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  #1  
Old 03-09-2012, 11:58 AM
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Default Attention: Steely Dan tragics

When you play along with the Dan (of course you do), do you work on note to note covers like Gvdalphabetsum does or do you do the main accents and add (or subtract) nuance your own way?

Interesting to know which tracks do you enjoy playing with the most?

For me, Josie's way up there, Don't Take Me Alive, Daddy Don't Live in NYC No More, Black Cow, King of the World ... it's hard to choose ...

Not sure if this is controversial or not, but I go for as steady as possible a groove in I Got the News because I think the song would have been more satisfying if Ed Greene had stayed home a bit more.

My band's covering two of their easier songs - Do It Again and Dirty Work. Also working on Razor Boy, but I'm not sure if we'll ever get it right ...

Over to you ...
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:34 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

...

Danaholic here!

I did Dont Take Me Alive, and Green Earrings with a covers band last year, and have played Dan covers pretty much throughout my playing days.

I've been a Dan junkie to such an extent that most of the tunes are completely internalized and I can practically sing out the bass parts, the guitar solos, hum the horn sections, etc .

It is perhaps the one ( and only ) band that I know inside out - Not all of their catalogue but most of it, so I've never had to struggle with the parts, the fills etc. Thankfully there arent too many of them.

The hardest part for anybody playing Dan is to nail the groove. The sum of the parts is what makes their groove. Arrangement is key. If you dont get that right, everybody could be playing all the right notes in the right places but it'll sound dead.

I've tried to play Gadd's Aja solo once back in the day, and I had to memorize it since I dont read. It was a very satisfying exercise to learn it but I dont think I did a good job playing.

Also did Kid Charlemagne back in the old days which was a popular cover to do then but I would prefer the band played Black Cow instead. Charlemagne was a crowd pleaser but I didnt quite enjoy it, oddly enough.

I'd love to play Haitian Divorce thesedays but nobody knows it .... : )

...

Last edited by aydee; 03-09-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

It's funny you mentioned playing along Steely Dan, although I only have one of their CD Aja (*shame*), I never actually played any covers of SD with any bands. I only play along to 3 songs which are included my compilation CDs I use when practicing or just having fun at the kit (yes, one as to entertain oneself when you don't have a band). I never acutally try to learn the parts of the songs I'm playing (I play Home at last, I got the news and Josie), I just play them because I like the feel of these songs, so it's certainely not a note for note approach, just pure fun at the kit. :)

Funny your comment about I got the news, I found it to be the easiest type of feel for me, more natural than Aja for exemple, Gadd's solo asides. :)
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
I did Dont Take Me Alive, and Green Earrings with a covers band last year, and have played Dan covers pretty much throughout my playing days.
Officially jealous - two of the songs I'd most like to cover, even if Green Earrings's lyrics are evil haha

I mean, Dirty Work FFS ... one song I tend to skip on my playlist!


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The hardest part for anybody playing Dan is to nail the groove. The sum of the parts is what makes their groove. Arrangement is key. If you dont get that right, everybody could be playing all the right notes in the right places but it'll sound dead.
I think you put your finger on it. I find covering Dan songs quite unforgiving. Put one foot wrong and it doesn't work.


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Funny your comment about I got the news, I found it to be the easiest type of feel for me, more natural than Aja for exemple, Gadd's solo asides. :)
I think it's a more loose sounding drum part than most Dan tracks. Quite unsettled and atypical, at least since Katie Lied. Any idea what those lyrics are about??

Oh, another song I really enjoy playing to is FM. Funkee
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

I would love the play some Steely Dan, but haven't in any of my bands to date. One of the first songs I learned to play (self taught) was Hey 19. As simple as it is, I still enjoy that song 30 years later.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

I've been a Steely Dan freak since day one. Even saw their first tour in the early '70's. The last four days I've been playing along with their first album and I pretty much know it by heart.
The guitar solo on Reeling In The Years is my favorite little snippet in rock music history. :)

I've played their stuff so much that I might be note for note on some of it, accidentally. I do have the feel of their stuff down though.

Aja!! LOL I play along but can only play something really simple and follow along. Plenty of other songs I can't do.

If anyone hasn't seen the making of Peg on yt, it's worth a look.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waIBA6_0GQc
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

Reeling was one of those songs that got so played out, I can't bare to listen to it now. Same with Do It Again. :(
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

I love playing SD when I do my solo act. The arrangement and other parts are locked in the computer. Every time I do those songs with other humans it sucks. But I perform Josie, Peg, Babylon Sisters, Cousin Dupree, Gaslighting Abbey, and What a shame about me fairly regularly.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

Quote:
I love playing SD when I do my solo act. The arrangement and other parts are locked in the computer. Every time I do those songs with other humans it sucks. But I perform Josie, Peg, Babylon Sisters, Cousin Dupree, Gaslighting Abbey, and What a shame about me fairly regularly.
Wish I could hang out with you for a few days. Pretty sure I'd learn a thing or two.

