Stand Up, Stand’s Out…
Some people think I am addicted to DMB or have a huge mancrush on Dave Matthews, which I will concede to being slightly true to the point. At the same time, I will also say that I am attracted to what I consider valiant efforts in anything. If you are doing a good job at what you do, chances are I will like it.
I have always thought that the Dave Matthews Band contains the hardest group of solid musicans in the business. They built their fanbase from the beginning by going out there and making connections with their fans. It isn’t the tricky marketing or the label, it is mostly those guys going out there and doing what it is that they do best–making good music.
I think it is hard for people to understand exactly how someone can listen to dancing nancies 50 times or see watchtower live that many times, but I can easily say that about sports. It is just something that really frees my soul from the stresses that accumulate living on this rock with all of these capitalists.
But I am sure I will spend time going on and on and on and on and on and on about that later in the summer once they start touring.
Right now what I want to cover in this space is the new album that it would seem we have been waiting for a couple of years for.
Now, again, I need to go back a little bit and explain how I began to feel the way that I do about this album. Perhaps I should grab some coffee.
When the DMB went into the studio to record the new album, the decided to open up a webpage and let the fans watch the progress take place and to see what new things were going on inside of the studio, so we could try to feel what they were feeling. They brought in a new producer, Mark Badson, who recorderd mostly poppy shitty hip-hop, 50 cent, Em, etc. The things that I read was the Badson approached DMB and said he wanted to work with them and they were of the sure, why not feeling, vibe, etc.
Here is the link to the site http://www.dmbnewstudioalbum.com
When they first began recording the album, magic started to happen, updates were going on through the website all the time and it appeared that Batson was working hard to make sure that the Dave Matthews Band was not Dave Matthews and a bunch of studio musicians. Carter seemed to be the most overjoyed of the all.
Then the updates stopped coming as much and details about what was going on ceased as well. Then about two months ago, the album finished and there was a release date. I then just happened to meet Dave here in Seattle at a Starbucks and spoke to him about the newest in new and he seemed in person to really be excited about the new album, which made me excited about it.
But then the waiting and the speculations began and I started to wonder what this album was going to be like. After seening them several times this summer, I was addicted to new songs like Hello Again, Sugar Will and Joyride (some of which didnt make it to the album)….
All of this teasing was getting a titch on the old side, to be honest.
Then VH1 released the album to listen to in streaming mode, which I appreciated. However, as with most new albums, the first listen, I was like WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? I gave it a few more listens and I must say, for the record, I still thought the songs weren’t all that good and it was missing two very good songs, sugar will and joyride. Again, I was in the WTF mode because even songs that looked good on the newstudioalbum site sounded like shit. For example, Old Dirt Hill– has this shitty, poppy intro with boy band singers—- NO GODDAMN IT ANYTHING BUT BOYBAND MELODIES!!!! and the beat, the skat of Dave makes that song so good, but it gets ruined by layering it.
Okay, don’t worked up, stay with me here boss…
Hello again, same thing–great live song, but it loses so much energy because it feels like the band is trying to do much in the space it has.
So, I thought that for the first time since RECENTLY (the ep), I would not buy the cd the day it came out. I would just sit by and pick it up from someone, whatever.
Then the day it came out, yesterday, I couldn’t bear not to go out and at least give it the attention it deserved. DMB and I have history and I need to respect that.
I am glad I bought it and played it several times yesterday.
HOWEVER—the cd’s have a new encrytion in them that makes them impossible just to upload to your computer and copy to things like an IPOD, which really makes a big difference with the way that we listen to music–and it is frustrations like this that make me not want to buy any cd’s ever because I know if I wait a little while a little gang of nerds will have it online for my to download at will.
SO FUCK YOU RCA!!! YOUR JUST GOING TO LOSE YOUR CUSTOMER BASE!
Okay, I am calm.
I do, however, think its particularly funny that they would choose a band like DMB who built their fanbase on the greatful dead concept of touring and trading to make a case against piracy.
Now, onto a play by play of the album…
Amazing intro, but this should not be the first song on the cd. It is too goodie goodie mixed with a little raunch. Consider the other intros: best of what’s around, so much to say, pataga la what the fuck ever, etc, this is pretty weak for the intro song, but a good one to have fo sho. Still, I think you need to lead in with something a little stronger.
