Music » Critics' Picks

Steely Dan

7:30 p.m. Monday, September 4. UMB Bank Pavilion (14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights).


Listening to a Steely Dan album is rather like reading an erstwhile nerd's yearbook. Their songs are filled with odd innuendos, inside jokes, obscure words and dark humor — a reflection of how brilliantly quirky Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are. But critics and diehards have long recognized there's more lurking beneath the surface of jazzy, seemingly radio-perfect Steely Dan songs such as "My Old School" and "Black Friday." And they have the patience to wait around for it: 2000's Two Against Nature, the duo's first album in twenty years, was awarded four Grammys. Still, look at the headlines Fagen and Becker created with their goofy letter to Luke Wilson concerning his brother's appearance in the movie You, Me and Dupree, a note infused with plenty of "hey, man"s and "like"s. For a few days in July, Steely Dan came between the media's doomsday headlines and stock prices — and reminded us that, yeah, the band named after a flying dildo is kind of funny and fantastically gifted, man.

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