Wars and Windmills

23 August 2007

Shake Up Your Bones

I have been feeling pangs of nostalgia recently, your patience is requested. Not too long ago, the only music that mattered in my world was generated solely from a Martin guitar owned by a South African. Now he plays a Taylor and I haven’t really listened to him in quite a while. But still, there are times when I crave an hour or two where Under the Table and Dreaming, Live at Luther College, or Crash is playing. Lie in our Graves is still, and will ever be, a pantheon of quality.

Like a genealogical tree, all of my current preferences can be traced back to the popular sounds of Dave Matthews. He held my cochleas in a vice grip, nearly nothing could penetrate the Acoustic Curtain he had established there. It took Sam Beam and The Shins' New Slang (2002: the anteBraffian era) to bring the wall a-tumbling-down, showing me there was more offered...much more. But still, remains of the wall are evident and acoustic guitar based music is inextricably in my blood. His intimate, stripped down sessions featuring two Martins and either Tim Reynolds or Trey Anastasio will always be lauded and welcomed.

I owe the man more than hours of listening enjoyment, it was his excellent chord progressions (Crush, Tripping Billies, the Stone), singular strumming patterns (Two Step, Rapunzel, Satellite), and poetic lyrics (Christmas Song, Cry Freedom, Pig) that were the primary reasons I strove to learn to play the guitar.

So though his silvery sound doesn't frequent my speakers like it used to, I will always remember two things: Dave is a hell of a musician and I am grateful for it. Hats off to the maestro.


  1. You busted me taking a listen, too, and quite recently.

    I have been having an internal, ongoing debate about the music that "got me through." I think it is rockism, pure and simple, to take longeivity into account when considering the quality of music. I too remember enjoying this DMB quite a bit, from the days when they opened for a little band from Boulder called The Samples. Although I have come to laugh at DMB, perhaps buying in to the Vibe Magazine buzz, which erroneously labeled them as 'frat rock', I have realized that they were a valid force in my musical development, along with The Samples, Phish, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, and other young 90's Jam Bands (on a tangent, this website is awesome). This music was at one time very important to me. I mean, instead of going to my senior prom, I saw Taj Mahal and Dave Matthews play. I have seen the Samples live in concert more than I have seen any other band. So I recognize the significance of this post Darren. I can get behind it.

    Question: have you ever listened to Phish's album Lawn Boy?

  2. Oh man. This is the first band you've mentioned on your blog that I've actually known. Sadly, I tend to just listen to what's on the radio. Pathetic, I know.

    Anyway, glad to know we have this DMB thing in common. Now I know what's safe to play over the rockin' speakers in my kitchen the next time you're over for a (Kosher) hot dog roast!

  3. Darren, this post makes me nostalgic for the Darren Z I knew in Rexburg. It's true that I still think of you whenever I hear a Dave Matthews track (just recently I found a radio station that played nothing but Matthews in Richmond, VA.....his hometown?????).

    Joe, I still recall a time when your iPod (back in the day when no one but you and Zollinger knew what iPods were) ran out of batteries and all we had to listen to was a Dave Matthews cassette tape. And, while we're on it, Audi and I listened to The Samples on the way down to AZ and she was pretty surprised I had heard of them. All you Rexburgians are the same to some degrees. I'd like to do a study on you all someday.

  4. Ah The Samples. They hold the record of most concerts seen in my life as well Joe. Who Am i...timeless. And no, I haven't listened to the whole album.

    Gillz, I have noticed the Rexburg anomaly as well. Rexburgians I know are a rare bunch of extremely erudite folk that are often far ahead of any curve with impeccably discerning taste. Per capita the number of genus level intellects I know are from Rexburg. It is interesting and perplexing. If you do a study, I will volunteer to be a research assistant.

    Shelly: any time you are serving up Kosher dogs I am there.

  5. Dave Matthews is so very good. He is a great all around package. Mr. Matthew's lyrics, as in Lover Lay Down and his christmas tune, are on par with Neal Peart, Sam Beam, Willie Nelson, etc.

    I've told you before that if he didn't have to sing he would be the Ed Van Halen of acoustic guitar.

    I haven't enjoyed much of thier later stuff. They seemed to have lost thier spark. Or perhaps I only like one version of DMB.

    There are just some bands that seem to fall from grace, at least to me. I am thinking of Alice in Chains, Queensryche, Faith No More, and Soundgarden.

    I wonder why?

    Good office fodder.

  6. It's funny. I have been thinking a lot about my pal Dave lately and how I don't listen to him as much as I once did, but how whenever anyone asks me who my favorite band/musician is I always say, without hestitation, DMB. Your blog was basically reading my mind. Get out of my brain, Darren! Cheers. How the heck are ya, by the way?

  7. I did think of you Annie while i wrote this. If anyone loved Dave more than me, 'tis you. his newest Dave and Tim album is worth a listen.

    I am well, thanks. and thanks for reading.