Load remaining images It wasn’t until returning to the stage for an encore of “Reelin’ in the Years” that Donald Fagen acknowledged the absence of Steely Dan’s other half. “I’d like to thank my long-time partner Walter Becker for helping me write some pretty cool songs,” he said. Then, in the darkly humorous tone that both Becker and he embraced, Fagen added, “Unfortunately, Walter couldn’t be with us here tonight.”For a band that didn’t consider itself a band and gave up performing live at the height of its popularity in search of perfection in the studio, Steely Dan has turned out to the be one of the most reliable touring acts of the past decade. Settling in for multi-show residencies that focus on entire albums and greatest hits has been part of their touring success, and this year’s nine-night run at New York’s Beacon Theatre continues the tradition in the post-Walter Becker world.Wednesday night’s featured album was Countdown to Ecstasy, the Dan’s 1973 follow-up to the surprising success of their 1972 debut, Can’t Buy a Thrill. Sales expectations were initially high for Countdown, and so many copies were produced that discounted cutouts were available in record bins for most of the ‘70s. It was a fine effort that demonstrated a step forward from their pop-infused debut, but the album failed to produce the monster radio hits that the era demanded. Fortunately, Countdown has aged well, featuring familiar favorites such as “Bodhisattva” and “My Old School” alongside once-lesser tracks like “Pearl of the Quarter”, “The Boston Rag”, and “King of the World”, which have since emerged as standouts.Fagen and Becker once shuttled studio players in and out for specific riffs, but the current lineup of stellar musicians has remained steady for many years. Guitarist Jon Herrington and drummer Keith Carlock are joined by a four-piece horn section, three backup singers (including Catherine Russell, who’s a noted jazz singer in her own right), Jim Beard on keys and Freddie Washington on bass. Though not exactly Walter Becker’s replacement, the only new member of the band is Connor Kennedy, a superb young guitarist whom Fagen initially recruited for his Nightflyers band.In addition to the complete Countdown to Ecstasy, Wednesday’s show featured multiple selections from Aja, including “Black Cow”, “Josie”, “Peg”, and the title track. “Kid Charlemagne” from The Royal Scam and “Hey Nineteen” from Gaucho rounded out the evening.Upcoming shows through October 30th will spotlight Aja and Gaucho as well Fagen’s The Nightfly solo album. For more information on the upcoming Steely Dan shows at the Beacon, head here.You can check out a gallery of photos from the performance below via photographer Lou Montesano.Steely Dan | Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 10/24/18 | Photos: Lou Montesano
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – With the additional two Twenty20 international matches in the upcoming West Indies versus Pakistan series, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has had to make an adjustment to its regional schedule.The match-up between the Barbados Pride vs Guyana Jaguars in Round 8 of the Digicel Regional 4-Day is now scheduled for March 23-25 and 27, because of the T20I match with West Indies and Pakistan which will be played at the Kensington Oval.Operations Manager, Roland Holder, in advising of the change said, “The pitches will be covered by an artificial covering which will prevent damage to either of the pitches during the matches in progress.”Holder went on to explain, the practice has been previously used in the UK where the Sunday League was played alongside First-Class matches and as a result in infrequent times “should not be a problem for either of the matches”.Pakistan open their 7-week tour of the Caribbean with the T20I in Barbados.
