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Scam Artists Live In August

In deciding when to see Steely Dan during their 8 night stand at the Beacon Theatre it all came down to money. They will be playing one of three albums each night and an additional night with songs chosen on the internet by people who had bought that nights ticket, repeat and rinse. Since I love all three albums they’ve elected to play and since my experience of nights when the audience chooses the set is that it is a mix of obscurities and hits with zero pacing any night would do. So I went with when I could find their cheapest ticket -still a whopping $74. I ended up with Monday August 10th and “The Royal Scam” and I couldn’t be happier. It dates from 76 but is somewhat timeless -all the songs are brilliant jewels but a special tip of the hat to the single “Haitian Divorce”.

I’ve seen Steely Dan many times since they reformed in the 90s and have loved them sometimes more than other times. Anyway, a quick ranking and grading per album and a huge question mark as to why they went with “Scam,” “Aja” and “Gaucho” and didn’t include their two best albums. They claimed no clunkers but except for “Everything Must Go” they haven’t written an awful lotta clunkers.

1) Katy Lied – Grade: A+
2) Pretzel Logic – Grade: A+
3) The Royal Scam – Grade: A
3) Aja – Grade: A
3) Gaucho – Grade: A
3) Two Against Nature – Grade: A
4) Can’t Buy A Thrill – Grade: A-
5) Countdown To Ecstasy Grade: A-
6) Everything Must Go Grade: B

The live album is really good as well and “Citizen Dan” includes a live “Bodhisattva” with an hysterical guy introducing the band, claiming “if he’s good to you he’s gotta be good for you” and hitting on the “little itty bitty ones…” God save Santa Monica.

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