Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bruce Springsteen regrets Wal-Mart deal

Bruce Springsteen isn't the first (or last) to release a record exclusively through the Wal-Mart chain of stores, but he's the first to openly regret it.

"We were in the middle of doing a lot of things, it kind of came down and, really, we didn't vet it the way we usually do," said the musician.

"It was something that if we'd thought about it a little longer, we'd have done something different.

"Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be."

Read the ful article in The New York Times on Sunday or check out the BBC news item here.

Here's what the Wal-Mart Greatest Hits CD cover looks like. It went on sale just a couple of weeks ago.

1. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
2. Born To Run
3. Thunder Road
4. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
5. Badlands
6. Hungry Heart
7. Glory Days
8. Dancing In The Dark
9. Born In The U.S.A.
10. The Rising
11. Lonesome Day
12. Radio Nowhere

Donald Fagen on John Updike

With the headline DONALD TRIES TO PARLAY HIS POP NOTORIETY INTO A LUCRATIVE CAREER IN LITERARY CRITICISM! Donald Fagen has posted his thoughts on author John Updike.

It is part of a longer article from Slate magazine where editors and writers remember Updike. The full article can be read here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BBC Take Two: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

Hurry up! It was broadcast January 27 and will only be available to listen to for seven days after the original broadcast (so five days left as we write this).

Quoting BBC Radio 4:

Richard Coles presents a discussion series looking at collaborations between two musicians.
Richard analyses the collaboration between Becker and Fagen, who formed the band Steely Dan in 1971, and the effect it had on the popular music of the time. Featuring extracts of some of the band's music, archive interviews given by Becker and Fagen and contributions from music journalist David Hepworth and Brian Sweet, author of a book about the band.

30 minutes long. Here's the link!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Aja" - the nightclub

The 1977 album from Steely Dan is the inspiration for the name of a 11,300-square-foot nightclub that was opened in Tampa, Florida this weekend. As far as we know Steely Dan has no further connection to or involvement in the nightclub.

Aja sounds like an expensive and expectedly luxurious way to spend an afternoon in the city. But we could be wrong.
If anyone's in the vincinity of Aja located on the ground floor of the Channelside Towers (pictured), feel free to check the place out and report back. Photos optional.

More on the grand opening that became a smaller affair can be read here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bill Bruford retires from public performance

Photo: Paul Pugliese © Copyright Bill Bruford and Bill Bruford Productions Ltd.


Drummer extraordinaire Bill Bruford (who has played with groups as Yes, King Crimson and Genesis) will not play live gigs anymore. The news is published on Bruford's own website

"After 41 years of moving the percussive pulse in music and raising people's pulses in general, Bill Bruford has announced his retirement from public performance, effective from January 1st 2009.
Bill's contribution to music is celebrated by the release of two new anthologies covering his solo career."

Oh no, I never got the opportunity to see him live on stage! Let's hope Bill will change his mind some day.
/Siggy, Radio Dupree staff

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The latest from Madleine, Walter & Larry

Madeleine Peyroux new single is online for listening over at Rounder Records site.

Here's the link to You Can't Do Me written by Walter Becker and Larry Klein and on her forthcoming album Bare Bones. You can also try the player a bit futher down this post!

Here's what Rounder has to say:

On “You Can’t Do Me,” the salty single from her new album Bare Bones written with Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and producer Larry Klein, Madeleine Peyroux declares that “you can’t do me, like you did before.” Anchored by jumping piano and a backbeat that inspires motion, she explains what will happen:

“You know I get so blue and I go Down like a deep sea diver, out like a Coltrane tenor-man, Lost like a Chinese war baby - gone, gone, gone! Blewed like a Mississippi sharecropper, screwed like a high-school cheerleader, Tattooed like a popeyed sailorman - gone, gone, gone!”

With Bare Bones, out March 10 on Rounder Records, Peyroux dives into songwriting with the same emotion she has given others’ songs in the past. She had a hand in writing all 11 tracks on the album, creating a deeply personal piece of work that gives listeners a window into her fascinating life story -- moving from the US to Paris with her mother as a child, dropping out of high school to busk on the streets, and rising up to critical acclaim and commercial success.
More on Bare Bones here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wekend music: CCR

OK. It's Friday and I went looking for a video to post. While surfing I happened upon my old childhood favourite; John Fogerty, and the news about a new album under the moniker Blue Ridge Rangers coming out 2009. When Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up his first solo album was not under his own name but as "Blue Ridge Rangers". He played all the instruments, so it really was a solo record.

