Nobody knows who was the stoner that stumbled upon this uncanny synchronicity.
Back in 1994, someone watched The Wizard of Oz with the sound turned off, while playing Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd. The most watched movie and the most listened to record will never be the same after you watch the two of them together.
This New York Times article is by, what at the time was a summer intern at the Journal Gazette, eventually went viral and brought this phenomena to the mainstream.
It seems the younger generation has rediscovered Steely Dan.
Just in time for my good friend, Jon Zeeman, to release an original song in their style, with his Steely Dan Tribute band – The Expanding Man.
Now there is a whole book about Steely Dan’s rediscovery by a new generation that is covered in this Atlantic review.
In hindsight, Steely Dan’s Zelig-like presence in sample-based hip-hop looks like a harbinger of the band’s current renaissance: A duo that was one of the most polarizing acts in rock even at its peak, in the 1970s, has lately acquired an army of new fans, many of them remarkably young.
Pappademas tries out several theories to explain the Danaissance’s timing. The most compelling of them is the idea that their songs, full of gallows humor and wry disillusionment, resonate with a generation raised on crashing economies and a climate crisis. “Donald and Walter’s songs of monied decadence, druggy disconnection, slow-motion apocalypse, and self-destructive escapism seemed satirically extreme way back when; now they seem prophetic,” he writes. “We are all Steely Dan characters now.”
For those weary of the “rockism”-versus-“poptimism” debates of the past couple of decades—and who isn’t?—Steely Dan offers a welcome escape from the reductive opposition between rock as Promethean self-expression and pop as a big-tent pleasure center. The band didn’t mind being dismissed by the most doctrinaire rock partisans: “soulless, and by its calculated nature antithetical to what rock should be,” as a Rolling Stone review of Aja summed up the brief against them. At the same time, Steely Dan’s music is unapologetically snobbish, flouting the “everything is great” ethos of extreme poptimism.
A band that charts an idiosyncratic path ends up acquiring an eclectic audience, this one united by a tenacious devotion to the work of a pair of artists who were themselves nothing if not devoted.
Articles on this wine research recommend that serving cheap wine in fancy bottles or reaching for bottom shelf wine. Does that mean you should constantly deceive yourself into enjoying cheap wine? Or never spend more than $10 since we often mistake $10 bottles with $100 bottles? In that case, will you never spend over $10 on sushi for same reason? Or never spend over $30 at a fancy restaurant because the ambiance often tricks people into thinking a simple chicken dish is fancy?
Ordinary consumers don’t think hard and deliberately when sipping wine over a conversation with friends or listening to a concert. Even when thinking deliberatively, overcoming our intuitive impressions is difficult for experts and amateurs alike. This article has referred to the influence of price tags and context on products and experiences like wine and classical music concerts as tricks that skew our perception. But maybe we should consider them a real, actual part of the quality.
What does this all say about wine snobs? The answer is just as unclear. Due to the way that appreciation of wine, fancy food, and other aspects of high culture is often used to police class lines, studies demonstrating the limitations of expert judgment in these areas become fodder for class warfare and takedowns of wine snobs.
That’s fair. Many boorish people talking about the ethereal qualities of great wine probably can’t even identify cork taint because their impressions are dominated by the price tag and the wine label. But the classic defense of wine – that you need to study it to appreciate it – is also vindicated by Master Sommeliers. The open question – which is both editorial and empiric – is what it means for the industry that constant vigilance and substantial study is needed to dependably appreciate wine for the product quality alone. But the questions is relevant to the enjoyment of many other products and experiences that we enjoy in life