Aimee Mann thrilled a sold-out crowd at the Odeum in East Greenwich Thursday July 10. Backed by a tight band, Mann gracefully worked through a set of songs from her 30+ year solo career. The show was stellar, although marred at times by problems with the sound mix, so critical to get right for a performer known for her exceptional lyrics.
She opened with “Drive,” a 1984 cover from The Cars, which was recently featured in an episode of FX’s American Horror Story. Several of Mann’s songs (and Mann herself) have found their way into TV and movies in recent years, including the Grammy Award winning “Save Me,” from the soundtrack of the 2001 film Magnolia.
As mentioned, Mann is accomplished songwriter, and featured several from her latest release, the critically acclaimed Mental Illness. Highlights included “Goose Snow Cone,” about a cat named Goose, and duets “Rollercoaster,” and “Patient Zero” with opener Jonathan Coulton. Her lyrics and delivery are sublime – she’s won two Grammy Awards and was named one of the world’s ten greatest living songwriters by NPR in 2006.
Opener Jonathan Coulton was also outstanding. His songs enchant with offbeat, yet sensitive lyrics. He’s an astute and clever songwriter, as heard tunes like “Millionaire Girlfriend” and “Glasses.” He played a nice version the Gilbert O’Sullivan tune “Alone Again, Naturally” from his recent release Some Guys, an album of 70’s soft-rock classics. Mann joined him onstage for a couple of duets, including “Pictures of Cats” (“what to look at on Twitter when the Internet sucks”), and “Shop Vac,” a satirical look at suburban life.
Check out Rick Farrell’s photos of the show below.