Monthly Archives: August 2009

Jason Whatshisname Plays Outside Lands

Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle

Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle

On the way to the Ironstone Ampitheater this weekend, my friend said she was worried that Jason was getting too popular. I said I never worried about that, because no matter how many times “I’m Yours” is on the radio, people still don’t know who sings it, or what other stuff he sings. She didn’t seem too sure about that, so I had a good laugh when I read the review of Outside Lands in today’s SF Chronicle:

“Looking at the masses aimlessly wandering through at the second annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park over the weekend, it seemed like there were few acts on the bill anyone actually felt they had to see.

Dave Matthews Band? “Sure, they’re all right.” Incubus? “Oh yeah, that one song was pretty cool.” Jason Mraz? “Who’s that again?””

Exactly.


Review: Jason Mraz at the Ironstone Ampitheater, Murphys, August 28, 2009

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is too cool to belong. Ok, two things. Chris Isaak is still hot.

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is too cool to belong. Ok, two things. Chris Isaak is still hot.

The Ironstone Amphitheater is in Murphys, CA, not too far from Yosemite. I grew up in the Bay Area, lived here most of my life, and had never heard of Murphys until this show came up. The drive was long and curvy, but worth it, as the venue was really cozy and beautiful.

This is probably the oldest crowd I’ve ever seen at a Jason Mraz concert. My guess is that a lot of locals get season’s tickets for the Ironstone and just see everyone who performs there, even if they don’t know who they are (there aren’t a whole lot of other music venues in the area, if you’re looking for live entertainment).

The Ironstone is also hosting Chris Isaak, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the next few weeks, so you get the idea that this isn’t going to be like the crazy, energetic crowd that Jason gets at San Diego State, for example.

First up for the evening was Trevor Jackson, age 13. He did a quick tribute to Michael Jackson. Not bad, but I wouldn’t ask Simon Cowell for his opinion just yet.

Next up, Bushwalla! Not to perform, but to MC, and to let us know that the crowd reeked of sexy energy. It’s always good to see him, but I would have been happier if he’d belted out a few tunes before introducing Raphael Saadiq.

This is where I admit that I’d never heard of Raphael Saadiq before. I had no idea what to expect, and even after he was done, I still had trouble figuring him out. He started out his set with a doo wop vibe, him and his whole band in suits and ties and choreographed 60s dance moves.

But then the set got funkier, the jacket and tie came off, and at one point I thought they were going to dive into some metal, with headbanging and everything. Then he ended sounding like Smokey Robinson and Usher’s hybrid clone.

Overall, he was impressive and I enjoyed him. You can get a taste of Raphael with this clip of him at Outside Lands this weekend.

Ha! I just saw this on YouTube: “Raphael Saadiq rose to prominence in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s as the lead vocalist and bass player in r&b group TONY! TONI! TONE!” I didn’t know that. That’s awesome! I wonder if he ever performs “It Never Rains In Southern California”.

Bushwalla came out to introduce his best friend, the guy he met in New York 15 years ago, Jason Mraz. And clean-shaven, Paul McCartney-esque Jason did this:

1. Make it Mine – At the end of this, Jason welcomed us to “two hours from anywhere” and thanked those of us who made the commute. It really was out in the sticks.
2. Love Love Love / Anything You Want (or whatever it’s called)
3. Coyotes
– Yes! I’ve never heard this live before and it was incredible, a real highlight of the evening.
4. Who Needs Shelter
– I love when Jason gets old school. The only downside is that it made me want to hear “Galaxy” and “Running” and other older songs that he doesn’t do much anymore.
5. Love for a Child
6. Remedy – An updated, reggae version. Makes sense that after performing a song for so many years you do something different with it to keep it fresh.
7. Summer Breeze
8. Live High
9. Not So Usual
10. Dynamo of Volition
11. Beautiful Mess
12. I’m Yours -> Three Little Birds

Encore

13. Musical interlude from the Superband (dubbed Frog Jumping Jubilee tonight, in honor of the surrounding Calaveras County – read your Mark Twain), including a little “Charlie’s Angels” theme song
14. Fall Through Glass – With Bushwalla. Woo hoo! I just wish he’d hung out and done “Acoustic Rhymer” or another song too.
15. All Night Long
16. Butterfly


Watch Mraz at Outside Lands, Maybe

I’m going to see Mraz tonight at the Ironstone Amphitheater. Can’t believe the show snuck up on me like this – seems like it was months away when I bought the tickets.

