Thursday, December 21, 2006

Have yourself a merry little Christmas concert

Things I learned at last night's Aimee Mann Christmas Show:
  • Grant-Lee Phillips is really cute in person.

  • Grant-Lee Phillips does a mean Johnny Cash impression.

  • Saddam Hussein talks just like the guys in Spinal Tap.

  • Fred Armisen can really play guitar and, like fellow SNL-er Dana Carvey before him, the drums.

  • The Hanukkah Fairy enjoys pulled pork and Heineken. Who knew?

The show was amazingly fun, like the "acoustic vaudeville" show she and Michael Penn did with comedians a few years back. It was staged like one of those old Christmas specials, a la Bing Crosby and David Bowie, with "guests" stopping by and folks engaging in inane but sweet (and completely scripted) chatter as a means of introducing each Christmas song. Grant-Lee, though, reminded me not so much of Dean Martin in those specials, but of Tom Hanks's Dean Martin impression on the Global Warming Christmas Special from (again) SNL.

I'm off to iTunes to purchase some old Grant Lee Buffalo songs and some newer Grant-Lee Phillips tunes.


Anonymous nsah said...

That was a fun show.

I'm a little jealous of the folks in Albany, though, who got to see Rachael Yamagata playing alongside Aimee. That's not fair! Rachael's from HERE!

The funny thing about the "variety show" format is that Grant-Lee looks like Greg Brady, from an ill-fated variety show of the past.

It was a little frustrating that the crowd didn't seem to "get" many parts of the show. Especially when "Saddam" was taking questions, and people were talking to him as if he weren't in character. All credit to Fred -- I think he's funnier ad-libbing than in his scripted work.

It's funny that this sort of thing works. Aimee's music isn't the happiest fare, and she opted for some of her sadder songs ("Humpty Dumpty," the Magnolia stuff) over her peppier work ("That's Just What You Are," "Frankenstein"). But it all seemed to flow smoothly, except for the little technical glitches. (Did you notice how often the band members were gesturing to the sound guys? Or that someone from the crew managed to run the guitarist's slide to the stage just before he needed it in midsong?)

9:11 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger PunditMom said...

I was there, too! Mr. PunditMom and I have been huge Aimee Mann fans for years. It was a great combination of classic Aimee Mann stuff and out-there fun!

The apparent single from the Christmas CD, Calling on Mary is amazing!

11:35 PM, December 21, 2006  

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