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Aimee Mann finding ways to navigate music's new world order

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012

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Aimee Mann didn't mean to let four years pass between albums.

In fact, the singer, songwriter and former 'Til Tuesday frontwoman says she wasn't even aware that so much time had gone by when she started working on her eighth solo album, "Charmer."

"I was really startled to realize that so much time had passed since I was making a record," says Mann, 52, who released "Charmer" in September. "I hadn't really been writing songs. I had a few songs just kind of here and there, so it was like, 'I should really sit down and think about making a record...'

"And it happened like that; I just sat down and wrote a record -- a pop record but pop as defined by pop from when I was growing up, which ranges from ABBA to Neil Diamond to Jimmy Webb to early Blondie and the Cars. That's what I wanted to do with ('Charmer')."

Mann, who released "Charmer" on her own SuperEgo label, acknowledges that the shrinking of the music business has made it "so hard to know how to get motivated, because it's a huge expense and it's a lot of effort...to know that people are going to find a way to get it illegally and not pay for it. That's terrifying, really." The silver lining, however, is that Mann feels the situation has freed her up artistically, moreso than she's ever been during her career.

"There's something sort of liberating about knowing there's virtually no marketplace anymore and nothing you do matters and nobody buys your record," she explains. "So now it's like, 'Who cares!' You can do whatever you want. The devil may care (attitude) is the only healthy way to approach it.

"I have so little control over it that I can't spend five minutes thinking about it. I have to look on and find things about this scenario that are positive and keep me doing it, and hopefully that can make the work better because it's what I want to be doing."

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo perform Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 and $30.50. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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