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The Ants Podcast


Episode 74 - You have Got Questions, We dance around them
June 5th, 2016

The Crew was merely 2 Live this week; Jake and Joe M took the helm whilst Matt felt the Bern, so to speak. With the band off this past week and based on twitter feedback, this episode is listener question heavy. Also addressed is the latest release announcement (a Dave Solo from 1996), the Bernie Sanders Dave Solo performance, and the latest DMBHub update that you dont want to miss!


Live Setlist Updates on Twitter

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Ants Podcast 107: The Show Must Go On

Posted by Matt Yette in Podcasts at 9:40am on Saturday, Sep 4th, 2021

The very unfortunate news mere hours before the start of Labor Dave Weekend at the Gorge sends the DMB community on a roller coaster of major lows to major highs. We call an emergency podcast to recap and discuss all the implications. Unique barely describes it. Long time friend, Ant and contributor Mark T joins the pod (from the pool) and provides perspective from on the scene.

While Apple's built in Podcast app is a great app for listening to the Ants Podcast, an alternative that some might enjoy has emerged: Overcast. Overcast is a great, free podcast app that has gained a lot of popularity since its release. If you're looking for another app for your Ants Podcast fix, give it a try!

We are also now on Spotify! Check us out!






Special Photo Gallery - DMB Northerly 2021

Posted by Joe M in Tour News at 6:13pm on Tuesday, Aug 17th, 2021

For many it has been way too long since there were Dave Matthews Band shows. Some have been lucky enough to see one of the first 11 shows. Some have no choice but to be more patient and wait a bit longer. You may have forgotten what it's like to be at a DMB show, or even what the members look like, ha. (How's that Carter COVID beard looking?) Ants has you covered in pretty much every other aspect, we figure might as well cover you from that perspective too.

So we enlisted the help of long time Ants member Boywonder44 to help us capture some of the energy from this band returning to touring in a special photo gallery. (In a more professional settings Boywonder44 likes to be referred to as Brett Bergen. [We dont get why either.]) He recently attended the Northerly Island (Chicago) weekend, joined our Ants tailgate (Thanks to everyone that came out!), brought his camera, and were lucky enough that hes sharing some of his shots from the concert with the community. (If you want to check out his other live concert photography, you can see them here. He's previously shot TR3, Umphreys McGee, 311, STS9 and a slew of others (ie, DMB, ha.))

Click on the Dave image to the left to go through the gallery of ~60 great photos.
(To view from DMB Hub App, click on the Dave thumbnail after you click here .)

Thanks to Brett for sharing! Let the reminiscing begin. And for those still waiting to attend upcoming show, may the countdown go a bit speeder for you!

   
   


Tour Central Liberations

Posted by Matt Yette in Site News at 8:43am on Monday, Aug 9th, 2021

With a song catalog that now claims north of 200 songs not including covers, there's a lot of potential for variety in a Dave Matthews Band show from night to night. Things would get stale pretty quickly if the band played the same 20 songs every night, and that variety is part of what keeps us coming back as fans year after year. One side quest for the frequent DMB concert-goer is hearing rare songs. The band's most played song? That'd be Ants Marching, which has historically been played at nearly *half* of all shows since its debut (which results in a rarity index of nearly 49%). So what's up with the fact that any given show will likely have an average rarity index of something around 30%? There are a lot of songs that get played that show up far less often than once every two shows. And occasionally, the band busts out a song that hasn't been played in a significantly long time. With that in mind, the DMB fanbase came up with a term for those long lost songs that were perhaps once staples, but spent some significant time on the shelf, only to finally return: liberation.

Allowing the term some creative license for a play on the literal definition, in this context "liberation" is meant to indicate that a song has been "set free" of "oppression;" aka "It's been a long time since this song was played." The power of our Tour Central database has allowed us to dig deep and offer up dynamic insight on this phenomenon. Thanks to Tour Central, we're able to show not only every liberation ever achieved, but also what each tour's historical liberation list looked like, and what songs were liberated during that run of shows in a "point in time" style. And we've taken it even further: we treat liberations relative to their performer, so you can track Dave & Tim, or Dave solo as separate liberation lists. We've even integrated liberations with your My Tour Stats page, so you can view all the liberations you've ever witnessed (even ones you might have not been aware of!), and others can also view your list. Even the DMB Hub Stubs have gotten into the act, awarding you stubs based on not only how many liberations you've seen, but if you've seen some variant of an "uber" liberation.

