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Steely Dan

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March 11, 2000 | RICHARD CROMELIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In returning Steely Dan to the pop music world after a two-decade intermission, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have transformed the group from a shrouded enigma into a fan-friendly, interactive entity--relatively speaking, anyway. And they've done it without losing much of their subversive edge. All these threads are gathered into a PBS concert that airs tonight on KCET.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 2011
BOOKS Meghan Daum L.A. Times columnist Meghan Daum will moderate a panel about fiction and narrative nonfiction at Skylight Books. Those answering the questions are local memoirists and novelists James Brown ("This River"), Seth Greenland ("Shining City"), Diana Wagman ("Spontaneous") and Leslie Schwartz ("Angels Crest"). The discussion is sure to be lively and timely. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Free. (323) 660-1175; skylightbooks.com . EVENTS LA Comedy Fest 365 This year-round comedy series highlighting up-and-coming comedians and filmmakers presents two shows by local improv groups: the trio Circle One and the colorfully named Yellow-Bellied Marmots.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 1989 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Band: Love and Money. Personnel: James Grant, guitar, vocals; Bobby Paterson, bass; Paul McGeechan, keyboards. History: Grant and McGeechan played together in a Glasgow-based acoustic-flavored band called Friends Again. After that group broke up, they formed Love and Money with Paterson and drummer Stuart Kerr and signed to PolyGram in 1985. In 1986, with American producer Tom Dowd (Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers), the group made the album "All You Need . . . ," which featured the British hit "Candybar Express."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2011 | By Richard Cromelin, Special to The Times
Roger Nichols, the recording engineer who gave the music of Steely Dan the lustrous sheen that became the popular group's sonic signature, died Saturday at his Burbank home after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 66. Nichols also worked extensively with the late country pop star John Denver. His long list of credits also includes work with Placido Domingo, Rickie Lee Jones, Roseanne Cash, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys. But it was the Steely Dan records — albums such as "Aja" and "Pretzel Logic" and hits including "Do It Again" and "Hey Nineteen" — that brought Nichols six of his seven Grammy awards and his stature as engineer-as-artist, in the tradition of Phil Spector's engineer Larry Levine and Jerry Wexler's Tom Dowd at Atlantic Records in the 1960s.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 1997 | Steve Hochman
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in May was full of excitement and controversy: Neil Young boycotted over the hall's policies on reimbursing performers and televising the proceedings, there was turmoil about the exclusion of members of bands that had lineup changes, and one inductee (Joni Mitchell) was absent so she could spend time with the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2000 | RICHARD CROMELIN
Two big question-mark albums--Steely Dan's return after 20 years and the Smashing Pumpkins' effort to rebound from the disappointing "Adore"--both debuted in the Top 10 a week ago, but how did they fare in their second week? In both cases, Southern California fans were more supportive than the national audience, keeping Steely Dan in the Top 5 as they slipped to No. 15 overall, and the Pumpkins far ahead of their No. 20 spot nationally.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 1994 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
They were elusive titans, hunkering down in studios to turn out pop songs with liberal references to the languages of jazz and literature. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, twin architects of the '70s super-group Steely Dan, rarely surfaced in much of a public way. Mystique and inaccessibility only served to enhance their legend, without damaging their commercial potential. They were heroes in the dark, invisible pop stars. That was then, this is now.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2011 | By Richard Cromelin, Special to The Times
Roger Nichols, the recording engineer who gave the music of Steely Dan the lustrous sheen that became the popular group's sonic signature, died Saturday at his Burbank home after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 66. Nichols also worked extensively with the late country pop star John Denver. His long list of credits also includes work with Placido Domingo, Rickie Lee Jones, Roseanne Cash, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys. But it was the Steely Dan records — albums such as "Aja" and "Pretzel Logic" and hits including "Do It Again" and "Hey Nineteen" — that brought Nichols six of his seven Grammy awards and his stature as engineer-as-artist, in the tradition of Phil Spector's engineer Larry Levine and Jerry Wexler's Tom Dowd at Atlantic Records in the 1960s.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 1996 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Steely Dan has distinct advantages over other '70s pop warhorses trying to justify their existence a generation beyond their hit-making prime. When mainstays Walter Becker and Donald Fagen go on stage with whatever assortment of ace players and singers they've assembled to flesh out their band-in-concept, they aren't competing with fans' fond memories of any concert exploits from their youth. The band was famous for not touring.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 8, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
