As you know, AWD loves him some good music. I’ve been listening to a lot of Steely Dan lately and have fallen back in love with what Donald Fagen and Walter Becker did back in the day. What still exists as true musical art. AWD has been listening to the Countdown To Ecstacy album. In particular, the track “Razor Boy.” It doesn’t get any better than that. Great music played by the best musicians of the day. Oh, how the musical word has turned to sh*t!

Rap crap and performers like Lady Gag Gag have destroyed music. Actually, it was MTV that killed music. Once video became the main focus, musical genius was bypassed by performers and their images. Hence, rap crap and morons like Madonna who can only get progressively more nekkid to maintain relevancy. It’s not music. It’s aural cancer.

If you love music, real music, I encourage you to watch this video how Fagen and Becker put together the team of musicians who made the masterpiece album “Aja.” AWD plays drums and guitar but never in my wildest musical dreams could I have picked up the laundry for the musicians who created Aja. If you love great music, you’ll love watching how Aja was made. You really should watch the whole thing. Amazing.

What professionalism, musicianship, and vision went into their work! True geniuses. AWD would love to meet Becker and Fagen just to thank them for their wonderful music that has brought me so much joy. I’ve seen Steely Dan in concert. Visually, it was like a funeral. But the music. Ahhhhhh, the music. Better than anything you can imagine!

Contrast Steely Dan with this! Remember, these a**holes have been invited to the Obama White House several times! Amazing how far our culture has fallen! Language warning, of course.

Screw that rap sh*t. Here’s some real Music That Doesn’t Suck. Here’s Razor Boy from Steely Dan. I love this track. Listen to the musicianship.

Here’s the masterpiece song “Aja.” The instruments! The harmonies! The jazz chords! I think God played the drums that day through Steve Gadd’s hands. Even if you’re not a musician, you should listen to this entire track.

One more. Here’s one of AWD’s favorites. “Gaucho.” Who is the gaucho, amigo?

F*** you, Little Wayne and the rest of your ilk!

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  1. You forgot MNMs new ‘Survival’…hit youtube just yesterday, I believe.

  2. Lazlo strums him some.
    Saw Steely Dan in the nineties, great show.
    Them’s what you call ‘real musicians’ with all the theory and stuff.
    Lazlo grew up on Gordon Lightfoot, early Genesis and, of course Floyd.

    As far as the modern crap goes I would rather listen to a four inch glass rod of infinite length being fed into an industrial chipper shredder.

    I have nothing but deep anticipation for Barry’s brother Mitch to put out her upcoming ‘Rap’ album.
    I’ll use it to keep the racoons out from under the house.

  3. argusromeo4 says:

    I am a metal-head at heart but have an affinity for classical music: Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart. It really gets a response out of me. I have been to a few symphonies and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center was the best. They played Beethoven’s 9th. There is something about seeing it live that is very powerful.

    Or, I could do a Slayer concert.


    Lazlo: love me some Gordon Lightfoot, as well.

    • I’m with you on this one… I tend to the classical and oldies… Sometimes ya want a filet mingon, sometimes ya want a double Whopper with cheese. 😉

  4. Pointy End Out says:

    Budhisatva ! GREAT track with hot riff!

  5. Great post! I was young 20’s when these guys were early on so I have very fond memories – it was cutting edge then. Great musicians and musicianship always stand the test of time, Aja is a great example of that – timeless. You could also make a case for Steely Dan ushering in the genre of “Smooth Jazz”, which I happen to adore – even though it’s kinda Left Coast. Great start to the day here.

  6. Right again, AWD. Steely Dan is definitely real music. I’d add Eric Clapton to your list. Saw him in March and it was an amazing show. At 68 years young, his voice sounded better than ever and he surrounds himself with top-notch musicians like Doyle Bramhall II, Willie Weeks, Steve Jordan, Paul Carrack, Chris Stainton, et al.
    Check it out:

    My latest fave is Joe Bonamassa. Wow.

  7. Believe it or not, but Calamity Jane used to be a ‘guit-fiddle playin’, rock’n’roll hero with a turn it up to 10 and rip the knobs off style. The Janester could play a bit.

    But, as a musician….STEELY DAN LEAVES ME IN AWE!!!!!!!!!!

