Sunday, June 22, 2008

Walter Becker on the radio

Still a couple of chances to catch Walter do his Celebrity Shuffle on Super Shuffle/Sirius Satellite Radio.
Here's what it says on the homepage:
Fridays at 6 am, 1 pm and 8 pm ET
Saturdays at 12 am, 10 am and 5 pm ET
Sundays at 3 am, 2 pm and 11 pm ET
Every week a different celebrity takes over Super Shuffle for the weekend, playing tunes that inspired them, made them laugh, made them cry or songs that are just their favorites. You never know who'll be shuffling each week; it could be a singer, actor, comedian,'ll never know what's on next during Celebrity Shuffle!
So how was the show? A no-frills 60 minute show where he played music from the 70s ... even though he could've picked from any year/era. Apparently a misunderstanding, as he explained towards the end of the show:
"I picked a bunch of 70s tunes because you know, frankly, I was misinformed. This was a sort of a management sort of a slip up where i thought I was gonna be picking all these cheesy 70s tunes and that's what the show is all about. It turns out that's not the case, but I'm sticking with the original plan anyway. And just to prove it I'd like to play a track by David Bowie called Ashes To Ashes."
The format of the show was a jingle or two stating the name of the show, then Walter saying his name and doing a short presentation of the next artist/song. Then came the song followed by another jingle and so on.

Just once did he come on after the station/show jingle with another name than his own:
"Bob Dylan. I never say my name before Bob Dylan. I'm not Bob Dylan and neither are you. Unless you happen to be Bob Dylan in which case; wow, awesome dude!!!
But whom am I? I guess I'm Walter Becker from Steely Dan, which is not so bad. It's not Bob Dylan but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, right?"
And then he presented Bob Dylan singing Isis.

Walter sounded like he had a good time and this listener sure did. He laughed before presenting "perhaps the cheesiest song" of the show; Eddie Money's Baby Hold On.

During the show we also got to learn that Walter thinks that Rickie Lee Jones' Pirates is "a masterpiece".

Before playing Parliament:
"We must have played this thing about 20 times a night back in the 70s when I was visiting with various friends and sitting on their couches expounding and expanding on various subjects."
And finally:
"You can always tell what my favorite cut om my album is, cause I put it first. So let's listen to Door Number Two!"

The Band The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Bob Marley & The Wailers I Shot The Sheriff
Parliament P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
Rickie Lee Jones We Belong Together
Warren Zevon Boom Boom Mancini
Eddie Money Baby Hold On
Bob Dylan Isis
Elvis Costello Watching The Detectives
David Bowie Ashes to Ashes
Spinners Love Don't Love Nobody
Walter Becker Door Number Two

Next show on Walter's Sirius Satellite Radio trek this month? The Totally '70s channel this Thursday!
Steely Dan’s Walter Becker
Thurs 6/26 12:00 pm ET
We have a plan for Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker... play anything in our library starting with the letter 'S' in hopes he'll play a lot of Dan. Will our scheme work? Plus, he promises to spin a tune from his just released solo album, Circus Money. Becker takes a break from the Steely Dan North America tour to guest DJ on Totally '70s. Totally epic!
Hmmm... What 1970s artists start with the letter S?

Oh! And we couldn't help but notice that with the exception of Eddie Money all the artists played by Walter also pops up on Radio Dupree's playlist now and then. Awesowme, dude...


Dimension Skipper said...

Thanks for the report, guys!

Neb and/or Siggy said...

Expect something in the mail ... eventually :) lists six different Sirius channels; Pure Jazz | Classic Vinyl | The Vault | Super Shuffle |
Radio Margaratiaville | Totally '70s.

Must mean six appearances by Walter in toto. We'll see how many we manage to find/catch. Next up is the Totally 70's thing with artist beginning with the letter S. Here at Radio Dupree we look forward a little extra to what Walter will do with his hour on Pure Jazz. And will Radio Margaritaville be one big celebration of the reggae that inspired Circus Money? Hopefully we'll get to hear the answer even if it means spending $ 13 to catch the shows online.

Fagen's DJ:ing on Sirius was hardly commented at all, and so far few seem to have caught Walter's premiere. Is Sirius just very small among Danfans or is it a marginal broadcaster seen in the eyes of North America as a whole? We're wondering as Europeans used to see Sirius mentioned in the same sentences as "falling stock" and "hard to make any profit".

Dimension Skipper said...

Hey, thanks! I honestly wasn't expecting anything or hinting either. I was really just appreciative to see a report of the playlist and a comment or two from Walter. Seems no one on the Blue bothered to catch the show (or comment if they did).

I'm the wrong person to comment about satellite radio as I'm one of only a handful of North Americans who still receives free over-the-air TV signals via old-fashioned antenna (and am still reasonably satisfied with that arrangement).

However, my uninformed impression of satellite radio (I'm not a subscriber) is that it probably has reached that lull between the early adopters jumping on board right away and the late adopters waiting to see if the concept will survive. Plus I think most radio markets still have ample selection in traditional stations that people can find enough to satisfy their occasional random listening pleasure (when they're not listening to CDs or radio on the internet, of course!).

I'm not even sure, though, if people listen to music on the radio anymore, opting instead for various talk formats (sports and/or politics for the most part). Heck, sometimes it seems to me like even the so-called music stations spend more time talking than spinning records.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth, but honestly I wouldn't go by me as I'm far, far from an expert.

Thanks again for the Sirius Walter reports (past and future) and any bonus sweet treats and surprises you may be able to manage. Yes, it will be interesting to find out how Walter's PJ playlist compares with Donald's and to hear if he does some heavy reggae rollin' at Margaritaville.