Monthly Archives: May 2009

What Would Jason Mraz Be Grateful For?

mraz_buttonIf that’s a question you often ask yourself, maybe you should wear it around or stick it on your bag or something.

I joked about it yesterday, then thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. I’m no designer, but CafePress makes it simple enough to stick things on buttons and magnets and other things, so that’s what I did.

If you’re handy with Photoshop you can probably do a much better job.

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Carpooling With Jason Mraz

Reasons I hate carpooling:

  • Some people are terrible drivers, but in order to save a few bucks on gas and help the environment, I put my lives in their hands four times a week.
  • Some people’s cars smell weird. (Air fresheners are not always our friends. Sometimes they just stink things up more.)
  • Some people smell weird.
  • Everyone has different ideas of what ideal commuting music is. Mine is not hip hop/techno mashups at 7 a.m.

Reasons to be grateful for carpooling:

  • I save a few bucks (probably $100 a month) on gas.
  • If someone else is driving, I can sit in back and read. At least until I start to feel queasy.
  • I get to hear about what other people in my company do, since most of my ‘poolers are people I never come across during my work day.
  • I enjoy the good carpooling karma.

My carpool people know about my…um,  mild fondness… for Jason Mraz. He seems to pop on the radio almost as soon as we get in the car each day, unless it’s Country Music Guy’s day to drive, and someone always has to say, “Hey, is this that guy?”

gratitude cardI still manage to have my private Mraz moments though, and I’ll share this one from a few weeks ago with you:

I was smooshed in the middle of the backseat of a mid-sized car whose backseat was not meant for three people – at least not three adult people. The weather was windy and wet and our car was slowly lurching through heavy traffic on the Bay Bridge going into San Francisco and I wasn’t feeling too great.

I was thinking about how much I hated my commute and was this job even worth all the time I spend in my car and maybe I should find something else, but what else? because there aren’t a lot of good writing gigs out there right now and maybe I should just quit and go traveling again, but is that the responsible thing to do and maybe I was just grouchy and needed to get some perspective once I had a little room to move and wasn’t squished between two people who were completely absorbed in their Blackberries.

Yeah, my mind works like that.

And then, I saw that there was a big van in front of our car. We weren’t moving, so I had some time to look at it. Across the back, someone had written, “What are you grateful for today?” And I had to smile, and maybe chuckle a little.  It was a good question. A Jason question.

gratitude tourWWJMBGF? What would Jason Mraz be grateful for? (If someone makes that into a bracelet I claim 5% of the profit.)

And I started to think about what I had to be grateful for, and it was a pretty good list. And as traffic started to move and our driver changed lanes to pass the van I saw that it belonged to Cafe Gratitude and I smiled even bigger.

I think it was about a week after that we got the announcement that the summer tour was going to be the Gratitude Cafe tour, and now we all have something to be grateful for.

Taste past the tip of your tongue,
Lisa


Mraz was on American Idol, and I Missed It

Yes, two people sent me messages about it, but WordPress has stopped emailing me when I get a comment on here and I didn’t check Facebook in time to find out and I don’t do the Twitter thing.

James Morrison’s Facebook person sends out updates for everything, almost every day. How does Jason not have someone sending out emails for these types of things? I did get an email that his new shirts are available for pre-sale:

mraz_shirts_2009

Couldn’t they have thrown in, “Also, Jason is going to be on one of the biggest TV shows of the year, you know, if you’re interested”? No, beacuse the merch people are different from the marketing people and there’s no central person organizing all this information.

Yes, this kind of bad communication happens in my job, a lot. And yeah, I’m a little bitter this week. *Deep breath*

I checked Jason’s blog today to see if he had anything to say about “American Idol”, and he did. Quite a lot. I won’t spoil it for you, other than to say it sounds like he’s finally letting himself enjoy his success a little, which he more than deserves to do.

Obviously, I’m not much of an “Idol” watcher, but I’ve followed it in the news, and the fact that the quiet, sensitive, low-key guy won makes me think this really is the Year of Mraz.

And it’s not even half over yet.


