As long as the mood is right
It is a brave thing to be a tribute band. It is probably hubris to be a Steely Dan tribute band. Do not be fooled by the fact that the name is a regretted throwaway, borrowed from William Burroughs’ idea of a steam-driven dildo. Or that behind the curtain of its finely geared, well-lubed jazz-pop machine is a reedy pair of unprepossessing men with unprepossessing names: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. These two are notorious for lacking musical compromise—for, in the glory days, hiring the best studio players in the world to record a scant few bars of something or other because the phrasing had to be just so and then firing the players on the spot because it wasn’t. This is an outfit for which fidelity must always be high (and so, some inevitably will insist, must the ideal listener). To cover Steely Dan takes more than complete musicianship: It takes brass balls.
No Static at All is a local group of brave souls who understand that to achieve the goal will require up to ten musicians (there are uncommon changes to navigate, exquisite voicings and layered horn arrangements) and accordingly will give it a go this Friday at Garbeau’s. Actually, the experience of having their music covered in a Sacramento dinner theater for one night only seems rather like the sort of thing Becker and Fagen might reference in their cryptic lyrics, somehow taking a tone both mocking and weirdly grateful. To borrow a line, this is no one-night stand; it’s a real occasion. $35 covers dinner and the show, which begin at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively. Call (916) 985-6361 or visit www.garbeaus.com for more information.