Tonight: Roger Daltrey, Fool's Gold, Steely Dan

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Steely Dan
Roger Daltrey plays at the Showbox SODO tonight with Paper Zoo at 7 p.m. for $40. Daltrey, in case you've been living in a cave, is the esteemed frontman of The Who. And this is his first solo tour since 1985.

Metronomy, a respectable UK electronica outfit, headlines at Nectar tonight, but in my opinion, the real reason to go to the show is to see Fool's Gold, a large, spastic group of people whose single from their eight-song debut, "Surprise Gold," is a righteous calypso jam. Then there's "Ha Dvash," which sounds sort of Indian, but the band claims to mainly draw its inspiration primarily from African rhythms (Ethiopian, Eritrean, Malian and Congolese, in particular). The group's approach is similar to what Vampire Weekend does, except that the ratio of '80s electropop to world music rhythms and instrumentation is more like 70/30 as opposed to Vampire Weekend's 30/70. Also, Luke Top (the band's Israeli-American frontman) sings in Hebrew half the time, and on occasion, there are elements of Middle Eastern and Indian music as well. The show starts at 8 p.m., and it costs $10 (advance).

Finally, Steely Dan plays the first of two gigs tonight at the Paramount (it's all ages, and tix are $60 - $175), so here's Seely on Steely:

The Cuervo Gold. The fine Colombian. Makes tonight a wonderful thing. Set to a jazzy, mellow beat, these lyrics from Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen" encapsulate what was arguably popular music's most decadent half-decade, the late-'70s, as well as any words that have ever been recorded.

After the Band and its tired, rootsy cohorts retired to the infamous White Room after their Last Waltz in '76, it was the likes of Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac which steered rock in a decidedly more polished, superficial direction. Credit Steely Dan, master ironists that they are, for not getting defensive in the face of this perception; the high watermark of their commercial success was marked by an unabashed commitment to the studio and a rejection of the road. Their creations were so technically adroit that they often get "credited" with helping to spawn smooth jazz. Whatever aversion to touring Messers Becker and Fagen had in their youth has thankfully vanished with age. Their Seattle stop finds them continuing one of the most welcome trends in live rock: "album" shows, in which the band will perform Aja and The Royal Scam in their entirety on back-to-back nights. Expect the Aja showcase to pack more intrigue, as the economical album featured but seven tracks, including "Peg," "Black Cow," and "Deacon Blues." With all that extra time, let's hope the sublime "Pearl of the Quarter" and "Dirty Work" get pulled into the set. MIKE SEELY

 
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