    Steely Dan is art…And FINE ART at that! The music has depth, structure, complicated progressions, and insanely cool lyrics. Their stuff truly stands the test of time. Compared to the trash that passes for music now, “Dan” will still sound great in another 30 years while todays crap will long be forgotten.

    Calamity Jane has a tangential connection to Steely Dan. Their trombone player is Jim Pugh. He grew up in my old neighborhood in Butler, PA. He is a little older, so I didn’t know him well. This guy has a resume that most musicians can only dream of……..Jim has played with everyone from Woody Herman to Chick Corea to Frank Sinatra to Pink Floyd! He is probably the best trombone player in the world!

    Jim’s solo duel w/Steely Dan….Hey Nineteen

    And my favorite “Dan” tune…..Kid Charlemagne. With all of the great stuff happening within the song, listen to the bass player…He is really “killin’ it!

    And try and tell me that Jon Herington doesn’t play the tastiest licks in the business!!!!!!

    Sidebar….The cool thing is that I occasionally play in a band with some guys that went to school with Jim. He’ll stop by our gigs when he is in town. So I like to say that when Steely Dan is in town, they stop to see our show!

  8. AWD, you could not have picked a better time for this post. I have been listening to Royal Scam, Katy Lied, Countdown to Ecstasy and Aja for the last week. All on the original vinyl that I purchased in the 1970’s.
    Razor Boy, Your Gold Teeth and King of the World are my favorites on Countdown to Ecstasy.

    Thanks for the videos. You are correct that no one EVER put together a better group of music makers that Fagan and Becker.

  9. Blue Ridge Patriot says:

    Dittos on the Dan, Dude. Pretzel Logic has to be my favorite album. A great title to a collection of great songs. As a vocalist and keyboardist I have performed much of their music in the past and find that their lyrics are as brilliant as their musical arrangements. From Countdown To Ecstasy through Gaucho is my favorite period of their music production and just by noting the list of incredible guest performers on these masterpieces reveals much about the level of professionalism attained by these guys. Pretzel Logic is also the name of a Steely Dan cover band out of LA and they’re as good as it gets in bands that attempt to do so. Check them out on YouTube. Pink Floyd’s “The Making Of The Dark Side Of The Moon” is another good one on VH1.

  10. angrylittlesouthernwoman says:

    Bad Sneakers… Kid Charlemagne… Green Earrings.. btw.. D Fegan has released a couple of solo albums.. Night Fly is one of my favs.. Love me some Steely Dan!!

  11. Hey AWD, Try anything from Tab Benoit some time The guy really puts his heart into his singing.

  12. You’re bound to get a million different opinions on what is good music. As a musician I’ve learned to just forget about trying to explain “good music” to the youngsters today. They don’t want to hear it. People find that the one thing they feel comfortable with is telling everyone else what is good music, when in reality most know nothing about musical composition, only what ‘they’ like. Steely Dan is my all time favorite band. Love me some Babylon Sisters, especially the live version on youtube, of which there are many. I don’t expect others to feel the same because it doesn’t matter in the long run.

    • You are correct…..What constitutes good music is very subjective. Unfortunately, the average person thinks what is shovelled at him by the big labels IS good music. We have to remember….. they want what they get….(as if they had a choice!)

      The average listener wouldn’t know a plagal cadence from a drill instructor’s cadence, let alone have a clue about chord progressions.

      We also must keep in mind that the “artists” that are topping the charts today, would never have made it past the receptionist at a major label before the advent of ProTools and Anteres Auto-tune.

      Life is too short to listen to crappy music!


  13. A most awesome band. They played a perfect mix of many different kinds of American music. No Static At All…

  14. Rikki don’t lose that number is one of my all time favorite songs. The solo by Skunk Baxter is amazing.

    • Agreed. And don’t forget “Do It Again.” Awesome tune.
      Pulled out my “A Decade of Steely Dan” CD yesterday after reading AWD’s post and have been listening again and again. Glad AWD put that bee in my bonnet. :)

  15. AWD,

    18 minutes away from all the BS. It’s good for the soul to go back with music that doesn’t suck. Thanks for the inspiration. I need to do it more, cuz this world’s making’ me mad, sad, and crazy.

    Check out this video on YouTube:

  16. Amazing AWD… Two Yankees from New Yawk…. Who’da thunk it? But I do appreciate the post and share your affinity for The Dan.

