Last Sunday night I won tickets to the First Annual Aimee Mann Christmas Show. How cool was that?
The show was so much fun! Aimee wrote some Christmas songs specially and also played some favorites from her last few albums. Made me realize how much I enjoy her music and damn does she have a lot of really good songs. (Fun to sing to as well.) Like I said, the show was great. It featured guests like John C. Reilley who performed a spirited reading from How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Aimee singing along in the background. That was such a treat.
The best treat for me was “discovering” a new (to me) singer/songwriter by the name of Grant-Lee Phillips who was the other featured guest at Aimee’s show. Dude. Where the hell have I been? Taking a troll through his website tells me that somehow his nomination for best male vocalist back in 95 by Rolling Stone magazine was completely lost on me. Well, I was an exchange student in France for the first time. I can give myself a little slack for not keeping up with the indie music scene (heck, I didn’t even know what the indie music scene was at that time). I’ve been going through the archives of my local radio station to hear any guest appearances he might have made. As luck would have it, there are at least 5 shows that he was featured on. Yay! Now I have something fun to listen to at work.
On top of being an incredible songwriter, Grant-Lee Phillips is a fun perfomer to watch. He really gets into it. I sometimes worried that his exuberant guitar playing would send him flying off the stage so enthusiastic was he. It’s great to watch someone perform their music with such full-heartedness.
His music is lush and a little lonesome. His voice swaying between a country crooner’s wail and The Stone Roses hushed whisper. Listening to his music is like one of those things where you hear something for the first time that just strikes a chord in you (forgive the unintended pun). The album below is from his solo endeavor after his band Grant Lee Buffalo broke up. It’s a little more pared down and accoustic-y than the other stuff, lovely little songs. I highly recommend it. Among the favorites going through my mental radio are:
- Truly, Truly (from Grant Lee Buffalo’s Jubilee)
- Heavenly (from Ladies’ Love Oracle)
- St. Expedite (from Ladies’ Love Oracle)
- Mona Lisa (from Virginia Creeper with the loveliest violin featured that you ever did hear)
Oh they’re all really fabulous, really. I’m inclined to scoop them all up for my listening pleasure.