Monday, May 5, 2014

Let Me See That Pro-o-o-o-om (That Prom Prom Prom Prom Prom)

This Friday while driving home I passed my old high school and saw the local parents setting it up for the Post Prom. The strangest thing happened at that moment, I began to think back to my prom and thought about how great a day it was.

The irony is that it wasn't that great of a day. It was just a regular day with a dance and post-prom at the end. I wasn't excited for Prom and it wasn't particularly memorable. I think that it's the same with everyone else and their prom experiences. It's much better in retrospect than it is in actuality.

Perhaps it's just me. High school I had a tight group of friends but almost none of them were in my grade. By my senior year I was mostly hanging out with College Freshmen and High School Juniors. The handful of people I was friends with from my grade got a limo and invited me to ride along and we sat at the same table. I don't want to pretend it wasn't a good time, because it was but almost everyone at that table I haven't seen for 8-10 years and I don't remember much of what happened that night.

Here is the complete list of what I remember:
1) Post Prom theme was "around the world"
2) Each student got a "poster board" that people could sign. They opened the doors to the public and my best friend Jeff (before his was my best friend) taped a picture of himself dressed as Lloyd Dubler onto my poster board
3) I won an entertainment system in the raffle that night
4) One friend sang "Who Let The Dogs Out" during karaoke. Because this was before cell phone cameras I believe no footage of this glorious moment exists.

I think the problem is Movies (you'll see this come up a lot actually). The modern teen flick as taught us that Prom is this amazing night where all your best friends are there and it's your last party before going away to college. But not everyone moves away for college, most  people are friends with more people than specifically the people that they graduated with among other things. All in all Prom had absolutely zero effect on the rest of my life, despite what the world of cinema will have you believe.

I think the problem is that Prom is SUPPOSED to symbolize something about the end of the high school. There were a lot of things that were emotional symbolize of the end of high school, the yearbook signing party, the class trip to Disney, the senior variety show… but the Prom never felt significant to me. I think the problem is that those other things, were exclusive to seniors. There was no Junior Variety Show, the Freshmen didn't host a yearbook signing party, the Sophomore's class trip wasn't to Disney World but we all had some version of a class dance (including a Junior Prom) and those dances all basically felt the same… specifically if you were a wallflower like myself.

I'm not sure why something so insignificant to 18 year old Matt feels like it should be more significant to 28 year old man. Perhaps it truly is just that the "adult" (ha) in me is starting to believe the hype of teen flicks.

Regardless Class of 2014 I hope you all had a good and safe prom this past week.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dave Matthews Bland

No band has ever left me as split on my opinion quite like Dave Matthews Band. My enjoyment of their music is constant in flux between one of my favorite bands of the 90's and one of my least favorite bands of all time. My opinion changes daily.

When I first heard Dave Matthews Band I hated them. I remember the first song I ever heard by them was Ants Marching. Right off the bat the rocker in me wasn't pleased. I wanted to hear Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins and Alanis Morissette. I was rock and rock only (with some minor hip-hop exceptions) and this folk-y shit with Kenny G sax was not what I wanted on my MTV

I continued to hate most of the Dave Matthews Songs I heard (I didn't mind What Would You Say too much) and as I got older it felt like my school was filling up with more and more DMB fans. Ironically as much as I disliked Dave Matthews Band by the time I was in High School the only song I did like was now Ants Marching. That should have been my first hint that this was a band that I'd having a changing opinion towards.

I remember the first time I heard a song by DMB that I genuinely loved. I was laying in bed listening to y100 and they played a Dave Matthews Song (yuck), god it was so slow and stupid… although I do like that bassline… this is pretty bluesy actually… I kinda dig it. Wait what was that Dave? Crazy I'm thinking just knowing that the world is round and here I'm standing on the ground am I right side up or upside down and is this real at all or am I dreaming? You know Dave? that's a pretty good question.

It wasn't until college I finally found out the name of that song (Crush if you're curious) somehow I didn't hear it more than two or three times after that night in high school. By then the internet had introduced me to Napster… and then took it away… and introduced Limewire… and took it away… so using frostwire I finally owned the stupid song.

I can't explain what lead to me buying five Dave Matthews Band albums. I blame it on Crush. I enjoyed that song so much that I became curious of what else was out there and since people are always unloading their Dave Matthews albums for $1 or less at used CD stores and flea markets I figured what the fuck and bought a few. Unsurprisingly to me I found every album completely mediocre, I loved a few songs (but most of them radio songs that I liked more out of nostalgia than anything) and was bored by others.

Last week I found myself questioning why I still own those albums and decided to listen to them again. Under the Table and Dreaming I thought was great when it started but around the mid-way point I felt bored… it wasn't terrible I just wasn't interested in it. Crash however I loved suddenly. So much so that I wanted to listen to it again the next day… and then I disliked it again. The exact same thing happened with Before These Crowded Streets (although Crush is still a masterpiece). Quite literally in less than 24 hours songs I loved became songs that bored me to death.

Talking to other people I discovered that I'm not alone in this opinion, for some reason your enjoyment of Dave's music hinges strictly on the mood of the day. I don't have an logical explanation for this though, so I'm gonna blame it on the sax player.