Music

20 Questions: Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann's new record, @#%&! Smilers, releases tomorrow in the U.S. She takes a moment to answer PopMatters' 20 Questions.


Aimee Mann

@#%&! Smilers

Website: www.aimeemann.com
Contributors: Sean Hayes, Grant Lee Phillips, Paul Bryan, Jay Bellrose
Label: Superego
US Release Date: 2008-06-03
UK Release Date: 2008-06-02
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

A German movie called The Lives of Others.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Josephine in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Basil and Josephine Stories.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

The original Star Trek TV show.

5. Your ideal brain food?

Gefilte fish.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

Because I did my best, and I care abut things being good.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

I'd like to be remembered as a woman who told the truth and smelled nice, usually.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Elton John, the Beatles.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra".

10. Your hidden talents...?

Texting.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

My father told me that no one ever changes without having a significant emotional experience... it's not exactly advice, but it was helpful to remember.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

The best thing I ever bought was my cat, the best thing I ever stole was the book The Outsiders from the school library, and the best thing I ever borrowed was my brother's guitar when I was 12 when I first taught myself how to play.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

Habitual jeans, John Fluevog boots, pink shirt and Paul Smith tie.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

My comedian friend Paul F. Tompkins... he's funny and smart and knows how to dress himself.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Maybe to 1972 to remember details about my life that I forgot... and to vote for George McGovern.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

I'm closer to Prozac than a hit man or a spa.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Essential to life: friends, boxing on TV, aternative comedy shows, mono recordings, 1954 Gibson J45.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Wherever my friends are, although I have a soft spot for London.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

Umm..."dude, you blew it"?

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

A graphic novel.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image