What an exciting time it is to be a Dave Matthews Band fan! Enthusiasts everywhere are either waiting by their mailboxes for Warehouse packages, or already enjoying the new live releases; tour dates are out, and Steve Lillywhite recently tweeted that this new album will prompt us to stop referring to our favorite DMB records as the “Big 3,” and instead call them the “Big 4!” Steve is, of course, making reference to the first three albums that the band released under his production, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” “Crash,” and “Before These Crowded Streets,” which are widely considered the best Dave Matthews Band works of all time. So much excitement, indeed! So what are we to do as we wait for all of these good things to come our way?
Well, I don’t really know, as I’ve never been too good at waiting, but one thing that helps me get through these long Dave-less months, is to notice just how often DMB is being mentioned these days in the popular media. As I’ve pointed out before, I don’t watch television, but I do have internet, so I am able to catch many of the network's commentaries on my favorite band. What I’ve found is that sometimes I agree with the reference, and sometimes I don’t, but I’m always happy to be reminded, (as if I forgot!) of our wonderful musicians, and I am grateful that more and more people are constantly being exposed to such greatness.
Two examples where DMB has been brought into mainstream television as of late, include a comment on a show called “Happy Endings,” and, of course, on “American Idol,” with newcomer, Philip Phillips. So let’s start with “Happy Endings,” because, honestly, I wasn’t that happy about it. Granted, I didn’t watch the whole show, but what I caught was a clip where one of the male characters, named “Dave,” was trying to find his social role among his peers. At least in the part that I saw, “Dave” didn’t seem like the smoothest guy, and so his friends told him that he could be the “Dave,” in the group, as every ensemble needs a “Dave.” His friends then went on to tell him that even the Dave Matthews Band has a “Dave,” and that Carter Beauford is the “Dave” of DMB. Now, I get that they were playing on the word Dave here, but one, they pronounced Carter’s last name wrong, and two, Carter is not just a side-kick! In fact, many would call Carter God! So, thank you, ABC, for discussing our boys, but please do a little more research next time!
And now on to “American Idol.” As many of you know, a young singer/guitarist from Georgia named Philip Phillips, (yes, really) has been making serious waves in this year’s singing competition. During his audition, he belted out Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and Michael Jackson’s, “Thriller,” like the tunes were embedded in his very soul. Personally, I think his sound is fantastic, but I have heard many DMB lovers complain that he is trying too hard to be Dave. True, he dresses, dances, and gestures like Dave, but he does give DJM credit for being one of his most admired musical influences. And if he wins, maybe Dave would make an appearance on the show! We can only hope that Steven Tyler will stay fully clothed for that episode.
Whatever your opinions of these popular mentions, at least they give us something to muse over as the Earth takes her journey into Spring, and then Summer, where our pineapple grass bracelets eagerly await us all.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.