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: firstname.lastname@example.org / 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:
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.
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.
np – M83 / Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts