Monthly Archives: February 2008

Another Birthday Gift! New Mraz Album this May!

Jason MrazWhile I was toasting my health yesterday, this announcement came out:

Feb 20, 2008 11:10 ET

He Sings! He Dances! He Steals Things! Jason Mraz Is Back With His Highly Anticipated New Album — Which Features the Online Hit, “I’m Yours” — Preceded by a Trio of Exclusive EP Releases; “WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS.” Drops on May 20th

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – February 20, 2008) – Atlantic recording artist Jason Mraz has disclosed early details of his enormously anticipated new album, “WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS.” The collection — Mraz’s first set of all-new material in nearly three years — will arrive in stores and at online retailers on May 20th.

The San Diego-based troubadour’s third studio release, “WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS.” was produced by Martin Terefe, known for his work with KT Tunstall, Ron Sexsmith, and James Morrison. The album sees Mraz continuing to tread his own distinctive artistic path, melding a variegated musical tapestry with passionate, personal lyricism. Among the highlights are collaborations with British tunesmith James Morrison and singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat. “I’m Yours,” the album’s first single, was chosen due to the undeniable fan response to the song. A demo version of “I’m Yours” originally appeared on a limited release bonus EP Mraz put out with his last album. Today the song is an online sensation, with over 300 user-generated videos from more than 25 different countries now appearing on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8SJOYzk7SY).

Always an active online presence, Mraz has kept his loyal fanbase abreast of his recent activities via a series of video blogs, dubbed “Crazy Man’s Ju-Ju.” The clips — along with a variety of other travel adventures, live performances, and studio sessions — can be accessed at “Jason Mraz TV,” the Official Jason Mraz YouTube channel, located at www.youtube.com/user/OfficialJasonMraz.

“WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS.” will be heralded by a trio of individual EPs: “WE SING,” due March 18th; “WE DANCE,” out April 15th; and “WE STEAL THINGS,” which will be available as a digital bundle with purchase of the album on iTunes, and as part of a bundle when purchased via JasonMraz.com or AtlanticRecords.com. The EPs will feature unique versions of various album tracks recorded during special intimate sessions.

A compelling and inventive live performer, Jason will celebrate the new album with a coast-to-coast North American concert tour, slated to kick off sometime this spring. Full details will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Mraz will perform Feb. 28 at iTunes Live: London Sessions in the UK. Fans can win tickets at http://www.ituneslive.co.uk/february-28th/. Mraz will then spend March on the road beginning at the Uken Festival in Bergen, Norway on March 8, and then continuing to Australia and Asia, including a major concert appearance in Seoul, Korea on March 28th.

“WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS.” follows Mraz’s two previous studio releases: 2002’s RIAA platinum-certified breakthrough, “WAITING FOR MY ROCKET TO COME,” and 2005’s “MR. A-Z,” which debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, with career-best first week sales exceeding 80,000. Mraz has also released a series of concert recordings, including 2004’s “TONIGHT, NOT AGAIN: JASON MRAZ LIVE AT THE EAGLES BALLROOM” and 2006’s digital-only release, “SELECTIONS FOR FRIENDS.”

Yes. Life is wonderful.


Birthday Gifts for the Armed and Dangerous

My friends are strange people. Caring, but strange.

Yesterday was my birthday. At work, my desk was decorated with ribbons and crepe paper and a big Happy Birthday sign. They got me two bundt Vampire People bookcakes, chocolate and key lime, some co-workers took me out to lunch, and I got one very thoughtful gift: a book about the fan side of the Buffyverse called “Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?“. I also got a few emails and Facebook messages and even a couple of real live phone calls. It was pretty swell.

However, I also got assorted weaponry. I didn’t know that 31 is traditionally the Sharp Blade birthday for a single woman; I thought it might be Velvet or Corelle or Good Vibrations. But no, I got supplies that could to take down a large troll, an orc, (my friends are still geeks, even if they do pretend to know their way around the hunting and fishing aisles) or maybe even a creepy guy on the train, which was actually their hope.

A couple of weeks earlier I noticed a strange man following me from the stop where I get on the train after work to where I get off. And onto the platform. And down the stairs. And through the turnstile, pushing his way ahead of old ladies and Boy Scouts if need be to keep me in his sights. I would hang back though and make him get ahead of me before going anywhere near the parking lot. When he started waiting across the street for me, I talked to the police.