Enough. I found this classic CCR track. Lookin' Out My Back Door. Some thought it was a drug fantasy when in reality it was just a silly song John wrote for his young daughter. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Steely Dan radio

Here's a show that aired January 10 and 11 on BZoO online radio. State Controlled Radio is a show hosted by Jon Kanis, and that week he devoted the full two hour show to Steely Dan. It's just part one of his Steely Dan marathon, as he promises to serve up part two in February.

Music and interview snippets mixed together make a great two hour show. If you missed it it's available as a podcast here until January 30, 2009.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Apparently you CAN buy a thrill...

Surfing the Internet can have you end up anywhere. Searching for news about, say, "Steely Dan", can have you land on a blog where a man writes that contrary to the title one of his Steely Dan albums (Can't Buy A Thrill) you really can buy a thrill.

And he tells a story of an older man and a young woman that would make perfect fodder for a Donald Fagen and Walter Becker lyric. In the seventies with a wry, cynical twist. These days perhaps with an older, more reflecting view a la 2003's Everything Must Go.

At any rate; if D&W need some inspiration for the new album, they could follow this link and take it from there.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Department of silliness: Human mirror

Nothing to do with music this one, just one of those things that hopefully will put a smile on your face.
So here's what you do if you have some spare time and feel like spreading a little jollity: Get 15 pairs of twins, get on a train, bus or whatever and film other peoples reactions to "the human mirror".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Steely Dan back on the road in 2009 - including Europe?

The Steely Dan-touring-rumours are once again upon us!

This time Europe might be in the mix, but there's no official word yet of any tour.

So - donning our serious investigative journalist hat - we view what's being said so far:

1) A press release from Red House Productions about trombonist Jim Pugh(*) quoted in the formidable Dandom Digest (January 1- 10, 2009) says that Jim's plans for 2009 include
a trombone and harp duo project with harpist Emily Mitchell featuring music from Debussy to Schnyder; jazz concerts and workshops in Australia and New Zealand; and a tour with Steely Dan.
2) According to a post from a reader in the Dandom Digest (January 11 - 13, 2009), The Daily Telegraph has named Steely Dan touring the UK (and probaly Europe) in the newspapers' concert preview for 2009.

We searched the Telegraph's website but couldn't find any confirmation.

3) Two separate posts to the above Digest and the Bluebook states that drummer Keith Carlock's Facebook page apparently in an email said that there would be news on Steely Dan tour dates and more very soon.

Once again we couldn't confirm anything on the page itself after finding Keith Carlock(*) on Facebook. The page is listed as a "fan page". Keith's band Rudder also has a Facebook page, but nothing about a Steely Dan tour there either...

So while nothing is confirmed the old idiom no smoke without fire still works. Radio Dupree's gut feeling is that something's brewing... Still, we're pretty sure Chevy Chase won't be joining the band if and when there's a 2009 tour!

And - just in case - may we be the first to wish Don, Walt and the Steely-guys and Steely-gals welcome back to Europe.

(*) Jim Pugh and Keith Carlock have been part of Steely Dan on tour and in the studio for the past few years.

UPDATE January 17:
A message from the Keith Carlock Facebook group says "Finally, the news about upcoming Steely Dan dates came from a UK news article. We didn’t mean to suggest that it came from Keith! It does sound like more dates will be announced soon, so look out for another bulletin which we’ll post whenever we get the word!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pre-order your Lumpy Money now is now taking pre-orders for Lumpy Money, the three disc audio documentary of the 60's albums Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For The Money.
If you at the same time also order the four disc set MOFO (The Making of Freak Out!) you get a discount.
Lumpy Money includes two different mixes each of Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For The Money plus other material.

Weekend music: Mommy's on the piano!

Ever dreamt that you'd get a hit record to the top of the charts ... and your mum is in your band playing the piano?
Well, this happened back in 1972. Not to you but to Rob Woodward who togethet with Nigel Fletcher and Stephen Johnson and Rob's mother Hilda under the band name Lieutenant Pigeon had a hit with the catchy little thing called Mouldy Old Dough.

Watch out for Hilda on the piano!

And to prove that Radio Dupree keeps up with the times - sort of - we have to include an artist that's tipped for the top (as they used to say). It may not sound 2009, more 1950's. But what do we care? It's a catchy 2 minutes and 35 seconds from somewhere in rockabilly-land with the well-named Imelda May and Johnny Got A Boom Boom.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An old Steely Dan and new Fagen cover

Here are two coves that you might like to hear, especially if you're a fan of Steely Dan/Donald Fagen.

