Tag Archives: Live

Remember Two Things, Part III: Recently

The third song on Remember Two Things is “Recently.” This is the only “studio” album this song shows up on, even though it’s a live version, so I will treat it like it is its first appearance on a studio album.

Lyrics.

Song Meaning: Despite rumors of other meanings (see link), it’s mostly about a woman (Julia Gray) getting a man (Dave) to break out of his shell.

Live Version:

Total Play Count: 510

Album Ranking: 5/10

“Recently” is one of those songs that has become a “live gem,” that isn’t played all too much, and seeing as it never officially made an album via recording studio, it is all the more satisfying to hear played live.

Considering this was only the third song every created by DMB, it has all the characteristics that make up the early works of the band. The songs lyrics clearly show the song is about a relationship of sorts that draws attention to the speaker (i.e. Dave). Now, Dave has never fully confirmed what the song is about, but rumors have flown around about it involving a black girlfriend from the 8th grade, but there is no proof.

This music of this song is what really makes it fun. It has a somewhat of a Paul Simon feel to it with the guitar and violin-picking intro. It’s a very mellow song that has a lulling saxophone part barely playing underneath the song. Eventually, Dave breaks the song into a quicker pace with the line, “She comes to me, I watch her drink, I watch her comb her hair.”

After the song breaks open, there is a lot of repetition with the lyrics, but the solos come into play, as well as a more full sound from the accompanying instruments. The back and forth of the dynamics makes it a fun song.

My favorite part of this version, and, well any version, is the combined solos followed by the stop-notes played after each. We have LeRoi on the sax (hit), Dave on the guitar (hit hit), LeRoi on the sax (hit hit hit), and Boyd on the violin (hit hit hit hit) followed by a hoe-down outro with a killer drum beat by Carter and another killer piece from LeRoi to lead right into a few my lyrics from Dave and the end of the song.

With this version of “Recently,” there is not as much expansion upon the parts, but it is still a clean and fun version. As the third song on their first album, The Dave Matthews Band definitely has a good showing for what they are all about.

I think another thing that really sticks out about not only this song, but other earlier songs by DMB, is the simplicity¬†of their instruments. Currently, Carter Beauford has about 47 pieces to his drum set, LeRoi (and Jeff) have about 10+ wind instruments, Stefan has 2 or 3 bass guitars, Boyd has a sweet electric violin, and Dave has about 3 or 4 different guitars he uses. The early stuff, though, has the simple feel to it that older equipment has. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just something to note.

Taking all into consideration, I love this song. It has the essentials to show what a great, original Dave Matthews Band song is, and while it gets better with age, it is still great in its most pure form.

Rating: 3.5/5

Next Song: “Satellite”

Remember Two Things, Part II: Tripping Billies

As one of the more ‘carpe diem’ songs the Dave Matthews Band has, “Tripping Billies” is one of those songs were you can just have a good time while you listen to it. This song fits in well on summer tours when you can be outside listening to DMB, and this song comes on and makes you feel glad it’s the summer time.

And one thing to remember, while this is a ‘studio’ album, this song (along with “Ants Marching” and “Recently”) are live songs. Just an FYI.

(Due to this song appearing on another album, and being live, I will not include lyrics/meaning/versions, etc.)

Total Play Count: 893

Album Ranking: 2

I know I promised that I would be discussing lyrics as well, and possibly posting them all, but I’ve decided to do this when we first get to the recorded version of the song, just so you can experience it in its truest form. Well, now that I’ve got that out of the way…

“Eat Drink and Be Merry.” That is the main message from this song, and one that most DMB fans, and especially the ones that are only vaguely familiar, remember. And, it’s not a bad motto to live by.

With this version from Remember Two Things, you once again see the band in their early stages, and really receive a true essence of the song. As with “Ants Marching,” “Tripping Billies” has the subtle undertones of violin throughout the whole song, and then when Dave yells, “Check ’em out Boyd, yeah,” Boyd Tinsley displays his solo-abilities on violin. This will become one of his more famous solo’s, between this song and “Ants Marching,” and it is where he takes over the stage.

