1215 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Doors 6:30 PM
Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness, her first album in five years, will be released on March 31 via her own SuperEgo Records. The record follows 2012’s Charmer, which Rolling Stone proclaimed “shows off the more pop-oriented side to her usual acoustic tendencies.” With this follow-up, she returns to a more musically soft-spoken but still lyrically barbed approach, as heard in the album’s lead single, “Goose Snow Cone,” which debuts today. Listen/share the track here: aimeemann.com. Mental Illness can be pre-ordered now at hyperurl.co/aimeemann.
Mental Illness shows off Mann’s rich, incisive and wry melancholia in an almost all-acoustic format, with a “finger-picky” style inspired by some of her favorite ‘60s and ‘70s folk-rock records, augmented by haunting strings arranged by her longtime producer, Paul Bryan. Additional players include: Jonathan Coulton on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Jay Bellerose on drums, Jamie Edwards on piano, John Roderick as a co-writer and Ted Leo (who recently joined her in a joint side project, The Both) as a background singer.
On this eleven-track album, the Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning singer remains a student of human behavior, drawing not just on her own experiences to form the characters in the songs but tales told by friends. “I assume the brief on me is that people think that I write these really depressing songs,” Mann says. “I don’t know—people may have a different viewpoint—but that’s my own interpretation of the cliché about me. So if they thought that my songs were very down-tempo, very depressing, very sad, and very acoustic, I thought I’d just give myself permission to write the saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they’re-all-waltzes-so-be-it record I could…I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true, but it’s so blunt that it’s funny.”
In support of the release, Mann confirms a headlining North American tour this spring, with stops in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and more. Tickets can be purchased here: aimeemann.com/tour. See below for complete tour details.
After several albums with Til Tuesday, Mann began her solo career in 1993 with the album Whatever and made a name for herself through her independent success and the founding of her record label, SuperEgo Records. In addition to her solo albums, she has appeared on many film soundtracks, most notably the song score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, with “Save Me” landing her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song.
In 2014, Mann joined up with Ted Leo for a more rock-oriented duo project, releasing a self-titled album under the name The Both. Other extracurricular activities since Charmer ranged from playing herself on the hit TV series Portlandia to performing for President Obama and the First Lady at the White House. Named one of The Huffington Post’s “13 Funny Musicians You Should Be Following On Twitter,” Mann has gained a diehard social media following for her quick wit and stinging observation.
Jonathan Coulton is from the Internet. While a struggling music industry fell to pieces over file sharing and shifting business models, he quietly and independently amassed a small army of techies, nerds, and dedicated superfans. His songs cover an eclectic range of subjects, from zombies and mad scientists to marriage and parenthood. In concert he moves fluidly between pathos and ridiculous fun. Seeing your first Coulton show is like walking into an insider club meeting, but one that gleefully welcomes and indoctrinates you in short order.
After leaving a perfectly good software career to pursue music full time, Jonathan embarked on a bold experiment in forced-march creativity called Thing a Week, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year. Much to his surprise, this plan worked, and he has since released many albums and toured all over the world. You may know him from many things, including the songs from Portal and Portal 2, his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" (infamously hijacked by Glee), his recap songs from the CBS series BrainDead, or his work with longtime pal John Hodgman.
He owns and runs his own fan cruise called the JoCo Cruise, as profiled in Wired magazine. Through Kickstarter, he funded a graphic novel based on his songs, and written by Greg Pak, called Code Monkey Save World. They later collaborated on a children's book called The Princess Who Saved Herself, based on one of Jonathan's songs. He is currently the One Man House Band for the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another.
Show starts at 8:00 PM