Services are planned Saturday for Jimmy Hodder, a former drummer for the rock group Steely Dan, who drowned in his pool, officials said. He was 42. Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. Jay Miller, who also is deputy coroner, said Hodder was pronounced dead at 3:25 a.m. Tuesday at Ukiah Medical Center. Hodder had been on life support since he was found by a friend Monday afternoon at the bottom of his pool at his Point Arena home. The hospital measured Hodder's blood-alcohol level at 0.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2009 | Margaret Wappler
A few minutes before Steely Dan took the stage to play the entirety of its 1977 album, "Aja," a man wandered the Gibson Amphitheatre dressed as Jesus. He was wearing shapeless sackcloth, with wavy, honey-colored hair that slipped past his shoulders, and he offered a benevolent gaze to every sinner who cheered him on. It was a fitting image for a band that has been both worshiped as melody masters and reviled as purveyors of buttery jazz-rock. The split reputation still dogs the band to this day among the revivalist hipsters who bitterly argue Steely Dan's iconoclast status.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2009 | Associated Press
To prepare for its current tour, Steely Dan had to relearn its own music. The band is performing one of three albums -- "Aja," "Gaucho" or "The Royal Scam" -- in its entirety on select dates of their Rent Party tour. On other dates, it will play requests that fans submit through the band's website, www.steelydan.com. That means Steely Dan had to do some homework. "We had to learn a whole bunch of stuff we haven't been doing, just trying to guess what people might vote for," said singer Donald Fagen.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2008
Nick Cave: Some longtime fans might disagree, but has there been a more appropriately Lazarus-like rebirth of a veteran artist quite like the 50-year-old former Birthday Party singer's recent track record? On the heels of last year's raw "Grinderman" project, its unbelievable alt-rock's dark prince still had enough in his tank for the hyper-literate (and hyper-funny) album "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!" We're thankful he did. Classic rock: We should probably define our terms before rainbow-ringed oval bumper stickers start showing up in the mail, but there is no more reliable holiday party-pleaser than Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Steely Dan, et al. Be advised, though: Many of their songs have been driven directly into the ground by corporate radio programming.
OPINION
October 27, 2007 | MEGHAN DAUM
Whenever California burns or shakes or collapses in mudslides, a cavalcade of familiar noir-isms comes along for the ride. Social critics wax nihilistic about impermanence as a permanent state of mind. Inevitably, Joan Didion quotes blow in like the Santa Anas themselves, offering up heavy doses of the line about the winds forcing an acceptance of "a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 2006 | Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
The first song in Donald Fagen's show on Monday at the Wiltern LG was a pretty good clue that this first solo tour by the Steely Dan principal would be neither a greatest-hits joyride nor an infomercial for his new solo album, "Morph the Cat," the ostensible reason for Fagen's tour.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2006 | Richard Cromelin
Donald Fagen "Morph the Cat" (Reprise) * * * THE taller half of Steely Dan returns from a 13-year break from solo albums as a sort of hipster Dr. Seuss. In the title song, a protoplasmic feline form permeates Manhattan, casting an inexplicable but welcome spell of well-being on Gotham. Less cartoon-like but similarly whimsical, "What I Do" finds the ghost of Ray Charles sharing his secrets of swing and seduction. Elsewhere Fagen cheerily faces down the Man in the Brite Nightgown -- W.C.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2009 | Associated Press
To prepare for its current tour, Steely Dan had to relearn its own music. The band is performing one of three albums -- "Aja," "Gaucho" or "The Royal Scam" -- in its entirety on select dates of their Rent Party tour. On other dates, it will play requests that fans submit through the band's website, www.steelydan.com. That means Steely Dan had to do some homework. "We had to learn a whole bunch of stuff we haven't been doing, just trying to guess what people might vote for," said singer Donald Fagen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Cornelius Bumpus, 58, a former member of the Doobie Brothers who played with Steely Dan and other bands, died of a heart attack Tuesday on a commercial flight from New York to California, where he was scheduled to perform in a series of concerts. A respected musician who began playing saxophone at age 10 in his school band in Santa Rosa, Calif., Bumpus had a 1966 stint performing with Bobby Freeman, who wrote and sang "Do You Want to Dance?"
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2003 | Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer
For a short time after Sept. 11, some pundits pronounced irony and cynicism dead. Had that been true, it certainly would have meant the end of the line for a pop-rock band as thoroughly and fundamentally drenched in those qualities as Steely Dan. Almost two years later, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have released their first album since the day the world stopped turning, and, sure enough, "Everything Must Go" finds them back in all their irony- and cynicism-laced glory.
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