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In Honor of Dave Matthews’ Birthday, Here are Some of My Favorite Songs

I can’t believe I almost missed it. I’m currently battling a bout of insomnia, so its 2:27 local time, and I found out I’ve narrowly missed Dave Matthews’ birthday. Lucky for me, I identify as living on Hawaiian time, so its actually 10:27 pm and I have a few hours left. 

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to Dave Matthews band. I was in the 5th grade and I was listening to the radio with my recordable cassette tape waiting for In the End by Linking Park to come on so I could complete my mixtape for Stacy Niedermeyer. I was giving it to her as a gift so she would hopefully let me kiss her. I was hoping for a little more (talking second base, folks) but I cannot, in good conscience, type out the words “I wanted to touch under her training bra” or else I’m pretty sure I’ll have the FBI at my door faster than you can say “we were both consenting 10 year olds.” 

Anyways, the song Everyday came on by good old Dave and I didn’t think too highly of it. Now years later, I realize my lack of appreciation comes from the fact that at the time I heard the song, I had never previously: smoked weed mixed with lawn clippings, played ultimate frisbee, or went three weeks without a shower in an attempt to have dreadlocks. 

Cut me a break, guys, I was 10. Now at age 27, I have come full circle. Every time Dave goes on tour, I contemplate purchasing $200 lawn tickets just so I can sit through hours of B-side tracks that revolve around a fucking saxophone and some bass lines in the hopes that they’ll come out for a fourth encore and play Crash. 

Dave Matthews band is the type of music that I’m required to enjoy by law if I want to be considered a millennial white male. So for that, I thank you David Matthews, and here are a few of my favorite songs of yours. 

Boy With a Coin by Iron and Wine

Dave really captured the essence of the guitar on this one. You can’t really understand what he’s saying, but can you understand him on any of his songs? As long as you do some sort of Kermit the frog impression and move your lips really fast, more often than not, you’re on the right track as far as knowing the lyrics. As a HUGE Dave fan, this song is one of my favorites. 

In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer

This song always wows me. Dave weirdly plays live much better than he does in studio. The haters would say it’s because he spends all of his label’s money on pot brownies and acting lessons for cameos in Adam Sandler movies instead of quality studio production, but who needs a producer who knows how to actually record your music when thousands of UVA students are contractually required to buy tickets to your concerts every summer?

Levels by Avicii

Wanna be the life of the party? Crank this classic Dave track out of the after market subwoofer in your hand me down 2005 Honda Civic. Sure you couldn’t afford a full sound system upgrade and three of your speakers are blown, at least the bass is kicking for this song as well as the intro to Ants Marching. 

Ocean by John Butler Trio

This is a legitimately incredible song. I don’t even have an ironic joke for this one. If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen. 

Don’t Get Drunk With Your White Friends by Kat Williams

This is some of Dave’s finest work. White people really do be drinking whatever they can get they hands on. I still haven’t been able to decipher exactly what he was drinking when he said he was drinking with his white friends. Coffee and Sambuca? Sambuca is an anise flavored liqueur, similar in flavor to black licorice. Really? Are his friends fucking psychopaths? Who is drinking coffee based alcohol? I guess it was the times before Four Loko… Or cocaine. In college, I witnessed a dude pour 5 handles of everclear, a jug of Carlo Rossi red wine, 5 cans of pink lemonade juice concentrate, 3-2 liters of sprite, a bunch of crystal light powder, and he topped it all of with water into a literal trash can and he pulled out a ladle and solo cups like some kind of date rape soup kitchen. It was offensive to look at and the fumes alone put me over the legal driving limit. Don’t get drunk with white people indeed.  

So that’s really it. Dave Matthews is a legendary musician and occasional actor with hundreds of hours of catalogued music. Yet somehow, we only know like 5 of his songs. I wish him the happiest of birthdays and many more to come. 

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