I’m not going to Outside Lands this weekend, but we may be able to catch some of the show. A friend sent me this:

Dave Matthews Band will be headlining the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco, CA on Saturday, August 29th. If you are unable to attend the festival, you can still catch DMB’s set on YouTube! This marks the first live-streamed music concert event for the video sharing site and will be available on a YouTube channel built specifically for the festival which runs Aug. 28-30. DMB’s performance will be streamed at www.youtube.com/outsidelands along with the sets of many other artists performing at this year’s festival. Following the show you’ll be able to check out archived videos from the festival as well.

Maybe Jason will be one of the many other artists. If not, check out some James Morrison. He’s good too.


What’s Up With the Café Gratitude?

Gratitude Cafe

Just saw an interesting article in the SF Chronicle that pointed to this earlier article in the East Bay Express. It talks about the Café Gratitude that Mraz fans have heard so much about, and its strange, possibly cult-like work environment.

I’ll let you read it and decide for yourself whether it sounds healthy or not, but my vote is no. Healthy is giving people options and allowing them to make their own decisions. Telling them to do it your way or else they’re fired or demoted sounds like bullying, no matter how good your intentions are.

(Of course, this assumes “your way” is something other than the basics. The basics being things like washing your hands before touching food, or not grabbing your assistant’s ass, or not operating a forklift while drunk, or not lying on your taxes. Those ways are acceptable to enforce. It’s the give-up-your-own-beliefs-and-accept-ours-and-hey-hand-over-some-money-
too-while-you’re-at-it ways that I find a little suspect.)

Up, up, up and away,
Lisa


Jason Mraz Updates: Tour, TV and YouTube

So much Mraz news, so far behind. Some highlights:

    gratitube

  • The Grati-tube Cafe videos are awesome. I’ve watched them all a bunch of times and they still make me chuckle. I also learned something from them. For example, in “Inspiration”, I learned that Jason has a tattoo I was previously unaware of.
  • Jason won two Teen Choice Awards this week: Choice Music Album Male Artist for “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things.” and Choice Music Male Artist.
  • Jason will be performing at Farm Aid at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Missouri on October 4, 2009. Yee haw! Nice to see that he’s always available for these good causes. Tickets are on sale now if you’re intersted.
  • Matti, our Finnish friend, was kind enough to email me a review of Jason’s “secret” show in Paris. I say “secret” because it was announced and people showed up, so it was more of a “low-key, spontaneous” show. Visit Matti’s blog, GlimmerofWhimsy for the review and some pictures and video.
  • James Morrison, my current favorite singer who is not Jason Mraz, is being featured in Overstock.com commericals. Jason’s music was used in their commercials last year, and now I’m thinking that maybe I should shop there (but I probably won’t because I’m a creature of habit and Amazon is just easier).
  • There’s a new contest, sponsored by Buckle and Hurley to win a weekend trip to see Mraz perform at the Hollywood Bowl on October 10th. You have until August 31st to enter at buckle.com. Buckle is also selling three shirts designed by Jason, although I only see this one listed on their site.

Crazy is the forecast all week,
Lisa


Jason Mraz on the Today Show

mraz_todayI’m so tired of hearing “I’m Yours” on the radio that sometimes, I’m ashamed to admit, I change the station. I’m sorry, but it’s been almost two years now and they still won’t play any of his other songs, except for “Remedy” and maybe, on a rare occation, “You and I Both”. Nothing new though.

(“Lucky” doesn’t count, because they play that as much for Colbie Callait as for Jason.)

Hearing it live though is still a rush, and I got a kick out of watching so many people in the Today Show audience sing along, including little kids, old people, people in purple wigs, and I think Al Roker even knew some of the words.

He did a fun thing with “Remedy” and there’s also a web-only snippet of him talking about his hats.

I think Jason’s voice is far stronger now than it was a few years ago, even when it sounds a little tired.  It’s gotten fuller or more musical or something. Maybe he’s just more confident as a performer.

If you didn’t catch it, watch Jason now.

today_hosts


Jason Mraz Is Live on Today, Tomorrow

Mraz_today_showDon’t forget to set your various recording devices. Jason will be performing on the Today Show tomorrow, Friday, August 7th. Their website lists the time as 7 a.m., but I’d record the whole thing, just in case.