With that in mind, what constitutes a liberation? Admitting that it's a very subjective measurement, a line needs to be drawn somewhere, and we've drawn that line at 150 shows. While we go into the criteria more deeply on the Liberations area of the site, 150 shows represents somewhere around three full years of concerts in the band's modern era, and that feels right to us when determining how long a song should go before being considered "liberated." It's also what drives our "liberation factor." 300+ shows are considered a 2x liberation, while something that hasn't been played in 1200 shows would be an 8x! While we also track number of days since a song's last performance, that metric isn't deterministic in our system. The band's brief 2017 hiatus, and last year's cancelled tour come to mind as two recent examples that push us to value shows over days. We're sure this will continue to be the subject of debate, and that's cool with us. We aren't saying it's the only way to view things, just that it's our way of looking at it for the sake of the feature on Ants!

You'll find liberations front and center on our updated Tour page in Tour Central, and from there you can head over to the Liberation area, where you can break down the data by artist and sort by all manner of metrics to view the data how you prefer. We hope you enjoy the additional insight into just what makes a Dave Matthews Band (or Dave & Tim, or Dave solo) show so special, as well as our recent addition of DMB Hub Stubs and Tour Central Advanced Search, and thank you for your continued support of Ants!



DMB Hub Stubs on Ants

Posted by Matt Yette in Site News at 7:36am on Thursday, Aug 5th, 2021

It's hard to believe it's been five years since the we first released DMB Hub for the iPhone. In that time, we've added countless features to the app, like playing the Setlist Game, streaming hundreds of show recordings, keeping track of your stats and, of course, collecting DMB Hub Stubs. DMB Hub Stubs were a fun way to game-ify your show statistics, awarding Stubs as a form of "achievement unlocked." Sure, everyone's Tour Stats offer a unique picture of your show attendance history, but the Stubs offered you ways to take it a step further than just raw numbers, and have a little fun while you were at it! Up to this point, DMB Hub Stubs were limited to the iOS app only. That changes today.

DMB Hub Stubs are now integrated into the antsmarching.org website, so anyone with an Ants account can earn, view and share their stubs! Every Ants member already has a link to their Tour Stats at the top-right of every page on the site. Once there, you'll now find a new section on the left hand column for your DMB Hub Stubs. Clicking the Stubs icon will bring you to a page dedicated to displaying your Stubs "trophy case," and there's also a link to generate the same Stubs Passport that you can share from the app, but now you can do so right from Ants!

We're excited to expand this feature from DMB Hub to the site as a whole. With a new DMB tour comes renewed energy, and we hope you all enjoy the new features that we continue to add to antsmarching.org. In that vein, we wanted to give a special shoutout to our Ants+ members, without which we couldn't continue to operate. Your support is greatly appreciated! As Ants approaches its 20 year anniversary, we strive to continually create innovative features, providing Dave Matthews Band fans with the best experience next to actually being at a show!

If you have an iPhone and aren't familiar with DMB Hub, give it a download! It's completely free, ad- and tracker-free, and plugs you into the latest DMB shows via our Live Setlist push notifications. And as we mentioned, there are hundreds of live recordings available to stream, in no small part due to our amazing taper community!



Tour Central Advanced Search Now Available

Posted by Matt Yette in Site News at 8:41am on Tuesday, Aug 3rd, 2021

If you were to go back in time, and read the first notes scribbled down on paper that would serve as the seeds to what has eventually grown into the largest single band-focused website on the Internet, you would find two little words in the margins of that crumpled note: "Search Engine." Nearly 20 years later (my goodness!), we're so proud to finally release it.

