Monthly Archives: November 2008

Give Thanks With Jason Mraz

mraz_thanksgivingTwo new YouTube videos this week. (Thanks, Jason!)

There’s the Art of Shabba Doo Episode 3, where Jason shows you around backstage. There’s also a nice Invisible Gum clip.

Then there’s Jason’s Thanksgiving video, where Invisible Microphone News becomes Visible Carrot News or something. He gives you some reasons to be thankful, which is nice because we can always use a reminder. One thing I am not thankful for: typos. “Solute”?

Happy digesting,
Lisa

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Hutchinson vs. Mraz – Thanksgiving Infomercial Showdown!

Jason Mraz YouTubeWhen I first found out about Eric Hutchinson a while ago I wrote about some of the eerie similarities between him and our Prophet Mraz (including a love of avocados and San Diego, among other things). Coincidence, or a little coattail riding? We may never know.

But here’s another item to add to the list of things E. Hutch (eHutch? Erich? eRich?) is doing that make me think, “Didn’t Mraz already do that?”

Mr. Hutchinson has a video on YouTube that’s a faux infomercial for his shirts and other merchandise. Mraz did a video about a year and a half ago that was a faux infomercial for Real Magic TV hutchinson_info(RMTVPTJMBOALICGHMD). Both are goofy, and on YouTube, and are videos. On YouTube. Coincidence?! Probably.

But are two singing geeks better than one? Also probably. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Outside Villanova,
Lisa


Jason Mraz vs. The Plastic Bottle of Doom!

shabba_plasticJason’s new YouTube video focuses on the environment and what they’ve been doing on the current tour to leave less of a (beautiful) mess behind. Usually I do a screen grab featuring Jason to go along with a post, but the image of this guy hauling a mountain of plastic was what really made my jaw drop.

Go watch The Art of Shabba Doo Episode 2 and check out “Everything’s On”, a song we haven’t heard before.


David Tennant: A Two-Hearted Heartbreaker

tennant_quitsJen was kind enough to ruin my day a couple of weeks ago by sending me news that David Tennant had officially quit Doctor Who. *Imagine me shoving an imaginary knife through my heart here.*

It’s cool, Jen. I was bound to hear it somewhere eventually 🙂
The last rumor I’d heard was that they agreed to put the series on hold for a year so that he could do other things then come back to it, but I guess that didn’t work out.
I’m disappointed, but then again, we’re so far behind in the States, we still have a year’s worth of Doctor Who coming to us. And I was completely devastated when Christopher Eccleston left, decided I would never watch the show again, then promptly fell head-over-heels for David Tennant after one episode of him in jammies. (“It’s a fightin’ hand!”)
 
So maybe it will be ok, or maybe it will suck. I’ll be sad not to have a weekly dose of DT, but hopefully he’ll be busy with other projects that will allow him to be goofy and sexy for us.
 
Season Four comes out on DVD next Tuesday, November 18th. I preordered on Amazon ages ago and plan to spend Thanksgiving day giving thanks for my favorite Doctor. And eating truffles. Truffles are a must.
 
“Hullo, ok,” (weird grunt) “New teeth… That’s weird.”
Lisa

Mraz Groupie? Me? Hardly.

The weird thing about having written this blog for almost two years is that now people write to ask my opinion on things, or to see if I’m going to write a post about something Jason Mraz said/did/wore/wrote/sung/ate.

I try to respond to everyone personally, but I’ve fallen behind because work has been more work-like lately, so I’ll take a minute to answer a few questions that keep coming up.

1. Why am I traveling all over the place to see Jason? How can I afford it? And just how many shows have I seen?

First, let me say that I don’t see myself following Jason around, so much as he’s given me a reason to get off the couch and spend time with the people I care about, as far away as some may be. For the past few years I’ve told people I would visit and thought about making plans, but it was never a good time, or I didn’t want to spend the money, or I was just lazy about it.

In the last few months though, I’ve realized that if the friendships matter to me, I need to put in as much love and energy as I want to get out, and sometimes that means getting on a plane and going to Jacksonville, Florida, even though I would rather be going to Rome or Sydney or Hershey, PA. (Why can’t any of my friends live in Chocolate Town?) 

So when the fall tour dates came out I thought, why not do my own tour, spend time with the friends I haven’t seen in months or years, and take them to see a show and experience the Mraz love?

