Tag Archives: Jon Baron

Jason Mraz: All Wet on ‘Ellen’

Wet, wet, wet.

Wet Wet Wet: Another 80s band Mraz could cover.

I didn’t hear about it until yesterday, but Jason was on the Ellen show Wednesday where he performed “I’m Yours” and then got dunked into a big water tank thing – Brady Bunch style – for charity.

The performance and the dunking are on YouTube already in case you missed it, and I’ll say that even if Mraz wasn’t the one in the tank, it would be fun to watch just because the chick who’s trying to dunk him has really terrible aim.

And would it be sacrilegious to say that I’m getting a little tired of hearing “I’m Yours”? I mean, it’s a great song, but he does have others, and I don’t want to get so burned out on it that I can’t enjoy it anymore. Can we ween the general public off of that one and on to “Make It Mine” or something fresher?

Jon Baron got me listening to classic hits of the 80s yesterday. Now I want to hear Jason cover some Tears for Fears, “Head Over Heels”. He can add that to his other cover songs of the 70s and 80s: Blitzkrieg Bop, Down Under, Summer Breeze.

Don’t take my heart, don’t break my heart, don’t don’t don’t throw it away,


Jon Baron is a Sweetheart

I’m trying to become the top online destination for “Jon Baron”. I don’t think there’s any money in it, but it’s probably easier than becoming the top destination for “Jason Mraz”. Although if you search for “Jason Mraz hat” I do come in first.

Anyway, Jon Baron really is a sweetheart. It could be why his name is so large in the word cloud on the right there even though I’m sure other keywords have come up more often. I think WordPress just senses his thoughtfulness and bumps him up a couple of font sizes for his acts of kindness and generosity.

Here’s the story: A couple of weeks ago, Jon Baron came in to the office and mentioned that he heard Mraz on the radio that morning. He said, “The song went something like ‘She rocks, la la la, she rolls, do do do…'” Then he hummed a little, which was charming, if not very musical.

I broke the news that there was no Jason Mraz song like that, but thanked him for thinking of Mraz all the same.

Then, last week, Jon Baron came to work and gave me a little thank you gift for all the baby party stuff I did for him in the office. (We decorated his desk with pink paper dolls that coworkers added their own individual styles to, there was cake, cupcakes, some gifts, and baby pictures ready at his desk so he wouldn’t have to miss her too much during the day.) The gift was a CD by some guy I’d never heard before, Eric Hutchinson. It’s titled Sounds Like This and, sure enough, features a song called “Rock & Roll”. It’s the Mraz-esque song Jon heard on the radio and then tracked down, figuring if I liked one I would probably like the other.

One of the "I'm Yours" video t-shirts from Blend Apparel.

One of the "I'm Yours" video shirts from Blend Apparel.

The CD is pretty good and it does have some strong Mraz flavor to it. I checked out Eric Hutchinson’s website and learned that Eric’s favorite things include San Diego, avocados and Blend Apparel. Hmmm, interesting.

The album is on iTunes and probably everywhere else. If you like it, drop me a note and say ‘thank you’ to Jon Baron.

You don’t have to believe me,

More Mraztastic Baby Names for a Friend

When our friend, Steve, was getting ready for his first child, I carefully compiled a list of baby names worthy of a son being born to such a Mraz geek. Now, our friend Jon Baron is getting ready for his first little bundle of expenses (and joy), and I want to give him the same honor.

Jon is just as geeky as Steve, but not in a Mrazy way. Just in the normal “I like to talk about components and quote Monty Python like Scripture” way. He can’t argue with that because he doesn’t have the password to edit this blog. Ha!

Steve knew he was expecting a boy, so his list was tailored to fit a little Whedonesque son. Jon is expecting a girl though, so I can’t recycle any of those names. Here’s what I came up with from scratch. Any children born to any friends after this will get leftovers.

Because a daughter born to a Baron should have a regal, royal name:

  • Contessa
  • Dutchess
  • Lady

Because Jon may want to think back to his childhood summers in Norway:

  • Danica
  • Elsa
  • Margit
  • Petra (also a good geek name from the Orson Scott Card ouvre)

Because you can’t go wrong with Harry Potter names:

  • Hermione
  • Luna
  • Lily

Because Jon knows his Simpsons almost as well as I do (okay, maybe even better):

  • Marjorie
  • Sherri/Terri (if only he was having twins!)
  • Lunchlady Doris (I suppose this one could cause her to be pigeonholed into a career)
  • Malibu Stacey
  • Lisa (hey, it’s served me pretty well all these years)

Because his daughter may grow up to be a Whovian (I volunteer to take her on a pilgrimmage to see David Tennant):

  • Romana
  • Sarah Jane
  • Billie (a much better name than Rose)
  • Gwen (or maybe save that for the spin-off… er, second child)

Because Jon is well-traveled:

  • Alexandria
  • Cairo
  • Safari

Because Jon insists on stealing one of the two names I would find acceptable for a girl, and I’m thinking maybe I can distract him and push him onto another Beatles-inspired name:

  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Penny Lane
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Lucy Sky
  • Julia
  • Martha Prudence (no Girls Gone Wild worries with this one)
  • Blackbird
  • Savoy Truffle (She would have her own show on Food TV before her twelfth birthday)

Or how about names of real people associated with the Beatles:

  • Yoko
  • Stella
  • Sean
  • Dhani

Because Jon loves Peter Himmelman:

  • Dixie

But if I have to suggest the best ever baby name for a precious little darling girl being born to a geek, I have to go with:

Serenity Firefly Baron

No way could she go through life with that and not become a free spirit, a rebel artist, a compassionate thinker, a brilliant leader and pretty much better in every way than all her peers. Not that having Jon as a dad doesn’t already ensure that, but I think you should give a kid all the advantages that you can.

