Saturday, June 7, 2008

Out of the Closet: Fan of John Mayer

I kind of have a thing for John Mayer. I'm not talking about switching teams for him. I'm just saying, for a guy who should have been a one hit, or at best a one album, wonder has managed to stay relevant in a world of overexposure and celebrity magnifying glasses using his sense of humor and a striking level of self awareness that I applaud and admire. I'm also not afraid to admit I have listened to John's Continuum album more than any other in the last 18 months.

Also, in my humble opinion JM has pulled off a career transition that should have been impossible. His 'Room for Squares' album (certainly very pop leaning) brought him into the spotlight with catchy tunes like 'No Such Thing'. And many, many artists would have faded into the distance after a rushed crappy sophomore release without realizing their potential. But John has avoided that fate and evolved into a blues music playing, guitar slinging conduit opening fan's ears to music that they never otherwise would be exposed to. I count myself as a big fan and am looking forward to the release of his new live album/DVD on July 1st entitled 'Where The Light Is'.

And he uses his blog to speak directly to his fans, which I admit I check on occasion. And he had this little observation which I think is pretty dead on:
This is about a level of self consciousness so high in my generation, that it's actually toxic.

This is about the girl in her bedroom who poses in front of the camera she's awkwardly holding in her outstretched hand. She'll take a hundred photos until coming up with one she's happy with, which inevitably looks nothing like her, and after she's done poring over images of herself, will post one on her myspace page and then write something like " I don't give a f*ck what you think about me."

This is about the person trying out for American Idol, who while going off about how confident they are that they were born ready to sing in front of the world, are trembling so badly they can hardly breathe.

This is about me, the guy who walks through a throng of photographers into a restaurant like he's Paul Newman, but who leaves a "reject" pile of clothes in his closet so high that his cleaning lady can't figure out how one man can step into so many pairs of pants in a week.
I greatly appreciate when people can be vulnerable. Too often we go through life with a facade of security and confidence when in fact we just need to breathe and be ourselves. This is one of the reasons why we keep 'The Weight' going even though we stopped measuring the number of clicks some time ago. Thanks John for speaking from the heart and we'll keep on doing the same here.

As a little bonus, here is a clip, as published on his blog, of John and drummer Steve Jordan riffing on 'Crossroads'. Gotta love John's caption: Here we are working out a version of "Crossroads", which you might remember served as the inspiration for a Britney Spears movie.


Isorski said...

Mayer is one hell of a guitar player and once I figured that out, I had newfound respect. I saw him last year at the New Orleans jazz fest and he and his band were excellent. Lots of very solid jamming and playing outside of the lines. This guy is here to stay.

boyhowdy of Cover Lay Down said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one. My father -- who introduced me to music -- scoffs at my sincere appreciation for John Mayer, so I usually keep it quiet on my own blog. But man, for what it is, Mayer's a genius...and his work just keeps getting better.

PS: thanks for the link...