Today, Depeche Mode’s new album, Sounds of the Universe, comes out. As many know, they are my favorite band, and I got to meet them at 14 through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the highlight of my existence until I got laid.




Today’s date is a triumph for the band, but the date of April 21st conjures up bad memories in my own musicial career as Synthetic Division...

Eight years ago to the day, local, conquering legends, The Dave Matthews Band, were returning to town to play UVA’s football’s home, Scott Stadium.  I was starting to get some momentum as a one-piece synth act in Charlottesville, and figured it was time for a big move, something that would really get folks talking.  I booked a show at the Tokyo Rose’s “The Dawning” Goth night, a 150-or-so person capacity room.

Then I made up these flyers, which were posted around town.   


dave-matthews-synthetic-division.jpg

This flyer was REALLY posted in Charlottesville, Virginia, likely to the horror of the public.



Things were looking good for the upset, but Matthews has people in town.  The word must have gotten back to them because at the last minute, Neil Young was brought in to open for DMB, outdrawing me by about 49,850 people.  Without Young tapping into my fanbase, who knows what would have happened on April 21, 2001?

Their spot secured, Dave Matthews and his band left town victorious.  All I was left with was a Purple Heart Award in the C’ville Weekly’s post-Dave show coverage.  I wanted the cover and one word: TRIUMPH. 

This past weekend, DMB returned to play two shows, picking at the unhealed, bloody scab of a hemophiliac trying to clot.  Trying to forget what could have been.   As I look back at that ill-fated Battle of the Bands, my old buddies in the Mode are here once again, just like they were in those early teen years when I discovered them. 

Positively Yours,
Shawn


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