Seattle

Seattle

To me, this is the Old Friends Reunion Tour of 2008. Or Togetherness, Oneness and Nostalgia ’08. Or whatever you want to call it when you get to fly a thousand miles or more to hug someone you met on the first day of class your freshman year of college when he was a skinny kid and who now has a beautiful wife, gorgeous baby girl, a dog, a cat, a house (with a scary basement), and the waistline of a 30-year-old suburban dad, and who you haven’t seen in six years.

It’s been a really good time, and I have Jason to thank for the kick in the ass it took to get me to do it.

Back to the tour details: I’m hitting six shows on this tour and I did three earlier this year. This is the most I’ve ever done in one tour. Altogether, I’ve seen him maybe 20 times? My first show was back in 2003 when he toured with Maroon 5 and my friends, Kerry and Steve, and I drove from Boston to Providence for the show. I think it was only a few months later he headlined his own show in Boston and we took more friends to that.

I worked for a travel company once and am lucky enough to still have connections to help me out with flights and hotel rooms. Also, I’m single, childless and making decent money for someone in her early 30s, so I have the luxury of time and disposable income. Take that, breeders! 🙂 

2. Do you know everything about Jason?

Boston

Boston

Nah. I like him a lot, appreciate his music, his humor and his thoughts, but I don’t care about what he does off stage or out of the studio. I don’t care whether he’s with Tristan or Colbie or a local avocado farmer or taking up residency with monks. When people email me with dirty details about him, I delete them. It’s not my business, and if that’s what you’re looking for, start your own blog.

I’ve never stood outside a concert hall after a show hoping he would come out. I’ve never followed his bus around. When he walked by line of fans waiting outside the SF show last spring, singing with Bushwalla, I enjoyed the few moments he was nearby and the joyful energy he was sending out, but didn’t go running after him to get photos or ten seconds of footage to stick on YouTube.

And no, I have never met him.

3. What’s up with Jason’s blog post telling fans to stay away from him?

I don’t think that’s exactly what he’s saying. I think he’s politely baffled at why, after pouring his soul out on stage, people still think that touching him or getting a picture with him will be a more intimate experience. Maybe he’s naive (or maybe he’s just being a guy) to not get that girls are collectors. Relationships and experiences don’t count if you don’t have a souvenir to prove they happened. A sensory, up-close, physical encounter is better than an abstract experience, and physical proof is even better than that.

(And no, not all girls are like this, I’m just making broad generalizations because I have to be in a meeting in 10 minutes and don’t have time to edit.)

Let me sum it up like this, and put it in bold for those who are just skimming:

As much as I admire Jason Mraz, I admire the man he aspires to be even more – the kind of thoughtful, engaged, innovative, caring, aware human being we should all aspire to be.

And for that, I don’t need to meet him or touch him or find out what kind of toothpaste he uses. I just need to listen to him, and other singers and writers and President-elects that I admire, and think about how I can incorporate their ideas and ideals into the life I want to create for myself.

Jason Mraz the Artist is happy to give his all during a show, to create new music to share with his grateful fans. But Jason Mraz the Regular Guy wants some space to himself. I don’t think that’s asking a lot, considering all he gives. I think he says it beautifully himself:

“I’m not the person you want to meet. The music is. And the music is alive in you as much as it is in me. We created it together. Therefore, you already know me. We’ve already hugged and kissed. We grew close for a moment and then said our goodbyes. ”

Lisa


Review: Mraz at the Paramount Theater, Seattle, November 9, 2008

paramountLast week I said that Jason Mraz does not control the weather. Apparently, I do.

When I got to Seattle Friday night it was drizzly, but every time my friend, Canadian Chris, and I went out to do something this weekend, it dried up. I guess it’s just the California sunshine I brought with me.

Tonight’s show was full of smiles (I think Jason is still riding an Obama high), happy thoughts and high energy. Here’s the set list:

1. Make it Mine
2. Remedy -> Wonderwall
3. Only Human
4. Music to Watch Girls By
5. If It Kills Me
6. Mary Jane (Rick James cover)
7. Bella Luna
8. A Beautiful Mess
9. Live High (with local choir – Jason introduced them but all I heard was “Tabernacle”. Did anyone else catch who they were?)
10. Oh Happy Day (with local choir)
11. Dynamo of Volition
12. I’m Yours -> Three Little Birds (with local choir)
Encore
13. Lucky (with Phoenix from the audience)
14. Build Me Up Buttercup
15. No Stopping Us -> Invisible Gum bit -> Copacabana/Toca Rivera
16. Butterfly
17. Song for a Friend (with local choir)

