My apologies in advance. You must keep in mind that I am the kind of guy who doesn’t know a lot of the things that many of you do. Yes, I am sure that a good number of you also have never heard of Aimee Mann (though it is likely a minority?), but I doubt many of you ever concluded that Puff Daddy was a “famous limo driver” after several months of your girlfriend having pointed and said “Puff Daddy” every time she saw a white limo drive by in Manhattan.
So now I know who Aimee Mann is, and also who Puff Daddy is.
The Aimee Mann thing crept up on me pretty gradually, over the last five years or so, I guess. It all started when I decided to date (and later marry) a singer-songwriter – one who happened to look fondly up to Ms. Mann. So I heard the name a lot, but never the music, and really had no clue who she was.
More recently, I began to have more context for this mysterious person, although I can’t say for sure if the name came up in conversation if I would have been able to say it was a musician, a “celebrity”, or a tennis star. I just wasn’t tuned in. That’s okay – I have other interests (or so I assure myself, placatingly). But the name started to come up in household conversation with my wife more frequently, because now this person was going to come play a show in my new home town – Metuchen, New Jersey. That sounded fun to me, even if I didn’t know the music.
Even better, my wife, as founder of a groovy songwriting blog called Songwriting Scene, had recently landed an interview commitment with Aimee Mann. So she broadcast that to her blog readers, getting some ideas for what some of her fans would like to ask, and then did the interview (by phone – presumably Ms. Mann declined an opportunity to hold the interview at our local coffee shop). It’s a great read – you should check it out!
Then even more recently, my wife and I met for a quick bite on Metuchen’s Main Street, and then walked a few minutes to the Forum Theatre Arts Center, where I finally had the opportunity to see and hear this (apparently rather well-known) folkie.
And you know what? She was great!
Now, you should know that in my life I have been to barely a dozen “concerts” – for example, I’ve seen Rush a few times, then Tori Amos, Barry Manilow, Ben Folds, Steely Dan, Lucinda Williams, and I once half-saw Bon Jovi on top of a building in Manhattan while doing Letterman. Add to that the dozens and dozens of smaller folk shows, festivals, open mikes, and house concerts I’ve been to with the community of friends I’ve met through my wife.
But I can’t say that I’ve been to a show with the sort of ratio of great performer to smallish venue that I had when I saw Aimee Mann at the Forum Theatre in Metuchen on April 8, 2011. It was, truly, awesome – and I think most people would have immensely enjoyed it whether or not they knew who the BLEEP she was. She sang a little ditty about our town of Metuchen during the show, and later she even tweeted about how much fun she had in Metuchen. Needless to say, we gave her two standing ovations…
Now I know who the BLEEP Aimee Mann is, and it would be nice to see another show sometime! 🙂
And I also know how BLEEPITY BLEEPIN’ nice it sure is to see a music show at the Forum Theatre Arts Center… 😉