The Steely Dan Dictionary: T-V

Listing 7 entries:

Maybe my watch is fast / Another Tanqueray / I'll wait 'til twenty past
Song: Lunch with Gina   Album: Everything Must Go

Brand of British gin, first distilled by Englishman Charles Tanqueray in 1830.

Renowned for its smooth flavour, Tanqueray is a London Dry Gin, which doesn't necessarily mean it is made in London (though in this case it is!) but means it is unsweetened, unlike Dutch or "sweet" gin.

Like all dry gins, rather than being drunk straight it is most often mixed with tonic water or in a martini.

Link: Tanqueray official website

And I ankle downtown / To a hothouse in the Tenderloin
Song: Good Stuff   Album: Sunken Condos

Former nickname of a neighbourhood in New York City, which was known as an entertainment and red-light district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The nickname came from a former police captain who allegedly said "I've been having chuck steak ever since I've been on the force, and now I'm going to have a bit of tenderloin" — referring to the increased level of bribery he expected to receive upon being assigned to this notoriously crime-ridden district. (Beef tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef available, also known as "filet mignon", "eye fillet" or "fillet steak".)

Although the name is no longer used in New York, there is nowadays a "Tenderloin" district in San Francisco which took its name from the NYC neighbourhood.

Like a Sunday in TJ / That it's cheap but it's not free
Song: Babylon Sisters   Album: Gaucho

Tijuana, a Mexican city just across the border from California.

Being less than 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, Tijuana is a popular destination for Californians seeking good times and cheap booze.

Link: How to Stay Safe While Clubbing in Tijuana

Gliding like a big blue cloud / From Tompkins Square to Upper Broadway
Song: Morph the Cat   Album: Morph The Cat

A square and city park in New York, located in Manhattan's East Village at 8th Street and Avenue A.

Tompkins Square Park is probably most notable as the location of a riot between police and homeless squatters in 1988. At the time, the park was already infamous as a den of homelessness, crime and drug-dealing, but a concerted effort since the early 90s has seen it renovated and gentrified.

Named after Daniel D. Tompkins, a governor of New York and US vice-president in the early 19th century.

Our man Abu squeezes off twenty tracer rounds /  And that's when she jumps the turnstile
Song: Pixeleen   Album: Everything Must Go

A type of bullet, most often used in machine guns.

Invented by the British during World War I, tracer rounds contain a small pyrotechnic charge in their base, which burns when the bullet is fired. This bright glow allows the shooter to follow the trajectory of the bullets for more accurate aiming.

You better move now little darlin' or you'll be / Trading fours with the Jack of Speed
Song: Jack Of Speed   Album: Two Against Nature

A jazz technique in which musicians consistently alternate brief solos of 4 bars. (You can also trade twos, eights, etc.)

Similarly used in tap dancing — each dancer gives their best for 4 bars before passing to another dancer with a non-verbal "Top that!".

Link: YouTube: Example of trading fours

Introduce me to that big blonde / She's got a touch of Tuesday Weld
Song: New Frontier   Album: The Nightfly

New York-born actress (1943-), birth name Susan Weld.

Her unusual moniker came from her childhood nickname, "Tu-Tu" which in turn came from her young cousin's attempt to say "Susan".

Initially she was best known for playing sexually precocious teenagers in movies such as Sex Kittens Go to College (1960), and this is the context which the song's lyrics had in mind. However, she continued acting well into her late 50s, appearing in such latter-day movies as Once Upon A Time in America (1984) and Falling Down (1993).

Link: 45 Lovely Color Pics of Tuesday Weld in the 1960s