Saturday, December 15, 2007

AIMEE MANN'S (GENTLY) ROLLING THUNDER (X-MAS) REVIEW

Last night I caught the NY stop on Aimee Mann's second annual Christmas tour. It was a great show - really well-thought out and put together, and everyone there had fun.

Which is a bit weird, as most people who are vaguely familiar with Aimee's music probably wouldn't associate her, or her music, with fun.

I am a huge fan of Aimee's. Yes, her music can be depressing, and her sense of humor isn't totally apparent if you just listen to her music. A few years ago, Aimee and her husband, Michael Penn, toured together and hired the comedian Patton Oswald to not only open the shows, also to provide the in-between songs banter. What was funny about that is that Aimee and Michael were hilarious on thier own, and Mr. Oswald just added to the general hilarity. Also, I've always felt that theres some undercurrent of optimism in her music. Like, maybe the wrecks that she sings about have some chance of redemption or improvement.

Last year, Aimee released a Christmas album, One More Drifter In The Snow, and decided to do a Christmas tour. I missed it, but read about how great it was, so I was sure to catch this year's. Aimee and her great band played a few Christmas songs, plus some of her other stuff, like "Jacob Marley's Chain" and her classic "Save Me." But she also gave the stage over to a cast of special guests: comedian Paul F. Thompkins (probably most well known as a "talking head" on VH1's Best Week Ever), and singer-songwriters Ben Lee, Josh Ritter and Nellie McKay, as well as "The Hannukkah Fairy" who did a pretty hilarious rap about the meaning of Hannukkah. The show made me curious to check out more of all of their music.

Aimee also had a three part film which showed her quest to get "special guests" for her Christmas show, including Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Weird Al, Patton Oswald and someone from CSI: Miami (Emily Proctor?), and a few others. It was really funny. Aimee has great comic timing, I'm surprised she hasn't done more film work (although let's not forget her toe-sacrificing role in the classic Big Lebowski). I guess it's probably because in movies, you don't have much control, and after spending years fighting labels, she isn't prepared to sign over a few months to corporate movie studio. Still, she was really funny.

On another Aimee note, I saw her show at Warsaw in Brooklyn over the summer, and she played a few new songs - apparently, there's no electric guitar on the next album. That's cool: her new album is one of the records I'm most looking forward to in the '08.

1 comment:

missmaro said...

i have to agree with the concensus...i don't equate aimee mann with "fun" ...very insightful..