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March 06, 2001 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-06

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 6, 2001

Everyday is crappy both lyrically and musically

Courtesy of RCA
New album
foreshadows
bad music
By Christian Hoard
Daily Arts Writer
"Scene: The Grammys, 2025. Bono -
now very old, his once-glossy mane
'turned gray, stubble spotting his haggard
face, those eyes looking more beady than
ardent - ambles to the podium. He is
there to present a Lifetime Achievement
Award, or some such thing.
'He begins: "As you may know, it has
become the tradition for the recipient of
one year's award in this category to pre-
sent to the next year's winner. And since
Swas presented the award last year by
Eininem, I ..." He trails off for a
moment, confused. "Did you know they
actually encourage me to curse as much
,as' possible nowadays when I'm doing
these things?"
"But I told them that that was not
Befitting of a man with an honorary doc-
torate in sociology from the University of
Belfast. And speaking of sociology ...
did you ever wonder how Dave Matthews
became the most popular stoned white
,guy in the world?
"I mean, he was stoned cool, stoned
funny, stoned dreamy, stoned pretentious.
And he was most often just stoned. But
he was very popular, the most popular
stoned man in the world, in fact. He had
- 1'a band, yes, but they weren't really the
Dave Matthews Band. No, they weren't
the DMB; they were the DMC - the
Dave Matthews Coalition, which used to
prompt the Edge to make a joke about
'We're gonna rock you from the Delta
blues to the DMC ...'
"Anyway, it was a coalition of white
people, white people who identified with
this stoned man. There were sorority
girls, businessmen, wayward Peter
Gabriel fans, guys who just liked that
drummer, people who thought it was
really fookin' cool to have a violin player
and a saxophonist in a rock band, upstart
hippies, your dad, his girlfriend ..."
He is speaking fast now, leaning into
it, on the verge of doing a slo-mo version
of that swaying swoon he perfected so
long ago. His brogue becomes thick."...
Bad poets, people who preferred gen-
tuinely stupid pop songs to appropriately
stupid pop songs, people who made me
wonder could it be that so many white
people never listened to the Rolling
Stones?"
He stops. Has he begun to talk about
his own audience? He starts to speak
again, but is ushered offstage by Justin
from 'N Sync, now the N.A.R.A.S.
President.
The Award recipient - bald, paunchy,
more confused than Bono - struts to the
stage while his Big Hit, "I Did it," comes
over the PA. Long time the theme song
to "Entertainment Tonight," it's
Generation Y's "Who Are You," perma-
nently etched into America's conscious-
ness like a Pepsi slogan.
And guess what? It's become even
more fucking annoying than it is now.

By John Uhl
Daily Arts Writer
' How dumb does Dave Matthews think we are? Does he think that we don't pay
attention to the words of his songs?
In the chorus of one down and out ditty, Matthews sings dreamily of how the world
would change "if I had it all." Yet his nasal voice is difficult to understand and
Matthews makes it sound as if things might look up "if I had a dog." Although it's
doubtful that Matthews intended listeners to make this mistaken interpretation, it's
nevertheless an appropriate one to have made considering the thematic content of his
new album, Everyday. Ten of the disc's 12 songs involve the same subject matter:
Convincing a girl to have sex. That's right, folks, Dave wants but one thing ... bitch-
es ("oooh, if I had a da-awg!" ).
The album's first single and opening track, "I Did It," aside from being a poor
attempt to make a pop song chorus out of three monosyllables (worst idea ever),
seems to be little more than a preemptive confession for the rest of the album. Exactly
what he did is uncertain, as the lyrics unplayfully skirt around the details of an inci-
dent involving drugs or sex or both.
Regardless, Dave has no remorse, which only makes the rest of the album unnerv-
ing, as he devotes a batch of coercive love songs to girls reluctant to give it up. While
his simplistic methods of inducement include sympathy ("If I Had It All"), mockery
("What You Are"), begging ("Angel") and more begging ("Fool to Think"), one song
goes so far as to seemingly attempt hypnosis with the phrase "all you need is,
all you want is, all you need is love," repeated ad nau-
seam. Tunes like "So Right"
and "When the World Ends"
rely on a juvenile carpe
diem rehashing of cavalier
ideology (sleep with me
before it's too late!!!) that
Matthews already
employed on the
album Crash.
Unfortunately, the
not-very-well-
concealed sexual
metaphors on
Everyday are even,
less clever than
"come crash into
me.
What all of'
E ve r yd ay ' s
vagaries amount
to is pussyfooting
around the fact
that Dave's horny.

