Kitty (GB, 9/4/96) links the "flat hat" to the "hat too flat" on "Eleven Tracks Of Whack." Also, I think, to Charlie Mingus' "Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat," dedicated to Lester Young.
and Divine"--the human condition, eh? "Just drive for the light."
On the CD insert, the first six lines are placed before the song's title, like a prelude, or a segue in the Kamakiriad. "Flocko" is a phonetic transliteration of the Spanish nickname, "Flaco," which means "skinny" (as in "Flaco" Jimenez). I love how the narrator is saved from oblivion by music.
In the second verse, Mr. Fagen actually sings:
You get a case of party feet
Then the room turns bright, fills up with light
And then from somewhere deep inside you
Some frozen stuff begins to crack
The ever-vigilant Hank Silvers found this reference to "baion," in case you were wondering, from "The Drifters,"a great article by Chris Beachley (Go immediately to the Rhino site and check it out):
"There Goes My Baby" marks the first use by Leiber & Stoller of what would become a trademark of '60s soul - the South
American baion rhythm. The rhythm goes back at least as far, on American records, as a 1954 Joe Loco record on Tico
called "El Baion." It was covered on RCA Victor by Tito Rodriguez and was a favorite of the mambo crowd at the Palladium
dance hall on Broadway. If one plays the Joe Loco 45 at 33 rpm, the exact rhythm and tempo of most '60s soul recordings
can be heard (don't ask me how I know these things, it's too embarrassing).
Mike & Kate (Digest, 5/22/98): I thought the song was somewhat autobiographical. I could picture Donald walking down a lonely street, depressed. Suddenly he hears some far-off music. He follows it and it brings back all of the things he thought he was running from. I can see him trepidatiously peeking in the door, settling in, and eventually laughing, dancing, playing, and having a wonderful time. When he sings "Tonight at ten we'll be working again" I knew that he and Walter would be heard from again, that Kamakiriad was not the last word.
stevevdan (GB, 6/10/98): ...Fagen's ode to all gigs at those small NYC nightclubs....
Chris Lonn (Digest, 4/17/00): I was recently listening to a live version of DF's Teahouse on the Tracks and realized that I forgot a lyric or two. Upon looking at the lyrics in the CD notes I noticed the first verse is missing. I checked my wax copy of Kama and the first verse is also missing. Has anyone else noticed this? Was this just another misprint?
Take a look at your lyric sheet. Just above "Teahouse" is the first verse--separated, perhaps, to act as a bridge or segue between "On The Dunes" and "Teahouse." The guy is wandering bereft, aimlessly, on the dunes after being jilted, and finds himself on Bleak Street in Flytown--and then finds the redemption of the Teahouse on the Tracks.
(10/3/00): Teahouse On The Tracks
* "You take a walk on Bleak Street" -- cf. Heartbreak Hotel: "down at the end of Lonely Street" and Almost Gothic (2VN): "Little Eva meets the Bleeker Street brat"
* "the crowd is bouncing in synch with the pulse" - cf. Trans-Island Skyway - "in sync-lock with Tripstar" - the detached image of electro-mechanical, techno-control is reclaimed by the warm and thoroughly human image of dancers at the club locked into the beat
* "The Siegel Brothers" - suggestive of the infamous NY gangster and bootlegger Ben "Bugsy" Siegel. There's even a vehicular connection -- as cover for their rumrunning operation in the 30's, Siegel and Meyer Lansky operated a car and truck rental operation through a garage on Cannon Street in Brooklyn. Also the album credits list two similar names - "Sample Editing, digital delay acqusition: Craig Siegal ("Mr Z.")", and "Enablers: Gary Katz, Deborah Siegel ..." (As noted elsewhere, several other references from the Kamakiriad credits pop up in Two Against Nature)
* "so slick it should have been a crime" - cf. Countermoon: "the streets are slick with tears" and Almost Gothic (2VN): "When she speaks its like the slickest song I've ever heard". Also ties in with the gangster allusion of the Siegel Brothers.
B. Diddy (GB, 12/12/01): I'm on the street again. I walk alone down the Miracle Mile to the streets of Culver city and they put you on the street, luckless pedestrian, yeah. The man on the street, dragging his feet, the people on the streets have all seen better times. Streets still unseen, uptown, it's murder out in the street. We'll find somehow everybody on the street has murder in his eyes. Look at all the white men on the street. They won't act as kindly if they see you on the street. Men in gray limousines, they'll drive you down, luckless pedestrian. yeah. You take a walk on Bleak Street, all the streets are slick with tears. Stanyan street looking like that third world war, we hit the street with visors down...
Alright, now, who sent me reeling down there?
We hike downtown to Avenue A like we own the street. Someday we'll all meet at the end of the street, we're gonna mix in the street, by and by, when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy, luckless pedestrian, yeah. And we'll walk between the raindrops back to yo doh... (let me hear you say "oh oh") To New York City, 52nd street's the junction, we're gonna park in the street. I'm thinking of a major Jane street sunrise. You fellah, you're tearing up the street, down to Green Street, there you go through these suburban streets, these little streets I used to know...
Pork-Pie Hat," by Charles Mingus, on "Mingus Ah Um." There's also
a beautiful version by John McLaughlin on "My Goal's Beyond."
"Eleven Tracks Of Whack"
"On The Dunes"