This afternoon, President Obama made his first trip to Saudi Arabia. This trip marks the beginning of his five-day visit to the Middle East, where he hopes to talk to the powers that be about improving relations between the Muslim world and the United States. He also hopes to have discussions that will lead to real progress towards diffusing the ticking-time-bomb that surrounds the strained relationship between the Arab world and Israel. This visit to Saudi Arabia comes on the eve of President Obama’s highly anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Cairo. Many are optimistic about the visit and have high hopes for what the Obama administration will accomplish. From the Times: “Officials in Saudi Arabia and Egypt said that Mr. Obama had already made progress on his Middle East agenda, having restored some confidence that the United States is interested in and serious about pushing for a Middle East settlement.” It’s been one crisis after another for Obama since January, it seems, so let’s hope that things go smoothly.
The Dave Matthews Band has also had a tough year so far. One of their founding members, saxophonist LeRoi Moore, died last August from complications from an ATV accident at his farm. The title of their latest album, just released this week, “Big Whisky and the GrooGrux King,” is in memoriam of LeRoi’s nickname, Grux. Since their formation in 1991, the jam band has released 7 studio albums, 9 live albums and 3 independent albums, including “The Lillywhite Sessions,” which, in my opinion, is one of their best. This latest album has fittingly dark undertones, and sounds much gloomier than the Dave Matthews Band that I remember from my high school days of concert party buses and happy open-ended jams.
The album release coincided with a concert on Monday at the Beacon Theater here in NYC, a much smaller venue than the stadiums that they most often play on their long summer tours. Their international tour kicked off with a concert at Fenway Park in Boston in May and won’t end until October at the Austin City Limits Festival.
You can listen to “Big Whisky and the GrooGrux King” in it’s entirety here.
The brand new album doesn’t have any fun videos to go with it yet but this haunting song, Time Bomb, is worth a listen.
Dave Matthews Band – Time Bomb: