in 1996. Donald [Fagen] and Walter [Becker] came to the 55 Bar to see us play a few times. They sat in, it was amazing. So they gave me a shot at �Two Against Nature.� I also played on �West of Hollywood� and �Negative Girl,� but those didn�t make the cut. The demo was basically a drum machine, almost like a Casio, and a bass line. It is pretty bare bones. I played along with the drum machines on �Two Against Nature� by myself. I didn�t know the machines were going to be on the track, or at least that loud.

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 19:34:37 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

SS - Actually (obviously) I did not know that the drums were manipulated on Gaucho. I remember reading the article about Donald walking out after hours of takes saying he didn't think the players knew exactly what the song was supposed to sound like. The rhythm section stayed and worked till dawn on it and in the end the drum track was all DF was trying to get. Guess I assumed it was tracked live.
I think Jeff could have done it straight on but who knows what the circumstances were at the time. It really is a unique drum track. It's just straight meter but the placement of the snare and kick drum hits gives it a cool hesitant but funky feel.

On a different note..

Favorite song to sing along with DF or WB while alone in the car with your SD mix blasting. Lately mine is Jack of Speed.

Any bites?

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 19:26:30 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Was there a single released before Morph (the album) was released? I really can't remember. I know H-Gang was played on some stations, but I can't remember if it was before Morph's release.

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 17:20:15 ET
Posted by: The Gaucho Ponchito, Earth

When is the single coming out? There has to be a single that we can listen to before the official release date! C'mon Don!!! The anticipation is building!!!

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 14:14:24 ET
Posted by: PGE, Sunken Condos vinyl release in the USA

More info on Sunken Condos vinyl version. Spotted on a Japanese site as a European import by yours truly about a week ago it is now available - and not as an import - for pre-order on amazon.com for $37.92.


It's a two disc affair, but don't expect any extra tracks. The German amazon.de has the nine tracks listed three-a-side leaving the fourth empty.

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 09:03:44 ET
Posted by: Incontinent, it DEPENDS

Your monitor and settings have a major effect on color, as well as the angle from which you view the monitor. Color perception can vary widely among humans, ranging from extremely acute to color blindness which occurs in about 1% of the population.

My HP 24 inch shows the background of this Blue page to be faded, washed-out, and greenish. Like a 1950s or 60's table radio or kitchen appliance. And not really in the blue visible light spectrum. Like the cover of Countdown to Ecstasy I would say, but a little darker.

Now the two right-most Easter Bunnies in the rectangle above appear to me to be squarely within the visual spectral range of Cyan as several people here have defined parametrically. No?

We should vote on it, and establish the Bunnies as our standard reference when discussing Cyan. This is Dangential since the color palette of Sunken Condos artwork appears to rely heavily on Cyannic and aquamarine tones.

Date: Sat, September 01, 2012, 06:24:44 ET
Posted by: Funkaholic1972, The Hague, Holland

We need more info on Sunken Condos!!!

And perhaps one or more audio samples of the actual tracks. Something to analyse and keep us busy for the coming 44 days.

Bring it on, I am so excited!

Date: Fri, August 31, 2012, 22:56:53 ET
Posted by: owattagoo,


Date: Fri, August 31, 2012, 15:37:11 ET
Posted by: Hal Asperger, Texasan

Have to agree w/ Michael. WTF are you discussing color schemes so intently for? It all sounds a little too autistic to me.

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