GET IT NOW or forever hold…! The case of Aimee Mann & Mobile Fidelity

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One of my favourite artists on this planet is Aimee Mann. Album for album there just hasn’t been a record she has put out that made me doubt where she is going. Even her latest effort with Ted Leo, The Both (which I wrote about a while ago), was an incredibly satisfying union that I hope happens over again and again. (Get it here)

The_Both_album_front_cover

However, Aimee has also provided me with perhaps the greatest example of ‘buy it’ or miss out that I can get.

Coming off an Academy Award nomination for the soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia, Mann released what is probably her most well known record Bachelor #2 or, The Last Remains of the Dodo. The album also included several songs from the Magnolia soundtrack and was incredibly well received by critics and fans alike.

A couple years later Mann released the phenomenal Lost In Space, which was really well received by British critics, and dumped on by North American ones. Regardless, she would appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV) performing two songs from it. The art work for the project was done by award winning cartoonist Seth, which just added to the cool factor on this record. It still remains one of my favourite.

Of course both of these albums were put out before the recent vinyl revival, so they appeared only on the compact disc format…

UNTIL

2006

Mobile Fidelity, which loves to re-release critically heralded records got together with Mann. Now I also wrote about MoFi a while back, but to briefly recap, they do awesome things with wax, and they do it all on audiophile grade vinyl (180 gram or higher), from original source tapes and in limited numbers. When the album is done right – it is a collector’s dream come true.

Bachelor #2 and Lost in Space were released at the same time and likely would have put you back anywhere between 30 and 45 dollars back in 2006.

Well, nine years later.

A vinyl copy of Bachelor #2 sells for $203.84 off of discogs, and between $226.38 and $320.69 on e-bay.

A vinyl copy of Lost In Space sells for $274.42 on discogs and also $226.38 + on e-bay.

I don’t know about you, but that is out of my price range. I mean maybe if I won the lottery, but, well, like so many other cool things – it’s a nice thought but reality is where I live.

So all I can say is this…

Hey Aimee, if you’re out there, maybe you could re-release these records on vinyl again, and maybe some others too. I promise to buy at least two or three copies of each as my sister is also a fan and they make great birthday and holiday gifts.

P.S. If I could also get ya to sign this poster I have for my kids; it was their first concert ever, and you know, that would be just kinda awesome and stuff, and maybe you know… well maybe bring your Christmas show north to Toronto once… and… well, thanks for considering, and putting out great music, and…

 

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Top Three New Vinyl Releases 2014 #1 – The Both by The Both

The Both

The Both

Superego

The_Both_album_front_cover

http://aimeemann.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=379&pc=AILP04

Back in the day and over time I’ve picked bands that have gone on to massive success and then others I’ve scratched my head at and wondered why they haven’t found “rock star status”.  Sometimes I’m just at a loss. Why aren’t people hearing what I hear?

This has always seemed the case for Aimee Mann and Ted Leo who I have been fans of for a number of years now. Mann has put out a consistent string of records that are perhaps too smart to be considered pop, and to soft to be considered rock, but have always stood out as great pieces of perfection. If you go back to her Oscar nominated work on the Magnolia soundtrack, she inspires emotions through song that come off as these awesome award winning short stories. She can twist a phrase to play irony, despair, or revenge in quick order… in fact, she can do that often in one line. She is just that damn good.

Ted Leo for his part is a former punk purveyor who turned his politicized lyrics toward a more power-pop sound. As a bonus, he is just as comfortable singing politics as he is singing 80’s pop hits while blasting it all from a nicely distorted electric guitar. Even his melancholy stuff can be emphasized with waves of amplified sound.

There was literally a point in the early 2000’s that I was listening to both of them in heavy rotation on the carousel of my CD player. So imagine my surprise when the two played a show together a couple years back – then to my absolute delight when I heard they were recording together.

Later, of course, came the worry. How would they sound together? Would this be chocolate and peanut-butter or chocolate and potatoes… I mean, I like both, but that doesn’t sound like a good combo at all. (see Minor Alps for a combo that didn’t work last year.)

Would Aimee surpress a bit of that Jon Brion sound in favor of Leo’s guitar, or would Leo turn down the volume enough for Mann sense of tongue-in-cheek wit to shine?

Well damn folks, it was like Belgian chocolate covering June picked strawberries. The best of both artists brought together. The songs are instantly catchy, driven by melodies, harmonies and powerful guitar. Leo has shortened his solos to emphasize emotion rather than guitar prowess. Mann has stepped back to let Leo’s political ramblings filter in without drawing attention away from the overall sound of the record. What we have is the best elements from their solo careers shining in. Mann is edgier and Leo is more ‘poppy.’

The result is that this record is perfection.

Then you have the vinyl in blue and an inner sleeve with animated cardboard cut outs of both artists with instruments and a change of clothing (AND YES, a download card). The record is fun and best of all, my kids sing along with it as it plays in the car, at the cottage, at home, at friends, at families, at…etc.