Two against nature

Pitchfork: Can you explain the shtick behind the Gnarls Barkley persona?

Mouse: It's a little simpler than people think. It's not so much a
Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse record as the two of us together being
something else. There was kind of a different thing going on with us as
we were doing this record. The combination of the two of us made [it]
something other than just the obvious. So we gave it a name, and that's
what it was. […]

Sean Fennessey, Pitchfork Media, "Interview: Gnarls Barkley"

Artistic collaboration is a profoundly strange business. Do it
right up to the hilt, as it were, and you and your partner will generate a
third party, some thoroughly Other, and often one capable of things neither
you nor the very reasonable gentleman seated opposite would even begin to
consider. "Who," asks one of those disembodied voices in Mr. Burroughs'
multi-level scrapbooks, "is the Third who walks beside us?" My
theory, such as it is, about Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, is that their
Third, their Other, Mistah Steely Dan hisself, proved so problematic an
entity for the both of them, so seductive and determined a swirl of
extoplasm, that they opted to stay the hell away from him for twenty years.

William Gibson, "Any 'Mount of World"

Bonus-round: Will Layman's Jazz Today column in PopMatters "The Strange, Mixed Fate of Steely Dan" and Steely Dan's "Steelyard 'Sugartooth' McDan: The Man … The Legend … The Tour"

P.S. I did not get to see Gnarls Barkley's shows in the city this week, but I will see Steely Dan and Michael McDonald next week at Shoreline. I heard announcements for the show on a classic-rock radio station while rive into the city one evening earlier this week. This life can be very strange.