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Charlottesville Pop Culture

Since the 18th century, there has been one man to rival Thomas Jefferson’s position as most famous and most beloved Charlottesvillian. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone in this town who doesn’t love and adore Dave Matthews, and if you’re not a fan, you’d best keep that to yourself. Before DMB played to sold out stadiums across the world, the band played dive bars and frat houses around Charlottesville. By noon on the first day of the national release of Under the Table and Dreaming, every Cville resident owned a copy of this album, and almost two decades later, we still know all the words to every song. While Dave Matthews is very important to Charlottesville culture, DMB alone does not define the sound of the city. A few other Charlottesville musicians have hit it big (or medium, anyway), like Bella Morte and Chris Daughtry, but there is a rich indie music scene with a folk bent. Charlottesville is the kind of place where an artist is inspired to write pretty songs. Literary giants like John Grisham and poets Edgar Allen Poe and Rita Dove have called Charlottesville home, but if you want to read stories set in Charlottesville, check out Rita Mae Brown’s mysteries set in Crozet, or Patricia Cornwell’s crime novels set in Charlottesville. Don’t let all these thrillers give you the wrong idea, though—it’s just fiction. The crime rate in Charlottesville is much lower than these books might lead you to believe.