Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Music Roundup (Live Edition)

Living in the middle of nowhere has many advantages for a writer, but one the drawbacks is being far away from a consistent music venue. Not that I went to a ton of concerts when I lived in NYC, but they were always there when I wanted on. Over the past year and a half, Woodstock has slowly been becoming more of a popular stop for intimate shows. Yet it's still a limited selection, so whenever anyone I like is playing, I certainly try to go, often seeing bands that I frankly would've skipped in the city.

Last night the Missus accompanied me to see Aimee Mann at the Bearsville Theater. Having been a musician we were really into at one time, though had since lost track of over the past few years, we thought it would be a fun show to see. It turned out to quite good. I've always loved her voice and she was very lively on stage and interacted with the audience. She played a lot of songs I didn't know, having not listened to her last album. I really enjoyed hearing the unknown songs though. It made me realize I needed to pay more attention to this artist again.

(photo by the Missus)

She played a decent length, about an hour. She also grouped her songs by album for the most part and actually played a few songs from the Magnolia soundtrack, which were amazing. "Save Me" was perfect and then the show ended with an amazing version of Harry Nilsson's "One." The encore ended with my favorite song of took all night, but she played it. Below is a quick rundown of her albums that I have in my vast, and increasingly rarely ventured, CD collection:

Aimee Mann - I'm With Stupid: Her second album dates to 1996. That was really a dead time for singer-songerwriters and certainly for folk. This record tries to be more power pop as a result, lacking that real singer songwriter quality that Aimee does wonderfully.

Aimee Mann - Magnolia (Soundtrack)
: This album was released in December of 1999, but wasn't really discovered until after Bachelor No. 2 was released five months later and become an indi hit. Plus it took time because the movie, being 3 hours long, wasn't a theater hit, but certainly was huge on VHS months later (remember going to the video store?). These are hauntingly beautiful songs and really caught a vibe of the pre-9/11, early George W Bush days.

Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2: This 2000 album is the one that made me a fan. I was initially drawn to it by the Lewis Carroll-y dodo illustration. Then I heard it and was blown away from the first listen. Perfect story-telling, great characters, and a wonderful example of L.A. indie folk. I never get tired of this album and actually listened to it recently while in Switzerland. It's always been a five star album. I also listened to this album with Missus many times while driving through Iceland a decade ago, the soundtrack to great memories. It's a sad album that somehow always manages to put me in a good mood.

Aimee Mann - Lost in Space: Released two years later, the follow-up to Bachelor No. 2 isn't very different. Most of the songs sound from the same series. I liked this album even if it never felt quite as special as the previous. Had they been reversed chronologically, it's possible they would have switched roles. But even after it came out, I still found myself reaching for Bachelor No. 2 instead.
Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm: I bought this in 2005 when it came out, but confess never really connecting to it. I don't even feel comfortable writing a review, because I think I've listened to it twice and that was nearly seven years ago. I do remember that I never really got the who boxer concept story. There have been two albums released since (though one is a Christmas album). Given the show last night, and many of songs probably being from the last one, I look forward to hearing it.

(Found a link to a video from the show. You can find it here if you're interested)

No comments:

Post a Comment