Jason Mraz at the Pearl, Las Vegas, May 9, 2009: Concert Review

It was incredible. Just, incredible. *Hint, hint*

Got to the Pearl a little after 11:00 last night. It’s a really nice venue, not too big, so every seat in the house has a good view, from what I could tell. They even have drink holders/foot rests, which I appreciated.

The Pearl Theater

The Pearl Theater

The show started promptly at midnight, but not in a way I expected. When the lights dimmed and someone came out to do introductions, it wasn’t Jason. It was Bushwalla. Woo hoo! I was really hoping he’d launch into “Psycho Killer”, but no such luck.

Instead, he started to talk about the man coming to the stage, how he was voted most entertaining college of the year (“stop, switch that around”) and his mother voted him most attractive man in the world two years in a row or something, just general goofy stuff, but that didn’t sound anything like James Morrison. But he wasn’t introducing James Morrison.

He was introducing Justin Kredible.

Ha! Already we had a good idea that this show was going to be a little different. At least, I haven’t heard that these two have been traveling with Jason for this past tour, so I’m guessing it was a “Hey, you should come hang out in Vegas with me” thing.

Justin levitated the Music, Magic, Makepeace table and did his balloon sword swallowing, and then we finally got us some James Morrison.

All you need to know about James Morrison is that he’s phenomenal, and his act provides a crazy juxtaposition with Jason’s. Jason shares the stage. He can make even a large crowd feel like they’re hanging out in his living room. He doesn’t need to control the room, he just sort of musically cuddles with it.

James Morrison though could have a big sign behind him screaming, “I’m a fucking rock star, bitch!” I mean, he comes across very likable and charming, but he gives off an insane amount of energy, prowling back and forth, dropping to his knees, never letting up for a second, thrashing and flinging attitude (and a good amount of sweat) all over the room.

Last year, talking about Bushwalla I said:
Bushwalla took over the stage. I don’t just mean he took his turn, I mean he took the stage over his knee and he owned that bitch.”

And that’s James Morrison too.  Just sit back and let him do what he wants with you. Here’s his set list:

1. The Only Night
2. Under the Influence
3. You Give Me Something
4. Broken Strings
, with Beverly Brown (I think)
5. If You Don’t Wanna Love Me
6. Precious Love
7. Nothing Ever Hurt Like You -> Uptight
(This one got going so fast and so intense I thought he might explode. Phenomenal.)
8. Wonderful World

James left the stage around 12:45, but I really didn’t want him to stop playing. It was my first time seeing him live and he absolutely left me wanting more. At least we have YouTube.

About half an hour later, Bushwalla and Justin Kredible came back out to do a little more magic (the bowling ball trick) and introduce Jason. Again I was hoping for some Bushwalla tunes, maybe “Creatures in the Yard” or “Acoustic Rhymer”, but no joy. Instead, it went like this:

1. Fun, Fun Fun/I Want to Thank You (? – Anyone have a better title for this?) – First time I’ve heard this live. A really good, energetic way to kick off a show.
2. No Doubling Back – I love to hear the oldies that none of the new “I’m Yours” fans know.
3. Remedy -> Geek in the Pink
4. Anything You Want? Love, Love, Love?– Ashamed to say I don’t know the name of this one. It was sort of a reggae thing, but I have no idea if it’s a cover or one of his own. Please don’t think less of me.
5. Live High, with three of the ladies from Voices of Prayze in San Diego – More special guests!
6. Details in the Fabric– This is the song I was most looking forward to, since James Morrison was there to do his part, but it was a little disappointing, probably more for Jason than anyone else. At the beginning of the song he did a little rhyming about traveling around and getting messages from people while he’s on the road. Then he held up a walkie talkie. Knowing that Bushwalla was also in the house, it was safe to assume that he was on the other end, doing the answering machine message.

Unfortunately, the walkies didn’t want to talkie, so the very cool, mellow intro was broken up by feedback and silence and technical difficulties. Bushwalla came out on the stage after a while and got a few words in, but when Jason launched into the song he seemed a little annoyed? Thrown off? Disappointed? James did come out for his bit, but it was like the momentum was all off, so it was good, but not as stellar as I imagined it. (Again, at least we still have the YouTube versions.)

