On tour

New material? Don't forget the old
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  July 8, 2009

aimee main

Right about now, Aimee Mann is freaking out. "I always completely lose my mind before I go on tour," she says. It's hard to imagine Mann being frantic about anything. The honey-voiced singer-songwriter, who launched her career in Boston with 'Til Tuesday, achieved fame with her work on the Magnolia soundtrack, and is touring now to promote her latest solo album, @#%&*! Smilers (SuperEgo), sings slow and steady. On this latest effort, recorded largely live in the studio, she seems unruffled as ever by relationship woes, the sad tug of the open road, and the impossibility of quotidian life.

Take "31 Today," her straightforward take on growing older (the singer herself is 48): "I thought my life would be different somehow/I thought my life would be better by now/but it's not," she says, matter-of-factly. It's a sentiment that could be milked for its angst, but Mann treats it as many of us would: with resignation, bemusement, and even some appreciation of shared misery. It's one of her favorite songs on the album, which she describes as capturing some of "that great magic that musicians can have when they're all together and looking at each other." That magic will be on display at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield on July 19, when she combines, as she did on the record, acoustic guitar with the "unacoustic synthesizer sounds" of two keyboardists. (The sonic aesthetic of this album was inspired by early Cars records, among other things, she says.)

If you attend the show on the 19th, come prepared to hear new songs as well as old favorites. Mann is planning, on this tour, to take a lot of audience requests — she's gone as far as to print lyrics for most of her 90-song repertoire. And it's required a lot of personal review: "Almost always I don't remember how to play them — sometimes I don't even remember having written them."

Related: Photos: Aimee Mann at the Somerville Theatre, Yule appeal, History bites, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Entertainment, Music, Singer Songwriters,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE  |  July 24, 2014
    When three theater companies, all within a one-hour drive of Portland, choose to present the same Shakespeare play on overlapping dates, you have to wonder what about that particular show resonates with this particular moment.
  •   NUMBER CRUNCHERS  |  July 23, 2014
    Maybe instead of devoting still-more resources to food reviews, Maine’s leading news organizations should spend money on keeping better tabs on Augusta.
    Among last year’s 100 top-grossing films, women represented just 15 percent of protagonists, and less than one-third of total characters.
    Former Mainer Shanna McNair started The New Guard, an independent, multi-genre literary review, in order to exalt the writer, no matter if that writer was well-established or just starting out.
  •   NO TAR SANDS  |  July 10, 2014
    “People’s feelings are clear...they don’t want to be known as the tar sands capitol of the United States."

 See all articles by: DEIRDRE FULTON