What an amazing evocation of a world that never thaws. Our
narrator is taking a holiday in a kind of arctic Manhattan. ("We
hit the street with visors down/ With our thermasuits sealed up
We can beat the freeze/ And get saved tonight")
The way Mr. Fagen says "play" makes me all melty inside.
The interlude at Club HiHo is intriguing, with imagery straight out of William Gibson. I think the critic's comment--"The work seduces us with light"--is a perfect summation of the music of Steely Dan. (While the lyrics wrap their dark tentacles around our souls)
I love the icecat interlude--complete with sound effects.... And what delivery! I get an image of how it must be with artists sometimes, with long, deep darknesses punctuated by sparks of inspiration.
Mike & Kate (Digest, 5/22/98): For me, Snowbound wonderfully captures the pleasant peace after a big snowstorm, when everything is blanketed in a soft, clean white, and no sound can be heard except the occasional tumbling of snow off of tree branches.
* the clichéd reference would be cocaine, but I guess that's waaay to obvious
* the arrangement is interesting departure from the prominent synth-bass on surrounding tracks. WB's bass has a beautiful and remarkably trebly sound, given that he generally favours a very thick, deep tone
* "when the wolves come out to play" -- nature rendered harmless by technology. A weird inversion of the conventional usage of "the wolf at the door"
* more enclosure images - "visors down", " thermasuits", "take the tube"
* "It's a kind of pyramid, with a human heart beating in an ion grid" - another image of mutilation (cf. Trans-Island Skyway). A weird fugue on the The Pyramid Eye motif on the US dollar bill. Very suggestive of Aztec human sacrifice, where the hearts of victims were cut out and thrown down the steps of the temple, and of ancient Egyptian funerary rites: they considered the heart to be the seat of the soul and it was the only organ left intact in the body during mummification. [ "annuit coeptis"--"God has favored our undertaking"]
Anthony (12/28/03): In
regards to one of my favorite songs, "Snowbound", if you cross the
Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge in the winter, looking north, you will
undoubtedly see the "ice-cats on the frozen river". Note that this is
right at Annandale-on-Hudson, where Bard College is.The Ice-cat is short for
Ice-Catamaran, and basically it is a small (usually one person)
catamaran, but instead of double hulls, there are ice rails. they look
pretty cool.... I can't remember the last time we were there with a
frozen Hudson and didn't