Tag Archives: John Mayer

Visually Oriented: The Lost Art of Commissioned Album Artwork

-Emily Fraysse

On November 22, 2010, hip-hop artist Kanye West released his fifth album titled, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a collection of different musical components like baroque and soul with underlying themes of excess, celebrity, ego, race, drinking, drug use, and consumer culture. What gained a lot of attention, however, was the artwork album artwork. Kanye announced on Twitter that not long before it was released, the album had been rejected by major chain stores because of the graphic artwork.

The portrait, by George Condo, shows Kanye being straddled by an armless winged female. Both are nude. Condo’s Picasso-meets-Looney-Tunes style artwork was described by the New York Times as, “tasty, erudite stuff, freaky but classy, a Mixmaster version of old master, with a big glop of Pop tossed in.”

After the album came out, Condo announced that Kanye wanted a cover image that was risky and would be banned. He eventually created eight or nine different paintings for the album including a disfigured portrait of Kanye and a painting of a crown and sword in a grassy landscape. A second cover was made featuring a ballerina, which at the last second Kanye changed it to a photograph of a ballerina instead.

On the completely opposite end of the album-artwork spectrum lies a lonely, weary traveler by the name John Mayer. After disappearing from the public eye for about two years due to the surgical removal of a granuloma near his vocal cords, he returned with a brand new album and a brand new look. The fifth album for the singer/songwriter, Born and Raised, was his shot at redemption. And, he succeeded. On May 22, 2012, he released his folk and county rock album with an exquisitely designed cover. The recording companies Sony Music and Columbia Records had commissioned David A. Smith to design the cover at the beginning of 2012. Although they never met in person, Mayer and Smith talked regularly via Skype and on phone in order to get the exact look that Mayer was looking for. Smith specializes in traditional, ornamental reverse glass signs and decorated silver and gilded mirrors.

The handcrafted piece was first drawn out separately before vectoring and finishing it in Photoshop in only twenty-eight days. Smith documented the process and success of his work on his website and later in a video.

Both of these artists, Kanye West and John Mayer, did something that not many artists do these days: commission artwork. In John Mayer’s commission, people are claiming that he revived a type of lost art that is slowly coming back into popularity. These special commissions can add a certain uniqueness, beauty, and distinction for artists today.

Flux Playlist: Hi, My Name is

-Flux Blog Staff

Every artists seems to have a song or two that revolve some sort of real or fictitious person. Whether it’s Rod Stewart singing about a former lover or Taylor Swift writing about another guy who has broken her heart, these songs seem to have a bit more personality. So we here at the Flux Blog thought we should share some of out favorite songs with names in the title. Enjoy!

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  • Maggie May -Rod Stewart
  • Come on Eileen -Dexys Midnight Runners
  • Clint Eastwood -Gorillaz
  • Jeremy -Pearl Jam


  • Dirty Diana -Michael Jackson
  • Barbara Ann -The Beach Boys
  • Proud Mary -Ike & Tina Turner


  • Why Georgia -John Mayer
  • Check Yes Juliet -We the Kings
  • Janie’s Got a Gun -Aerosmith


  • Johnny B. Goode -Chuck Berry
  • Sweet Caroline -Neil Diamond
  • Jane Fonda -Mickey Avalon
  • Bennie and the Jets -Elton John


  • Billie Jean -Michael Jackson
  • Saint Veronica -Billy Talent
  • Ulysses -Franz Ferdinand
  • The Ballad of Mona Lisa -Panic! at the Disco


  • Jack and Diane -John Mellencamp
  • Meet Virginia (acoustic) -Train
  • My Sharona -The Knack
  • Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo -Bloodhound Gang

Flux Playlist: Happy Mother's Day!

-Flux Blog Staff

It’s Mother’s day, which means it time for us to pay tribute to that special lady who made it all possible. After all of the years of bedtime stories and crust-less PB&J’s, it’s our turn to call up our mom’s and let them know just how much they mean to us. So we here at the Flux blog decided to pay tribute to our mothers the best way we know how: a playlist. So sit back and enjoy these songs that remind us about the lady who always knows best.

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  • Hey Mama -Kanye West
  • Mama, I’m Coming Home -Ozzy Osbourne
  • Mother’s Little Helper -The Rolling Stones
  • Mother -Roger Waters


  • The Best Day -Taylor Swift
  • Mama Said -The Shirelles
  • What a Wonderful World -Louis Armstrong
  • You’ll Be in My Heart -Phil Collins


  • Mama -The Lonely Island
  • Stacy’s Mom -Fountains of Wayne
  • I Hope You Dance -Leanae Womack
  • That’s All Right (Mama) -Elvis Presley


  • Song for Mama -Boys II Men
  • I’ll Be There -Mac Miller
  • In My Daughter’s Eyes -Martina McBride


  • Dear Mama -2pac
  • Pumpkin Soup -Kate Nash
  • I Turn to You -Christina Aguilera


  • Daughters -John Mayer
  • My Wish -Rascal Flatts
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine -Guns N’ Roses

Flux Playlist: Easy like Sunday Morning

-Flux Blog Staff

To some people, Sundays are a painful reminder that our weekend is about to end as quickly as it came. But for me, Sundays are the perfect chance to unwind and catch up on all of the homework we should have been doing instead of drinking the night before. So here’s a playlist for you to enjoy as you sip on your coffee and prepare to take on the day!

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  • Sunday Sun -Beck
  • The Past and Pending -The Shins
  • St. Vincent -Cruel


  • Sunday Morning -Maroon 5
  • Princess of China -Coldplay ft. Rihanna
  • We are Young -Fun


  • Killer Queen -Queen
  • Bennie and the Jets -Elton John
  • Bold as Love -The Jimi Hendrix Experience


  • The General -Dispatch
  • Home -Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
  • Sleep Tonight -Stars


  • The Sign -Ace of Base
  • Happy People -Skoop on Somebody
  • Easy -Lionel Richie


  • Groovin’ -The Young Rascals
  • Scarlet Begonias -The Grateful Dead
  • Badfish -Sublime


  • All of My Days -Alexi Murdoch
  • Sweet Disposition -The Temper Trap
  • I Feel it All -Feist


  • Brighter than the Sun -Colbie Caillat
  • 1234 -Feist
  • Say -John Mayer


Weekly Flux Playlist: Done with Midterms

-Flux Blog Staff

Glad to finally be done with midterms? Us too!

At the end of each week, the Flux bloggers will be sharing some of their favorite tunes with you in a weekly playlist. This week, we’re celebrating the end of midterms with a playlist that you can unwind to after a stressful week or two of midterms. These songs will have you forgetting about school in no time. So sit back, relax and enjoy a stress free weekend with this Flux playlist.

Mike Munoz:

  • Season’s Trees- Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi ft. Norah Jones
  • Hysteric- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • House of Cards- Radiohead

Jasmine Eoff:

  • Trapped in my Mind- Kid Cudi
  • Coastin’- Zion I & K. Flay
  • Moment 4 Life- Nicki Minaj featuring Drake

Hannah Doyle:

  • Jamming- Bob Marley
  • Summer Day- Coconut Records
  • Go Outside- Cults

Tamara Feingold:

  • Come in Please- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • 12:59 Lullaby- Bedouin Soundclash
  • Skinny Love- Bon Iver

Sam Bouchat:

  • Pumped up Kicks- Foster the People
  • 99 Red Balloons- Nena
  • All This Time- One Republic

Lizzy Ludwig:

  • Young, Wild and Free- Bruno Mars
  • Relax, Take it Easy- Mika
  • No Such Thing- John Mayer