Earlier this week, Dave Matthews Band announced they would not be touring in 2011. WHAT’RE THEY GOING TO DO INSTEAD?! Relax, I suppose.
If you’ll allow, a personal note: I give boatloads of credit to DMB for being the band that really shook me to my core at an age where music seemed more clearly fragmented. Rap, rock, country, et al . . . whatever you were likely listening to had a clear place in some genre. There were so little well-known genre bending acts in the early 90s that DMB made you ask “What the hell is this exactly?” Obviously, DMB weren’t the first to do what they did (Little Feat comes to mind quickly, among others), but they arrived at the perfect time for a generation of segmented audiences.
Whether you liked them or not – and maybe you NEVER liked them – it’s hard to argue that it was easily pigeonholed. I think their uniqueness – at the time it arrived – somehow convinced me that it was okay to like this AND that AND the other thing . . . all at the same time. It opened the door for an incredible amount of music that I would never have found whilst trapped in the genre-specific musical world I found myself. Have I found things since then that might be better? Probably. But what are the chances I find it without taking the path I took? That is what’s fantastic about music. It’s never a destination . . . you keep moving through it. You remember the places, songs and artists that really excited you, though.
Dave Matthews Band had me looking sideways, back, forward and around for new and old music in just about every genre. I was – plain and simple – excited about music. Thankfully, from there I met the right people and had the right friends who shared a willingness to find new music and share it. That only kept the initial excitement going. It hasn’t stopped.
Did DMB get really successful? Do people think they “sold out?” Is there better stuff out there now? The answers could all be “yes,” but I don’t care. Our mission here: Like what you like. Don’t be ashamed. Dave Matthews just so happens to have one of my favorite musical quotes. Ever. It seems fitting here.
Good music is good music and everything else can go to hell.
Forever musically indebted to DMB, I wanted to make a special mention here of their much deserved break from the road next year. If you have the means, go see them this summer. The summer of 2009, by multiple accounts (including my own), were the best live performances for the band since their heyday of 97-99.
Happy Hump-Day, INLE readers. If you have a similar connection to a band or artist or song or venue that just sent you to a new level of awareness, let us hear about it in the comments. We love the diversity we know is out there. In the meantime, Dave Matthews Band’s 2011 vacation tribute starts now.