“Under Covers”: Singing nancies release DMB tribute album
From casual listeners to die-hard Daveheads, DMB fans comprise a corps not seen since the heyday of the KISS Army of the 1970s– whose object of affection also attained superstar status via its live concerts and savvy marketing.
In this age, that means websites. Among the 307 unofficial fan sites listed on DMBlinks.com, perhaps none is more popular than Charlottesville’s own Nancies.org, created and operated by web gadfly and DMB ambassador-at-large Waldo Jaquith.
Launched on July 31, 1998, Nancies.org now boasts 19,200 registered members, and Jaquith says the site will likely reach 20,000 by the time this column is printed. Registered members represent only a fraction of the site's visitors, he adds, noting that more than 250,000 fans visit the site regularly. Besides these formidable figures, Nancies.org is the recipient of two consecutive “My VH-1 Best Fan Site” awards (2000 and 2001).
But now members of the Nancies community have upped the ante. A dozen musically inclined– and a few musically impaired– members have collaborated for a unique tribute album, Under The Covers And Dreaming: a nancies.org Dave Matthews Band Tribute.
Kevin Lewis, 33-year-old president of an Atlanta-based electronics firm and an amateur musician, joined Nancies.org two years ago. Though he had incorporated several DMB songs into his performances at clubs around Atlanta, the idea of a tribute album had never occurred to him– until he noticed a post on Nancies.org and recorded “Christmas Song.” Still, nothing transpired until another Nancies member, Pat Pensyl (who lives only 40 miles from Lewis), picked up the gauntlet and began compiling submissions.
“Each song was recorded individually by fans,” Lewis’ website says, but adds the caveat: “Some recordings are very professional. Some are not. There was no judging involved in deciding the final tracks. Everyone that submitted something got on.”
Nevertheless, demand for the CD has been “tremendous,” says Lewis. The website has received more than 13,000 hits since July 17 for the mp3 downloads and more than 250 requests for the mailings from as far away as South Africa. That’s more than enough interest, Lewis says, for a second volume, which is already in the works.
“We can’t take a lick of credit for it,” says Nancies.org honcho Jaquith. But he’s nonetheless impressed.
“Given the budget of $0, the cast of all-amateur musicians, and complete lack of recording facilities, I think that this really turned out quite well. I particularly like the songs in which the performer didn't merely parrot the Dave Matthews Band, but attempted to provide their own flavor,” says Jaquith.
Lewis hopes the band will eventually hear the disc.
“They’ll laugh at some of the tracks,” he admits, “but as the cliché goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Band of Nancies: Nancies.org member Kevin Lewis performs in Atlanta. Cover artwork from the Nancies.org DMB tribute album Under The Covers And Dreaming.
Almost the “World’s Best Drummer”
According to Drum magazine, Carter Beauford very nearly is the “World’s Best Drummer,” ranking as first runner-up in both that category and “Best Alternative Drummer” in the magazine’s annual poll published in the August/September issue.
Rolling Stone: “Grace” is really “gone”
Editors at Rolling Stone have selected “Grace Is Gone” as their choice for best song from the Busted Stuff in the magazine’s August 20 edition– "a haunting, pastoral jam that rambles between country and psychedelia.”
Esquire: It's okay to dig DMB
Esquire magazine’s August “Index” (the mag’s brief lists of things every man should know) are “Five Essential Summer Tours,” including DMB, albeit recognized with this backhand compliment: “We’re man enough to cop a soft spot for DMB.” The other four “essential” tours include Moby, Lauryn Hill, Tom Petty, and Billy Idol. Billy Idol?
“Quit screaming for your favorite song”
When quizzed by VH-1 on requests, Matthews had this to say: "Sometimes we do that. Other times we refuse to play songs because people ask for them so frequently that we will never— we won’t play them until people stop asking.”
Where are they going?
According to Rolling Stone, locals can expect to see little of Dave around town after the current tour ends early next month. Matthews, the article reports, will spend time with his family in Seattle, where wife Ashley attends graduate school; Tinsley will complete his forthcoming solo album; Lessard will busy himself writing his own songs; and drummer Beauford is interested in scoring films. As for LeRoi Moore? RCA’s Bruce Flohr, who signed the band to the label in the mid 1990s, says he hopes the saxophonist has some spare time for studio sessions. “I would have that guy blow a horn on any record out there,” says Flohr.
According to an August 8 Billboard and Nancies.org item, DMB’s final Bama Rags release, "Remember Two Things," a five-song EP, recently achieved platinum status (shipments of one million copies). So now all the band's recordings have achieved at least platinum status, with a combined total of more the 25 million albums sold. The best seller to date is Crash, which has sold seven million copies.
“Everyday” video nominated
"Everyday," the video partially filmed in Charlottesville starring hug-hungry Josh Friedlander, has been nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the "Best Group Video" category. The awards air Thursday, August 29, at 9pm.
Matthews a Farm Aid headliner
The September 21 lineup stars co-founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young, as well as Matthews, who will perform a solo set as he did at last year’s event. Matthews was elected to the group’s board of directors last year. The benefit concert will be telecast live on Country Music Television.
Wherehouse: DMB’s tardy side
Only four months and five days after DMBeat send its $30 membership fee to the Warehouse, the goods have finally arrived.