  17. Calamity Jane you make some very good points. The artists topping today’s charts would not qualify to sweep the floor of the recording studio today. You speak of chord progressions at a time when entire songs are just one chord, two if the writer is really ‘talented’. :-). At one time we had a verse, chorus, and even a bridge in a song, giving a sense of completeness and a bit of musical integrity. Now it’s all about the beat. Music used to be about love, today it’s about sex.

    Everyone certainly has the right to like whatever genre of music they prefer. Calamity Jane is correct in saying Steely Dan is more than music, it is musical art that has depth, well thought out chord structure and chord progressions. I met Donald Fagen and Walter Brecker when they were the back up band for Jay and the Americans, so long ago. We knew back then they had a greater calling then back up musicians.

    Their song about drug dealing, “Kid Charlemagne,” is still one of my all time favorites and the guitar solo’s in that song are just magical. Not to mention the lyric that just so perfectly meshes with the music.

  18. ……….

  19. Lt. Sandman says:

    When Steely Dan comes to mind, the beginning of Third World Man starts playing in my head. The wonderful times of the 1970’s are rich in my memories and Steely Dan was along for the ride. Our youth and the beautiful young women that shared those years with many of us will always be with me. They made so much great music (Steely Dan did, too). Timeless.

  20. Mr. Rational says:

    There will be others remembered as long as Steely Dan, if not as widely.  Here’s one of my nominees.

    Yes, that’s just one guy.

    Same guy with an ensemble behind him.  Can’t rock much harder than that.

    Same guy again, playing FOUR electric basses at once.  When I saw him do it in concert, he only played three.  I feel cheated now.  Not.

    Did I mention that this is all from ONE CD release?

  21. Love Royal Scam and Aja!

  22. freespeechzone says:

    Let’s not forget the ‘values’ extolled by rappers that encourage and celebrate violence, death for police, utter disrespect for women–and these vile people are hosted by the WH.

    Look at the types that frequently engage with the President–not to mention the group of black separatists that he is enjoying the company with during his vacation.

    Notice the outrage from MOST of America is muted–which is outrageous.

    America is going down…I am ashamed I haven’t done more to stop this slide.

  23. Snake Oiler says:

    If it doesn’t get you by the throat, then nothing probably will. They’ll play this one at my funeral.

  24. Daddy Don’t Live in that New York City; Chain Lightning; Haitian Divorce – more great SD songs. AWD, you are spot on about the tremendous gulf between real music and rap crap/hip slop.

  25. I feel like the only thirteen-year-old girl who loves bands like Nirvana, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, etc. Everyone around me in school are humming the latest Miley Cyrus “song” which is not even considered music in my book. Please, tell me I’m not the only one… I rarely meet kids like me. Everyone else seems to be 20+ yet I am merely thirteen. Seriously though, I definitely agree with this article!

    • Calamity Jane says:

      Maddy……Keep seeking out good music…..Don’t let what “everyone else” is listening to be the only music out there.

      Good/Great music will stand the test of time……This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS……Ya know….That stuff still sounds great today!….Why?….Great songwriting, structure, harmony, melody, chorus, coda……I could go on.

      Here are some names for you to explore…..John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Imelda May, LouAnn Barton, Sonny Landreth……..If you want to check out great little known band with a hardcore following…Crack the Sky….From Wierton, West Virginia…….Incredibly tight and innovative…And very COMPLICATED structure……Most of these guys went onto be the BE Taylor Group of “Vitamin L” fame

      Crack the Sky

      BE Taylor

      Also check out HBO’s Treme….Great series with really awesome music!…….Everything from Cajun to Modern Jazz…..Traditional Jazz…….Bounce…….It is an eclectic mix of styles, but every bit of it worthy of a listen.

      • Thank you so much! Im glad you understand and are not yelling at me for not knowing “good music” as others do when I post something like this on a blog. I thank you very much and I will check out your reccomendations! Thank you again!

  26. AWD, I am a HUGE Steely Dan fan. In fact, I’ve seen Steely Dan in concert back in 2011. The music was just simply amazing! I’m gonna try and see them again one of these days. Have you ever listened to Donald Fagen’s 1982 solo album the Nightfly? Its just pure music gold!

    • Duncan, Nightfly is one of my all time favorites. I also like Fagen’s “Kamakiriad.” The Dan is currently touring with Elvis Costello. I missed them here in Dallas two weeks ago as I was out of town.