What does it sound like?:
Well, like a good bootleg (indeed, apparently these recording have been out there since broadcast) but here they’ve been cleaned up and mastered and they sound fantastic. This is the original Dan plus Michael McDonald on piano and occasional vocals (no David Palmer – good, for this punter). Baxter and Denny Diaz play like mad men, and it must have been great to see them back then. Dan and Walt hated touring but the audiences must have loved it based on these examples. There’s a radio show from Boston (not a college town..) and the Record Plant from March ’74, right before “Pretzel Logic” came out.. Jim Hodder swings like a bastard and Don is terrific on keys as well as issuing the Fagen sneer throughout.
What does it all *mean*?
It won’t convince any non-fans, but anyone who likes the Dan, especially those who maintain that anything after “Aja” was worthless, will love it. I have been playing it on heavy rotation and continue to marvel at the sound of great players playing great songs, live. The songs benefit from a looser feel and a spot of jamming, belying the idea that the Dan are all about studio sheen induced perfection. There are plenty of cock ups here and they are all terrific.
Goes well with…
I’ve been playing it in the car, singing along with Twang Jr at the tops of our voices. DO IT AGAIIIIIN etc.
Might suit people who like…
Err, the Dan. Good music.