Toads, for your listening pleasure, elucidation, and inspiration, I present to you the one and only AIMEE MANN.
Aimee Mann has an irresistible new album of musically and lyrically seductive compositions called Charmer--a full cadre of story-songs illustrating a range of undesirable human behavior. According to her biography, on Charmer,
“[n]ames have been obscured to protect the guilty, but you will almost
certainly recognize yourself in these short narratives, along with the
fellow travelers who have conned, enabled, victimized, or (yes) charmed
you.” I believe some of us have met many of these cretins along the way,
so let’s write about them today.
encourage you to read Aimee’s thorough and entertaining bio, which I
will not attempt to summarize here. But I’ll share that “Voices Carry,”
the 1985 single that put Aimee Mann and her band, 'Til Tuesday, on the
map, was highly influential on this writer in my early college years. (I
was actually surprisingly choked up watching the video while preparing
this prompt. Watch it for yourself and see.) 'Til Tuesday released three
albums; in the 1990’s Aimee Mann went solo with Whatever and Bachelor No. 2, followed by the soundtrack for the film Magnolia, full of lush and memorable songs like “Wise Up” and Oscar-nominated “Save Me.”
Mann is married to Michael Penn, which in my book makes them pop-music
royalty. For real. And she’s just the definition of cool, having
appeared in The Big Lebowski and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, touring with
comedians like Janeane Garofalo and David Cross (comedian John Hodgman
appears in the hilarious video for her new song, “Charmer”), and
starring (as herself) in a memorable episode of Portlandia. Really, there is nothing
not to love about Aimee Mann.
Toads, lemme see what you got! Be inspired by Aimee Mann’s signature
sound, by the possibility of facing an unnecessary intervention, or
whatever else moves you. Remember, voices carry! But here in the garden, no one is telling you to keep it down.