Tag Archives: Aimee Mann
After a three-year hiatus, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann’s annual Christmas tour returns, and this time she’s bringing fellow singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ted Leo, her bandmate in the Both (above, doing a medley of TV show themes for Vulture), along with her. With such talented, funny people at the helm, it’s safe to expect a variety show with Christmas classics, original music, video, sketches and all sorts of music and comedy guests over the course of two nights, at the Space at Westbury on Friday and Town Hall on Saturday night. And while most of each night’s guests are of the surprise, to-be-announced variety, we can say that the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, singer-songwriter Jonthan Coulton and—straddling the Venn diagram overlap of comedian and musician—Fred Armisen will join Mann and Leon at Saturday’s performance. The holiday season is here, and this is a pretty great way to embrace it.
Talented singer-songwriter Aimee Mann was making winning folkish rock long before the Magnolia soundtrack made her famous, not to mention earned her Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations for “Save Me” in the process. But while she still remains well known for that song and “Wise Up” (another tune from the Paul Thomas Anderson flick), Mann (above, performing “Labrador” for WBEZ FM’s Sound Opinions) hasn’t been pigeonholed by it. In fact, she’s put out six quality albums since the movie’s release, including last year’s Charmer. And while she often sings melancholy tales, her amiable comedic personality comes through live onstage.
As one of the leading forces in East Coast indie rock, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ted Leo (below, performing “Living a Lie” with Mann) has played with a variety of bands, channeling folk, hardcore, punk and soul. But tomorrow night at Webster Hall, alongside Aimee Mann, Leo goes it alone, playing a solo set. This is a great double bill you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Aimee Mann – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 27, 2012
“For some reason, most of my friends are comedians,” Aimee Mann told the audience halfway through her sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg show on Friday night. Although the songwriter is best known for singing melancholy tales about the “dysfunctional, broken and crazy” (her exact words), she is also quite the comedienne, and for each dismal story in her songs, Mann counteracted the gloom with a wry anecdote, a pointed comment or some spontaneous banter with the crowd (see also: playing herself on Portlandia). Given her natural penchant for hilarity, she probably shouldn’t be too stumped at her circle of comical friends.
Before playing a block of songs from her soon-to-be released album (probably called Charmer, though she admitted to some last-minute reservations about the title), Mann, in saying, “I won’t be offended at all,” gave everyone permission to use the bathroom in case the new material wasn’t their thing. Of course the pieces were met with a warm welcome, and songs like “Labrador” fit in nicely with Mann’s repertoire of catchy tales of the downtrodden. Perhaps as a reward for our patience with the new material, Mann followed with a selection of songs from her popular soundtrack to Magnolia, prefacing her spot-on renditions of “Save Me,” “Wise Up” and “One” by dryly commenting, “It’s hard to believe it’s been so long … since I lost that fucking Oscar.”
During the night’s encore, after performing “4th of July,” from her very first solo album, 1993’s Whatever, Mann was joined by opening act John Roderick, another humorous musician (offering hugs for five dollars at the merch table after the show), for a cheery cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Keep the Customer Satisfied.” The choice of song may have been a final wink to the crowd, for Mann certainly knows how to put on a satisfying show, no jokes about it. —Alena Kastin
Aimee Mann comes to town to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday. As you can imagine, the show is sold out. But fear not, you’ve still got a chance to go because The House List is giving away two tickets. So try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Aimee Mann, 1/27) and a brief message explaining what the upcoming end of the football season means to you. Eddie Bruiser, who doesn’t want to see it go, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Aimee Mann – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 22, 2010
Aimee Mann walked out onstage before a sold-out audience at Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night and announced that it was the end of the tour and that we’d be getting the “punch drunk” show. Looking serious in a blazer, tie and black-framed glasses, she proceeded to play “The Moth” solo with just her beautiful acoustic guitar to accompany her. This balance of playful chitchat and deep, pensive songsmanship characterized the rest of the night as Mann displayed her extreme talents for both.
The stage was rounded out to a trio with a bassist and keyboardist for the rest of the night, starting with a nice version of “Freeway.” It’s rare to see a grand piano on the stage at Music Hall, but it was well used by Jamie Edwards, who moved among the piano, synthesizer and Fender Rhodes, from song to song. Mann took a seat at the piano with her classic self-deprecating “I only know three chords,” playing “Medicine Wheel”—alone at first, and then with Edwards sharing the bench for a quick solo on the other end of the piano and an outro on the Rhodes.
The audience mirrored Mann’s mood: playful between numbers, deathly quiet during them. She apologetically played three new songs—tunes that will become a part of an in-progress adaptation of her Forgotten Arm album—that turned out to be a nice change of pace. The set closed with some crowd-pleasers from the Magnolia soundtrack, “Save Me” and “Wise Up,” with most in the crowd resisting the urge to join in on the vocals. Things got particularly giddy during the encore as Mann, entertaining requests, joked that they should be sent by paper airplane. After a crisp version of “Red Vines” and a lyric-book-aided “Invisible Ink,” a paper airplane did make its way to the stage and Mann stayed true to her word, pleasing at least one person with “Video.” Well, probably more than one person. —A. Stein
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com