Aimee Mann looks to turn on the ‘Charmer’

By From page B1 | September 21, 2012

FAIRFIELD — A full band, tunes from her new release “Charmer” and older pop songs are some of the ingredients for singer-songwriter Aimee Mann’s upcoming show in Napa.

Mann, who many remember as the woman who sang the 1980s hit “Voices Carry” with the band ‘Til Tuesday, has spent more time as a solo artist than as a band member.

“Charmer,” released earlier this week, deals with topics such as human faults, dysfunction and self-delusion. The song “Gumby” was inspired by the TV show “Hoarders.” “Soon Enough” is about an intervention. There is also a TV show with the name “Intervention.”

‘”Hoarders’ brings the issue of hoarding to the forefront of the American public mind. It’s such a visceral demonstration,” Mann said. “I’ve only seen a few episodes. It’s difficult to watch.

“The people don’t want help. They can’t see their lives our in a mess. I can relate to collecting and holding on to things,” she said, adding that she keeps a pair of her grandfather’s bathing trunks.

“I’m not going to display on the wall,” Mann said. But it’s hard to part with them, she said.

For Mann, the most fun in recording “Charmer” was the musicians with whom she worked.

“You hear your songs come to life,” she said. “You get to be part of this kind of magic happening in the room.”

The majority of recording was done in about a week. Rehearsing prior to entering the studio helped, Mann said.

“We did go back and rework a couple of songs that didn’t work out the first time,” she said.

Mann will be on the road until mid-November, promoting the new record. She’ll be back on the road at the beginning of 2013.

To stay sane, Mann said she makes sure there is time built in to regroup. And when it starts to get crazy, Mann said it becomes an issue of setting boundaries and realizing not everything  has to be done in one day.

“There’s a lot of trial-and-error,” she said.

Mann has dabbled in some acting. She had a bit part in “The Big Lebowski.” Last year, she appeared on TV’s “Portlandia,” with friend Fred Armisen.

She’s also been cast in a small role in an upcoming independent film.

“I feel I’ve done so little,” Mann said of acting.

Mann is married to singer-songwriter Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Aimee Mann

  • 8 p.m. Sept. 30
  • Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa
  • 259-0123
  • http://www.uptowntheatrenapa.com.
  • http://www.aimeemann.com
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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