Monday, June 30, 2008

Paying Attention

If I were going to pick a theme for the last year, it would be “Pay Attention.” I am naturally a little scatterbrained (please pretend to be surprised) so I try to remind myself to take a breath, take a step back, take no prisoners...whatever needs to be done to keep me fully inside my life rather than in several different directions, decades etc.

That’s largely what the whole “Dear Universe” thing has been about- things that laid down in my lap when I started paying attention or in some cases bit me hard on the ankle when I wasn’t.

Universe says, “Pay attention- this could be really good!” or “Pay attention- you’re forcing it!” or “Pay Attention- You’re happy!!”

The same could be said for knowing where I am. I’ve always generally known how old I was. It kept me out of trouble in high school because I knew I was young and I knew there’d be time for that.
And that.
And thoooose.

And what do you know? There has been. I'm young. I seem to be surrounded by great people no matter where I am. I'm broke 90% of the time but the weather's warm and I could have butterflies about any number of things at any given minute. The inevitability of both fantastic and very dark things ahead is not lost on me and I'm grateful for this.

What brought this on??? John Mayer wrote an excellent blog post to the same end yesterday. I read it and spent the entire time just nodding and saying “Exactly” in my head. Say what you will about JM, he’s one of my favorite musicians of the last 10 years. There are full chapters of my life that run to the tune of one song or another and to have that kind of songwriting ability plus a purist’s guitar talent....well it only comes around a few times in a generation.

There was a year or so there when I would read something or another and get annoyed but I gave up the gossip ghost with my last job and am back to just enjoying the music and respecting the man making it. I only wish he still played a more intimate venue but I'm not alone in my musical affections which is in fact, a good thing.

Someone just offered me tickets to see an advance screening of “Where The Light Is” tonight and then Jess mentioned him in a post last night. Having him come up three times in a 24 hour period strikes me as something I should pay attention to but in other news- I am just odd on a Monday.


Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Ditto to everything.

I'd forgotten this until just now, but I actually saw John Mayer at a teensy tiny free show in Orlando about... oh my god, that must have been five or six years ago.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Oh my god, that post on John Mayer's blog just about made me cry.

shawn said...

I agree with you about John Mayer. While I don't think I'd list him as a top 10 composer - that's a tough list regardless - there's no doubting he's good and has gotten better with time. At first, I really liked his early stuff, when I was younger and a bit more naive with a far less refined musical taste. Later I realized his music was catchy, yet shallow. Not in a sense that it lacked any kind of meaning, just that everything was there, right on the surface. Both his music and lyrics have become far more textured since the "No Such Thing" days. In a way, we've grown up together. He ditched the Tayor in favor of the Fender as I decided that it's better to be challenged as an aficionado rather than being spoon-fed.

I think we're both better off.

Shelley said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads John Mayer's blog on a regular basis. It was definitely a good post last night.

Shelley said...

P.S. I soooooooo want to see JM in a smaller, intimate venue. I like seeing artists that appear bigger than a centimeter tall from where I'm sitting/standing. I would also consider JM one of my favorite musicians... even more so after Continuum came out.

Cheryl said...


Susie said...

Yessss. That JM blog moved me too. He's a smart boy and an excellent writer.

I need to learn to pay more attention too. Sighh.

The Charming Hedonist said...

A little story for you --

When I was 18, before John Mayer was big, he was buddies with a buddy of mine and a group of us ended up in an all night coffee house sitting around playing and singing.

This, of course, was before the whole Jessica Simpson thing and back when he was still down to earth, but it was one of the coolest experiences I remember from my first year of college.

I will say this, the boy can write.

Colleen Snell said...

I'm nodding...

ToKissTheCook said...

Overcoat: Don't you wonder who you're seeing in teensy tiny venues now that are just about to blow up like that??

Shawn: I liked the old stuff, I like the new stuff so in that way agree- no matter when it was happening, it always seemed to be relevant to who I was and what was going on.

Shelley: Ditto to all, I have zero patience for big stadium shows like that anymore. House of Blues is about as big as I go outside of a festival.

Cheryl: Right?!

Susie: You're paying attention to paying attention. And I watched your girl Martha Beck on Tivoed Oprah today to remind myself!

CH: So ridiculously jealous that I am not even going to punctuate this comment

Colleen: And I will take your head nods of solidarity, sister.

ToKissTheCook said...

**John Mayer Updates: Other than feeling like I am 18.5 by talking about him so much (seriously...a little out of character. I am way too cool for this), I heard to JM songs on the radio yesterday and then my favorite routine on So You Think You Can Dance was to "Waking Up With A Broken Heart." Mia Michaels must be paying attention too.

Jonk said...

TKTC, are you familiar with Eric Hutchinson? You're cool, so I'm guessing yes; and if not, just say yes and you will look cool. Anyway, just posted one of his songs on my blog. Good stuff...make sure to check it out. I think he played on a couple Hotel Cafe Tour stops this spring.