The Joup Friday Album: Steely Dan – Aja

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I’m posting this late but it’s been a long day. Long week for that matter, and being that this is going up later than usual, when most of the country is already steeped in the tide of evening, I wanted to post something that specifically went with the idea of ‘evening’ – an even-ing of the imbalance of, as Grotus once said, trading five days for two. It’s time to relax and ease into the night, and I think I’ve picked a perfect album for that: Steely Dan’s Aja. Of course it depends on the type of night to flow from the evening – you wouldn’t throw this on if you were getting pumped up to go out and get rowdy, but of course that is increasingly less the case in Casa Baker, where the weekend evenings are about low lighting, reading with a succession of ales in hand and maybe some close friends for a movie or discussion. Down tempo often suggests, well hell, it’s a genre now right? But try as anyone else might, is there another album that goes better with imbibing by the dim light of the parlor, relaxed contemplation and a general attitude of chill?

Probably not.

Add to this of course the fact that Aja contains one of my all-time favorite night time songs – Deacon Blues (track 3; @~12:57) and, well, you’ll get the vibe once you settle in. I almost wish I could sit here with a beer and listen to this with you but as luck would have it I am, for the unthinkably irregular third night in a row, on my way out the door in a few moments – this time to see the band SELF perform at LA’s El Rey Theatre, so you’ll excuse me if I have to ask you to enjoy Aja without me for now. I’ll be back in a few hours though, and when I hit the sofa stoked from the show, with a fresh can of Sierra Nevada in one hand and Laird Barron’s mosaic novel Occultation in the other, Aja will be slowly spinning beside me on the turntable. Of that, there is little doubt.

As usual, this post is not meant to infringe on the band’s pocketbook. If you like this you should go out and purchase a copy, preferably on vinyl if you have the set-up. Also, I wrote a much more in depth article about this record back when I was still in the throes of realizing its genius – I was waaaay late to the Steely Dan party – and if you are so inclined to hear my more-specific thoughts on the record you can read that article, appropriately named “Let’s Name the Band After the Dildo in Naked Lunch“, here.

Last but most coitanly not least, Mr. Joe Grez, if you would please take next Friday to spin us a musical tale.

Good evening.


Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

One Response to The Joup Friday Album: Steely Dan – Aja
  1. Joe Grez

    Joe Grez Reply

    This and Can’t Buy a Thrill are two of my favorites of all-time. Always Steely Dan…always Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Great call.

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