Friday, January 30, 2009

The Wolf Den: A Personal Hero

From Contributing Editor Clay Riness

As we all have a good many personal heroes, it is only fair for me to share with you that this is one of mine...Aimee Mann. She beat the system. She had a terrible legal battle with her record company, eventually bringing suit against them to get her own studio master tapes back, so she could release the music. She won, and went indie. She and her husband defied the norm, and somehow cut a distribution deal. She writes great music, and she doesn't need the corporate contract. And, I love her for it.


  1. Great story... I have never warmed to her music. Unfairly I've lumped her into the modern depressing song writers that the mainstream loves to tell me are our next great hope. Don't take that too harshly, I know deep within their records are good material, but I haven't taken the time to find it. Point of reference, the modern belief that Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is Lucinda Williams best stuff... 60% of it is boring. Sweet old World, or the simple Lucinda Williams before that are much stronger.

    Pick three songs of hers that would reconvince me to open to her music, and I'll go buy them on iTunes.


  2. Love and admire Lucinda, too!

    Let me think about it. I suppose one could say that some of Aimee's music IS depressing, but then, so is some of mine. She doesn't do comedy or cute pop, that's for sure.

    Aside from the fact that I love her for sticking her finger in the air to the records labels, I also admire her sense of melody and progression, and the content and message in a lot of her songs.

    I got hooked on her after buying one of those "Ultimate Collection" CDs...which went all the way back to 'Til Tuesday. I loved "That's Just What You Are", "Driving With One Hand On The Wheel", "Jacob Marley's Chains" and a bunch of others on that CD. It's earlier stuff than the "Magnolia" and "Forgotten Arm" stuff. The newest one, "Smilers" is really good, I think, too.

    Because of my respect for her, I always buy any CD she releases. Support 101. She'll always get that fromm me. (I do that with a lot of artists...$$$...respect.)

    Keep it in perspective, since we don't all write the same way. I think she turns a phrase pretty brilliantly. I'll certainly understand if she's not destined to be your cup of tea, but she'll always be a hero to me.