I first saw Aimee Mann in that iconic "Voices Carry" music video by 'Til Tuesday back in 1985, and I bought the single, but didn't get anything else by the band at the time. Several years later, I was at a flea market browsing through music when I came across Whatever, Aimee's debut solo album. I hadn't heard anything from it, hadn't even known that 'Til Tuesday had broken up and that Aimee was a solo artist now, but based on how much I'd liked that first exposure to her music (and how she looked on the front and back artwork), I picked it up.
I've never looked back. I own all seven CDs, plus the "Magnolia" and "I Am Sam" soundtracks and "The Imago Traveling Road Show," and the "Magnolia" and "Live at St. Ann's Warehouse" DVDs. I've seen her perform four or five times (most recently, last Friday at the Forum Theatre in Metuchen) and got my copy of "@#%&*! Smilers" autographed at Barnes & Noble. I had a girlfriend give me grief about a promotional picture of Aimee that I'd taped up on my wall (right, 'cos even pre-Michael Penn, she'd have run away with me...) I even wrote a song, "That's Just What I Am," that is in part a response to her minor hit "That's Just What You Are." (Subtle, right?)
I like a lot of different music. A lot of different music. Somehow, though, no matter what I'm listening to, I always come back to Aimee. Music always makes me feel, or at least good music does, but her music makes me feel alive and human and flawed and OK nonetheless. She's still my favorite singer/songwriter, and while it had been a few years since the last time I'd seen her play, I'm so glad I made it to the Metuchen show and had such a great seat (four rows back from the stage, and directly in front of Aimee!). I love that she closed the show with such a downer, "It's Not," and acknowledged just how wrong that was. Heh.
I have to start writing (and recording!) my own music again. I'd sort of imposed a moratorium on songwriting a few years back, because I've already got several songs written ("I'll Live," "D.V.," "When Giant Giants Attack!" and others) that I haven't yet recorded, and I didn't want to end up looking at a backlog of twenty songs I needed to record... but I don't think that's the right approach anymore. Perhaps writing a few new songs will prompt me to start recording them immediately, and then I can go back and get those older songs done, too. In any case, the new acoustic/electric should make it easier for me to drag a guitar around without needing an amp, and so hopefully I'll be spending more time playing, and writing.
I've decided to bring the Kona to Costa Rica with me tomorrow (an interesting coincidence: the last McKesson 'VAR Achievement Club' trip like this I took was to... Kona, Hawaii). I'm not sure how much time I'll have to play or to try writing, and of course it'd be nice not to have one more thing to lug along, but I'm also trying to make time to play every day, and I'd rather not have to wait until next Monday to get my hands on a guitar again. So that's that.
The six-guitar rack I purchased at the same time as the K2 isn't quite as great. Well, it's a great concept, but I think the rests should've extended further, so the thing would've been sturdier and more efficient. Still, I do have my five guitars on it now (although I'll be pulling the Kona off shortly), and it does look cool...