I was hoping James would have stayed out to do another song or two with Jason, but that was it for him.
7. Unfold – With an extra long Dave Matthews-style jam in the middle so each musician could have the spotlight for a bit.
8. Beautiful Mess
9. Lucky – Jason started strumming this one, then said what a very lucky man he was… and Colbie Caillat walked out. I’m not a huge fan, but it was very, very cool to see them perform together. She’s very tall.
10. Make It Mine
11. Dynamo of Volition
12. I’m Yours – No sing along or “Three Little Birds” here. Just ended the song in the normal place.
Musical Intermission as Jason left the stage for a few minutes and the rest of the band kept playing a Miami Sound Machine sort of tune.
13. Plane – Finally! Jason and Toca played this one the way I first heard it: intimate, stripped down, almost haunting. I never really got the Mr. A-Z version with the sweeping orchestra behind it. This song made the whole show for me.
14. All Night Long – So good. An oldie, but still a lot of fun, played with the same kind of fun and joy we got on the last tour with “Build Me Up Buttercup”.
15. Fall Through Glass – Thank you! You can’t show us a Bushwalla in Act 1 and not have him go off in Act 3. They even did the freeze frame at the end, although wihtout J Kreds and the Polaroids.
16. Butterfly – Made even better by having Bushwalla and Tricia, Jason’s Joyologist, (at least I think it was her) hoola hooped through the whole song. Their stamina was very impressive. I could see Justin at the side of stage dancing his ass off as well.

Show finished around 3:00 a.m. and I finally got a cab around 3:45. And now I’m at the airport with just three hours of sleep for the night and ready for some lunch.

I’ll remember where the love was found,
Lisa


New James Morrison EP

James Morrison just put out new versions of three of his songs, “You Make It Real”, “Once When I Was Little” and “Broken Strings”. Check iTunes for Live From Air Studios, London. Songs are .99 each or $2.49 for all three, a total bargain.

Can’t wait to see him with Mraz in Vegas tomorrow!

morrison air studios


Jason Mraz Joins the Twitterati

mraz_twitter1Yes, you can start finding out where Jason is during the day, what he’s eating, how he’s feeling and when he’s getting his nails done (acrylics, FYI) by following him on Twitter, kind of.

He’s not writing his own tweets, but someone on his tour is doing it in his name, with his blessing.

For completely selfish reasons, I kind of hope this is short lived. The time demands of social networking stresses me out. (And “online sociability fatigue” is a real thing, so it’s not just me being anti-technology. I work for a dot com and manage two blogs for god’s sake. Isn’t that enough? Damn you Twitter and your minute-by-minute updates!)

I just don’t have enough hours in the day to keep up with all of it, especially when the tweets include links to photos, movies and articles that I won’t be able to help but look at. I can see myself getting lost in the Mraz maze of posts and links and forgetting that I’m supposed to be working.

Plus, I don’t know if I want that much backstage info on Jason. I like that his private life is mostly private, and that our shared time with him happens when he’s on stage.

Still, it can be fun, and already Twitter has pointed us to some things I never would have found on my own, like this YouTube clip from Anya Marina, Jason’s opening act.

mraz-anya-marina

And now, back to work…


Jason Mraz and James Morrison in Vegas: Less Than a Week Away!

The Pearl Theater

The Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino

I can’t wait to head to Vegas on Friday.

Jason Mraz and James Morrison all in one show? It’s going to be phenomenal. Or at least I hope it will be. I try not to have high expectations about live shows because you just never know if someone is going to have an off night, but no matter how much I try to dampen my excitement for this show, I can’t help but think it’s going to be incredible.

I really hope someone is taping it for archive.org.

Who else is going? Anyone want to meet up for a drink before the show? Around 10:00? I don’t know the Palms at all, but there must be a bar near the Pearl Theater. Looks like the Island Bar is close-ish. Leave me a note and we’ll work something out.