December 9, 2008

Aimee Mann//Choice in the Matter

Aimee Mann practically saved my life in high school. I’m not kidding.

Jon Brion-produced I’m With Stupid was another brilliant and life-changing gift from Joel. Every track is golden; every bitter, deadpan word was one that spoke directly to the feeling of disaffected outcast youthfulness that I had at 16 in the suburbs of New Jersey. To this day, this album sits at the top of my desert island necessities.

You may know Aimee Mann from her role in one of my favorite guilty pleasure bands, Til’ Tuesday (80s hit: “Voices Carry,” which some of my friends heard as “This is Scary” and some other friends heard as “This is Gary”). Perhaps synth nightmare/my favorite, “Love In a Vaccum” will someday find it’s way onto this very blog, although the fact that my entire TT collection lives on vinyl and tape make this a little difficult.

You may also know Aimee Mann from her soundtrack/theme work on one of my favorite movies, Magnolia. You know that scene where every character sings part of a song? Yep.

What else can I tell you about Ms. Mann?

She’s married to Michael Penn, musician and brother of Sean Penn.
She has a song about my favorite comic (and tattoo inspiration) Ghost World.
She has a cameo in my least favorite move, The Big Lebowski.
Her battles with the record industry have been messy and public (presumably what the title of this album references).
She now has her own record label, the aptly named SuperEgo.
She used to have a rattail.
She is a badass (see one above).
She is an amazing songwriter and lyricist.

This is a song I learned how to play in the early days of me playing guitar. I don’t really ever tire of it, or any track on IWS:

Choice in the Matter.mp3

Skip the cloak and dagger bit.
Don’t you know we’re sick of it?

As much as I would like to stay,
The message light just blinks away…
And while I’m here, you won’t push play.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

I have to admit she has saved my life, her music always arrives at some huge moment in my life and provides meanings that I wasn't previously looking at. Aimee Mann will always have a special place in my life.