I’ve been a casual Dave Matthews Band since the beginning. Maybe not the very beginning, but definitely since What Would You Say.
My friend, Anne, on the other hand, is a die-hard DMBer. Dave Matthews Band is to Anne, as Indigo Girls is to Colin. Though, Anne is also a die-hard IG fan.
This summer, Anne went to about 1,000 DMB concerts. This year, with each ticket purchase, concert-goers also received a copy of the new CD, Come Tomorrow in the mail. I don’t understand how the album makes any money this way, though I’m hopeful there was a method to the madness. If it was simply to get the music into more hands, it worked! Anne sent me a copy and it’s been great background music the past month.
Last night, I had a dream I was listening to the album, learning the track names, and lyrics. I love when I have music dreams, but I knew that this was because Anne was still waiting to hear my first impressions and I hadn’t made the time to sit with Come Tomorrow yet.
Until today! So here we go, Anne! You asked for it!
I’m already impressed with the first track, Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin). It doesn’t necessarily pack the punch within it’s straightforwardness, and though it seems to be about the birth of a child, it sounds like it could be some sort of mythological story.
“The day you came,
Oh joy begin,
Weak little thing….
Let’s not forget these early days
Remember we begin the same
We lose our way in fear and pain….
Black magic bliss
First broken bone
Sudden and swift
I would love to hear Tori Amos cover this. Maybe even with a snippet of her own song, Samurai as an intro. It’s an old b-side / improv that has come to life just a few times on stage in various incarnations.
“And I’m free
You know me
I’m gonna be
The dial tone after track one is a great sound effect to enter the rest of the album with.
She has answered.
Can’t Stop packs the punch I was talking about with that groovy snap and soaring vocals! Sounds like it actually could have been on the Everyday album. It burns with yearning. I love the pounding brass, and the extended outro.
“I have tripped and I have fallen into
this somehow beautiful but not beautiful
I mean, I found myself in a beautiful place but
I know that I will lose my soul
So hungry you make me…”
Here On Out is gorgeous with the strings layered behind the pushing picking of the lead guitar. Another love song.
“When you laugh its like
a light that fills me up
‘Cause you are my love….
When I’m all used up
Old and breaking apart
Like a storm out
the stars in my blood
All because of you
You are my love…”
That Girl Is You has got those summer vibes! Whoever this girl is that Dave is singing about must feel real admired, that’s for sure!
So far, I feel like this is the story of a boy falling in love. It starts in the future with the birth of a child, and it’s the dial tone that brings you back in time, when “out of the corner of my eye, I caught you walking by, I chase you down…” in Here On Out. Then, the introductions happen in The Girl Is You: “What’s your name, how do you do?… I saw a girl, the way she moved, it changed the way I see the world…”
Speaking of, that girl, we find out in She, that she maybe even be a witch! Or at least she’s got some love potion.
“She hypnotizes me with her groove
She collect the stars she super moon….
She is burned in the middle of my soul
If you wait too long, the juju is gone….
She makes me feel like I’m fall under
She a spell I cannot brad no wonder…”
Idea Of You begins with the sound of a wild live audience, and I feel like we are in the future again. The song quickly regains focus as the crowd fades out. The narrator is transported back to when he was young, before he introduced himself to her. He remembers how excited the idea of her made him. The fantasy the childlike anticipation creates, like Christmas morning, when your mind’s eye fills in the blanks to create the ultimate idea of something, or someone. I’m sure the time it took for her to recognize him was agonizing, as he was infatuated with the mystery of falling in love.
I don’t know if the he and her in this story ever came to be, though. Or maybe they did and she’s now gone gone gone, leaving him with just the idea of her, like he began so simply with all those years ago.
Virginia In The Rain
“Don’t want to say goodbye to you
The summer always ends too soon….
And I will capture your flag
Take a rocket ship to the moon and back
We’ll build castes in the riverbank
Don’t ever grow up too fast
we’ll turn up the music and dance….
Let’s make believe this is gonna last
Forever doesn’t seem long enough….
I will hold you up over my head,
spread your wings and fly through the air…”
A dreamscape of humid rain with promises in the air. Adventurous, young lovers explore acres of natures. The verses hypnotic, but the chorus reflects the familiar DMB melodies we’ve grown accustom to.
Right off the bat, the riff to Again and Again mirrors its title with the pulsing band’s volley. The rain has stopped, the sky has cleared, and summer steam is lifting as this ode to Mother Nature ruptures up through the quaking Earth.
“Mama save me save me
Mama bless me to my bones….
and the love you give to me
Mama I’m gonna
give it back to you...”
With a love poem to her in the middle:
“All the stars
In the sky
In your eyes
Reachin’ out for you
Just to kiss your mouth….
Sweet poison sting lets me see
I’ll be your king
Cause you are my queen…”
After Again and Again, there is a funky short interlude, bkdkdkdd. I must admit, I don’t understand the title, but it definitely feels like an end cap to the first half of Come Tomorrow. The steam may have cleared, but there’s still humidity in nude Virginia, sparkling after the storm.
Black and Blue Bird. Inspired by the Beatles? We are now back where we began. Present day for the narrator.
“I got a job and it pays me
I want love more than I deserve
I read the paper it makes me crazy
Gotta be a way to make it work…”
As a certain amount of the excitement of new life is lost in the mundane staleness of pattern, the burden of reincarnation starts to weigh him down.
“I know that dyin’ is scary to us
But everybody do it
One, two, three
On a sidewalk
A dandelion is reaching
From a crack up to the sun…”
Black and Blue Bird is full of wanting and dreaming and astrology references. Remembering the a life with someone, the trip to the moon and back and how he’d do it all again if it meant just one more day before starting over again.
Come On Come On begins with the sexy drums and the Shania-like strings. I could drive to this song.
In another dream, a level of realization has been reached as he is shot by Cupid’s arrow. He is asking her to follow him back.
“There is a time for holding onto
And there is a time for letting go.”
Turn, turn, turn.
The heart of Come On Come On fades and rebirth blooms in Do You Remember. Upon waking up, more memories have been unlocked. You can almost hear the memories sprouting in the sparse backing vocals. The effervescence of the previous dream has lingered into the waking life, spotlighting heroic confidence in the summer of love. It’s always a summer of love. Like the renewed source of sunlight, again and again, day after day. The future can only get brighter.
Come Tomorrow (the song) is the actionable follow-up to Funny The Way It Is off of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. It’s a bright, clear new day. He’s humble and he’s found a way to ‘pay it forward.’ Sounds like celebration.
Through his loneliness, if he remembers how good compassion feels, he will continue to find a way to spread kindness. We’re all on the ride together.
Curtain close. Encore.
When I’m Weary is the moral of the story in the form of a lullaby sung off the starboard side of the ship. The best piece of advice to end on:
“When you’re weary
When you’re tired
To keep on going”