Music News

Steely Dan

Steely Dan sounds like the 1970s incarnate — not because its music makes you think of earth tones, discotheques, quaaludes or the Eagles, but because its classic oeuvre was so non-threatening that it hid the lurid tales and subversive content of its seemingly innocuous songs, written in a decade that was known for decadence but included the Vietnam War, the Iranian revolution and the Jonestown massacre. The ambitious 1977 album Aja featured some of the era's most talented jazz session players and became the band's best-selling record, with hits including "Deacon Blues," "Peg" and "Black Cow" that have become mainstays of classic-rock radio. For the act's current tour, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and company will perform Aja in its entirety, humorously sarcastic tone and ultra-cool attitude intact.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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