I discovered Steely Dan when I was 17. I was working at Tower Records in New York City and I had a coworker named Fred who played The Royal Scam over and over. It didn’t take long for me to investigate further and fully enjoy the fruits of my investigations. Not only do Donald and Walter have a way with a sly lyric (when I can figure out what the hell they’re talking about in the first place,) but their music is impeccably played and quite often, very funky (albeit in a very clean, professional manner.)
If you dig the songs that comprised their most commercially successful album Aja, then you might enjoy the interpretations of that album’s songs by a Canadian band called The Darcys. Their reimagining of Aja is far from faithful-many of the songs are turned on their ear. Case in point, their haunting, subdued rendition of “Josie.”
(I remember seeing a clip of the Grammys that year, where Aja was up for Album of the Year against Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which eventually won. How do you even pick between those two albums? You think giving them the 2001 Grammy for Two Against Nature was a make-good trophy?)
The song and video are both pretty somber-certainly a far cry from the original, but worth your time all the same.
It’s worth mentioning that you can download The Darcys’ entire album for free by clicking right here.