Sure, Tour Central has always had "search" since its inception. Technically. But for once, technically correct is not the best kind of correct. It was a very basic version that let you search show data fields as if they were text. Sometimes it would work; often times it didn't offer the flexibility to be any sort of useful. It had been on our list, literally, for years (decades?), and we actually managed to put it together in the summer of 2019, but then life happened, and it got put on the back burner.

Ants Tour Central has always been the foundation of the site, with an advanced database that was built from the start to be a powerful and flexible means of storing data about the band's performances. It's been tweaked and extended over the years, but at its core, was intelligently designed to scale as it has over the better part of two decades. The power and flexibility of Tour Central has enabled us to bring this advanced search engine to the site!

The Tour Central Search Engine allows you to search for a single song, or multiple. You can stipulate that any song is an opener, a set closer, in the encore, or the encore closer. Or, you can string multiple songs together and turn up shows where those tunes were played in order. All of these options can be filtered by further metrics, such as guest, venue, artist and show date range. On top of that, you can also have it only display shows that are streamable on DMB Hub, or available to download on Ants. You can even check the box to only search against shows you've seen, so you can create a lot of personal queries. And when you've built your favorite searches, you can save them to your Tour Stats, so they're always accessible (and sharable!).

With a new tour comes renewed energy, and Ants is getting a ton of work poured into it, in various areas (more to come on that!). Stay tuned to Ants for the latest as we roll out more features, and we hope you're enjoying the tour so far!



Ants Podcast 106: Back in the Game

Posted by Matt Yette in Podcasts at 1:11pm on Sunday, Aug 1st, 2021

The band is back! (In more ways than one.) Dave Matthews Band is back with new songs, album recording sessions, and are six shows into a long-awaited summer tour. So it's only fitting that the Ants Podcast with Matt and Joe is also back. We dust off the cobwebs and get right into all the details. We recap where we left off, what's happened over the last year, and the latest developments. There's a lot to be excited about, and as usual, we take the discussion and the debate off the beaten path. We're so glad to be back!

While Apple's built in Podcast app is a great app for listening to the Ants Podcast, an alternative that some might enjoy has emerged: Overcast. Overcast is a great, free podcast app that has gained a lot of popularity since its release. If you're looking for another app for your Ants Podcast fix, give it a try!

We are also now on Spotify! Check us out!




   
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DMB Catch-Up: New Album, New Songs, New Tour

Posted by Joe M in Album News at 8:55am on Saturday, Jul 17th, 2021

When was your last DMB concert? Better yet, when is your next DMB concert? Very grateful that we can once again talk about the latter instead of the former. (Im not crying, are you crying?) Over the last year+, not much has happened, yet a whole lot has happened, and going forward were about to get some DMB whiplash (of the good kind). Heres your DMB Catch Up of all the things in the Dave Matthews Band world you want/need to know, including New Album, New Songs, and the upcoming New Tour.

First, lets put this year in some context. Has the debate been settled if we increment our age during COVID lockdown year or not? Well with DMB and in the spirit of no asterisks we do, and 2021 marks the bands 30th anniversary! The anniversary itself fell on March 14th, the date of DMBs first show 30 years ago. While there wasnt much fanfare on the actual date, this year is set up to be a milestone year beyond just the number. Already with exciting highlights to look forward to this year, but hopefully theres even more untapped we dont yet know about. (Especially if compared to the commemoration of the bands 25th anniversary with a special vinyl box and hometown Charlottesville show.) But enough daydreaming, lets recap what we know at this point.

We chunk this out into 3 topics: New Songs, New Album, and New Tour.

First up: New Songs

   
   


DMB Catch-Up: New Songs (part 1)

Posted by Joe M in Album News at 8:55am on Saturday, Jul 17th, 2021

The past year has created a space for significant star song development. Specifically, Dave has said the past year has been a time of writing freedom. No pressure. And has been really open. We now know there was notable writing that took place, including 2 new songs we have to enjoy now, and the working names of many others.

Since the last concert youve attended there are two new songs that have debuted, both Dave solo (for now?) Those include Singing from the Windows and The Ocean and the Butterfly.

