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During the '80s, Aimee Mann led the post-new wave pop group 'Til Tuesday. After releasing three albums with the group, she broke up the band and embarked on a solo career. Her first solo album, Whatever, was a more introspective, folk-tinged effort than 'Til Tuesday's albums, and received uniformly positive reviews upon its release in the summer of 1993. However, the album was just a small hit, spending only seven weeks on the American charts, where it peaked at 127. Nevertheless, Whatever rejuvenated her career -- after its release, critics were praising her songwriting, as were peers like Elvis Costello, Difford & Tilbrook, and Andy Partridge.
Early in 1995, Mann had a modest hit with "That's Just What You Are," a song included on the soundtrack to the television series Melrose Place. Following the success of the single, Mann was set to release her second solo album in the spring of 1995, but her record label, Imago, filed for bankruptcy before its release. She signed a contract with Reprise Records after Imago went under, but Imago prevented her from releasing any records. For most of 1995, Mann battled Imago in an attempt to free herself from the label, eventually winning her independence at the end of the year. After her dispute with Imago was settled, she signed with DGC Records. Mann's second album, I'm with Stupid, was released in England in the late fall of 1995 and in January of 1996 in America. Again, it was greeted with positive reviews yet weak sales.
Mann's career got a kick-start in early 2000, however, when she released her soundtrack for the critically acclaimed film Magnolia; the song "Save Me" was later nominated for an Academy Award. Originally available only at live dates, the solo Bachelor No. 2 received national release in the spring. In the summer of 2002, Mann returned to the forefront with the self-released Lost in Space. Late 2004 saw the release of Live at St. Ann's Warehouse, a CD/DVD package recorded during her summer tour. It was followed in 2006 by the critically acclaimed Forgotten Arm, a concept album built around the return from Vietnam of a drug-addicted boxer. Mann released a collection of Christmas songs called One More Drifter in the Snow in 2006. @#%&! Smilers followed in 2008.
Mann spent the next few years working on adapting The Forgotten Arm into a musical, a project that was ultimately abandoned. She remained in the spotlight through semi-regular concerts and a memorable cameo on the IFC comedy series Portlandia before finally returning in the fall of 2012 with Charmer, her first album in four years.
Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and bassist.
After growing up in Bon Air, Virginia, and graduating from Midlothian High School in Richmond, Mann dropped out from Berklee College of Music in Boston to join the punk band The Young Snakes. They released the EP Bark Along with The Young Snakes in 1982. The following year, she co-founded the new wave band 'Til Tuesday with Berklee classmate and boyfriend Michael Hausman (who went on to manage her solo career).
In 1985, the band released Voices Carry, the debut album with a title track inspired by Mann's breakup with Hausman. It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist.
In 1986 the band released Welcome Home, their sophomore album.
In 1988, the band released Everything's Different Now, their third and final album. Shortly after its release, Mann said that she was much more pleased with it than the debut, primarily because she felt it made more of a personal statement about her life. The band broke up in 1990 when Mann left to start her solo career.
In 1993 Mann released Whatever, her debut solo album, which sold modestly but met with critical praise. In 1995 Mann released I'm with Stupid, her sophomore album, through Geffen Records which, like her debut, garnered positive reviews but modest commercial success.
In 1997 Mann married songwriter Michael Penn (brother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn), whom she met in the 1980s, and was courted by, while she was recording her previous album.
In 1999 Mann recorded original material for the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, which earned both Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations for the song "Save Me." She also negotiated a contract release from David Geffen and founded her own label, SuperEgo Records.
In 2000, Mann released Bachelor No. 2, released on SuperEgo, which included some songs from Magnolia and new material. Also that year, she and her husband formed a concept called Acoustic Vaudeville, a mixture of music and stand-up comedy; among the comedians joining them for shows were Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt, and David Cross.
In 2002 Mann released Lost in Space, an album which featured art by Seth. The following year she released Lost in Space Special Edition, which featured a second disc containing six live recordings (including a version of Coldplay's "The Scientist") as well as two B-sides and two previously unreleased songs.
In 2004 Mann released Live at St. Ann's Warehouse, a live album and DVD recorded at a series of shows in Brooklyn.
