John and Ben make a move.
1. John Mayer and I have been through some whirlwind romances and trial separations over the years. My dad (who is in radio) was like "hey, keep an eye out for this guy, he's got a lot of talent and something special." and I checked it out and I enjoyed it. I don't even think Room for Squares had even been released yet. Just his independent acoustic release and some live mp3s in random places. I always thought "3x5" should have been a single off Room. Then JM became the new DMB on campus, every numbnugget with a guitar was playing John Mayer on the steps, "Your Body is a Wonderland" blared out of dorm windows and doors, and his lyrics started dominating AIM away messages and profiles. I threw my hands up. He would be a guilty pleasure from that point until now. He's grown up quite a bit in the meantime. He's still got the college audience, but he scored some universal cred by drafting famous session musicians to fill out the John Mayer Trio. He's still breathy syrup-voiced, still has amazing chops on the axe, but the songwriting is refined, the tingling guitar solos more understated than over the top. It's tasteful. It transcends genre and time. That's why bloggers like me everywhere are jumping back on the JM bandwagon.
I Don't Trust Myself (with loving you)
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
2. Ben Kweller and I have had a much more limited relationship. He's teased me with enjoyable singles and b-sides and bored me with other album filler. He's enticed me with clever songwriting and a his boyish voice, then lost me with songs that sound like they were written when he was 11. His new self-titled album seeks to buck those trends with me. It's really strong. It's all the good things I ever liked about Ben.