guitarist, singer-songwriter, 7 p.m.
Around a half-dozen years ago John Mayer decided success was synonymous with appearing on TMZ. What followed were high profile interviews and tweets dotted with off-color and un-PC jokes/inane proclamations/observations that vacillated widely between “amusing” and “what a douche,” all while Mayer filled his days by stalking every Tinseltown starlet capable of breathing through her nose. The only studio album released during this time, Battle Studies, traffics in his predictable soul-folk lover-man persona, which like a pick-up line, works on some and fails on others. Last year’s more earnest, Laurel Canyon-flavored Born & Raised was a reminder that when Mayer closes his mouth for a minute and stops humping the furniture he makes pretty good music, a fact that years of star-whoring have overshadowed. His latest Paradise Valley sounds like a second plea for forgiveness as he hops the chugging Americana train, which happens to be a great vehicle for songs of humility. But humble’s not a pie he’s used to eating. So when he pleads on “Dear Marie,” “Remember me, I’m the boy you used to love when you were 15, now I wonder what you think when you see me in a magazine,” it’s hard to tell if he’s being earnest, meta, or just working a marketing angle. I’m not sure he even knows. —Chris Parker THURSDAY