Continuing my much-needed and deeply researched and well-preasoned (sic) campaign to fight internet incivility with music videos of mass destruction, and to kill minidaddy before he grows a real burrito, I post yet another Steely Dan vid of a song I somehow never heard back in the day when they were young and hip and I was at least young:
I though to myself: “self, surely if you watch this with the sound off, you’ll be able to appreciate the funny without hearing anything that will cause your brain to explode.” It seemed like a good plan.
Then I saw the backup dancers. I hate you SO MUCH now.
It’s strange that many otherwise sane folks can’t stand the Dan. As a good friend once told me, anyone who doesn’t know the lyrics to every Steely Dan song just does not have all their shit in one sock.
I always admired Dan back in the day, but at the time was not interested in cynical humor or dark insights into modern times. So I dug their harmonic reach, polyrhythmic chops, lyrical solos and generally elevated competence, but didn’t poursue their albums, only letting the mainstream radio send them to me.
This is why I also only admired Zappa from a distance except for his purely instrumental work.
Back then and until they came to take me away, all I wanted was trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers that sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs.
I was all about “classical” music and (mostly pre-Parker) jazz and what was the roots of world music (think the World-Pacific record label and Nonesuch’s Explorer series).
Makes it great fun discovering Fagen&Becker’s quirky worlds. I still prefer best their straightahead happy lyricism like Parker’s Band or Peg or Aja, but there are days when I hear over and over in my head lines like “My back to the wall a victim of laughing chance” or “Do you take me for a fool, do you think that I can’t see, that ditch out in the alley that they’re digging just for me”.
Normally when a guy picks up a guitar and starts looking all sensitive, I head for the exits. However, this Gene Clark song is the extreme opposite of muy malo. From the sadly overlooked and fantastic “White Light” album, 1971:
Remember the scene in Austin Powers where the sexy-bitch’s mother explains how back in the 60s, having bad teeth didn’t necessarily negate a man’s sex mojo?
There aren’t enough toupees in Paris to correct this vid’s imbalance.
Now I understand why an early 70s promo-sampler of Warner Brothers’ Easy Listening artists was titled Schlagers!
The hepitude’s growing amid all the love that’s everywhere now that HCR is collapsing in despair. Call it intermutual schadenfreude: if we all suffer enough, our pleasure in each other’s misery will take us all to higher ground.
will it blow ur mind to find out that this is from the 90s and that i knew a german exchange student who really liked this. i shouldnt have been so surprised that she turned out to be the most evil person i ever met lol.
Harris is on to something. In Germany there is an atrocious pop genre called Schlager. Most of it is profoundly unironic, but in recent years a stream of post-modern hipster über-ironic Schlager has emerged. Guildo Horn is one examplar, but not a very good one.
The true master is Dieter Thomas Kuhn. Here’s some of his post-modern hipster über-ironic schlagery goodness: DTK covering the old Reinhard Mey classic “Über den Wolken”. The title translates, roughly, as “Up Above the Clouds”. But even if you dont know German, you’d probably have guessed that from the video.
You know what? I blame cable television for just about everything. (And have seen the abomination that is satellite TV? Jesus.) Why? Because it’s a big steaming pile of useless overpriced shit. But everyone has gotten so used to it that they don’t even fucking notice. It’s just something we think we have to have, so we go along and let the toob do it’s magic on our brains, totally destroying — as Taibbi said — our freak-out reflex. So you say the internet is no different, only bigger? Bullshit. For one thing, the value per dollar ratio is damn near infinity compared to cable. For another, oh fuck it, who am I arguing with?
Not only is Steely Dan a decadent seductive delight made of tarnished chrome and bits of old movie stars, they can predict the future. This song came out in 2003 and should have been required listening 24-hours-a-day in the fall of 2009.