Singing From the Windows, a finger-picked acoustic (capoed 6 string) song, debuted on 3/26/20 for the Verizon Pay It Forward Live (the first one). A song inspired by the videos that went viral of Italy residents singing outside their windows together during quarantine.

Watch/Listen to Singing From the Windows

And the other, The Ocean and the Butterfly, a strummed acoustic (6 string) song, debuted on 10/18/20 for a webcast fundraiser for Save Our Stages (an organization seeking to give aid to independent music venues.) The performance occurred at The Jefferson Theater in the downtown walking mall of Charlottesville, a venue DMB performed at back in 1993, and a frequent spot of after party/concert performances when the band plays hometown John Paul Johns Arena, often with DMB connections or DMB visitors.

Watch/Listen to The Ocean and the Butterfly

(Well hold off on describing anymore of the song so that you can form your personal opinion. Feel free to join the discussion on the forums of your thoughts.)

[cue infomercial voice] But thats not it, theres more! [end infomercial voice]
There are some more songs we know are being worked on but we havent heard them yet. How many more we dont know. Dave says a couple more than you can count on two hands, but we also have indication that its as high as 26 ideas/songs (but that number may include not just new songs, but existing songs to work on in the studio. More on that in a bit.) Dave says some songs are raucous rocking, some songs are really sweet, and some songs are "retro music" that he's excited about.

One of those is Walk Around the Moon, and we may have a new album thanks to it (full updates on album in part 2). The hype on this song is about as high as you can get, a dangerous and possibly unfortunate tag because of the extra inspection it will derive as a result. But Dave says (at least in the moment) that Walk Around The Moon is one of the best songs hes written. (wowzers, ha) The birth of the song starts out in The Haunted Hollow Studios (DMBs own studio built in the woods of Virginia) where Dave worked with Rob Evans (longtime DMB inner circle in lots of roles, but primary lead Recording Engineer) The song initially developed over just 2 hours of work and instantly stuck out to Rob. Rob had constantly been working to convince Dave to start having Carter get involved in the different ideas they were working on, but it was Walk Around the Moon that finally convinced Dave to bring Carter into the studio (and start a writing/recording session together.) Dave says the song is about taking a walk in the woods, and some connection to mushrooms that isnt clear at this point.

But also, thanks to some Rockbridge Guitar humor/contest and the sniper eyes of the DMB community we also know the working names of other song/writing ideas. They include Monster, Stay Hungry, and Heart. And we also know partial working names that include Young, Heart, Uke (presumably as in ukulele), and 70's Song (presumably the retro music sound mentioned by Dave.) The list is numbered with working titles up to 27. (The 27th is A Dream So Real, an existing song, looked to be worked on in the sessions). We dont know much more about these than their working names and we dont know anything for the rest of the 27 unfortunately, but it does solidify 8 additional new songs/ideas on top of the 2 known new ones we already have.

The only other item to add about the new songs is some of the instruments played on them. It appears Dave has dove deeper into the ukulele. Dave recently had two new ukuleles produced to take on tour and has been pictured playing one while rehearsing with the band. So unless Sweet is about to get a very heavy tour rotation (ha), it seems like a new song(s) with ukulele is(are) very likely. Also, some of the new songs have been noted to have Carter on an electric drum set, but is this just for ease of recording ideas early in the process (vs multi-mic recording a drum set), or is this an instrument that actually makes it to the final versions? (It would be interesting if/how electric drumming would translate in some form/fashion to the live show if used in new music.) A couple Moog synthesizers of Buddy's were pictured, and effects pedals for Rashawns horns. And lastly, Stefan has commented that he played standup bass on a couple songs, and hes been pictured playing an acoustic bass in tour rehearsals, something new outside of the acoustic set days.

(Continue reading on about New Album.)
(This article is one part of a 3-part series on New Songs, New Album, New Tour. See them all here.)

