SHOW NOTES: Steely Dan at the Beacon Theater, or Do Not F*** With Don & Walt

129483_34.99Seeing Steely Dan at the Beacon is a long-standing Libby & Matthew tradition.  Since 2011, when we bought tickets to Rarities Night and were treated to the only performance EVER of “The Second Arrangement,” we’ve made it a point to meet in the city and see The Dan perform a hometown show.

Our show was “By Request.” We requested “The Second Arrangement,” but I would have been happy with “King of the World.”  Matthew bought me a Beacon exclusive tee-shirt to add to my collection.

Our seats were Becker-side, between a man-spreading Steely Dad and a humorless woman who talked about how she hoped they played “Aja” (they always play “Aja”) and then talked about how Rikki Lee Jones helped her get through her first divorce.  As the jazz trio started, she talked over that (“Oh, who are they?  I didn’t see that that there was going to be jazz.  I heard Steely Dan started an hour and a half late the other night, well, you know these union guys….”

I did not get the sense that she was ever going to shut up, so I loudly announced that I needed a drink and Matthew and I relocated to the back of the balcony, where we sat during last October’s “Greatest Hits” night on the Rockabye Gollie Angel tour.

Earlier in the day I mentioned to Matthew that my life goal was to one day buy out all the seats around me and sit alone, reigning over the other concert-goers like the Queen of Steely Dan so that I didn’t have to hear people run their mouth the whole damn time (what kind of a jackhole talks through a whole concert?) I got my wish.  Not a single other person sat in our section.  Marvelous!

But Don & Walt were running late. The crowd was getting restless. People were yelling, demanding they come out on stage, chanting “Steely Dan!  Steely Dan!”  One man screamed that he was going to miss his bus.  Baby Boomers, stop acting like children.

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So It Appears That I’m Living the Dream

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A last hurrah in Binghamton, April 19, 2007

Binghamton, 2006.  I’m 23, living in a fire-trap basement apartment in the ghetto.  I’m that kind of art-poverty broke where I live on black coffee and scrambled eggs and dinner is paid on for on a rotating basis between whichever one of us got paid that week.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my life except that I know I want to write and listen to records.  Out of college just over a year, I’m kicking myself for not having spent more time in music classes because I’ve got a subscription to Spin and being a music journalist would have been a kick-ass career.

I started a blog, Kill Your Ipod and reviewed shitty CDs from indie bands that I solicited over email.  No one read it except a couple of stalkers.  I wasn’t even sure how to write about music.  I lacked the technical language; all I had was this intense passion, this gut feeling whenever I listened to Tom Waits or Warren Zevon or the patchwork of mix CDs that stood in for conversation with boys I liked.  I hung around the record store and worked at FYE like a model waiting tables, hoping the right person might notice me and ask me to move back to NYC to write for some new music magazine.

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I Got To Write For Yacht Rock!

LOOK AT HIS ADORABLE FACE!

LOOK AT HIS ADORABLE FACE!

I’ve been a disciple of the webseries Yacht Rock for years (thanks to Matthew, of course).  It helped re-awaken my love for smooth music, plus it’s funny as hell and I think that JD Ryznar is super-cute.  (I think my love of midwestern guys as firmly been established on this blog).

So naturally, when the guys of Yacht Rock got on Twitter to promote the new Beyond Yacht Rock podcast, I stalked them until one fateful day when JD messaged me to tell me that he enjoyed my Record Saturday pick.  I seriously fangirled, everybody.  Like, embarrassingly so.  We got chatting more, and I sent him a copy of The Big Rewind.  And when they started The Captain’s Blog, I offered to write for them.  He accepted my pitch, and the essay, titled “I F**king Love Steely Dan & You Should Too” was published earlier this week.

It was, to put it mildly, a hit.  It’s also the most honest thing I’ve ever written, coming straight from the gut.  I really do love Steely Dan that much.

The essay is here.  It contains extremely vulgar language and threats of violence, so if you’re my Dad, please don’t read it.  You’ve been warned.  They are always seeking content, so send them a pitch!

I’ve also got a piece on The Smiths, Meat Is Murder at the RS-500, an amazing blog that’s compiling stories inspired by every single album on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list.  It’s been a great week for my music journalism career!

RECORD SATURDAY CONTEST RULES: The Replacements, “Let It Be”

The_Replacements_-_Let_It_Be_cover

During tonight’s Record Saturday live-tweet of The Replacements Let It Be, tweet me a pic (@libbycudmore) of you in your teenage years. Yearbook photos, class trip candids, the more angsty, goofy or dated, the better!

Three winners will receive a hand-picked record from the vaults of Record Saturday.  You have until Sunday, Aug. 28 to reply, and make sure to tag your photo #RecordSaturday so that I see it.

Ahead By a Century

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I discovered the Tragically Hip in 2005, when I was working at a tiny sandwich shop in Cobleskill.  The owner, who’s name I have long forgotten, would put on In Between Evolution.  It was magic. It was like love.  I asked her to burn me a copy, because I was so poor from the lousy wages she paid that I could barely afford rent on the apartment I shared with my sister, let alone a CD.  She obliged, and that album became the soundtrack to one last hometown summer and of the strange year in New York that would eventually inspire The Big Rewind.

I still think of a late-night run along the promenade in Brooklyn when I hear “Goodnight Josephine.”  I played “It Can’t Be Nashville Every Night” on my honeymoon as we drove through Tennessee.  And “In View” was the first song I played for Jason when we got back together.

And last night, my love for The Hip was rekindled as they performed for three hours in their final concert, broadcast live on the CBC. And not final as in “We’ll get back together in five years and tour again and you’ll pay big money to see it, suckers.”  Final as in no more, the end, forever, because Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer at age 52.

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SHOW NOTES: Steely Dan, The Dan Who Knew Too Much Sunday, July 10 at SPAC

(Not my photo; alas, I was in no man's land.)

(Not my photo; alas, I was in no man’s land.)

I haven’t been to SPAC in about 15 years, but I was absolutely not going to miss seeing Steely Dan in my own backyard.  My friend Thor was my date, and although the forecast was foreboding, we arrived armed with umbrellas, ponchos and chairs so that we didn’t have to sit on the wet, muddy ground.

My biggest worry with SPAC was that since we had lawn seats, the sound wouldn’t be that good.  Those fears were quickly assuaged when Steve Winwood took the stage.  He couldn’t sound more clear if I was listening to a CD in my car.
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Independence Day: Resurgence Is The Worst Movie Ever Made

Ah, why, did you, you, see this, ah, terrible movie?

Ah, why, did you, you, see this, ah, terrible movie?

Independence Day: Resurgence is the single worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life, and the only reason I’m mad about it being a flop is because this means I have no one to talk through the pain with.

“But Libby,” you might say, wise reader that you are. “You knew it was going to be stupid. Why did you go see it?”

The same reason everyone goes to the movies in the summer: Air conditioning.

You see, it’s about 700 degrees in the second floor walk-up apartment Ian & I call home, with 200 percent humidity, and that’s with two fans running.  It is too hot to eat.  Too muggy to sleep.  There was one escape, and that was to the movies.

You must understand one thing about me–I LOVE Independence Day because I love Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and the 4th of July.  Before work got in the way, we used to have extravagant 4th of July parties, with Fizzball, a potluck dinner and an annual viewing of the film (with Rifftrax, obviously).  I gave President Whitmore’s iconic speech at my friend Eeon’s wedding and he gave it at mine.

I’ve stepped away from movie reviews of late, but I have to share this one. Otherwise, it will eat my soul.  There are some spoilers in here, but who are you kidding, you’re not going to see this crap-pile anyways.

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