I love Cousin Dupree, it's so sick. I love when she asks about the dark architecture of your soul and he says so what is it exactly that turns you off? Something like that.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

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Originally Posted by resohead View Post
The last four days I've been playing along with their first album and I pretty much know it by heart.
The guitar solo on Reeling In The Years is my favorite little snippet in rock music history. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
Reeling was one of those songs that got so played out, I can't bare to listen to it now. Same with Do It Again. :(
I find that first album an anomaly in the Dan collection. The rhythms are less demanding than later on. Once you have Katy Lied and Aja down ...

And yeah, some of those songs have been played too much. Like my band's cover of Dirty Work. It's quite a pleasant listen but, really, there are many fresher tracks to play ...


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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I love playing SD when I do my solo act. The arrangement and other parts are locked in the computer. Every time I do those songs with other humans it sucks. But I perform Josie, Peg, Babylon Sisters, Cousin Dupree, Gaslighting Abbey, and What a shame about me fairly regularly.
I can easily imagine trying to cover Dan with a band and someone's not quite there. As Abe said, various elements have to be in place or it sounds flat.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

I've never burnt out on any Steely Dan but I don't play it everyday. And yeah, the later stuff gets more complex and I think Fagan handles all vocals after that....not sure.

Katy Lied was amazing. For one thing when it came out I found out the love of my life at the time, Katy, had been doing a fair bit of lying. That album was therapy.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

Pretzel Logic has long been one of my hoodoo Dan songs. I find it hard to settle a 6/8 at that tempo. Interestingly, the Dan is now playing that song a fair bit slower (which would suit me when Donald asks me to fill in for Keith ... ahem)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cz5BXCJrFM

I'm wondering if they slowed it for more clarity in boomy stadiums? I saw them last year and I came away thinking the band is too intricate to be put in their best light in stadiums.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

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I came away thinking the band is too intricate to be put in their best light in stadiums.
Thats a great and very insightful point.

I've heard them more than a few times, and while I walked away from each of the gigs like a bobbysoxer who just snagged Elvis' kerchef, I did also walk away wondering if superb recording artists can indeed do superb live gigs..

..so much of Dan is so intricately crafted- I mean just to hear Fagen talk about how these song are created is an exercise in musical epiphany & incredulousness... all those added 9th and circles of 4th, diminished this and augmented that..taking an ancient blues riff, and adding notes to it etc etc...

And all of that is predetermined -- - And then who plays which part of what

-which is then tracked 35 times till you have the right take.. I mean c'mon...

AND THEN to take all of that and put a bunch of guys on a stage and play it!! I guess if Philhamonics can do it, so should they... but Pol, you are right. It does fall short.


...

Last edited by aydee; 03-11-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

Cheers Abe. I think if they were playing in a large jazz club (say, a swanky soiree) they would be mind blowingly, um, mind blowing. A place with good clean acoustics, a bit of liveness but also clear with fairly even tones around the room.

I first learned music with subtle intricacies aren't well suited to stadiums when I saw Tull ... with all the boom and echo the music sounded like a mess. This coming from a Tull fan. Not long after I heard Aussie pop band, Crowded House, play at the same venue and it sounded sensational - simple clean lines, the drummer didn't even bring toms and had one cymbal.

It's a conundrum - when you're as good as the Dan you become too popular to play at the venues that would best suit.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

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Originally Posted by resohead View Post
Wish I could hang out with you for a few days. Pretty sure I'd learn a thing or two.

I love Cousin Dupree, it's so sick. I love when she asks about the dark architecture of your soul and he says so what is it exactly that turns you off? Something like that.
Yeah, that song is a definite "eeewwww" moment for the audience sometimes. But it is pretty funny. Steely Dan aren't unlike alot of those blatant country songs sometimes ;)
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

One night we're playin' gin by a cracklin' fire
And I figured I'd make my play
I said babe with my boyish charm and good looks
How can you stand it for one more day

She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
The dreary architecture of your soul
I said, but what is it exactly that turns you off?

:)
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

I had to look up 'skeevy'. Such a great word.

From the urban dictionary...

From the Italian word "schifoso" meaning disgusting, detestable, rotten, repulsive, foul, hideous, loathsome, distasteful, lousy, filthy.

Whatever happened to Skeevy Richie?

HAHA!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

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Whatever happened to Skeevy Richie?

HAHA!!
........Thats Lionel Ritchie. I think you're thinking of Skeevy Wonder.


....
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Attention: Steely Dan tragics

Ah...Dirty Work. Loove that one. From the vocalist who was slated to be lead singer then skipped town or went missing or something. Has he ever been found?

Love me some Gaucho as well. I could go on forever...
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