Old Dirt Hill (bring that beat back)– and kill boy band melodies… Seriously, a great song is ruined by making it too radio friendly– DAVE–you have enough people, you dont want more people on the ride man…
I am looking forward to seeing this live without the BRING THAT BEAT BACK shit.
Stand Up-The first song that is going to piss off republicans on this album. The review below this one from EW relates this to Dave’s leading the choir of fans, and so be it. Its got some interesting everyday like electric hook’s which is also going to piss off the fan base. Live, possibly okay.
American Baby (intro)–again, this album is not going to be on some peoples favorites politcally, but with the outstanding innovation that American Baby is getting, maybe some people are just ignoring the point behind the lyrics.
American Baby-I smile when I listen to it, but after hearing it a couple of times live, it will be the time where I am looking for the closest pisser. Great song for non Dave fans.
Smooth Rider–The verdict is still hanging in the air with this one. Again, trying to be something that is more than I think the reality is. Seems like it could catch on.
Everybody Wake Up–Yes, Yes, Yes. This is a great song and I really wish everybody would wake the fuck up. I am not a fan of the entire band signing the chorus of that song, however… but I guess it is fitting, but seriously Boyd’s voice just overshadows Dave’s and not in a good way. I would really love this album if it wasn’t mixed so well, it just gives it a really canned feel. I can already see Boyd signing the chorus to loud live–but regardless, I hope that at least a handful of people listen to this song and realize what the band is trying to say…!
Out of MyHands: PIANO– YES! but who is playing it? This is a good song, but totally different than what DMB normally does, but it works. This one live from Roseland is good, but you keep waiting for Carter to just let loose, but there is no where in the song to make it happen.
Hello Again–One of my favorite live songs, period. This version does not do the song the satisfaction that it needs to do. To canned in the studio, but it is growing on me, but if you have the chance to aquire the live versions, they are overflowing with the power that this band has and we have yet to really see on any release. Songs like this show the potential that the band has to really blow the lid of it’s venues, but for whatever reason, they seem to shy away from the power that they have. I think they would have been smarter to keep this one as a live version, even on the album. I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving a few live ones on a cd with the studio versions. I think that a number of people would understand DMB better if they included a couple live ones on a CD. The intro to Bayou, is awesome
Bayou–The first couple of times I heard this song, I didn’t like it because it is obvious that it is intended for those live moments that give people a reason to yell WOO! in concert, like we all do now on Warehouse. That being said, this song is the closest to feeling like dancing around the room that this album has and it fits perfectly behind Hello Again. It is important to note that I think this is the song where the album really opens up and starts to kick like you expect this gang to do. Don’t be afraid to dance, no matter how white you look. I want to see this live with Trey Anastasio playing along–it almost begs for his electric wisdom. Look for this song to be a big hit on tour this summer in the middle of their power set. With the ease of the beat, this song could go on for 15 minutes with the right intro.
Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd– Simple Sunday morning jam. Not a bad song, but it belongs in the first 5 tracks.
You Might Die Trying–Good guitar and nice entry to being a good jam song. This song has continued to grow on me. Simple, but allows for a lot of jamming, but there is an annoying factor in the mixing of this album because you aren’t going to be able to pull of some of the editing live, but minus that, I think people are going to dig it, each member of the band (sans Carter) has the chance to jam in this one.
Steady as We Go-A panty throwing song for sure. I can’t think of who this reminds me of, but it aint DMB. It’s too soft and I don’t think we will see this live except as a solo at the end of a show, but it doesn’t really live anything to think about while driving home.
Hunger for the Great Light–Did DMB want to be a part of the Travelling Wilbury’s ? Where is Roy Orbinson when you need him? Then you get a little further into the song and it changes into a rocking little ditty that I love–I keep saying I like this song the most, but not as a Dave song but as an ode to the Travelling Wilbury’s? It’s different and I am interested to see this one live as well….
Phew, so there you go. Overall, not too bad. My buddy Matt seems to think that this album is going to rank as their highest seller, but I don’t think it is going to come anywhere close to the Crash Cd. If people have not dialed into DMB by this point, they are not going to switch because of this album. There is too much of a political message for some people to swallow and I think in some ways it is in two many different directions for the simple common music listener to appreciate.
The band really likes it and the critics seem to appreciate it but the fan reaction seems to vary significantly. There is a heart sound, a folk sound and a little african, so I think that those that appreciate good music will dig it after a few opportunities to take it in, if they can get past the overall popiness of it.
Okay, I need to take a break, gotta go pick up my homies.