The Dan-o-Files

The Dan-o-Files

Mam’zelle Daphne G. Canard, Proprietress

Being a compendium of personal musings on the splendiferous
“maybe-rock non-band”

Steely Dan

In their heyday in the 1970s, a critic described them as “America’s finest maybe-rock non-band.” Frank Zappa dismissed them as “downer surrealism.” Their music keeps on turning up in the strangest damn places — from muzak in supermarkets to samples on hip-hop records. And they’re in the process of staging one of the more improbable — and fascinating — comebacks in the world of rock music.

And yes, I’m crazy about them.

There are, at this date, many fine websites dedicated to Steely Dan — not the least of which is the band’s official web site; you can also find a slew of others via this exhaustive list maintained by dedicated Danfan “StAlphonso.” I have no intention to (let alone hope of) duplicating these massive efforts. Rather, what I wish to present on this page is a more personal series of musings on the Dan — how I experience them, what they and their music mean to me, what they do that makes me laugh (which is a lot), what they do that fills me with awe.

So here’s the bill of fare so far:

The SteelyFan Journals:

These started off life as a series of postings to the wonderful online salon hosted by my ISP, Drizzle.com. I found myself writing to an audience that, while interested in what I had to say, was mostly unfamiliar with the Dan — so it turned into a neat opportunity to explain to myself as well as them what about the Dan’s music turned me on so. It also, because of the timeframe, started turning into a great chronicling of the media buildup for the release of their first new album in twenty years, “Two Against Nature.”

The journal entries so far (and in the best spirit of Dandom, I did kind of “fix up” the original entries here and there, heh heh):

Tour and Danfest Travelogues

The Albums Song-by-Song:

Reflections on and appreciations of the Dan oeuvre. What I’ve covered so far:

Just Plain Silly Stuff

The Mam’zelle has a habit of waxing droll in various cyber-venues devoted to the Dan. Herewith a sampling:

Watch this space for more stuff as I think of it.

Ellen Terris Brenner, Seattle, WA
mizducky@drizzle.com