   
   


DMB Catch-Up: New Album (part 2)

Posted by Joe M in Album News at 8:55am on Saturday, Jul 17th, 2021

With all the previously mentioned song ideas, do they become just new road songs or do they make/form an album? To cut to the chase, the band started recording with an album in mind. We dont know much about the songs being planned for the album. The presumed initial list of 27 was made up of both new and old songs, but did new songs win out? Will any of the Batson Session songs make it to the album? (example: Ask, Early Home, Drive Me Away.) We wait and see on this point. (What would be your preference?) But heres what we know about album progression and most recent status.

As mentioned, it started with Dave and Rob Evans playing around and doing some writing last year, prior to September. And as mentioned, they brought in Carter to participate. The process progressed well, enough that they then brought everyone else into the studio to record pieces, and John Alagia (long time DMB Producer) also looks to get involved. It was a unique process because they were overcautious with being safe during COVID. They were tested frequently, wore masks, stayed distanced, etc. Dave mentioned Stefan playing in a hazmat suit with gloves. The horns were last to come in and record. (A point that some fans are reading into. Because what else can we do? ha) This all wrapped by the end of October and we didnt have much more in the way of updates for months after (presumably over this quiet period the (initial) mixing and song recording structure was taking place, along with composition of orchestral parts.) The next update we saw was in mid-May with orchestra recording in LA (with Dave, Stefan, Rashawn, Buddy, John Alagia and Rob Evans participation.) Followed by Dave, Buddy and Rashawn returning to the Haunted Hollow studio after, and joined by Tim, to do some more recording. Based on recording of orchestra parts in the studio, presumably at least some songs are deep into being finalized. But also historically, there have been other times orchestra parts have been recorded but were never released. Hopefully thats not the case here, which leads to the next question. Whats next/timeline?

Couple things play on whats next. Even baring album completeness theres the business/strategy side of things. One in particular thats unknown, is how important is it to the band to extend their current streak record. Currently, the Dave Matthews Band holds the record for the most consecutive studio albums to debut at number one by a band (with 7 after Come Tomorrow.) If extending that streak record is important to the band (and I wonder what importance the fanbase puts on this), then theyll want to deploy a marketing and release strategy to give themselves the best chance to earn number 8. For Come Tomorrow, the (gimmick) strategy was with each concert ticket purchase you received a copy of the album . So does that mean that the release of a new album will need to be timed for when a new tour gets announced and sold? (That will be a ways out seeing as the band is booked through November with already sold tickets.) Youll be relieved to hear that Billboard chart calculations no longer account for albums part of ticket sales in the same way, so while its not a no it sure doesnt have the same attraction to do it that way again (and thus wait until next tour.)

The album doesnt have to be finished to start marketing it (but it does have to have the proverbial tunnel with light at the end of it.) And with mentioned indications of serious progress, its been interesting why a marketing train hasnt started up. Does the band see the light at the end of the album making tunnel yet to start the marketing train? Or is the album still a work in progress. This is the part that causes DMB fans PTSD. In 2014, two years after the release of Away From The World, DMB started working on material for a new album. What happened from there was a long 4 year period of making Come Tomorrow, and resulted in a gap of 6 years of no DMB studio album. (We are at 3 years since Come Tomorrow.) I think theres a lot of promise about how this latest album work has come together that it wont repeat the lengthy ways of the Come Tomorrow release. So lets presume remaining album work is in the works to complete it, and that final mixes were listened to (as weve heard mentioned) and the mix is approved (as we hope, or at least only needing minor changes.) If thats the case, then when can we get an official announcement?

(Marketing Team Enters Zoom Call) Do you leverage the excitement of the start of the tour with an album announcement? Leverage the excitement of a new album to help feed the tour (sales)? Im sure the marketing team would like that, if the case we should be hearing something within the next week as the tour kicks off in Raleigh, NC on Friday July 23rd. Another possibility is the new album release gets slated for late in the year (holiday buying time, with a supporting indoor tour. Ha, wishlist.) and dont want to announce too far in advance. The interesting part of touring with new songs without an album on the immediate horizon is, if the songs morph they may want to go back and re-record.

(Side note: Were pulling for an album title of What. iykyk)

Join the album discussion/debate on the forums in the new album thread.

