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Looks Like 2005

By Jake Vigliotti
January 2, 2005

Have we been here before? It’s the off-season, the winter, and all we have are rumors and message board battles to keep us interested until… a new album! It’s hard to believe that it’s been since 2001 that we had an album of completely new material (and that was Everyday!) Even if the band uses the four 2004-debuted ‘studio’ songs, we’d still have 7 or 8 brand new ones.

The jittery DMB fan remembers Everyday a little too well, and that’s probably why people are wondering if they’ll just add in songs that we all know (Granny, #40, etc). The odds of that happening are slim, but there will probably be at least one song that we know in some form or another.

On the aborted Lillywhite sessions (which became Busted Stuff) DMB brought back Captain, an old Dave and Tim tune, and stretched out 2 other ‘new’ Dave and Tim tour songs (Bartender and Digging A Ditch). So what will the band use this time? Probably a soundcheck song. If I had a vote, I’ll lobby for the 07.03.03 Soundcheck Song. If you haven’t heard it yet, just search around the message boards, you’ll find an mp3 of it. The song had a great, upbeat, fresh sound, and could be the catchy dance tune that’s been missing since the death of #36 (sorry Everyday, you don’t make the cut).

I don’t think the four studio session songs are a lock for the new one, but they’d all certainly still ‘work’ as studio songs. Hello Again is the most complete of the four, and other than it sharing its name with a Neil Diamond tune, it’s really without fault. Crazy-Easy has a good beat, but to say the lyrics were not set would be an understatement. I always liked the line, "Crazy, if you think that'll fly." Sugar Will has tons of potential, but for now, the refrain could be, “Sugar Will bore you….” The song became a ‘hurry up and wait for the jam’ song. If Sugar Will can lose the embarrassing Sugar Will bridge, that has potential to be a classic. Joy Ride certainly is about a specific time, but it can still be a good album/live song. Joy Ride would have a Grace Is Gone death sentence as a radio release.

Do we really need a radio release? We, the obsessive-compulsive fans certainly don’t. We’ll probably hate whatever song is released, or complain about the missing verse from it (I’m looking in your direction, Grey Street). I’m speaking from more of a structural point of view here: do we really need a song written specifically for the radio? Where Are You Going was certainly written with a specific timetable to it. I would even say that the changes Grace Is Gone endured were radio influenced. I think DMB could pull a “we’re DMB, damnit” and not hold a song to three and a half minutes, and still release it to radio stations. Hello Again could hit the 4:45 mark and still get great rotation on AAA stations, and pop stations would certainly bite the bullet and play it early in its debut. It’s something for the kids in C’ville to ponder…

Lets look back to 2004 and beyond, maybe we can see what will and won’t happen in 2005.

- The tours have been pretty consistent for the last couple of years in number of shows, but that was without an album to promote. Counting all live performances, DMB or Dave did 114 gigs in 2002. When you throw in the ‘in studio’ radio shows Dave will surely do, the number of times Dave sings live should be over 100 again. All that really means is that if you want to hear the high notes sung on Pantala Naga Pampa, catch an early show.

- There is always a pattern, but that’s not a bad thing. The band will get some songs that flow well together, and they’ll alternate shows with them. If you’re on a 2 night stand, that’s a really good thing. If DMB plays 40 songs in a two-night stand, there’s a good chance you’ll hear 35 different songs.

- Just because a song is on the album, it doesn’t mean you’ll hear it live. Spoon only made two full band shows in 1998 (from Before These Crowded Streets). The softer the song, the less chance it has of making it live. Of course, Spoon made a comeback in 2003, so it doesn’t mean the song will be ‘dead’ forever.

- What ‘old’ songs will you hear? Not too many. The band will be playing the bulk of their songs from the new album, so they won’t really have the time to re-learn some infrequent tunes. Sorry You Never Know, Big Eyed Fish and Raven, I don’t think you’ll be playing in our reindeer games. Too Much, Rhyme And Reason, and So Much To Say should make their annual visits.

- Speaking of songs… yes, those songs. Was I a Fool To Think that they’d finally kill off the dreaded Everyday songs? I was… Everyone needs a lay up, so the third or fourth song every night will be a ‘short’ one (by DMB standards). Lets hope that 2005 is the time that the World Finally Ends, it won’t be So Right, and Dave won’t Have It All, and we’ll get some Song That Jane Likes and Granny. Sing it with me, “When This Song Ends, I’ll be rushing back to my seat with a beer…”

- Playing the setlist game? Here’s a freebee: Pick Too Much for the first show, first song. They’ve only opened the tour with it for the past 3 years.

- When will the album be out? Later then planned. It won’t be for any reason, but the record companies usually predict album arrivals too soon, so when you first hear of a rumored date, just remember that it’ll be off by at least a few weeks weeks, and probably months.

Have fun during the 2005 tour, and enjoy the new album! Whenever it gets here…

The views and comments expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of antsmarching.org.


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