A few days later, attempting to throw him off my trail, I boarded the wrong train, took it halfway to my destination then got off to transfer to the correct train. Imagine my surprise when he got off the same wrong train, walked up to me and asked, grinning, “Are we taking a detour today?”

That was the second time the police got involved, but my friends and coworkers got involved too, checking in with me to make sure I always have someone to ride the train with, to offer me a ride to or from the station, and offering to play bodyguard. My boss, not a very large or intimidating woman, even took to being a human shield, trying to block me from view as I got on the train. It was sweet, if not very effective.

So while most people give birthday gifts like earrings or DVDs or Jason Mraz tshirts, my friends gave me a knife that would be great for gutting a large trout if the stalker thing doesn’t work out, a camera phone (for getting pictures of this goon), and pepper spray that has a radius of 12 feet. That’s one impressive nozzle. All I need now is a utility belt and I can safely patrol the streets at night for ruffians. I’ve never really been into belts though. I think they make me look hippy.

I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of these things. I think there’s a better chance of me blinding myself and cutting my pinky finger off (and getting a picture of it) than of doing damage to anyone else, but it doesn’t matter. What I really got for my birthday was the assurance that my friends care, that they’re concerned, that they’re willing to track a bear of a guy into a parking lot, get in his face, and tell him to back the hell off, even when the creep starts to scream and swear and take his jacket off like he’s about to do some serious damage and shouts threats and the police have to be called again and I really thought Justin was going to get broken in half but thank goodness he walked away unscathed, and also swaggering a bit.

There’s no Jason Mraz song about scary guys on trains, so I’ll stick to the old standby. I’m not going to worry my life away. I have friends to do that for me. 🙂

Flamenco from 12 feet,
Lisa


More Recycled, Er… Sustainable Mraz Blogging

Here’s another favorite post of mine for Greatest Hits Blog Birthday Week. 

Meet Me Halfway – And Bring the Cookies (3/22/07)

Jason Mraz in a hatAfter posting yesterday’s blog on Mraz and travel and finding your way home again, I did a quick Google and found an interview on digg.com where Mraz says this:

“I realized I really haven’t just settled down for six years. What does that feel like? Who am I now? What do I do? When I go to the grocery store, what things do I like to buy,” he asks, “cause I’ve been living off of catering and tour bus food and restaurants for so long?”

We are so on the same page, dude. Not so much with the tour bus – although I did do most of my traveling and commuting by bus since I didn’t have a car, so that sort of counts – but the bit about the grocery store rang very true for me.

When you go to the same store for years you know what aisles to hit and which brands and flavors you like. When I got back to California after living elsewhere for ten years I drove myself crazy trying to find foods I found in other cities that I really liked (oh, my sun-dried tomato-flavored cheese, where are you?), but that aren’t carried here, and then trying to figure out what I could feed myself. It was like having amnesia in a way. I knew I had to eat, I knew I’d done it before, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where to start. It turned into a lot of pb&j.

Then there’s the bigger questions, like, “Who am I when I’m at home? Can I be the same person I was in other places? Do I have to go back to the person I was 10 years ago?” Because I didn’t like her quite so much. She was dull and had frizzy hair.

Given the two old chestnuts, “There’s no place like home,” and “You can’t go home again,” where do you find a middle ground? So far I’ve found it by mixing our Scharffen Berger hot chocolate with some imported Arnott’s biscuits (cookies) I found at Cost Plus. Once I have the food thing worked out, I figure I can build from there.

Or maybe I should take a cue from Jason Mraz, and just think of myself as being halfway home.


Once More, With Mrazlicious Feeling

Jason Mraz hatIt’s Lisa’s Greatest Hits Week. This was one of my first posts and is still one of my favorites. It’s not easy trying to sum up the Jason Mraz experience just using words, but I think this comes tongue-tingling-ly close.

Mrazturbation: My Personal Portmanteau (2/28/2007)

It’s been a slow week, so let’s get back to the sex talk, yes?

To be honest, I don’t know where I first heard the word “mrazturbation”. I don’t think I came up with it, but I don’t want to deny it entirely, just in case somebody wants to give me credit.

My friends threw it around a lot in the early Jason Mraz? Who’s Jason Mraz? days, and my friend, Steve, started mrazturbation.com to share the love, and his Mraz-inspired cover art. From there it just morphed into the word we used to describe anything sexyhappy, or crazyartsy, or funnysmart.

