Friday, July 29, 2005

Song of the Week 7/29/05

Aimee Mann - "I Should've Known"

I liked Aimee Mann for many years--until she wouldn't shut up about being screwed over by two different labels just as the Magnolia soundtrack was released in 1999. There's nothing like reading story after story about an artist whining about the record industry to piss me off to no end. Considering Mann had been a signed artist for almost 15 years at that point, it was amazing that she didn't realize that the record industry was always about screwing the artist over. Her attitude of "How dare this happen to me" just pissed me off. And it made me pretty much never listen to her work again.

Tuesday morning I woke up humming a song, and realized that it was Mann's "I Should've Known." In 1993 I couldn't get enough of that song and Mann's solo debut Whatever. Jon Brion's everything and the kitchen sink production paired up with Mann's insightful and slightly sarcastic lyrics made for a great combo to my ears. I remember my friend Jocelyn (who worked for Imago, Mann's label at the time) being shocked when I told her I loved the album, and I also kind of had the hots for Mann.

Now I'm not sure why "I Should've Known" popped into my head. I have softened my stance on Mann since she doesn't talk about getting screwed over any more. Her latest album The Forgotten Arm is the first she's released since the Magnolia soundtrack that I acutally like, so maybe my brain was digging out some gems from the past. I ended up listening to the track twice on the subway to get my fix. And then, perhaps,'s Vintage Channel tapped into my brain as well. I started listening to this stream on Thursday, and one of the first songs I heard was "I Should've Known." God bless the power of the internet.

One last thought: the chorus of "I Should've Known" features one of my favorite writing tricks in a song. Mann starts it by singing, "I should've known," then pauses, and then Mann and Brion's multitracked voices go "dot dot dot," then Mann continues "It was coming down to this." Where else could one get a musical ellipses?

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