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aimee mann's christmas show, birchmere, 12/17
Dec 18th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

i really, really wanted to see aimee mann again. i loved when she toured with her husband, michael penn; and the birchmere is such an intimate, yet comfortable venue to see artists that aimee mann + birchmere = no brainer.

imagine a travelling andy williams christmas special slightly off-kilter (and with mostly better music and more profanity) and you’ve got the jist of the evening. mann noted that she was battling illness and had just gotten a steroid shot to try and help her voice. it cracked often and didn’t hit notes, but this usually cranky reviewer is very forgiving when someone tries that hard to not disappoint. and she didn’t. in fact, there were times when the whispery, warbly, wobbly notes made some songs that much more plaintive. she sang some traditional christmas faves, she sang save me, she sang one song that knocked me out (i was thinking i could clean up for christmas, a song where her croaky throat actually worked well.) she even sang one of my two very favorite songs of her’s, wise up — a song that, even with tom cruise and william h. macy singing along (in the movie) still brings a lump to my throat. (i still think that movie is incredibly special, even if BS hated it and was furious with me for making him watch it.)

others on the show include comedian paul f. tompkins, who did stand up, sang with mann, and featured prominently in the funny short films she shared; ben lee, a tuneful jewish guy from australia; the hanukkah fairy (comedian morgan murphy), and jazzy, retro nellie mckay and her stuffed rudolph, singing in front of clips of young pia zadora in santa claus conquers the martians. (see, i did learn something from watching the late, great MST3K.)

a wonderful evening. get well, aimee.


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