Steely Dan Performs ‘Countdown To Ecstasy’ At New York’s Beacon Theatre [Photos]

first_imgLoad 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 Montesanolast_img read more

‘The Revolution of Human Dignity’

first_imgIn light of the recent violence and turmoil in Ukraine, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies hosted a discussion Monday evening in the LaFortune Student Center.The panel, titled “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine?,” was led by Yury Avvakumov, Nanovic faculty fellow and assistant professor of theology.The slideshow prepared by Avvakumov began with a slide that changed the title of the discussion to say “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine!,” which he said reflected the emerging conviction that the situation in Ukraine is indeed one of revolution.“I thought that I would start with this title because when we discussed this event and its title, three days ago, a question mark after the title was still appropriate. Now you have to replace the questions mark with an exclamation mark,” Avvakumov said. “The revolution in Ukraine has happened. This is absolutely clear.”Avvakumov said the term “Euromaidan” originated from a hash tag used on Twitter in reference to the protests. The “Euro” refers to the Ukrainian people’s demands for an alliance with the European Union and “maidan” refers to the name of the Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, where the protests have taken place.Since November of last year, Ukrainians have been protesting the corruption of their government, Avvakumov said. Mass protests began after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who recently fled Ukraine, abruptly rejected a landmark association agreement with the European Union in November 2013, just one week before the anticipated signing of the agreement.GRANT TOBIN | The Observer Avvakumov said the rejection came as a direct result of Russian pressure exerted on Ukraine in order to prevent the nation from starting the process of integration into the European Union.Although this issue has greatly angered the Ukrainian people, Avvakumov said, they are demonstrating against the corruption of their current government as much as they are protesting their former president’s reluctance to sign an agreement with the European Union.Avvakumov said such corruption includes everything from nepotism and bribery to disrespect of human dignity and the authoritarian style of the former president and the ruling party.“In the eyes of millions of Ukrainians, Russia, in its present condition, embodies these vices of the political system. By contrast, potential membership in the European Union can help fight the new authoritarianism and promote transparency, the rule of law, independent media and respect of human dignity,” he said.Avvakumov said the protest began with young Ukrainians, though it includes a broad spectrum of middle-class citizens who are students, intellectuals, artists and representatives of small and mid-sized businesses.“These are people who perceive that the political system forcibly takes away their freedom and their professional and personal future. These are people for whom Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are indispensible everyday tools,” he said. “These are intelligent people with a clear sense of human dignity and civil courage. They call the revolution ‘The Revolution of Human Dignity.’”The Euromaidan protest has swelled in number from 700,000 people in November to one million people more recently, Avvakumov said. The demonstrations began peacefully, but have since turned violent.On Feb. 17 the Ukrainian government called for the use of military weapons, in an attempt to put an end to the rioting. Avvakumov said over 70 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured, but the protests have nevertheless continued.“Euromaidan will not go away until they are convinced that the whole thing really functions and really works, and they get real transparency with their government,” Avvakumov said.Michael Gekhtman, chair of the mathematics department and a Ukrainian citizen, also spoke briefly about the crisis in Kiev. Gekhtman said he is worried the protests will have the same result as similar protests in 2004, which occurred in response to perceived corruption in a presidential election, and is concerned for the safety of his parents.“What I am worried about is that it’s going to revert to what happened shortly after the Orange Revolution because the main players are the same — same politicians,” he said. “These are very dangerous times. My parents still live in Kiev. I was there in October — no one expected this to turn out this violent this fast.”Tags: Euromaidan, Nanovic Institute, Ukrainelast_img read more

Organized Syracuse defense holds off Wake Forest in 1-0 win

first_imgJessica Vigna lined up for a goal kick with less than 20 seconds remaining, about to seal Syracuse’s victory by sending a ball from SU’s defensive side of the field.Wake Forest threatened to score for the final few minutes of the game, but the Orange’s defense stood strong. Momentarily, it seemed as if the Orange had evaded danger.But after Vigna booted the ball away, it hit a Wake Forest player’s foot and deflected toward Courtney Brosnan. The ball squirted through the arms of the sophomore goalkeeper, and the tying goal lay on the ground in front of an empty net.A nearby Wake Forest forward didn’t make a quick enough move on the ball, and Brosnan frantically dove on top of the ball as the final horn blared.“(Brosnan’s) always just so calm and composed,” Vigna said. “You always know she’s gonna save it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe scene encapsulated the afternoon for Syracuse. The Orange (7-10-1, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) defense rose to the occasion Sunday at SU Soccer Stadium, neutralizing the Wake Forest (4-12, 1-8 Atlantic Coast) attack in a 1-0 victory for SU’s third straight win. The Demon Deacons only got off two shots in the opening 45 minutes and couldn’t convert any of its six opportunities in the second half.“Our defense is stingy,” Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon said. “We’re not giving up a lot of goals, we’re well organized.”In the first half, Wake Forest struggled to get anything going against the Syracuse back line. The Orange limited the Demon Deacons early on, with defender Erin Simon spoiling one of its best scoring opportunities in the waning minutes of the first half.Wake Forest forward Jenai Davidson gathered a ball in the midfield and went streaking down the field. Simon raced up from behind and bodied up Davidson, poking the ball away in the process.On a dreary day, Vigna said the wind — blowing against WFU in the first half — helped prevent the Demon Deacons from sending long crosses over the top of the Syracuse defense, something that gave the back line more time to establish its form.“We’ve been a lot more organized, especially today,” Vigna said. “And we were talking a lot more and that’s why I think we had a solid performance in the back today.”But after a first half in which Brosnan had to make just one save, Wake Forest came out of halftime with increased pressure on Syracuse’s goalkeeper.In the 54th minute, Wake Forest strung together a series of passes at the top of the box. The ball made its way to forward Kendall Fischlein, who tripped before she was able to make solid contact.Four minutes later, a Wake Forest corner kick ended in the ball scooting just far of the left post.And in the 78th minute, Demon Deacon forward Maddie Huster settled a ball on the left edge of the box, but was quickly rushed by Vigna, Maddie Iozzi and Alex Lamontagne. Hunter hurried her shot and it went wide, rolling harmlessly to Brosnan. It was one of the four saves Brosnan made in the second half.After the luxury of pushing up in the first half and playing past midfield, the Syracuse defenders found themselves packed in front of Brosnan much more often in the second half.“They definitely did a really good job,” Brosnan said. “Obviously that team had a lot of dangerous players up top, a lot of strong, physical, tall players and we definitely dealt well with the runs and they didn’t have as many opportunities.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 25, 2015 at 5:48 pm Contact Matt: [email protected]last_img read more