Countdown to Ecstacy

Donald Fagen ought to be out pushing Morph the Cat, his latest solo disc that, let's face it, sounds like Steely Dan anyway; guess it makes sense and cents to just hit the road with Walter Becker and the boys and work in the new songs amongst the old standards, which are timeless enough to merit any tour at any time for any ol' reason. After decades of refusing to play live, the Dan's become a regular on the summer-tour circuit; fact is, nothing sounds better floating through the hot nighttime air (even if they are playing the Nokia Theatre) than "Black Friday" or "Aja" or "Dirty Work" or "Hey Nineteen" or "Any Major Dude" or "FM" or...Christ, did these guys ever write a bad song? Short answer: not a one. (It'd be nice though, if just once on their sojourns through town they played "Dallas," the forgotten B-side to the band's very first single; maybe you'd see a Steely Dan crowd actually react with something more than a smartypants smile.) And on this tour the band's bringing along that Doobie Brother with a Steely Dan past: Michael McDonald, he of 40-Year-Old Virgin punch line infamy, but nonetheless a soulful croaker who was actually with the band in 1974, when Becker and Fagen decided to stop touring till, oh, there was a Bush in the White House. Steely Dan and Michael McDonald perform 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie. Tickets are $55 to $125. Call 214-373-8000 or visit
Wed., July 12, 7:30 p.m.