Copyright 1999 Bergen Record Corp.  
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

August 6, 1999; FRIDAY; ALL EDITIONS


LENGTH: 567 words


SOURCE: Wire services

BYLINE: ED CONDRAN, Special to The Record


AIMEE MANN: With Josh Rouse and Juliana Nash. 9 p.m. Saturday. Tramps,
51 W. 21st St., Manhattan. $ 17. (212) 544-1666.

Aimee Mann had no idea the title of her second solo album, "I'm
With Stupid,"would prove so prophetic.

Mann, the former leader of the Eighties pop group 'Til Tuesday, was
signed to Geffen Records at the time. The label, however, didn't give
the critically acclaimed collection of intelligent, confessional pop
songs a big marketing push. The result: The 1995 album landed in the
bargain bins within weeks of its release.

Given that kind of blockheaded decision making, Mann didn't hold
out much hope when she delivered the company her next project,"Bachelor
Number Two,"in late 1998.

"But I waited to see exactly what would happen,"Mann recalled."I
went to a meeting about my album, and one of the guys making decisions
didn't even listen to it.

"If that wasn't bad enough, then there was the merger."

Interscope Records gobbled up Geffen in February, leaving many of
the latter's acts awaiting word on their projects, or, in many cases,
word on whether they had a future with the label.

While Mann wasn't dropped from Interscope's roster, the label's
executives told her that her record wasn't commercial enough and she
would have to rewrite half of it.

"There was no way I was going to do that,"Mann said."I wanted
out, and I didn't hear from Interscope for months. The funny thing is
that so much time passed, but I was never dropped. I knew that I didn't
want to be there, and I struck a deal to buy my disc back."

Mann is determined to release the album on her own.

"My manager and I are just trying to figure out how to release an
album,"she said."We're working on all the elements such as
distribution and marketing.

"I think I've proven that I don't play well with the majors, and
that's fine,"added Mann, who previously fought for her release from
Epic and Imago when creative disagreements arose."I don't want to deal
with someone who looks at you and thinks 'Are you in the Britney Spears
mold, or the next Sugar Ray or the next Korn? Having depth doesn't
help. I think the major label's definition of commercial is 'without
"Bachelor Number Two," which Mann hopes to release by September,
was inspired by the single life. After breaking up with
singer-songwriter Jules Shear, she avoided any romantic attachments.

"I just felt after all I'd been through there was no Mr. Right,"
Mann said."So I wrote a bunch of songs which came from that period."

According to Mann, the new tunes are sonically similar to those on
"I'm With Stupid"and her solo debut, 1993's buoyant"Whatever."

"Fans won't be shocked by the new songs. The difference is that
there are more acoustic songs and ballads on this album."

Acoustic is also the route Mann is taking on her current tour that
brings her Saturday to Tramps in Manhattan.

"It's just good going out there and doing a tour,"Mann said.

"This is all very natural. This part about putting a record out is new
and challenging, but I think we'll manage."

Incidentally, after writing the songs about being alone that make
up"Bachelor Number Two," Mann fell in love and married in late 1997.

"My personal life is in perfect order. Now it's time to work on
things professionally."

GRAPHIC: PHOTO - Aimee Mann split from her record label and is determined to release and distribute "Bachelor Number Two"on her own.