The technical aspects of the song are all great. The drums hit it home, once again, and really give you the mood of the song. Something I noticed about the drums in this song, at least in the intro, is that Carter seems to use a lot more of the drums and less of the cymbals than he does nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, as long as Carter Beauford is playing, you will never hear me complain, and this is no exception, but it’s just interesting to note that he is more drum-oriented in the early days.

One thing to really notice about this version of “Tripping Billies,” though, is how strongly Dave’s main guitar riff comes through. In countless other songs and versions of songs, especially as the band becomes more well-known, and their equipment gets better and their sound gets louder, is that often times the guitar riff is more hidden by the other parts. In this version, however, it comes out nicely underneath the drums in the verse lines.

Once again, LeRoi Moore adds some awesome flair to this song, providing little excerpts at the end of the chorus that ties it into the bridge and back to the verse or chorus again. As the songs go on and the years as well, LeRoi Moore gets better and better, but it’s always nice to check back in to where he came from, and it doesn’t disappoint.

All in all, this song has nothing wrong with it. I almost hate trying to rank it, because I have so many newer versions of Tripping Billies in my mind right now that I am trying to fight back. There are things about the older version that I love, but more things about the newer versions that I love, which I will inevitably get to. That being said, it is not my favorite version of this song by any means, but I don’t hate it by any means either.

Rating: 3.5/5

Next Song: “Recently”

Remember Two Things, Part I: Ants Marching

28 snare hits.

That’s how the first song of the first album ever released by the Dave Matthews Band starts.

For those somewhat familiar with DMB’s live material, every live performance of “Ants Marching” starts with snare hits from drummer Carter Beauford, and then the intro picks up with Boyd Tinsley on the violin and LeRoi Moore on the sax. But on Remember Two Things, it takes 28 hits until Carter counts in and you hear the violin and sax take over.

(Due to this song being a live version, and appearing on another album, I will not be listing lyrics/meaning/versions, etc)

Total Play Count: 1,078

Album Ranking: 1/10

If you compare this song to any of the live versions of “Ants Marching” post-1999, you can tell how different they are. One of the refreshing things about this song after listening to newer versions is the simple nature of it. The violin is basic in the intro. The saxophone is so smooth and the little melodies LeRoi puts in his part is exactly what made him one of the best jazz musicians around. Even though LeRoi Moore was more of a reserved performer, didn’t go for the crazy solos or the spotlight to be on him often, but he could blow you away with the things he could do with the saxophone. This song is one of my favorites to just close my eyes and listen to what LeRoi can do in the first 2 minutes of the song. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but it certainly is genius.

Once Dave’s voice comes in, you can tell this is definitely an earlier work. Dave was never the first to get up on stage and sing, and was always more reluctant to do so. In this version of the song you can sense that unfamiliarity in his voice. Also, his voice is still quite high and he can still hit some falsettos, which isn’t much in his range in the late 2000’s.

With this version of “Ants Marching,” you really get the basics of the song. When we get to Under the Table and Dreaming, which is the next album up for review, we will have the studio version of the song to compare this to. However, as the song matures and progresses with the band, the experience and the inventions of different aspects of the songs come with that.

Another thing about this song that I noticed while listening to it is that it has a much slower tempo than what it will later become. As one of the first performances of this song, it’s cool to listen to where the song started. Each piece of this song, the violin, the saxophone, the main guitar, the bass guitar and of course the drums, each comes through in this version. The underlying violin part comes through nicely under Dave’s voice. Carter’s drums keep the steady pace throughout the song, along with Stefan’s bass part.

The main thing that I take away from this song, which I’ve said about five times now, is how simplistic this version is, and how it shows where the song originated and how much it has evolved from.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Up next: “Tripping Billies”