Skip to main content

12 by Dave Matthews Band

12 by... aims to summarize an artist's career in 12 songs. This one features...

Disclaimer #1: I don't own any of the 152 live releases this band has put out and I don't play hackey sack, but I have still managed to quite enjoy their music through the years. 

Disclaimer #2: My favorite DMB album is Before These Crowded Streets, if that tells you where I'm coming from. 

1. "What Would You Say" (from Under The Table And Dreaming, 1994) 
Along with "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio, a song that can instantly bring up memories of my freshman year of college. Dig the John Popper harmonica solo. 

2. "Satellite" (from Under The Table And Dreaming, 1994) 
It has become a completely overused concept, but this is still a beautiful song. 

3. "Ants Marching" (from Under The Table And Dreaming, 1994) 
I don't know about everyone else, but I really appreciate Dave's rapping turn ("Candy man/tempting the thoughts of a sweet tooth...") on the bridge of this song.

4. "So Much To Say" (from Crash, 1996) 
Claustrophobic, swampy and bringing to mind allusions to Peter Gabriel to Talking Heads? Rarely has the band been looser or sounded better. 

5. "Crash Into Me" (from Crash, 1996) 
Wonderful guitar bit, mildly creepy lyrics. 

6. "Too Much" (from Crash, 1996) 
A sense of humor and a hoedown atmosphere make this one of my favorites. 

7. "Seek Up" (from Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95, 1997) 
Had this live version of a song from their self-released first album (Remember Two Things) pointed out to me as part of the Top 200 Songs Of The '90s project I did a couple years back. It has, to paraphrase Quincy Jones, an intro you can shave on, but at 13 minutes somehow manages to jam without feeling overindulgent. 

8. "Crush" (from Before These Crowded Streets, 1998) 
Come-ons are not Dave's strong point, but the melodic chorus redeems this one from creepsville, and there's no denying the hypnotic mood of the tune.

9. "Don't Drink The Water" (from Before These Crowded Streets, 1998) 
This is pretty typical of the songs on this album. It's slightly sinister, long (8 minutes) and mesmerizing. Plus, Alanis Morissette adds her trademark wail. 

10. "Sweet Up And Down" (from The Lillywhite Sessions, 2001) 
Yes, I'm in the camp who believes officially unreleased Steve Lillywhite sessions were excellent, and that Busted Stuff (a rerecording of those songs) is completely superfluous. This is actually a standout that didn't make it onto the "real" album. 

11. "Everyday" (from Everyday, 2001) 
Dave does gospel! There was no real way to recover from The Lillywhite Sessions debacle, and articles that painted this as a record with minimal contributions from the band members didn't help. Even so, this song shines through. 

12. "Dream Girl" (from Stand Up, 2005) Dave admits his creepiness, so that's an start to solving the problem. Seriously, this is a heartfelt ode, even if the music still hews a bit too much to the overly controlled Everyday sound.


Popular posts from this blog

12 by Weezer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I decided to take an unconventional route for this 12 by, and pretend Weezer have already released a "greatest hits." Here's what I think that would look like:  1) "Buddy Holly", 2) "Undone - the Sweater Song", 3) "My Name Is Jonas", 4) "The Good Life", 5) "El Scorcho", 6) "Hash Pipe", 7) "Island in the Sun", 8) "Dope Nose", 9) "Keep Fishin'", 10) "Beverly Hills", 11) "We Are All On Drugs", 12) "Pork and Beans".  Here's a different take: 1. " Say It Ain't So"  (from Weezer , 1994)  A little bit heavy, a little bit catchy, quiet-loud dynamics. So basically, it's Pixies lite. The song is interesting lyrically because it's basically nonsense until the "Dear daddy..." bridge, which lets out a t

2022: The Album

Since 2003 I've made a mix of some of my favorite songs of the calendar year. Here's the cover art and track listing for the 2022 edition. 1. BODEGA - "Pillar on the Bridge of You" 2. Harry Styles - "Late Night Talking" 3. Vicious Vicious - "Evolution" 4. Hot Freaks - "Lovely" 5. Carly Rae Jepsen - "The Loneliest Time" 6. Tears for Fears - "End of Night" 7. Spoon - "Wild" 8. Death Cab for Cutie - "Here to Forever" 9. Citrine and GUKKO - "Feel Better" 10. Rhett Miller - "Fascination" 11. Broken Bells - "Fade Away" 12. Leah Marlene - "Flowers" 13. Robbie Williams - "The World and Her Mother" 14. Jimmy Eat World - "Something Loud" (acoustic version) 15. Sloan - "Dream It All Over Again" If you have Amazon Unlimited, you can listen at this link . 

12 by Matthew Sweet (2002 - 2021)

Sometimes a huge part of an artist's career has not been summarized. Case in point... Matthew Sweet has a couple of compliations out there, but neither of them cover the past couple of decades, a span that has seen him release 8 albums of original material and 3 albums of covers.  I followed Sweet's career religiously early on, with my ardor gradually diminishing after the magnificant one-two punch of In Reverse (1999) and The Thorns (2003) That's not to say he hasn't produced some great work since then, it's just that it requires bit of effort to pick out the gems. Here's my college try: (Two of these albums are not available on streaming servies, so here's a slightly modified version of the playlist on YouTube .) 1. "I Can't Remember" ( The Thorns , 2003) The Thorns was a rootsy, close-harmony early-aughts version of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, featuring Shawn Mullins (of "Lullaby" fame) and Pete Droge (of "If You Don't Lov