Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Woke up. New song playing in the brain. Today’s choice: Dave Matthews Band Too Much.

For me this song is about greed and excess, making everything ours until there’s nothing left for anyone else. But somewhere in there is a self-awareness that it’s happening; the narrator knows he eats, drinks and wants too much.

The lyrics are a bit mysterious and trying to figure out what others think just makes me more curious what the real meaning is behind the song. But, as I’ve said before, I don’t really want to know.

Knowing has the potential to dull the meaning those words have to me on a personal level and I like to feel what a song evokes in me. Not someone else’s interpretation of what the prose means.

The thing is though, it really doesn’t matter what song I hear by this band. It could be the sweetest love song, overtly sexual in nature, about drugs I’ve never done, things I can’t even understand because the lyrics are so shrouded. Doesn’t matter.

Any song I hear reminds me of a time I’ve seen them live. Because, if you’re a Dave fan at all, you know that the live shows can be a life-altering experience if you let them into your soul.

I tried going back in my head to pull out all of the shows I’ve seen and where they were but for some reason the list feels too short.

Must’ve smoked those memories away.

Irony is I probably did so at one of their shows.

The first time I could afford to see the band live, their second album (the one that pretty much put them on the widespread pop music map), Crash, had already been out for a couple years. In fact, Before These Crowded Streets was also already out, released just months before I finally got to see them live.

Both discs I bought on the date they were released, because once I got my ears on Under the Table and Dreaming in the mid-nineties, I knew they’d be a band I followed for life.

So far, not wrong.

I loved the subtle nuances in Dave’s vocals, his ability to scat with a bluegrass accent. Plus, anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge sucker for a male falsetto. I loved that they mixed sassy brass with moody strings and drum beats so syncopated nobody but Carter could play those beats.

The only way I could describe them is to say they made folk/pop/jug band/bluegrass/rock fusion music. Sounds like a mess but what makes their style cool is that, every time I listen I hear, experience, something new.

And now, after 20 years since the release of Crash (almost to the day!) I’m sure it’s no accident I woke up tapping my toes to the first single the band released from that album.

Today, that song makes me think of nothing more than the current state of our country, the current state of the world. These are interesting times my friends. And these times make me wish there was some kind of teleportation device we could jump in to go back and warn ourselves of the impending doom we brought on ourselves by being greedy motherfuckers.

I know it probably sounds dark and morbid but I can’t help it. Three-quarters of the country is brainwashed into believing everything they hear on the news and the other 25% just want a simple life where all of the politicians and droning bobbleheads leave us alone to be the grown-ups we’ve become by thinking for ourselves.

A life where we get to do our jobs, live without fear, listen to some great music and prioritize love over everything else in this fucked up world.

Is that too much to ask?

Or, I guess I should rephrase that – why is that too much to ask?

This blog isn’t usually somewhere I get political or tackle major world issues. In fact, I tend to keep that stuff to the small circle of people that I feel comfortable enough to discuss those issues with without all of us flying off the handle and de-friending each other because our opinions might differ.

So I’m not about to start ranting about conspiracy theories or the like right now. Suffice to say, I love the song because it helps me understand when enough is enough. Like right now. Otherwise I’m just wasting breath, time, and frankly if I’m going to use my breath I’d rather be singing along to Dave.

“I mean, you never know, maybe you’re dreaming.”

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


Launna said...

Jenn, I sometimes wish we could go back and warn ourselves... what's going on in the states right now scares me a lot... I am hoping for the best but only time will tell... another great entry about your memory of a song... I keep remembering more too... xox

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah, things down here are a bit crazy to say the least. I just keep thinking about where things went wrong, at what point did people decide it was okay to marginalize each other? So much division when instead we should be coming together. Have a great week my friend!