Weekend Words

Quote of the Day: “Now let’s all get baked like Anita… It’s a Saturday…” — De La Soul, “A Roller Skating Jam Called ‘Saturdays'”

Mimi, Mary, MAYA!: Singer and actress Maya Days (Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar), a very good buddy of mine, is shining in a new off-Broadway show about the music biz called Once Around the Sun. She’s her usual bubbly, outspoken self when Andrew Gans gives her the “Diva Talk” Q&A treatment over at Playbill.com. If you’re a theater head like me, you should check it out…

The Mraz Supremacy: I got the new Jason Mraz CD in the mail. As much as I loved his debut Waiting For My Rocket to Come, I truly wasn’t looking forward to the follow-up because I hated the first single with a passion. I usually hate any artist’s sophomore release where they have to talk about the status of their career or how their life has changed or how people hate them or love etc etc. Of course your life is different. Of course there are haters out there. Tell it to your therapist. We don’t care. Just get on with it and build on what brought you fans in the first place. Then I listened to Mr. A-Z, and once I was immersed in the sly uptempo opening track “Life Is Wonderful”, I was just about wide-open again. The sweetest little alto in the music biz is back, along with the sometimes too-clever-for-words internal rhyme schemes and heady lyrics that made the debut so smart—but this time star producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Dave Mathews) has provided Mraz with a luscious backing sound that swings from alt-rock angst to lovely ballads in seconds and never flags, never gives Mraz time to get too self-satisfied. Yeh, he’s still doing some of his white-slacker-rapper-boy schtick but it feels so organic to who he is that it’s excusable, and it’s OK to be the Smartest Boy on the Charts if you can create pop music this supple and fun and elastically exuberant, and write such touching cuts as “Bella Luna” and “Mr. Curiousity” and “Plane”. And, as with “Geek In the Pink”, if you can write & sing the best I’m-a-Nerd-and-I’m-Proud dance track I’ve ever heard. Yes, you read that right: a Proud-Nerd dance track, as in Nerds Will Love You Better. And you believe him…

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