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John Mayer recently shared some interesting thoughts at his former school, addressing the topics of current social media and the creative process. Good stuff to think about as I sit here writing a BLOG, having just checked my TWITTER and FACEBOOK… all while complaining that I can’t find the time to get my solo project off the ground.
PS. Those of you who are familiar with John Piper will find his response to Mayer’s Twitter theory worth reading.
… for constantly mentioning Steve Jordan on this blog. He’s the man. Why wouldn’t I post tons of stuff about him? The issue is settled.
There’s lots of fresh youtube footage of him lately, coming off John Mayer’s recent tour. Apparently the setlist included a Jordan solo as the intro to “Waiting on the World to Change,” which was of course different from night to night. I may or may not have just spent the last 2 hours watching all the clips I could find.
Here are my favorite ones…
ps… Is it just me or does he look A LOT like Elvin Jones with this haircut?
I posted a ton about John Mayer’s new record Battle Studies while it was being made. Now that it’s out, for those wondering what I think of it, let me say this: I like it a lot. That’s all I’m saying for now. Maybe more on that in a future post.
I do want to bring up again the discussion regarding the single “Who Says” and it’s somewhat questionable lyrical content/depth. I recently read an interview with Mayer, which covers the subject of that tune and the general direction of the album as a whole. I can’t decide if his comments change my understanding of the situation with that song or not.
Apparently John Mayer played a full hour-long set at the Ed Sullivan Theater last Thursday, during the taping of the Letterman Show, but the performance was only broadcast in it’s entirety on the CBS website. So, check out CBS.com to watch it.
I have to say, Mayer himself doesn’t sound very good, but the band is killing it, and Steve Jordan especially (of course).
Ok… the new John Mayer single… I just heard the song for the first time while watching the video, and I seriously don’t know how to respond. The track is like Tom Petty’s beautiful record Wildflowers, but with Busta Rhymes writing the lyrics. Aside from the music and production being really great, the song is a complete letdown.
I suppose this is my 1:00am gut reaction, so maybe I’ll recant later. If you want to check it out for yourself, then you’ll have to click here, because I don’t want to embed this video. The images/concept are, frankly, a lot of what is wrong with today’s generation in America… in my opinion, of course.
The whole thing just seems so out-of-character for the guy who wrote Continuum and regularly calls for Americans to remember their brave men and women in uniform. In fact, I have a small hunch that releasing this track as the first single on Mayer’s new record is actually part of a big sociological statement on his part. I mean, literally, the song and the video are an EXACT REPRESENTATION of what most people associate with the becoming-a-different-person-once-you-hit-the-big-time phenomenon. Whatever the case, I just really hope the rest of the record is different.
That is all. (steps down from soapbox…)
UPDATE: Lots of great discussion about this in the comments… nice. Meanwhile, the second single was just released, and I really dig it. Check it out below…
The short blog hiatus continues. I promise it will be SHORT, though. I’ve got some cool stuff in the works for the future, but for now I’m doing lots of practicing and reading and relaxing and so on.
In the meantime, the John Mayer Trio will be on Conan tonight. I wonder if Steve Jordan will still use that set up with the little kick drum off to the side…
6/5/09 Update: Confirmation on the little aux kick drum, even though he didn’t use it. And… somebody needs to tell Conan’s front of house engineer that the guitar is not supposed to be the hottest part of the mix. Pearl Jam, Green Day, Sheryl Crow, JMT… the show is 4 for 4 so far on mixing the guitar to WAY too loudly.
Ok, here’s the deal…
I realize I post stuff on this blog about John Mayer a lot. What can I say… I like him. I’m not a groupie or anything – I just respect his musicianship/songwriting. That, and Continuum is one of my favorite records ever. If I am totally honest, though, the main reason I’m so into his stuff lately is STEVE EFFING JORDAN on drums. Seriously, I love Steve Jordan’s playing, and Mayer’s music is the main place to see Jordan at work for the past few years.
I’ve seen Jordan’s instructional DVD a couple times, which is rad. I also have a live Mayer DVD that has Jordan on a few tracks (Where The Light Is), but aside from that I’ve not found much footage of him. So, I am super pumped to have just now discovered a bazillion clips of him on youtube that I’ve not found before. I spent the last few hours watching them, and the good ones are listed below. Do yourself a favor and watch them ALL before you go to sleep tonight, and I bet you will wake up to find you are a better drummer because of it…
Some vintage Steve Jordan – a television performance w/ Jeffy Healey, circa early 80’s… (I feel like this might be from SNL during the era when Jordan held that drum chair). UPDATE: a recent commenter pointed out that this might in fact be Omar Hakim on drums, not Steve Jordan. Interesting.
Recording John Mayer’s “Stitched Up” with Herbie Hancock – this is a clip from a documentary on Herbie’s mulit-collaboration album from a few years ago called Possibilities. The Jordan footage ends around the 5:30 mark…
Recording Sting’s “Sister Moon” with Herbie Hancock – another segment from the Possibilities documentary, this time featuring Sting, Cyro Baptista (perc), and John Patitucci (bass). The pattern in the groove on this tune is sick.
Demonstrating a Sheryl Crow track – a clip from Jordan’s instructional DVD, The Groove Is Here.
Jamming with Danny Kortchmar and Bernie Worrell – this is apparently an outtake from The Groove Is Here.
Jamming in John Mayer’s home studio – I found this video on Mayer’s blog, which is dedicated to chronicling the creation of his new record, Battle Studies.
Performing “Don’t Need No Doctor” w/ Mayer and John Scofield – Jay Leno show
JMT… “Who Did You Think I Was” – the official video release of the first “John Mayer Trio” single. This performance totally rips.
JMT… “Wait Until Tomorrow” – the Hendrix tune on Jimmy Kimmel, from back when the John Mayer Trio was first formed.
JMT… “Bold As Love” – more Hendrix, this one from a Tsunami benefit teledrive. Check out Mayer’s response to his own mistake at 2:51…
JMT… “Cissy Strut” – the Meter’s tune from another teledrive, this time for Katrina. Jordan rocks a cocktail kit on this, and manages to actually make it sound super hip.
JMT… “Out Of My Mind” – another performance from the early days of JMT, from the Live @ Launch program. The image is pretty grainy, but the performance of this tune is one of the best I’ve heard.
JMT… “Come When I Call” – a blues tune from the Where The Light Is DVD. The pocket on this is huge, and Pino’s playing is just unreal. Snare hit on “1” at 2:28 is oh so perfect.
Finally, there was apparently a JMT television performance that has some affiliation with “Network Live,” as I found a handful of videos from the same show all bearing that logo. The “Jam” is my fav, but unfortunately the audio/visual timing is a little off on that one…
“I Got A Woman”
“Good Love Is On The Way”
Video #2 on the home-recording of John Mayer’s forthcoming Battle Studies album. This is fresh off the press… he posted this on Twitter just over an hour ago…
John Mayer just posted a link to this video on his Twitter page. It appears he’s beginning work on another album this week, and it also appears that he’s doing the whole thing at his house. I have to say that I am HUGELY PUMPED that Steve Jordan is again producing and playing drums on the record. That guy rules so much.
PS. Another random John Mayer story: Monday he twittered a link to this performance of 4’33, the groundbreaking “Chance Operation” work by John Cage. Mayer comically suggested that the link was “in observance of 4/20,” but the piece itself is absolutely no joke. Cage has been hailed as the 20th century’s most influential and important Amercian composer, and is a household name among fans of the avant garde. A good documentary on his life and work can be viewed here.