The one with the bright eyes, well she laughed her way inside this music box, stored away in the corner of my heart,

New Mraz Album Today. Sing, Dance, Try Not to Steal Things.

We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.Huh. For some reason I had this on my calendar for next Tuesday, so I didn’t even rush into work this morning to download the last tracks. Of course, they’ve been on Myspace for the last week, so this isn’t our first chance to hear them, but still. You’d think I would have remembered this was happening.

There’s also a contest going on, a whole new Mraz store on Zazzle with designs that mostly make me say “meh”, and two new Mraz videos on YouTube for you to watch. I’m going to go enjoy those then put in some Scrabbulous time. Jon Baron can’t be allowed to win yet another game. It’s going straight to his head. There’ll be no living with him soon.

Get ’em up way high; Gimme that high five,

Jason Mraz and a Plate of Shrimp

There are a few reasons that Tuesday was a much better day than Monday. For starters:

The new Flight of the Conchords CD came out and Amazon had it on my desk by 2:00. Excellent. Unfortunately, the downside is that on Monday I saw that if I had pre-ordered through iTunes I could have gotten the bonus track, “Bret, You’ve Got It Goin On” which is clearly their greatest song of all, and is not on the regular CD. I’ll just have to keep YouTubing it.

It was Earth Day and I got some free Earth Day swag, including reusable shopping bags.

My friend, Laura in Florida, called me at work so that her two-year-old could sing me the Harry Potter Puppet Pals song. First the “Ron, Ron, Ron WEAS-ley!” bit, then “Snape, Snape. Severus Snape.” Apparently there was an adorable dance to go with it as well, but I laughed hardest at the thought of one of her friends asking what she likes to do at home and saying, “My mommy and I do the naked puppet dance.” Yeah. That must go over really well.

Finally, the day ended with what Jon Baron calls a “Plate of Shrimp” experience. I think it’s a “Repo Man” thing. It’s when something bizarre comes up out of nowhere, a phrase or object or name, and then you suddenly come across it a bunch of times. It can’t be something common like football, or Hannah Montana, or Paris. It has to be something uncommon, like a plate of shrimp, or Bananarama, or Canada (Kidding! Love you guys!).

On Tuesday afternoon I wrote about Jason’s “Song For a Friend” because although it didn’t speak exactly to my situation, it’s a good song about friendship and caring about the people around you. A few days before that I wrote about how his new album cover reminds me of Renoir and the painting “Luncheon of the Boating Party”.


Tuesday evening I was waiting for a friend and had some time to waste so I headed to a book store. I got out of my car and was walking across the parking lot when suddenly the great DJ in the sky started talking to me. Then I realized that I was not, in fact, going crazy. I really was hearing music. And it really was Jason Mraz. And it really was “Song For a Friend”. A car a few spaces away from me had it blasting. Wha?

First of all, I think we can admit it here, very few people know who Jason Mraz is. He’s popular among a certain crowd, but stop ten people on the street and maybe one would know the name. Next, even if you’re going to blast Jason Mraz, “Song For a Friend” isn’t really a blasting song. “Geek in the Pink”, maybe. “Too Much Food”, certainly. But not “Friend”. And finally, the odds of me being in just the right place to hear it, well, they’re phenomenal, I’m sure.

Luncheon of the Boating PartyI walked into the store, pulled some super stealth moves to wait and see who was in the car, but they never got out. They sat a few more minutes and then drove away. I guess once I was smiling, their work was done.

Happy to be me I started to look through the stacks of Buy 2 Get 1 Free books when I spotted one I’d never seen before: Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland, featuring the Renoir painting as its cover.

Plate of shrimp times two,

Review: Mraz at the Catalyst, April 4, 2008

How can you possibly sum up a show that had so much going on, so much talent on the stage, so much energy, so much creativity, and was nothing like any show you’ve ever seen before? Chronologically. Here goes.

6:30ish (All times, names and quotes are approximate because I couldn’t be bothered to take notes or anything official – yet another reason I was a terrible journalist and switched to more creative forms of writing.): I get into line with Christine, a very nice, cool girl who I met via the RKOP message boards and who volunteered to drive to Santa Cruz in exchange for my extra ticket. A very fair trade as I did not want to drive the windy road out of Santa Cruz late at night, half asleep.

