I’m at work right now, listening to Dave Matthew’s Band through the headphones I have plugged into the back of my computer. I haven’t listened to Dave in a while; probably since I had that party at my apartment a few years ago and, after waking up the following morning in an alcoholic haze, found my collection of DMB cd’s perched in a bowl of chicken soup. It’s amazing what you miss, sometimes. Up until that point in my life, I had been a huge fan, not because I wanted to take part in the hippie, post-Greatful Dead culture, but because DMB, unlike the Dead, actually play some kick ass music.
I’m listening to the Lilywhite version of “Bartender,” which is a ten minute song that consists mostly of the band jamming and Dave screeching in time to the music. No words; just music. It’s great. I can imagine the band arguing about the lyrics to the last 6 minutes of the song, I imagine them trying a few things, not finding anything that works. Suddenly, it occurs to them. No words. “Dude,” says Carter (the drummer), “don’t say anything. Just let the music … flow.” And they did. And, lo, was it good.
It reminds me of those moments when words just don’t capture what you want to say. Those times when you’re standing on a cliff overlooking a river as the sun sets in the background. Or when you witness the birth of your first child. A particularly bad breakup with that special someone you thought would always be there. Or maybe the death of a loved one. This song reminds me of those moments in life when everything just becomes too much and you sit back, shut the hell up, and go along with the ride. The guitars jam, the saxophone wails, the drums beat a constant rhythm, and you just sit there and take it all in.
Often, you don’t notice it until the moment is past. You look back and you think that it was these moments where life seemed more real, and even though you may have stood back and merely witnessed, you felt more involved than ever. And it might be good. And it might be bad. And it might be hearbreaking or fulfilling.
But it is. And that’s all that matters.
Then Green Day comes on and you want to hit the radio with a sledgehammer.