For anyone who likes to play with language it’s a hot little word. Because it’s all about the wordplay, right? Nabokov was a genius at it, Dr. Seuss too. And if Jason decided to stop singing for whatever reason, I would be almost as happy if he just kept writing. His Karouac-meets-Calvin and Hobbes-translated-by-Gibran blogs can tame even the most beastly of bad days and put everything right again.

But back to the word of the day. I love the way it sounds, all full and sizzling in my mouth. It doesn’t roll off the tongue by any means, but creates friction with it, forcing you to use every little muscle in your mouth to get it up and out: Mr-azzz-tur-ba-tion.

The idea of a portmanteau is that two words bring their definitions together. They don’t lose their individual meanings, but rather combine them for even greater impact. So what do you get when you combine a smart and sensual curbside prophet with the practice of self-pleasure?

To me, Mrazturbation is the idea of bringing myself a little happiness by entering a Mraz-like state of hopefulness, kindness, sensuality, and intellect. It’s completing an act of selflessness, self-endulgence, or anything in between, depending on my mood. It’s finding one action a day that makes me happy to be me, that makes me think, “Life is really damn good. Bring on the cabana boys.”

Mrazturbation is a little bit of work to get both your mouth and your mind around, but the meaning is so spectacular, the two things melting so smooth and creamy in your soul, it’s like a spiritual fondue that you can dip into and come out that much zestier.

Snuggle me delicious,
Lisa


I Forgot My Mraztastic Birthday!

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe I missed it! Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my first blog entry. (Can it be a birthday and an anniversary? Of course it can. There are no rules in the Mraztubationatory world.)

It’s all very timely. I feel like I was out of the Mraz loop for a whilte. He wasn’t touring, there wasn’t a lot of news going on, and I was busy with my own life. But now there’s a lot of chatter about an upcoming album, he’s back on the road soon, and I’m in a space where it feels good to reconnect with Jason and his music. I’d like to spend this weekend in bed, snuggled up deliciously with “Galaxy”, “1,000 Things” and maybe one of the live shows from his Christina Aguilera-cover days.

Take off both your shoes and clothes, I’ll follow.
Lisa 


New Jason Mraz Material

Just found this review of Jason’s January 15th show at The Pickle Barrel in Killington, VT. It’s very detailed and has some good notes on Jason’s new songs, and his outfit:

Jason was wearing a shirt that said “Guns Don’t Kill People” over a picture of a hand holding a pistol and under that it read “Wait… Nevermind, I was thinking of dandelions”. 

There’s also a link to some of the new stuff Jason has been performing live, and did someone say Jason Mraz-50 Cent mash up? That’s some hot Valentine’s Day action.

Kiss me, I will
I will kiss you back,
Lisa


Give Your Valentine (Or Yourself) Some Chocolate Love

If you need a little bit of melty, sensual, chocolate happiness this Valentine’s Day give this recipe a try. It won’t fix your soul, but it just might be the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth, and that’s a start.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

1 pound semisweet chocolate, cut up
1 pound butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sugar
9 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla

For topping:
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up
1 ounce milk chocolate (optional)

1. Grease bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside.

2. In a heavy, large saucepan, combine the 1 pound chocolate, the butter, 1 cup whipping cream, and sugar. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Slowly stir half the chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Then pour this new egg mixture back into the remaining chocolate mixture (this is to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs so you don’t wind up with scrambled egg torte). Stir. Pour batter into prepared pan and place pan on the foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until evenly puffed and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

5. Put in the fridge and chill several hours or until firm. This gives you plenty of time to listen to Jason Mraz CDs, watch Jason Mraz clips online, or catch up on Jason’s latest journal entries. Run a knife or spatula around sides of torte and remove the sides of the pan.

6. In a small saucepan, heat the 1 cup whipping cream just to boiling. Place the 12 ounces chocolate in a medium bowl. Add hot whipping cream and stir until chocolate is melted. Cool to room temperature. Spread over top of torte, allowing some of the mixture to drizzle down the sides. Cover and chill for several minutes or until set.

7. If desired, drizzle torte with melted milk chocolate.

8. Put on your favorite movie, snuggle up with your favorite other, and love the moment you’re in.