In 2005 Mann released The Forgotten Arm, a concept album set in the 1970s about two lovers who meet at the Virginia State Fair and go on the run. The Joe Henry-produced album, which was recorded mostly live with few overdubs, contained illustrations which reflected Mann's interest in boxing. She trained with the boxing trainer Freddie Roach; the album's title is derived from a boxing move in which one arm is used to hit the opponent, causing him to "forget" about the other, which is then used to deliver a harsher blow. The following year Mann received a Grammy for "Best Recording Package" for the album's artwork (shared with Gail Marowitz).
In 2006 Mann released One More Drifter in the Snow, a Christmas album featuring both covers and new songs. The album's iTunes version replaced "Christmastime" (a duet with husband Michael Penn) with a cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" and "Clean Up for Christmas" from The Forgotten Arm; an updated version of the CD was released two years later with the Joni Mitchell cover.
In 2008 Mann released @#%&*! Smilers, which featured Grammy-nominated artwork by Gary Taxali. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at #32 and on the Top Independent Albums chart at #2. @#%&*! Smilers was met with mostly praise, with Billboard stating that it "pops with color, something that gives it an immediacy that's rare for an artist known for songs that subtly worm their way into the subconscious... Smilers grabs a listener, never making him or her work at learning the record, as there are both big pop hooks and a rich sonic sheen." The music video for the song "31 Today," directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, featured comedienne Morgan Murphy.
In 2009 Mann announced that she was working on a musical based on her album The Forgotten Arm but later stated that it was put on hold owing to similarities to The Fighter.
In 2011 Mann joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to promote independent musicians. She was also an inaugural member of the panel in 2002.
In 2012 Mann released Charmer, an album which featured a duet with James Mercer of The Shins.
In February 2013 Mann and Ted Leo started playing together in a collaborative project called #BOTH and have scheduled shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Other appearances 
In 1986 Mann provided backing vocals to Inside, the debut album of Matthew Sweet. In 1987, Mann provided backing vocals to the song "Time Stand Still" on the Rush album Hold Your Fire and also appeared in the song's music video. In 1995 she recorded "One" on the album For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson and in 1996 "Baby Blue" on the Badfinger tribute album Come and Get It. In 1997 Mann recorded "Nobody Does It Better" on the album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project. In 1998 Mann appeared in the film The Big Lebowski as a German nihilist who sacrificed her green nail polished right little toe.
In 2002 Mann and her band appeared as themselves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, performing her songs "This Is How It Goes" and "Pavlov's Bell" at The Bronze. She has one line in the episode: "Man, I hate playing vampire towns"; the latter song also appears on the Buffy soundtrack album Radio Sunnydale. Also that year, she and her band appeared on The West Wing, where they performed a cover of James Taylor's "Shed a Little Light" at a Rock the Vote concert.
In 2004 Mann contributed vocals to the song "That's Me Trying" from William Shatner's album Has Been (co-written and produced by Ben Folds). In 2005 Mann joined Artists Against Piracy, a group formed to act against the illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted music from the internet. Mann, Penn, and Hausman took their experience with SuperEgo to found the independent music collective United Musicians, which is based on the principle that every artist should be able to retain copyright ownership of the work he or she has created, in contrast to normal music industry contracts.
In 2006 Mann appeared on an episode of the television series Love Monkey. In 2007, she contributed two original songs, "The Great Beyond" and "At the Edge of the World," for the soundtrack to Arctic Tale.
In 2008 Mann appeared in the Comedy Central series Lewis Black's Root of All Evil in a comedic interview conducted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins. In 2011 she appeared (as a cleaning woman version of herself) on the Independent Film Channel series Portlandia.Template:Citation web
In 2012 Mann contributed vocals on the song "Two Horses" for the film Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. That same year, she contributed lyrics and vocals on the song "No More Amsterdam" for the Steve Vai album The Story Of Light. Her song "Wise Up" was used for an organ donor campaign in Ontario. She contributed vocals to the song "Bigger Than Love" on Ben Gibbard's album Former Lives.
In 2013, Mann had a cameo on the April 8th episode of The Daily Show in a mock appeal to preserve the "habitat" of the crab louse, in a comedy segment about pubic shaving.