by Chad Campbell, senior producer
Over the past eight years of working on this program, I’ve been slowly scratching off names from a list of musicians I wanted Bob to interview. The latest is Aimee Mann. She’s a fantastic songwriter, musician and singer. Mann’s most recent album is titled Charmer. Oh, she also happens to be beautiful and hilarious. We met her backstage at The Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, VA between sound check and show time one night last month and settled in for a wide-ranging conversation. We discussed charm, the music from her new CD, the TV show Hoarders, her husband and fellow musician Michael Penn who is the brother of Sean Penn (the couple performed a duet of Two of Us for the soundtrack of Beatles covers for Sean’s movie I Am Sam). Mann also talked about contributing songs for the 1999 movie Magnolia and how important that was to her career, Save Me was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2000 Academy Awards. We discussed her Christmas album One More Drifter in the Snow, her healthy respect for comedians, working with them on her music, her videos and their projects. Mann has appeared on the website Funny or Die, in a memorable sketch on the cable TV show Portlandia and in her own short films about her trying to find celebrities to appear on her Christmas special. You can see some of those videos below. And finally, we touched briefly on her small but important appearance in The Big Lebowski, as a German nihilist who sacrifices her right pinky toe and orders lingonberry pancakes.
Here’s the music video for Voices Carry from Aimee Mann’s 1980s band ‘Til Tuesday.
This was the inspiration for the next video, a shot-for-shot remake for her new song Labrador.
And here’s the video for the title track, Charmer (which also features actress Laura Linney).
Click here for Aimee Mann’s latest tour schedule.
Oh, and Aimee mentioned Yacht Rock, a video series parodying the smooth music of the late 1970s and early 80s. It is well worth your time.