Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

That's Just What You Are

Aimee Mann is releasing her fifth solo album, The Forgotten Arm, on May 3 and the media machine is getting warmed up for her. The Guardian talks to her about boxing and Southern rock, while Salon (via The Toronto Star (bugmenot: / 123456)) talked to Mann at SxSW about the new album. The Star seems to have some problems with line breaks…

The Forgotten Arm, a 70s-themed concept album about love and pugilism, is Mann’s first since 2002’s somewhat disappointing Lost In Space (not counting last year’s live album set). Previously, each of her albums involved some sort of radical reinvention – Whatever‘s pop classicism gave way to I’m With Stupid‘s harder alt-rock edge, which in turn was traded in for the adult sophistication of the breakthrough Magnolia soundtrack and its proper companion album, Bachelor No 2. Space offered up more of the same, but the songwriting seemed to be treading water. While cynicism and emotional detachment had become Mann’s stock-in-trade, she just sounded bored now. It was as if now that her much-documented battles with the major label system were over and she’d found her artistic independence, the fight had left her. I was pleased that the material from Live At St. Ann’s Warehouse seemed to recapture some of that energy, at least in the more muscular band arrangements. Hopefully The Forgotten Arm continues that trend.

Of course, it’s easy enough to find out – the whole of the new record is now available to stream off her website. Or if you don’t want to spoil the new album experience but still want a taste, but you can download an mp3 of one of the tracks here:

MP3: Aimee Mann – “Dear John”

PopTones recently posed their Questions Of Doom to Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake. He talks about the making of Man-Made, Alan McGee and how the Fannies will always be inexorably linked with Nirvana. I think this piece dates back to last Fall, but it’s still a good read. Man-Made gets a North American release on June 7.

New City Chicago talks to James Mercer of The Shins, who play a sold-out show at the Kool Haus this Sunday. Link via Largehearted Boy.

Keren Ann is back in Toronto on June 25 at an indeterminate venue… her website says she’s playing “The Toronto Star Stage”, which either means a festival of some kind, or the cafeteria at the newspaper’s offices. More details as they become known. Update: Looks like she’ll be performing at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival.

New York’s Enon and Detroit’s Thunderbirds Are Now! are in Toronto at a venue to be determined June 11. Thunderbirds are also here May 7 at Sneaky Dee’s as part of the Over The Top festival.

np – M83 / Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts

By : Frank Yang at 9:13 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. PG says:

    re: Keren Ann-Downtown jazz festival perhaps? The Star is a major sponsor and the dates fit. also: definition of ‘jazz’ quite loose.

  2. Frank says:

    that’s probably it. I only saw the date this morning so I didn’t have time to find out what was happening in town around that time… her booking company says she’s on a bill with Artuo Sandoval, so that makes perfect sense as well.

  3. mike says:

    Tickets for The Toronto Star Stage, Jazz Festival events tend to run $20 or more, but you can do it on the cheap and just sit outside the tent and listen in!

  4. satellite says:

    Lost in Space.. disappointing? I love that album! To each his own. I’m more worried that the upcoming "concept" album will be disappointing. It’s easy to lose sight of the music when trying to connect everything.

  5. Frank says:

    yeah, I can’t put my finger on why but I never really got into "Lost In Space". I think she should work with Bernard Butler again! "I’m With Stupid" ruled the school.

  6. solace says:

    the new Aimee Mann is WONDERFUL. one of my favorite albums this year.

    i definitely like it a lot more than Lost In Space, which i do like.

    and Sat, i don’t have a problem w/ the "concept" album aspect of this new album at all.

    wait’ll you hear Goodbye Caroline, the guitar playing on that track smokes.

  7. tom says:

    Yea! New Aimee Mann!! Put me in the category of "Loving Lost In Space".

  8. satellite says:

    I haven’t heard the new album yet, so I hope that it is great. I just get a little nervous when I hear concept album, but I know that solace shares my opinion of newest Andrew Bird album (amazing), so I’m very happy you’re also feeling the new Aimee Mann.

  9. david says:

    Aimee Mann released some tour dates today, unfortunately none scheduled yet in Canada.

    See Keren Ann if you get the chance, she’s mesemerizing (and not in a Liz Phair way).

  10. Chris says:

    Whatever and Til Tuesday’s Everything’s Different Now are my fave Mann discs – not that the last few have been bad. And having listened to the new one once, I’m not sure anyone should worry about the concept aspect – it seems "Par for the Course".