I got an email announcement from Charlie Mars's PR people saying that he was coming to the Zanzibar on June 2, and my gut response was: "Awesome! Charlie Mars! I love that guy! I love that his 'people' are emailing me!"
But after sitting on the email for a week and doing a pretty extensive Google sweep for Mars, I am relatively certain that I've actually never come across Charlie Mars before. Sure, he's dating Mary Louise Parker (good on ya, Charlie!) but despite the fact that I'm an admitted EW.com addict, I don't really follow gossip. Yes, he sang the National Anthem at one of my beloved Saints' games back in November-- maybe I saw that, but I think that was before I started watching every single game last season. He's from my neck of the woods-- Mississippi-- hence the Saints appearance. His bio gives me nothing to lead me to believe that I've seen him live before-- we like the same music, and that's a good indication that I'd like his music, but his bio doesn't mention opening up for any tours I've seen. And I think I'd remember-- he's stunningly handsome as evidenced by this mucho sexy music video starring Mars and Parker (no mistake, I'm sure, having "Nancy Botwin" star in a video whose refrain is "If you want to come over, come over and get high/ We'll listen to the Dark Side of the Moon.").
And yet, "deja vu"-- or maybe "deja dig." I was absolutely certain that I would like Charlie Mars. And I was right. His newest album, Like a bird, Like a plane, which I listened to in its entirety as I Google stalked him, is full of knee-wobblingly sensual tracks along the vein of David Gray. I'm betting that some people are throwing around comparisons to the likes of John Mayer and Jack Johnson, but the Oxford, Mississippi in this guy insures that there's more soul in one of Mars's tracks than whole albums by Mayer or Johnson.
Anyway, I'll keep trying to connect A & B-- figure out some reason, besides "deja dig," that I knew I'd like Charlie Mars. In the meantime, I'm excited to kill two birds with one stone on June 2: (a) check out Charlie Mars and (b) finally hit Zanzibar, which is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots to catch live music in the city. I think it's a lovely bit of cosmic convergence that this show happens on the first Wednesday of my summer vacation. Nicely done, universe.
Hope to see you there.
Charlie Mars fun fact: According to his bio, after a couple of albums Mars burned out and hit rehab. After which, a one-night casino win netted him enough money to buy studio time to record his major label debut.