(Continue reading on about New Tour.)
(This article is one part of a 3-part series on New Songs, New Album, New Tour. See them all here.)

   
   


DMB Catch-Up: New Tour (part 3)

Posted by Joe M in Tour News at 8:54am on Saturday, Jul 17th, 2021

Which leaves us to the most immediate thing we are looking forward to: the 2021 Summer Tour!

(Regression: Is it really a summer tour? Ha It starts in late July, sure, but ends in November. I guess Late Summer into Fall doesnt have the same ring.)
(Regression 2: Personally, I wouldn't mind if the delayed summer start stuck around long term. All those people trying to schedule summer life events/weddings/etc. always worried how it will sit once DMB tour dates are announced. Wouldnt it be nice to have the first ~6 weeks of summer open without that worry? (Edit: Tell me you go to too many DMB shows, without telling me you go to too many DMB shows. Ill go first.))

So what can we expect? Well we can say pretty confidently that new music will be performed this tour. Based on photos from tour rehearsal (very grateful that band members & management have shared), the band members have been playing new instruments that they havent before and/or were spotted in the studio, like the additional ukuleles, acoustic bass guitar, and the Moog sytheniziers (that were brought into the studio) are now part of Buddys rig. On top of that Rashawn has frequently tagged social media posts of rehearsal with #newmusic So we have that to look forward to.

Lets also consider where we left off: the two shows at the start of 2020 before the world was changed (Vegas, and Innings Festival), and how the Band teased what was to come. We saw the returns of songs like The Riff, Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd, Beach Ball and Sweet Up and Down. Excitement was pretty high following those one-off shows. So are these songs still in line to be played after the cancelled tour? In promising news for at least one of the songs, but maybe an indicator for all of them, the band practiced Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd during tour rehearsals recently. On top of song returns, the sets from the two shows saw Come Tomorrow album songs take a step back from the setlist makeup. The Come Tomorrow album was the top played album by song performances for the Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Summer 2019 and Europe 2019 tours. The two 2020 shows had just 2 Come Tomorrow songs each night. (The actual song Come Tomorrow was played at both, but it was likely to be in heavy rotation in an election year.) So does this trend of less songs from Come Tomorrow also stick post-cancelled tour? (New music doesn't hurt that.)

The previous year of Dave web streams has also brought exciting developments. Pay for What You Get and Halloween were played by Dave and Carter together as part of The Warehouse Session / Warehouse Vol. 10. Dave broke out Dodo (!!!) on December 13th for Endangered Rangers stream. And during the second Verizon Pay It Forward Live event Dave performed Beach Ball (again), Up and Away (!!!) (first time in 15 years), and Break For It (!!!) (only played 7 times previously, back in 2010.) This would be a very welcome trend to also bleed into the 2021 Tour.

Thankfully we dont have much longer to wait to find out where the 2021 Tour will take us. It starts Friday July 23rd at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. Maybe everyone will get a chance to watch it? Wouldnt that be nice. :)

At this point I think sentiment across the community is a lot of thankfulness, which is quickly followed by excitement. Were here for it and along for the ride. If youre just getting back on the DMB train, we got you covered. If you don't have it by now (you're crazy), download the DMB Hub app for your iPhone/iPad. DMB breaking news alerts, live song performance notifications, full setlists, streaming show recordings, setlist game, personal stats, badges, and more! (We just added some new badges you can earn too!)

Even if you don't have an iOS device, follow (with notifications) @dmblive for live show song updates, and @SetlistGame for game fun. And don't forget to subscribe to the AntsPodcast. Lastly, enjoy some debate or banter over in the Ants DMB forums. Looking to meet some new DMB friends at your next show, or want insight/tips about a venue? Head over to the Tour Forum and the associated venue thread to chat with others attending.

Know which shows you're attending? Add them to your personal tour stats ("I'm Attending"), either via the DMB Hub app or Tour Central webpage. That way we can make sure you don't miss any upcoming personal stat milestones! Happy Tour Time Everyone!

(This article is one part of a 3-part series on New Songs, New Album, New Tour. See them all here.)

   
   


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