Copyright 1998 New Times Los Angeles

The New Times

Date: November 5, 1998

Byline: Neil Weiss

Section: Night Club

Aimee Mann at Largo


It might be a bit too soon to put Aimee Mann in the "where are they now" file, but it's getting tougher and tougher to keep her away from it. Recovering New Wavers will recall that, some 13 years ago, the white-haired mannequin hit the bigtime with the Boston outfit 'Til Tuesday and the MTV hit "Voices Carry." 'Twas short lived. Two albums later, the band was kaput. And even though Mann's solo career has yielded a good album (her folksy, jangly solo debut Whatever) and a great one (the Beck/Brit pop/Brill Building collage that is I'm With Stupid), those were released five and three years ago, respectively. Since then, nada. Look out Lucinda -- Aimee's challenging you for the title of queen of meager output.

But if we compare the careers of Mann and Williams (add to the list that both have battled record label suits from time to time), the main difference is that Williams' (much hyped) rebirth is complete. As for Mann, the jury's still out. Her current label, Geffen, can't seem to answer simple questions about her most recent projects, and Websites devoted to her are stuck in time, as if Stupid had been released yesterday. And while Mann's past is not such a bad place to visit -- Stupid is one of the more inventive, moody, and undoubtedly, overlooked pop pleasures of this decade -- it's not enough any more. So it's encouraging that Mann will set up shop for three consecutive Tuesdays in November at Largo; a residency at the footloose Fairfax club -- not a place receptive to artists with nothing new to say -- intimates that Mann might actually have a batch of fresh creations to test, and maybe even some sort of date for a new release. Let's hope so; chances are, Mann would have something special to offer. Otherwise, why waste our time? Richard Blade's Flashback Lunch happens every day, you know. Tue., Nov. 10; Tue., Nov. 17; Tue., Nov. 24, at Largo, 432 N. Fairfax, Los Angeles. (Neal Weiss)