August 17th, 2006
By GEOFF JOHNSTON -
Dave Matthews Band appeals to a wide, albeit similarly hued, audience: white college students. I know. I used to be one. But it is a variety of white college students--from stoned Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts and well-manicured sorority sisters to bare-footed, bushy granola chicks and circle-jerking frat guys--that have always been DMB's strongest supporters. Whether wearing a filthy, bongwater-stained poncho or a crisp, pastel-colored polo shirt, collegiate crackas of all shapes and sizes are helpless to the lilting tones of DM and his B.
Recently, scientists at the Wellington Institute for Mildly Racist Theories released a study that highlighted some differences inherent in the genetic makeup of particular ethnicities. As it turns out, Caucasian genes are hampered by a rare, previously unnoticed mutation that makes white people especially susceptible to boring, ceaseless jam bands. This behavior (known as "Widespread Genome Panic") tends to fully manifest when the Caucasian is between 17 and 21 years of age. In extreme cases, genetic material creates a counter-mutation that rebels against these tendencies causing afflicted Caucasians to embrace more dangerous "urban" music (known in lab circles as "The Wigga Effect"). These controversial findings are difficult to prove outside of a lab (one stocked with enough weed and Cheetos to feed both Caucasian mutations, no less). But it may explain why, regardless of political affiliation or social standing, most white people can find common ground in their shared affection for stale, uninteresting music.
I'm not gonna lie to you. Being white is pretty awesome. But it also comes with a certain amount of White Shame. We can't deny our past. So we apologize for it. And I can apologize for slavery. I can apologize for dragging our feet during the civil rights movement. I can even apologize for the secret shadow government that makes it easier for us to get jobs and hail taxis. But I can't apologize for attending a Dave Matthews Band concert in 1994. I was young. I was high. I was confused. I was genetically predisposed. I was white.