The Austin City Limits folks were kind enough to give us a couple of tickets to singer/songwriter Aimee Mann‘s taping last night. She played a good batch of songs—a lot of stuff off her new album, like “Freeway” and “31 Today“, and my favorite performance of the night, the absolutely fantastic “Little Tornado“…complete with spaghetti western-esque whistling!
What’s interesting about her band is that its core is her on acoustic guitar, a bass player, and a drummer, and that tight unit is augmented with 2 keyboard players that provide coloring and atmosphere—altogether I counted 8 keyboards, including a MOOG synth, and a Hammond B-3 with a gigantic Leslie speaker. (Pity the poor roadies.)
She was nervous, so she told a lot of jokes. There’s free beer at ACL tapings, so people are constantly shuffling in and out to hit the can—”there go the pee-ers.” She called the camera a “weird, one-eyed monster” and told a funny story about trying to do a song for Shrek 3, before going into “Borrowing Time.”
There was a section in the middle where she did songs from PT Anderson‘s wonderful film, Magnolia, including “Save Me” and “Wake Up.” She also did a song she wrote for PTA, “Red Vines.”
Bass player Paul Bryan was really the secret weapon of the night: great backing vocals, McCartney-esque basslines…and a terrific solo on the Three Dog Night song “One.” (Used as the opening for Magnolia.)
Here’s what the studio looks like as people shuffle in:
Thanks again to Austin City Limits!
Austin Kleon says
Here’s a much more thorough recap of the evening.
Austin Kleon says
I had no idea, but Jim Anderson wrote in to tell me that Aimee herself is a cartoonist! You can see some of her work on her message board and see her working in her sketchbook in this video.