26 May 2011

Live Righteously, Takin' It Easy

Hello folks, my last summer mixtape came out in October so this time out I'm gonna drop it as the weather is warming up instead of cooling down. This mixtape a throw back. Eight years ago, a lot of our friends mysteriously ended back up in San Diego for a few months. Nobody was gainfully employed and we spent the summer making music, playing sports, fishing, hanging out at our pseudo clubhouse, and auditioning Smurfettes. That was the first summer post-college that most everybody was home and it set the precedent for many more years of lazy hanging out.

As it happened, our friend Gene (Dave's Son) was kick starting his music career then and we hit up a lot of his open mics and shows. Having a guitarist in the house, we were inundated with the music he blasted but the one artist that defined our breezy existence was Jason Mraz.

Mraz was a local product, by way of Virginia, and he used to pack in Java Joe's (video), a popular San Diego spot for up and coming musicians -- Jewel started her career there as well -- and his name was whispered at all the places Gene would play. We had an obscene amount of random Mraz tracks and we got addicted to all his live stuff. Truth be told, I wasn't a huge fan of his studio albums until "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things," but I'd peddle his live stuff to anyone even slightly inclined toward acoustic pop.

Compared to his contemporaries like John Mayer or Jack Johnson, Mraz stands out for his amazing voice, excellent guitar playing, and most of all, his absolutely phenomenal lyrics. Some of his heartfelt and witty lyrics are so fantastic that I want to frame them. Plus Mraz is super fun to sing along to and within vocal range of most people. And let's not forget his trusty sidekick, Toca Rivera, who accompanies him on the djembe.

With all this in mind, Ameer and I have assembled a two disc ultimate Mraz collection. The first disc is the stuff we used to listen to in 2003, the songs that were on constant repeat. The second is some newer stuff, along with additional tracks that we have re-dug up. I think you'll find both sides absolutely amazing. If you aren't a fan of Mraz, you will be after downloading this mixtape for your top down drives and delicious night time strolls.

Ultimate Jason Mraz
Track list - Zip file
Disc One: Carne Asada
15 songs, 1 hr 04 mins, 71.5 MB

Disc Two: Flautas
15 songs, 1 hr 07 mins, 80.0 MB
Bonus: How can I mention Jewel and then not share these videos I spent about an hour of my life watching as I did Mraz research. Here is Ms. Kilcher in 1994 at the ripe old age of twenty playing "Near Me Always." Then in 1995 with "You Were Meant For Me" and two years later with Jennifer Aniston hair. And for comparison's sake, here is "Foolish Games" in 2006. I love me some Jewel, I can not lie.