Maybe 10 or 12 years ago, my friend Amy turned me on to Aimee Mann. I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but it involved a show at The Egg and an extra ticket. I don’t think I had any familiarity with Aimee Mann’s music beyond her ‘Til Tuesday stuff, but she hit me big. There was something appealing about her soft voice and her hard to take lyrics that I found powerful and moving. In the Egg’s lobby, immediately after the show, I bought two of her cds. A fan was born.
Through the years, I’ve listened to Aimee Mann with an enthusiasm which bordered upon obsession. When I was feeling positive about life, she made me appreciate my happiness. During the more emotionally challenging times, I knew that Aimee Mann understood my struggles and she kept me looking ahead. Her music is penetrating and she has written moody music for movies (Magnolia soundtrack) and revisited childhood classics with her contributions to the I Am Sam soundtrack and her cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I caught her show a few years ago in Washington Park, a venue that didn’t necessarily suit her, in my opinion. Thursday night, on the invitation of two dear friends, I headed down to Hudson’s Club Helsinki to check her out again. The gorgeous space that is Helsinki, perfectly matched the intimacy of Mann’s music and she and her band put on a terrific show. Opening act and collaborator, Ted Leo, seemingly the result of some sort of merging of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, was a bit weak as a solo act, yet he shined when he shared the stage with Aimee. She was funny as hell – self-deprecating and quick-witted in the same way her lyrics tend to be. Her observations, along with her black-framed glasses, were sharp and defining and it was a memorable show.
Although I failed at capturing a photo of she and I together, wearing our strikingly similar outfits of short shorts and nerdy eyewear, the night overall was perfect in every way.
Thank you, Amy.
Thank you, Aimee.