Lecture Notes for 4/17/97:


Guest Lecture by Aimee Mann:


So if Aimee's so good, why isn't she more successful? Aimee says

part of it is because a large component of success has

little to do with the music, and much more to do with the politics

of promoting a record. She just isn't into "schmooze."


Songwriting: Aimee likes to write lyrics first and she tries to

capture a mood with the chords and melodies to accompany

the lyrics. She definitely does NOT "plan to write a song," and

doesn't just sit down

and say "I'm going to write a song now." Instead, she writes songs

when the mood

strikes. Aimee likes writing lyrics that rhyme - and she's not at

all apologetic about

this - because she likes the puzzle nature of trying to get a rhyme

to work.


Jon Brion is an amazing genius, the likes of which we are not

likely to see again

anytime soon. But he is not always practical in terms of time,

budgets, and things

like that.


Aimee disagrees with Michael Brook and thinks that you definitely

CAN learn to

write pop songs by studying music in school. Just learning diatonic

harmony was a

big step for her, in terms of knowing how chords typically go



Aimee played us a new song that she is just now working on, about

her friendship

with an unmentioned famous songwriter who thought she wasn't

worshipping him

enough (or so she thinks).


Lonny pointed out that two of her songs have an unusual metric

structure: "Put Me On Top" has some 6 and 7 bar

phrases; Fourth of July has some 7 bar phrases. This was news to

Aimee, who always wondered why her bandmates

sometimes had trouble following along.


Aimee's manager Michael Housman was here too. (He is the "Boo" in

the lyric "And it was Boo who made the joke).

They talked about some of the A&R people at various labels, and

about the process of getting a record the proper