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last night's gig

Aimee Mann Sates Cult With Cornball Musings

Fur-lined toilet not pictured.Photo: Getty Images


Aimee Mann was punchy Friday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. “I’m super punchy!” she exclaimed early on. “Who knows what I’ll say?” Here’s a sampling: “You guys are so fucking lucky to live in New York … with all the good-looking hipsters”; “I like you, you’re very willing”; “I know I sound like a total douche bag”; “Snow White is a fucking moron”; “Fuck you, Phil Collins!” (for nabbing the Oscar her Magnolia songs were up for). This in addition to telling a long, long story about writing a song for Shrek the Third (which included the line, “My toilet seat is golden, and my toilet is fur-lined. Wouldn’t that be disgusting?”) and actually singing “Free Bird” when somebody shouted “Free Bird.”

To her audience, the chatter came down like the word of God. The devotion she inspires makes all the more sense seeing her in person: Slightly butchy in her dress (T-shirt with a vest; shit-kicking boots), and with chiseled features and perfectly ironed, centered-parted hair, she’s like a sculptor’s ideal of womanly authority. It didn’t hurt that her set, which drew heavily from her new album, Smilers, showcased her seemingly omniscient sense for heartbreak and longing. Not that everything went perfectly. When she opened the floor to requests in the encore and found that she could no longer sing “Humpty Dumpty” so low, then struggled to keep the melody in a different key, the audience piped up, buoying her whenever (but only when) she veered out of tune. “I’d like to give every one of you a big, wet kiss,” she said at show’s end, pricking the ears of the men wielding cameras just in front of the stage. “But then you’d get my cold sore.” —Nick Catucci