The year 2009 will be an exciting one for Dave Matthews Band aficionados. With the release of a new studio album expected early in the year, anticipation is growing among the groups' faithful followers. We're all wondering what to expect and how the tracks will resonate with us. There's understandable anxiety about how the chemistry of DMB has been altered due to the death of Leroi, and how that will play out in the music, although deep down we know the gang will pull through and deliver something amazing. Still, even the most devout fans might be wondering if the new production will meet our lofty expectations. Can we love these novel tunes as much as our old favorites?
According to psychological research, our concerns are valid. Some studies have shown that people tend to like music more after they've heard it numerous times. Dave must have been aware of these findings when he mused, “So, finally we got a new CD out. I hope y'all had a chance to listen to it. And if you think it sucks, listen to it a couple more times.” This was Dave-speak at the Classic Amphitheatre on April 30, 1996, the day Crash was released. Interestingly, this concert was not only the debut of the Crash tour, but it also marked the first use of a new sound system, which previously belonged to the Grateful Dead. Indeed, it was a night of beginnings. Undoubtedly, some listeners at that performance were probably hoping for “The Song that Jane Likes,” “One Sweet World,” “The Best of What's Around,” or other front-runners from Remember Two Things and Under The Table and Dreaming. Alright, so I'm still hoping for “The Song that Jane Likes” every time I'm at a show, but I digress. My point is that even our beloved “#41” and “Two Step” were unfamiliar at one time, and just may have been the target of a few sighs in the crowd. Blasphemous, I know.
Dave-speak audio clip - "Listen to our new cd"
So, as much as we're all on bended knees imploring these artists to include versions of rare finds like “Crazy Easy,” “Shotgun,” and my personal favorite “Kill the King,” on next years' record, we need to allow the crew some creative license. They've blown us away before and they'll do it again. And if there's something you don't like, take Dave's advice and “Listen to it a couple more times.” Surprising things may happen. You never know what might turn out to be the best of what's around.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.
Author of Serendipity and The Search for True Self