Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Angular banjoes sound good to me (Steely Dan)

Aja is a weird song on a weird album (also called Aja) with a weird cover (right), by a weird group that isn’t really a group at all – it’s a duo comprising Walter Becker and Donald Fagen plus assorted genius session musicians.

It’s the longest song on the album and the title song so it’s important right?

Musically it’s as smooth as silk with a very jazzy feel from the sax solo, but the lyrics are just…weird.

Does it actually mean anything? Or is it just oblique for oblique’s sake?

Starts off and appears to be literally on solid ground – the hill. Maybe it’s metaphorical though. Maybe it’s Capitol Hill where People never stare, they just don’t care.

But then – whheeeeeeeeeeee – we’re off into Chinese music, banyan trees, double helix in the sky, the dude ranch and, of course, those angular banjoes.

What the hey?

A quick read on the interweb of various theories about the song shows that nobody knows anything!

So instead – kick back for 8 minutes and let your mind wander while your feet do the tapping.

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