Tag: jazz rock

Listening Booth — Ben Folds Five (w/ Fraggle Rock), “Do It Anyway”

Listening Booth — Ben Folds Five (w/ Fraggle Rock), “Do It Anyway”

Listening Booth, Music
How do you make a Ben Folds Five reunion more awesome than it already is? Why, you add a beloved childhood TV icon - the cast of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock! So that's what we have in the official video for "Do It Anyway," the first single from The Sound of the Life of the Mind. Yeah, this kicks ass. Not only is the video -- also starring Rob Corddry, Anna Kendrick, and Chris Hardwick -- clever and fun, but the song is great too. The classic BF5 sound is back, baby. Jazz-pop with that distinctive Robert Sledge fuzz bass. I don't think I'm letting nostalgia could my judgment when I say this crackles with the Five energy of old. It's certainly more upbeat than just about anything from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (save "Army" perhaps), an admittedly fantastic record. ...
So fresh — 10 Steely Dan songs that will never get old

So fresh — 10 Steely Dan songs that will never get old

Music
Steely Dan is one of those bands that evokes an instant response from people -- usually a big, goofy grin or wretching noises of some sort. There really seems to be no middle ground for people once they've been exposed to the unique and acerbic brand of jazz-rock practiced by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Like a lot of others, I figured that the Dan was all about "Reelin' in the Years" and "Black Cow," and not much else. Boy how wrong was I! Here's ten shining examples of what this great band has to offer beyond the classic rock radio staples, if only you'll come along for the ride. 1 -- "Fire in the Hole" (from Can't Buy a Thrill, 1972) No need to go any further than the band's debut LP to find evidence of their greatness. And if you're ever going to appreciate Fagen's earnes...
Album cover of the week: Aja

Album cover of the week: Aja

Album Cover of the Week
(March 2011 update — Greetings Reddit users! Feel free to stick around, just remember to use a coaster.) Steely Dan consistently suffered from some of the ugliest artwork of the '70s, but pulled it together for their 1977 hit album, Aja.  This brilliantly simple image belied the alluringly complex music contained within. The songs on Aja (pronounced Asia) have been dissected and examined countless times over the last 30 years, so I'm giving this great artwork its due.  According to Wikipedia, the name Aja belonged to the Korean wife of Donald Fagen's friend's brother.  I'm not sure if that's true but it sounds plausible, so I'll pretend it is. Credit for the cover image goes to Hideki Fujii, who took this striking photo of model/actress Sayoko Yamaguchi.