Thursday, November 22, 2007


Don Henley's 'Dirty Laundry' and Donald Fagen's 'I.G.Y.' are linked in his mind by a five minute cassette tape, on which he recorded them from the radio, one on each side. His mother had kept these short tapes from a speech class she had taken in college, and while he soon came to prefer longer tapes for obvious reasons, he didn't mind using the shorter tapes to capture songs he liked particularly.

Pairing these two songs as a double A-side was not premeditated; he liked them both, and that was all. But all this time later, he is struck by the match. Two quiet men who emerged from two essential seventies bands. Two slick tracks that epitomized the big studio production values of the time, illustrating how seventies pop morphed into eighties pop. Two songs that take pointedly ironic jabs at popular culture, one at media sensationalism and the other at utopian idealism.

After decades of mixtapes in an array of musical genres, he knows that it all started there. Sometimes the best choices really are instinctive.