6:40: Bushwalla comes out and makes balloon animals for people in line. I heard someone say the Makepeace Brothers were around as well, but I didn’t see them.

6:45: Jason comes out in jeans, tshirt, wool hat and glasses, hops into a little red car with an unidentified woman and older man (managers? press people?), and waves to the crowd as they drive away.

6:50: Toca comes out and chats with the crowd, takes photos, signs autographs, and I get to shout at him. It went something like:

Toca: I’m here at the back of the line where the real people are.
Some Chick: Oh, but the people in front have been waiting all day.
Toca: That’s true, they’ve been here a long time.
Me, butting in: Some of us had to WORK all day.
Toca, raising a fist in solidarity with the working people: That’s right, people are working for a living!

That was about it. He went inside after that.

7:00: Doors open and we go in. For the next hour we stand, looking at an empty stage.

8:00: Right on the dot, Justin Kredible takes the stage and begins his emcee work. He’s cute, and very tiny. He pulls off a couple of quick tricks and then introduces the Makepeace Brothers.

The Brothers sound a lot like Simon and Garfunkle, but there are three of them, and they really are brothers, like Hanson. I liked the cute one in the middle that wasn’t allowed to sing. It only occurred to me hours later that I was yet again drawn to the bass player. What is it with me and bass players? I don’t know, but it’s a definite trend.

8:30: It’s going to get a bit hazy now because I’m not sure when everyone was coming and going, and I’m getting bored with recording this chronologically. I should have gone by theme, or maybe by color coding outfits. The gist of it is that J Kreds, Bushwalla, Mraz and some other band members came out and did a big sing-a-long for the Brothers’ song “Things Gonna Wait”. It was reminiscent of the Curbside Prophets tour when all the acts sang together after Raul Midon’s part of the show, which is what Jason said would happen. The Prophet does not lie.

Next, 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. He reached into the darkest, smelliest corners of the venue, sucked every person there into his time-music vortex and made us love him. All I knew about Bushwalla before this was what I saw on YouTube with him and Mraz (lesbian furniture anyone?), but seeing him live is a whole different animal. He’s vaudeville, he’s a Vegas lounge act, he’s the long-lost third Conchord, and with a voice like that, I imagine he could take over Broadway if he wanted to. It was quite a performance.

Mraz in Disguise

Then there was the black electrical tape. I just… well… it was… hmmm. It was Jason proving yet again that he has no ego, he doesn’t really care about being the center of attention, and that he’s just a guy who likes to hang out and make music with his friends. I mean, gosh. He’s swell.

(Update 4/14/08: Just found a good chunk of this show on YouTube from user sweetcacophony.)

More magic happened – magical magic, not musical magic – some of it pretty impressive (see clips here). Then Mraz took the stage, but with more of a soft caress than Bushwalla did. It was the kind of stage taking that would let the stage wake up the next morning thinking that he really cared, and wasn’t just walking all over her. He opened by himself with “Mr. Curiosity”, and it was… strange. Don’t get me wrong, he sounded great, it was just an odd way to start. The crowd by this point was super excited, screaming, ready to have a great time, and so to start with a really calm song that’s kind of a downer was an odd choice.

But, as soon as that was over the rest of the band joined him and they jumped into “Tonight, Not Again” which took me back to the first Mraz headlining show I saw, in Boston, 2003. It’s one of my favorite songs, starting with a little foreplay then building up to a powerful climax, then… *sigh* a relaxed state of bliss.

I didn’t keep track of the set list after that, but he mixed old and new, doing the four songs from We Sing along with “So Unusual”, “Butterfly” (a song he said he wrote after wondering whether there was a strip club anywhere in the world playing his music, deciding there wasn’t, and trying to write a song that would be strip club worthy), “Remedy”, “You and I Both”, “Dynamo of Volition” and a few more.

Bushwalla and the Makepeace Brothers came back for a huge grand finale that included the greatest freeze-action Polaroid photo shoot ever, and yes, there was an encore, and it was blah la la lovely.

A few other notes on the night:

Last week, Jon Baron asked me whether any guys went to Mraz shows, because the live stuff I gave him to listen to sounded like a Backstreet Boys concert with all the squealing and screaming. I assured him that lots of guys go to the shows. Well, during the audience participation segment of “Remedy”, Mraz said, “Just the ladies now!” The ladies started their part and Mraz laughed and said, “It doesn’t sound any different, does it?” He then encouraged the men to give it a try and even lowered his voice to a super baritone, to increase the testosterone in the room.

Mraz didn’t do a lot of talking, but did mention that the tour was going green, from the bio-diesal buses to the reusable drinking containers (no plastic bottles!). There was the usual love, love, love fest, chatter about being good to each other and good to yourself. And before saying a final goodnight, Jason left us with the overall message of the night: Practice kindness. Practice gratitude.

I think I’ll go practice right now.

We’re just one big family,

Jon Baron, Are You Reading This?

This is a test of the Jon Baron Detection System. It is only a test (for Jon Baron).


That was only a test.

Note to Jon Baron: I think an outdoor lunch would be good today. Something involving sunshine and light breezes and squirrels.