  • Lisa Hannigan wasn’t feeling very well, so although she finished her own set, she didn’t join Jason for “Lucky”. Instead, Jason said he went outside the theater before the show and found a girl sitting at the front of the line who happened to have a really good voice. Her name was Phoenix and although she looked nervous, she did really well. Congrats on your big break! (Unless you are already locally famous and I’m the only one who didn’t know who you were because I’m not from these here parts.)
  • Why are there so many old people sitting in the first few rows? They sit or stand still through most of the show while the young people who came to dance and have a good time are sitting way behind them.
  • Do any of the other ladies out there rewrite/sing over that one line in “If It Kills Me” to go, “We get along, much better… than you and your wife do”? Anyone? Just curious.
  • Seattle has to be the most well-behaved crowd I’ve seen so far. Maybe that’s related to the previous point – that this crowd seemed to skew older than most others. It was nice though. When Jason got to the quiet parts of “If It Kills Me” and “Song for a Friend”, I was cringing, waiting for some drunk to start screaming, but it stayed quiet. We all got to enjoy this perfect moment of calm and let Jason relax and do his thing.
  • There were some technical difficulties with the screen that was showing the pictures people were emailing in. Eventually the whole screen was covered in black squares that should have been pictures. Canadian Chris said there was a geeky explaination for it, but that it was too difficult to explain (for me, not for him). I didn’t really care enough to press him for more details, but am relieved to know that there are people in the world like him that understand that stuff.
  • At the very end of the show, after the house lights came on, they rolled credits. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention. Interesting note: Toca was listed as “Noel Toca Rivera”. For real? Did we know that already?

Next stop on my Mraz Togetherness Tour ’08: Jacksonville, FL.

Don’t let your mind keep you from having a good time,
Lisa


Review: Mraz at the Berkeley Greek Theater, November 2, 2008

Here’s the set list. I just flew back from LA and will add more details after a good night of sleep.

1. Make it Mine
2. Remedy -> Wonderwall
3. If It Kills Me
4. Mary Jane (Rick James cover)
5. Life is Wonderful
6. A Beautiful Mess
7. Live High
8. Only Human
9. Dynamo of Volition
10. I’m Yours -> Three Little Birds
Encore
11. 1000 Things
12. Lucky (with Lisa Hannagan)
13. Build Me Up Buttercup
14. No Stopping Us -> Invisible Gum bit -> Copacabana/Toca Rivera
15. Butterfly

Update 11/4/08: Ok, I’m ready to type some more.

This was the third and final stop in my Mraz California Trifecta. His energy was still high and even though I was hearing some songs and banter and bits for the third time in three days, they still felt fresh. The intro to “If It Kills Me” made me laugh again, the choreography to “Dynamo” turned the Greek into a big party, and once again, although the skies looked ready to dump on us, Jason kept the wet away by saying his crowds never get rained on.

(Note: I do not really believe that Jason Mraz controls the weather, so please don’t write in with the real, scientific reasons behind precipitation. )

Other stuff that happened:

  • For the first time, I made it to the venue in time to see Two Spot Gobi. They have a fun sound and remind me of a college party band. Considering how young they look, it’s possible they were a college party band not that long ago. The singer has a sexy, gritty voice, and between songs he thanked everyone for being “a wicked audience”. I love English boys, their accents, their trainers, their accents, their slang, and their accents.
  • During Lisa Hannigan’s set, Mraz came out and stood on the side of the stage, singing along, practicing some dance moves and chatting with the stage crew. Considering how many times he’s been able to see her perform, I think it was nice that he seemed to really enjoy watching her.
  • Lisa Hannigan did a cover of “The Lady Is a Tramp”. I’m not sure if I liked it. It was different. I do like her tambourine on a stick.
  • Mraz described “If It Kills Me” as “oo-ku-lay-lay light rock” then went into some “oo-ku-lay-lay funk” with “Mary Jane”.
  • Could anybody else use his voice to duel with a saxaphone and not miss a note? Except for maybe that guy who makes all the funny sounds in the Police Academy movies, but he wouldn’t sound nearly as jazzy and musical doing it.
  • From where I was standing, close to the stage but off to the side, I had a pretty good view of what Jason can see from the stage. And when thousands of people are putting their hands in the air for you, all dancing and moving together, it looks pretty damn cool, so I can see why he does that every night.
  • As annoyed as I get at pushy, noisy, inconsiderate people  who chatter through a show, when thousands of people are singing “Every little thing’s gonna be alright” I can’t help but like the human race a little more, and feel a little better about us as a whole.
  • Jason made a quick request each night for people to vote no on Prop 8, and while every crowd responded enthusiastically, Berkeley went the craziest by far.

So, who’s going to be in Seattle?