Nearing a century of existence, East Bengal have pleaded with the All India Football Federation to consider their legacy and contributions before acting for pulling out of the Super Cup.Having skipped the Super Cup last month owing to “unfair treatment” by the federation, the I-League clubs have denied being at fault during the two-day AIFF disciplinary committee hearing that concluded here on Sunday.Along with the 1889-born Mohun Bagan, East Bengal (started in 1920) are the two oldest football clubs in India.”We pulled out of the Super Cup after our club’s executive committee decided to do so as East Bengal wanted to stand in solidarity with other clubs,” East Bengal’s executive committee member Debabrata ‘Nitu’ Sarkar said.”Nonetheless we committed a mistake and other clubs also committed mistake. As national body of the game the AIFF is like our parents and just like parents treat their children the AIFF should not take action against the clubs in this case.”We are a legacy club of 100 years existence and we have made our contribution to Indian football. So in the interest of Indian football the AIFF must not take action against the clubs and end the issue here at this point,” he added.As many as seven I-League clubs withdrew from the Super Cup demanding a meeting with AIFF President Praful Patel regarding the future roadmap of Indian football.After initially agreeing to address the aggrieved clubs’ concerns, Patel said there was no point in meeting as the team had pulled out by then.advertisementMinerva Punjab FC argued that the AIFF chief responded to their request late.”I-League clubs were ready to play Super Cup had Mr. Praful Patel granted us a meeting before the commencement of the competition as requested in letter dated 12th March by the clubs,” Minerva Punjab said in a statement.”It was only after withdrawal of Gokulam Kerala, Minerva Punjab and Aizawl FC in the qualification round that Mr. Patel responded to our request for a meeting. Still no date was given.”After Mr. Patel agreed to meet the clubs with tentative dates on 21st March, all clubs were willing to participate in the Super Cup. Our only request was to reschedule the qualifiers and allow even the three teams who had not played in the qualifiers (because of which the meeting was granted) to participate.”Unfortunately the federation denied the request for rescheduling of the qualifiers. Clubs who has pre qualified for the Super Cup could not ignore the sacrifice of clubs drafted in qualifiers (because of whom the meeting was granted). Hence could not participate in the Super Cup.”Minerva Punjab are at loggerheads with the AIFF for long now over various issues.”Clubs are not maligning the federation, but are seeking our basic rights to be heard and treated fairly as important stakeholders of Indian football.”The federation is irked every time we stand up for our rights. They expect us to wait patiently in the dark for our doom, unfortunately we cannot stay silent as future of hundreds of players and staff linked with each club hangs in the balance,” MInerva Punjab added.Also Read | Super Cup 2019: AIFF turns down I-League clubs’ request to replay qualifiersAlso Read | East Bengal exploring Barcelona tie-up possibilityAlso Read | 10 out of 10: What makes CSK the true Super Kings of IPL?Also Watch | Getting better with age, looking forward to the World Cup: Chris Gayle to India Today
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has hailed the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) for its critical role in the advancement of the nation’s tourism sector.He said the entity continues to be a custodian of integrity and quality advancing the reputational value of the industry.“TPDCo stands in the gap between the promise made to the (tourists) in the marketplace and the experience they have when they get here,” the Minister pointedout.He was addressing TPDCo’s staff service awards luncheon at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club in St. Catherine on Tuesday (July 18).Minister Bartlett said the company will be required to play an even greater role as the country’s tourism product continues to evolve to meet the needs of themarketplace.“You have a larger role to play because the product is evolving; the experiences are changing and the attitude of our visitors and customers are equally inthat state of constant transition,” he pointed out.He said TPDCo will be required to be “nimble and adaptive” in order to ensure that Jamaica maintains its hold on tourism.Turning to developments at the Montego Bay Convention Centre (MBCC), Minister Bartlett said the facility registered a 65 per cent increase in revenue for thefiscal year ending March 31.There was also a 13 per cent reduction in operating expenses over the prior fiscal year and a 41 per cent increase in the number of meetings held at the MBCC.Mr. Bartlett informed that the MBCC is “now on the path for the first time to break even in its operational expenses over revenue”.“This tells you that with application, with serious management, with marketing…we have proven that a public good, which a convention centre provides, offers opportunities for economic activity in other areas,” he said.For his part, Chairman of the TPDCo, Ian Dear, congratulated the award recipients, who were recognised in the categories of Overachievers, Regional Star Performers, Innovator of the Year, Employee of the Year, and Manager of the Year.“As you receive your respective awards feel proud of your accomplishments and let these awards continue to motivate you to increased levels of productivity and inspire you to achieve improvements in the service quality to our stakeholders,” he urged.He told the members of staff that they are expected to deliver exceptional results in ensuring the continued success of tourism, which is a key sector for job creation, foreign exchange earnings and socio-economic empowerment.The Manager of the Year award went to Community Awareness Coordinator, Marlene Stephenson-Dally, for 2013/14 and 2014/15; and Former Procurement Manager, Julian Thompson for 2015/16.Employee of the Year for 2013/14 went to Doreen Forrester and Lorna Newsome for 2015/16. Minister Bartlett said the company will be required to play an even greater role as the country’s tourism product continues to evolve to meet the needs of the marketplace. “TPDCo stands in the gap between the promise made to the (tourists) in the marketplace and the experience they have when they get here,” the Minister pointed out. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has hailed the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) for its critical role in the advancement of the nation’s tourism sector. Story Highlights