It takes balls to reveal your most salacious secrets, which is why Mick Jagger
singing "brown sugar, how come it tastes so good?" is the essence of defiant rock
and roll gutsiness and Matthews singing "I Did It" for no explicable reason is not
even worthy of being classified as rock and roll.
Of course, there could be an explanation. I suppose Dave could've realized that
his audience consists of Greek college students and naive high schoolers, and thus
written this record to mock all the girls who will undoubtedly be seduced too easi-
ly to its soundtrack by some concupiscent pre-or post-adolescent. Though this is just
sadistic enough to proudly be the sordid spawn of The Velvet Underground, Frank
Zappa and Tom Waits, I never took Matthews to be one for irony.
And the album's shortcomings aren't merely lyrical. Musically, Everyday is
painfully derivative of everything else the band has already released. The chord
changesrsound like they were lifted straight from the tablature in their old songbooks
and altered only enough so as not to infringe on the band's own copyrights.
The songs are shorter, essentially abandoning the violin and saxophone solos.
Although Leroi Moore's campy saxophone is used sparingly, there is little audible
evidence that fiddler Boyd Tinsley is even a member of the band anymore. That
Matthews would mute his only competent soloist while also drastically abbreviating
the length of his tunes indicates that he was after a more stripped down pop album.
It's only natural, then, to expect a higher pedigree of song writing craft in place of
the extended song forms and jam outs, the "live sound" that this band is so reputed
to possess. This brand of studio-refined popmanship is tricky
business. Although none of the integral musical lines of a
good pop tune may be particularly complex, the way they
fit together involves a great deal of precision. That the
songs can maintain both a sense of their intricacy and sim-
plicity renders them musically stimulat-
ing.
A record like Everyday, however,
becomes so cluttered by the electric
guitar and faux strings glean of
studio overproduction that it
sounds pretentious. And there
are few things less appeal-
ing than unfounded pre-
tense.

Courtesy ofRCA
Everryday o
abandons;
the qualitf
of Crash,

By Luke Smith
Daily Music Editor

Grade: F+ (Quick
note on the unusual F+
rating: Although this
record may be slightly
better than the majority
of the candy fluff crap
that plays on Top 40
radio and MTV, all that
means is that it's a notch
better than nothing)

DMB offers 'highly obnoxious electric guitars'

By Dustin Seibert
Daily Arts Writer
This is some ol' bullshit.
As the result of a plot designed by the man, I was
"required" to write this review against my will. Now,
everyone here at this publication knows DAMN
WELL that I only review hip-hop and R&B. Naturally,
when I received last Tuesday, the new Dave Mitchell
Band joint, I did not hesitate in throwing it back into
their pasty-white faces with a resounding "kiss my
black ass" following. However, they threatened my job
if I didn't provide, saying something along the lines of
"we own you; do it or else;" or some racist trash like
that. You see, this is nothing more than another brother
being used as a pawn in the mass marketing of the
man's product; such utter disregard for goods produced
and businesses run by our people is an absolute traves-
ty!
The other day I was talking with my good friend
Bobby Seale on my black cell phone about this fool-
ishness. He told me, "X, don't forget what Huey and I
fought for all those years ago. Keep a steady head, and
play their game for the time being. Our time will come
soon." So I said to myself that I may as well write this
review in order to keep my job ... besides, I know that
I am not getting paid anywhere near the amount of

cream that my pasty-faced counterparts receive, so I
have to struggle that much harder. I need this job ...
semiautomatic guns and gas grenades aren't cheap,
you know.
Before I even pulled the CD out of the case, I notice
a band full of brothers, and two white cats. I mean,
what the hell is the deal with that?!?!? Are they there
just to fill some damn quota? Or is "Massa" Dave forc-
ing them to play bad music-depriving them of food and
beating them with guitar strings? Look at the frowns
on their faces - they look as if they about ready to
stick a drumstick up "Massa" Dave's ass. I mean, I
would be unhappy too if I were one of the token black
men designated just to appeal to a demographic. Come
on home, brothers ... come on home.
So anyway, I reluctantly shove the disc into the play-
er of my black Ford, and I am greeted to nothing other
than the brain-bending sound of loud, highly obnox-
ious electric guitars. What kind of mess is this? My
speakers and my ears are not accustomed to this twist-
ed product of the white man's mind! I thought my ears
were gonna start bleeding! See, we were all chillin' out,
just content with our African rhythms, and then you go
and expose us to THAT garbage? That's not even the
worst part! This Dave Mathers guy is wailing and
whining like a bitch all throughout the record about
dumb shit that has absolutely no relevance to me as a

BLACK man. My people weren't oppressed for 400
years just to listen to Dave Miller spout his propagan-
da. To be honest with you, this guy comes off as het-
erosexually challenged, if you know what I mean. No
real man with a properly functioning jimmy could pos-
sibly sound like such a herb ("a herb" is to stay like it
is, ... D.S.) over music like he does. Thank you, my
dominant oppressor, for forcing me to waste an hour of
my life listening to this insurmountable pile of crap.
I couldn't possibly care less about Dan Matthews or
his god-awful band. They can take this album and dis-
tribute it over in Worchester, Mass where someone
actually may care about it. As far as I am concerned, it's
music like this that sets us back as a people. Was Radio
Rahiem playing this on his boombox? Would you hear
this crap at The Source Awards (talk about a fight
breaking out)? Of course not! People, we need to ele-
vate! Boycott him and his propaganda so that we may
put a stop to this kind of music once and for all! I don't
know this Dave Mason guy personally, but I can tell .
you one thing - when the revolution comes, he'll have
a front-row seat for the showing of the barrel of my 12-
gauge! Fight the power, and bury this CD as far into the
earth as you can. Just don't bury it in the white snow
- they want that!

