Podcasts | Political Beats

Episode 2: Bob Costa / Dave Matthews Band

Introducing the Band

Your hosts @ScotBertram and @EsotericCD, with guest Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post and moderator of Washington Week on PBS: follow him on Twitter at @CostaReports and read his reporting here. (Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters)
Bob's Musical Pick
Dave Matthews Band. How did he get into them? Jeff recounts his conversion from snobbish dismissal to admiration.
The Band's Early Years
Bob & company discuss DMB's scrappy early years, how they grew from a local southern Virginia act to a college rock phenomenon through relentless gigging and fan-friendly taping policies at their concerts. An appreciation of Before These Crowded Streets leads into a discussion of the two earlier albums that set it up: Under The Table And Dreaming and Crash.
KEY TRACKS: "Rapunzel" (Before These Crowded Streets, 1998); "Stay (Wasting Time)" (Before These Crowded Streets, 1998); "Don't Drink The Water" (Before These Crowded Streets, 1998); "Halloween (live 12/21/02)" (Warehouse 5, volume 3, 2003); "Crush" (Before These Crowded Streets, 1998); "Warehouse" (Under The Table And Dreaming, 1995); "Ants Marching" (Under The Table And Dreaming, 1995); "#41"³ (Crash, 1996);
Dave Matthews Band As a Live Act
This is really where the action is with DMB, as all agree. Scot singles out Tim Reynolds as Matthews' key collaborator outside the band, with a nod to the Live At Luther College album. Jeff goes on an extended rant about Boyd Tinsley's awfulness as a live performer, both as an uninspired soloist and an out-of-tune clodhopper whose questionable violin pitching slaughters promising material around it. Bob vehemently disagrees and cites evidence!
KEY TRACKS: "Minarets (live 2/6/96)" [Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds] (Live At Luther College, 1999); "Crash Into Me" [Dave Matthews & Time Reynolds] (Live At Luther College, 1999); "Don't Drink The Water (live 4/22/07)" [Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds] (Live At Radio City, 2007); "#41 (live 12/19/98)" (Live In Chicago, 2001); "Last Stop (live 6/21/98)" (Boyd Tinsley at his absolute worst); "Lie In Our Graves (live 8/15/95)" (Live At Red Rocks, 1997)
The Lost "Lillywhite Sessions," and the Problematic Follow-ups
The gang discusses the Great Lost Dave Matthews Album, the collapse of which in 2000 turned DMB to a much more simplified, pop-oriented songwriting path. Jeff still thinks that "Grey Street" is a great song, though.
KEY TRACKS: "JTR" (The Lillywhite Sessions, 2000); "Sweet Up And Down" (The Lillywhite Sessions, 2000); "Monkey Man" (The Lillywhite Sessions, 2000); "The Space Between" (Everyday, 2001); "Everyday" (Everyday, 2001); "Grey Street" (Busted Stuff, 2002)
To the Present Day
Is DMB in its inevitable twilight phase? Has the band recovered from the death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore? Jeff cites his friend's theory of the DMB's evolution as a fractured or reverse-bildungsroman (it's less pretentious than it sounds, but still pretty pretentious). The gang discusses whether their live act has kept up with its classic earlier tours and Bob names his favorite live era of DMB.
KEY TRACKS: "Grux" (Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King, 2009); "Why I Am" (Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King, 2009); "Belly Full" (Away From The World, 2012); "Sweet" (Away From The World, 2012);
Final Thoughts
Bob, Jeff and Scot present their "2 albums and 5 songs" recommendations for DMB.
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