In his piece, “The Talk That Does Not Do Nothing,” Coviello frames a 20-year friendship through the music of Steely Dan, or rather arguments over the music of Steely Dan. “Steely Dan? Steely Dan?” Coviello ponders. “Listen: I know. If only because to those disinclined to the band, such disinclination typically takes the form of an ardent and vocal dislike (rather than, say, indifference), I do not need to have explained to me the million-petaled flower of Steely Dan’s uncoolness.” But, it’s much more than that, as Coviello humorously and poignantly explains.
Clark writes in his piece, “Mark Twain was supposed to have said, ‘When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.’” With his own sharp humor and satirical bite, dodging balls on the playgrounds of his childhood Cincinnati, Clarke recalls the music of The Ass Ponys, “a band that makes you nostalgic for the grim old days.”
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