December 15, 2015 |
Introspective singer-songwriter Aimee Mann and passionate punk rocker Ted Leo initially seemed an unlikely pairing, and even though their collaboration as the Both has proved to be sweet musical synergy, their putting on a Christmas show was stranger still. But Christmas songs aren't all tinsel and twinkling lights, as Leo explained when introducing "It's a Gift" at Union Transfer on Saturday. "It's largely about sadness and loss," he said, to an approving audience. "Oh, you like that?"
May 3, 2014 |
What makes a collaboration work? In the case of the unexpected and seemingly unlikely one between solo acts Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, more factors are in their favor than you might think. When the duo - who headline Union Transfer as the Both on Saturday - toured together in 2012, "I started watching Ted's shows," says Mann, talking on the phone over a shared line with Leo from Brooklyn. "There was a new song of his that I really wanted to play bass on," she says. That song was "The Gambler," the first track on their new album, The Both . "So I asked to sit in. It's really interesting to hear the sound he gets with just one guitar.
September 12, 2013 |
It was a night for new identities on Monday as Boot & Saddle, the long-shuttered former dive bar on South Broad Street, reopened in its new incarnation as a live music venue. The iconic boot-and-saddle neon sign has been dark for 17 years, but it continues to promise that "Country & Western" music will be heard inside. That will be the case, as bluegrass band the Highwater Preachers top an all-local bill on Wednesday night. But the room, capacity 175, will mainly be an indie-rock venue.
October 30, 2012 |
In the middle of Aimee Mann's set at Union Transfer on Friday night, a single piece of confetti dislodged itself from the rafters and floated down in front of her, lazily spinning in the stage lights. "Quite a party," she quipped. Mann's set, which dwelled heavily on her new album, Charmer , was full of frustrated hopes and fizzled dreams, in keeping with a career that, she readily acknowledges, is not long on upbeat emotions. During an unscheduled pause occasioned by an onstage computer crash, she improvised a self-parodic song about a sad kitten lost in the rain.
August 6, 2008 |
"How am I different?" Aimee Mann asked in the song that ended her main set Monday night at World Cafe Live. It's a good question, but not a difficult one to answer. Although she favors loping, mid-tempo ballads almost exclusively, her songs are beautifully constructed to avoid easy patterns or cliched resolutions, and she sings them with a lovely, mellowed sigh that can ascend to pure heights. While they sound pretty, they are always at least bittersweet and often cynical and barbed.
December 9, 2002 |
Aimee Mann is a pop psychologist, specializing in tuneful analyses of crises brought on by disillusionment and defeat. "This is how it goes, / you'll get angry with yourself / and think you can think of something else," begins "This Is How It Goes," one of 19 seductive songs she performed Saturday at the Tower Theater. From her start with 'Til Tuesday through her Oscar-nominated Magnolia soundtrack, Mann has blended cynical pessimism with wistful longing; she's a hopeless romantic, with the emphasis on hopeless.
January 25, 2000 |
"Isn't She Great" Composed and conducted by Burt Bacharach (Decca) Hollywood turned to pop icon Burt Bacharach to evoke the swinging '60s of "Austin Powers. " Now it's deja vu all over again with his fluffy little score for "Isn't She Great," a film based on the life of pulp novel writing sensation Jaqueline Susann (Bette Midler) and her spouse/manager (Nathan Lane.) This connection makes even more sense, since Bacharach contributed music to "Valley of the Dolls," the campy/cult film adaptation of Jackie's biggest novel.
January 7, 2000 |
It's a tree with a showy, blazing flower. It's a traffic artery cutting across L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. And now it's a movie: Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson's dazzling, daring opus, long and showy - and pretty brilliant - that begins in a blaze of glory (and stories), traverses a road rife with lane-changes, intersections, stops and starts, and winds up whomping us on the head with surprise. It's an audacious - and, OK, excessive - meditation on Big Stuff: chance; fate; the sins of the father visited on the son (and daughter)
February 5, 1996 |
"This is the fun part," declared Aimee Mann, gesturing toward the audience Saturday, at her sold-out show at the Theater of Living Arts. Last year's pop-music choices were feel-good Hootie-ism and the ready-made anger 'n' angst of Alanis. This year, Mann, the former 'til tuesday synth-diva, demonstrates that developed songwriting can be both bitter and sweet. The Boston native isn't just a critic's darling. The South Street theater was filled with an unusually diverse group of fans, including some who brought kids unlikely to remember "Voices Carry," Mann's decade-old hit with her former band.
February 2, 1996 |
Philadelphia photographer Pierre Baston attended last October's Million Man March for one reason but quickly discovered he was really there for another. An accomplished movie and still photographer, Baston is a 1975 Yale grad who also dabbled in acting while earning his BA degree. In addition to a flair for the dramatic, he also brings skills as a lighting director to his vision of the world. The Million Man March, Gaston says, represented "an opportunity to practice photojournalistic technique.