The drawback to the pub’s musical mix (I assume it’s via one of the streaming services) is that I’m occasionally subjected to Steely Dan, The Grateful Dead, and other classic rock bands I can typically do without (GD’s Touch of Gray being a notable exception). As always, follow your own joy and enjoyment.

If you are a Steely Dan, the band, fan, you may want to stop here.

If you’re a William H. Burrows fan or really like Naked Lunch, this does not go there. I like the author and the book, and kind of enjoyed the movie. Maybe someday I will write about them. This is not that day.

Steely Dan is the worst. They’re not rock. They’re not jazz. They’re in a self-imposed purgatory separate. They’re languid and tepid. They’re pop without the sense to lean into it.

For as much press ink is spilled talking about the individual contributors’ musical chops, the music is bland. The lyrics are trivial. The singing is incidental to the music, which isn’t good to begin with. Repetition is the band’s stock-in-trade.

The problem begins and ends with Donald Fagan. Walter Becker, the other half of the band, passed away in 2017. While obviously complicit in SD’s sound and style, this is Fagan’s band.

All of Steely Dan’s “hits” will make me change the dial or skip the song, but if I go into a business playing Reelin’ In The Years I will physically leave. Other than Billy Joel‘s Pianoman (in the running for the worst super hero ever), there is no song that triggers such a visceral negative reaction. The difference is that I like most of the rest of Joel’s catalog. That is not the case with Fagan and SD.

You are on your own journey so follow your joy, but this band is not mine.

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