The gruesome soiree that is p lar
music absolves and absorbs classic pop
and alternative acts from the mid-
nineties like Unicron. The maelstrom of
kitsch teen-pop and the rap-metal fusion
has swallowed 'alternative' music
whole. And so amidst the turmoil that is
today's mainstream, comes the tri-
umphant return of a modern day James
Taylor, turned to ten, bothered by
Ballard and back to bring folk,. rock to
the forefront. Right?
Delayed countless times, Eve ay
hung in the careful balance of; p's
throes for quite a while, with studio
efforts repeatedly halted by a .pudgy
Matthews setting down his guitar and
walking out of the studio. Matthews
opened his unique song book to pro-
Morissette pro-pop caliber producing,
pro-bono producer Glen Ballard, who
ended up garnering co-writing credits
for all twelve tracks on Everyday.
Everyday is being pitched to.Sn-
sumers as a grizzly moment of epiphny
for the tour-savvy Matthews. More than
content with his final product Matthews
asserted in Rolling Stone that the~e were
his "Best lyrics yet, and best songsyet?'
Lou Reed was convinced that Metal
Machine Music was his best work as
well. Lesson: Drugs are bad.
Porous at times and blunt at others
Everyday's unique blend of - well al
things not Dave crossed with mounts
of classical Matthews pride creates is-
tener supported dissonance. Am I sup-
posed to like the nod to Papa Roach. on
the first single "I Did It.?"
Entrenched in, well not folk. Hive's
genre description will need a neate-
gory for Everyday. Abandoning' bpool
misanthropy of Crash, and abtng
some of the South African roots that
held him firm in Before These C'4ed
Streets, Matthews utilizes a h<T of
new songs and styles under the.4iaful
guidance and tutelage of sonic B1 a-
meister Ballard.
First single, "I Did It" is a not-so sub-
tle attempt at a modern rock crossover
for DMB. The song admits the 'cfu-
sion that Matthews is gonna bring with
this single "I did it/do you think Ive
gone too far?/I did it/guilty as charged."
Frankly, "Yellow" by British upstarts
Coldplay sounds more like a 'D've
Matthews single than "I Did It" d -
The departure from his see gly
entrenched acoustic-folkster-stoner
roots in a way bode nothing bu;" ti-
mism for the dearly departed cQMt4er-
cial touring giant. Everyday is Matbws
and Ballard's plot to save 'riaIdi
Svenning gone awry. There is no susin
Walter, and the rest of us got one giant
stinkpalm in the face.
I'm going to be sick.
Grade: C-

Grade: F-triple-minus

Teenyboppers get insight on good music

By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Writer

Ask yourself this: When was the last time an
American act was truly embraced by the teenybopper
market on the basis of its musicianship and songwriting?
Pearl Jam? Springsteen? Rick James?
It's a rare and remarkable feat to win over the flavor-
of-the-minute TRL crowd with honest to goodness
musical quality, and it's for this reason that I say Dave
Matthews Band is the best thing going in pop music
today.
Everyday, the fourth studio effort from the
Charlottesville, VA quintet, no doubt debuted near the
top of last week's Billboard album charts, and it could-
n't come at a better time. In recent months, the top o' the
pops have included albums by second-rate Latina

actresses, Lou Pearlman-produced boy groups with
strings most definitely attached and, most conspicuous-
ly, 30 year-old Beatles favorites newly repackaged for
big holiday sales.
In other words, the American public hasn't been buy-
ing into the notion of real bands making real music.
Score a big one, then, for the very real DMB. Dave
and Co. - drummer Carter Beauford, bassist Stefan
Lessard, violinist Boyd Tinsley and saxophonist Leroi
Moore - are no strangers to commercial success, hav-
ing cashed in on their Top 40 potential several times in
the past ("Ants Marching," "Crash Into Me," "Stay
(Wasting Time)," et al), but Everyday is a different breed
of pop animal.
The dozen tracks on the new album provide a glimpse
into the classy efficiency of a good pop album. The play-
ing is harder, more defined; the arrangements - cour-

tesy of producer Glen Ballard - are tighter, more
refined; and at least half the melodies are as worthy of
sing-along status as anything off of Crash. It's a pleasant
album that, simply stated, takes little effort to enjoy.
To be sure, the influence of today's pop is all over
Everyday, but the band doesn't succumb to mainstream
trends - it subverts them. What better way for DMB to
one-up the 'N Sync's of the world than with the latter's
own brand of killer hooks and slick production?
But the X variable that has always - and will contin-
ue to - put DMB in an all-together different league is
simple: They're flat-out un-fucking-believable musi-
cians, and I'm not just talking about Everyday- I mean
every day. Compared to their peers at the top of the
charts, DMB is the best of what's around.

Courtesy of RCA

Grade: B

Courtesy of RCA

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