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NYC (2) – Steely Dan Continues To Rule

Posted in Michael McDonald, Music, On The Road, Steely Dan on August 19th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am three days into the NYC trip. Weather has been very warm and humid. .: On Thursday, 17 August 2006, I went with friends to the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater to see the Michael McDonald/Steely Dan show, aka the Steelyard “Sugartooth” McDan – The Man … The Legend … The Tour. The concert was amazing – the Jones Beach Theater is an outdoor amphitheatre on the beach in Wantaugh NY, on the south shore of Long Island. It was a clear night, the temperature was warm, the music outstanding.

Michael McDonald opened the show with a full band, and played an assortment of his solo tunes, a couple from his recent Motown songbook, and his killer Doobie Brothers songs, including It Keeps You Running, You Belong to Me, What A Fool Believes, Minute by Minute, and Takin’ It To The Streets. The intro to Takin’ It To The Streets featured a long piano/organ shuffle between McDonald and his keyboardist, John Deaderick. After some brilliant pianistics, McDonald began the opening chords to Takin’, and the crowd roared its approval. Read more »

You, Me and (Cousin) Dupree

Posted in Steely Dan on July 19th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: Owen Wilson’s current stinkbomb, You, Me & Dupree, has garnered the attention of our boys Don and Walt over at Steely Dan Inc. Seems that they are concerned about the obvious parallels between the premise of the movie (relative comes home and spends time on the couch) and their 2000 Grammy Award winning song, Cousin Dupree. In a hilarious open letter to Owen’s brother, Luke, they write:

Hey Luke –

Hey man – it’s, like, Don and Walt, we’re the guys from Steely Dan, the group, we won those Grammies that time, maybe you recall? You know. “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”?
“Reelin’ in the Years?” “Hey Nineteen”? “Babylon Sisters”? Right, that’s us. So how’s it going?

After some further prelim discussion and explanations, they go on to say:

What we suspect happened is this: some hack writer or producer or whatever they call themselves in Malibu, or Los Feliz apparently heard our Grammy winning song “Cousin Dupree” on the radio and thought, hey, man, this is a cool idea for a character in a movie or something. OK, so the “cousin” idea was no doubt eliminated so as not to offend the Fundamentalist ticket buyers in the Flyovers. Nevertheless, they, like, took our character, this real dog sleeping on the couch and all and put him in the middle of some hokey “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” ripoff story and then, when it cam time to change the character’s name or whatever so people wouldn’t know what a rip the whole thing was, THEY DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO THINK UP A NEW F*CK*NG NAME FOR THE GUY!”

The letter goes on and on – read it and have a good laugh. It ends with:

P.P.S We’re now seeing that according to Wikipedia, Owen older than you are. But you seem a lot more mature somehow…don’t you?”

Can’t wait to see the boys perform on Long Island on August 17.

.: I am in Winnipeg. I arrived last night around 0045 hrs in the morning, after a long and uneventful drive.

This and That

Posted in Books, NINT, Steely Dan on July 8th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: Kenton recently posted a couple of comments (1, 2) on the prices of new books, specifically of how the difference between the Canadian and US prices does not reflect the current exchange rate, which has been near ninety cents for quite some time. Typically, the difference is between 20-25%, but can be much worse – the paperback edition of that book about some kind of code, which was released earlier this year, was priced 38% higher in Canada. The hardcover edition, released in 2003, was priced 52% higher. According to the article in the Toronto Star, prices will dip by 5-10% by the end of the year. I don’t know if federal regulations cover books being imported into Canada – in other words, are US publishers required to price their books within a certain range based on the exchange rate? If not, what’s to stop them from jacking up the prices as much as they desire, within reason?

The second article to which Kenton refers, which is actually an edited version of an editorial that appeared in the Montreal Gazette, notes the following:

Major booksellers have taken to posting explanations in their stores. Prices are set by publishers according to a 12-month cycle, they say. But if retailers are paying inflated wholesale prices and passing on the hardship to the consumer, they are no less complicit.

When I went to Baltimore, I took my copy of The World is Flat with me to read on the flights. On the way back, I either left my copy on the last jet, or in the Minneapolis airport. Since buying the book, Friedman had revised and updated it, and I wanted another copy. The book jacket US price is $30.00, the Canadian price $39.95, or a 33.17% increase. While in Indigo books, I noticed the book on sale for 30% off, with an additional 10% for Indigo club members. (Since buying the book again, the price online dropped another 10% to CDN$21.97.) So the final price, with 6%GST, came to $25.40, a heckuva deal, as they say in Minnesota. Hopefully Canadian booksellers will continue to offer at least some selected titles at more reasonable prices, to counter the continuing price gouging of US publishers.

.: Busy times are ahead. In about 10 days, I will drive to Winnipeg for a 8-9 day visit, which will include another high school reunion. I’m planning to bring my bicycle, using a bike rack kindly donated by Geoff some months ago. I’ll return on the 28th or 29th of July. Shortly thereafter, I’ll be volunteering for the 15th straight year at the EFMF. Two days afterwards, I’m off to NYC, a trip which will include seeing Steely Dan and Mike McDonald perform at Jones Beach on Long Island.

.: Last Tuesday I moved into the new NINT building, which opened officially on 22 June 2006. After I returned from Baltimore, I helped with the opening as a volunteer coordinator that day. On July 4, I was given a temporary office on the 2nd floor, in an area populated by members of the Fenniri Group. The move into the new building began on 29 May 2006, and was done in stages. At present, some of the labs, carrels, and offices remain empty as more people and equipment are still forthcoming.

The reason my location is temporary is that my permanent office is located on the fourth floor, and that floor is still being constructed. The fourth floor will be occupied by off-campus companies, which will lease office and lab space and time on equipment for various lengths of time. The fifth and sixth floors of NINT will be occupied by the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Materials Engineering.