First out is a cover of Steely Dan's Rikki Don't Lose That Number that the U.S. duo Dawn did on a TV show back in the mid 70's. As far as we know never released on record.
Now some might argue that Dawn was a trio that had its first hit as simply Dawn before the male in the trio; Tony Orlando, was separated as far as the name goes and the trio was renamed as Tony Orlando & Dawn. For the slightly confusing story we direct you to this page on the group.

Dawn was a group that had great success in the genre of music that back then was called M.O.R./middle of the road or easy listening in the USA. These days it's apparently adult contemporary. Seriously.
Anyhoo... Rikki... proves how easy it is for Steely Dan numbers to work as laidback, easy listening, "elevator friendly" fodder.
The two ladies' names were (and are) Thelma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.

It the comments to the video on YouTube the signature DELSTAR1 points out a Steely Dan/Dawn connection: Dawn's first hit Candida from 1970 was co-written by Toni Wine who later did background vocals on Steely Dan's album Gaucho! Click here for a blog post on the versatile and "unknown" Toni Wine.
Suss von AhnSuss von Ahn

And from the 70's to 2009 and a brand new recording of Donald Fagen's Walk Between The Raindrops. It's by Swedish vocalist Suss von Ahn. We wrote a short blog entry about her back in October 2006. Her then new album Train To Stockholm featured a song titled Mystery Boulevard that had a distinctive Steely Dan feel to it. No surprise as she lists Steely Dan among her musical influences.

On her new record It's Only A Paper Moon she takes it one step further and covers Walk Between The Raindrops. Hear it on her MySpace-page. (Or Radio Dupree!)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Norwegian first: Download all Beatles music legally!

It's no big thing in the scheme of things, but NRK (The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) has just started uploading the 212 episodes podcasts of the series Vår daglige Beatles (Our daily Beatles) which aired in 2007.

Running between 5 and 8 minutes in length a presenter tells the story of a Beatles song with the song itself ending the poodcast. The quality of the podcast is a modest 128 kbps, but this is the first time that all Beatles songs will be available as a free, legal download.

Here's the address to the podcast feed if you'd like to practise your Norweigan:

Note that the 212 podcasts will only be available for four weeks.

Here's NRK:s own text about the whole thing:

Some weeks ago, NRK - Norwegian Braodcasting - signed a deal with music rights holder organisation TONO in Norway. The new deal gives NRK right to publish podcasts of all previously broadcasted radio- and tv-programs that contains less then 70% music.

Podcast containing music may be up for four weeks, while our podcast without music stay up on our server forever.

One result of this deal, is that we now can publish “Vår daglige Beatles” - “Our Daily Beatles” in English - as a podcast.

In this series from 2001, journalists Finn Tokvam og Bård Ose tells the story of every single Beatles tracks ever made, chronologically. Each episode contains a 3 minute story about each track (sadly for our international visitors - in Norwegian) and the actual Beatles tune.

This is - as far as we know - the first time you can download the Beatles’ music legally. Neither iTunes nor Amazon have The Beatles in their music stores.

The first episodes are already in the podcast, available from this RSS-feed:

All NRK podcasts are available at

For more information about NRK - se our English about page. is NRKs Norwegian technology website with some occasional English articles.

Update January 7:
And the uploaded podcasts are down and none of the remaining will be posted. Why? Did The Beatles stop this? Nope, it was the way the agreement was written. NRK can only podcast shows that have been aired in the past four weeks, and as these Beatles shorts were broadcast back in 2007 they are way over the four week limit.

More on why the Beatles series podcast was pulled can be read here:

NRKBetas's blog entry.

New York Times article

One way to get the podcasts online would be if NRK decided to rerun the series on the radio. But that will not happen according to NRK.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Steely Dan sounds in Scotland!

Here's a chance to hear the music of Steely Dan played by a jazz orchestra in Scotland this year:

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra will play the music of Steely Dan May 29 at the Perth Festival of the Arts. Just like they did in Glasgow last summer.

They will use the big band arrangements by Fred Sturm originally done for the Hessischer Rundfunk Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany and recorded on the CD Do It Again – hr Big Band Plays Three Decades Of Steely Dan in 2003.
A great album well worth tracking down.

Hear excerpts from the record on Fred's homepage. Just click the Featured works link.

This might be just the excuse we need to go visit Scotland this year! And if we don't make it we hope that some Steely Dan fan eventually will help us out with a review in the comments section. :)

P.S. Gina over at Mizar6 interviewed Fred Sturm a couple of years ago. Read it here.
(Wonder what Donald & Walter thought of the hr Big Band CDs that Carolyn Leonhart brought them?)