The world is a tiny place. It used to be big. Huge even! So huge that we didn’t even know the fucker was round! Crazy, right? Now it’s so small that I can write a blog post about meeting the stepdad of a famous musician and hear back from that musician via Twitter in a matter of minutes. And it’s so small that we can be several places at once. Thanks to the world wide web of information, just as we can watch every single game of the NCAA basketball tournament, we can now attend music festivals from thousands of miles away, and last weekend was a great example. Throughout the weekend, Coachella was webcasting performances, 3 at a time, and I was in heaven. And though I’m not going to argue that watching on my laptop beats being there in person, there is one HUGE advantage.
I’ve been to Bonnaroo twice, in 2004 and 2005, and one of the most difficult things about the monster music festival experience (aside from not showering for 3 days and being around other people who haven’t showered in 3 days) is the decision-making. One band vs. another that’s scheduled to play at the same time. It’s downright painful in the moment, and there’s around a 95% chance that you will despise your decision a few years later (Jack Johnson over the Black Crowes haunts me to this day). But there I was on Friday night, zooming from Dawes to Arctic Monkeys and back in the blink of an eye. Like I said, heaven. But Saturday was a little more stressful. As I left the Trillions’ CD release show, holding two new CDs, one sticker and a whole mess of excitement, I was also lugging around a serious sense of urgency.
OK, Dawes. I understand that you can’t help writing beautiful and moving songs. But that’s no reason to go around making people get all misty in public places. See, I had no idea what I was getting into when, during one of my embarrassingly frequent trips to Panera, I hit play and heard the opening piano line of “A Little Bit of Everything.” All I knew was that my friend Mike liked the song and that it involved biscuits and beans — this much I gleaned from Mike casually singing a few lines. Maybe I’m alone here, but in my experience, beans haven’t often been part of emotionally charged songs (though the lyric in “We’re Gonna Make It” about having to eat beans every day offers a quality exception), so let’s just say I was caught a little off-guard. But I’m so glad it happened. Not knowing what “A Little Bit Of Everything” was about afforded me the most wonderfully pure, tear-jerking listening experience I could have hoped for. But this is not sentiment for sentiment’s sake. And I think I know a thing or two about sentiment for sentiment’s sake, having rewatched two-thirds of The Notebook last weekend. Each of the song’s three verses tells a nuanced story that hits on different emotional pressure points, as if Taylor Goldsmith imagined himself an engineer at a power plant, deftly opening and closing valves to maintain just the right level of internal pressure, ensuring that the whole thing doesn’t explode (as opposed to The Notebook, which is of course the Chernobyl of this analogy). See what I mean by checking out the acoustic performance of “A Little Bit Of Everything” above, the studio version and Dawes’ infinitely lovable anthem “When My Time Comes” below, and click here to buy Dawes’ most recent album, Nothing Is Wrong.