Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Celebrity Crush... (a Christmas Show in Review)

Sorry Cerinthus...I swear it's totally innocent!

I have a friend who I consider to be a pop culture maven-- or at least in comparison with the rest of my friends. The other day, he said to me, "you know who my new celebrity crush is? Lyndsy Fonseca, the girl from How I Met Your Mother." I thought this was pretty random, but it occurred to me that I had not really had a celebrity crush until high school. Until last night, I remembered that I do actually have one, although the term celebrity might be a questionable name for this person. Back to this in a moment...

One of my mom's favorite holiday traditions for the last few years has been going to Aimee Mann's holiday variety show. I have never been home from school in time to be able to see it. This year, of course, I was home, so I was able to go.

The show was lots of fun. Aimee Mann was cheery and charming; she was her usual awkward self wearing over-size,d black-framed glasses and a blazer and tie with skin tight jeans and riding boots. There is an endearing hesitance to her demeanor as though she is surreptitiously enjoying herself, but does not want to make a spectacle out of it. She sang a bunch of Chirstmas songs with her band and with various guests such as Paul Tompkins and Ben Gibbard, the lead singer from Death Cab for Cutie. She even sang a New Year's Eve duet with Jeff Goldbloom. I really enjoyed the Status Quo song "It's Christmas Time" that Aimee Mann and Ben Gibbard played together.

Patton Oswalt and Michael Penn did a couple of songs and Patton Oswalt did a comedy most of which was quite funny (although I cannot repeat either the song they did together or any of the jokes here for fear of violating the "no adult content" rating for my site). She ended with what is reputed to be her favorite Christmas song, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," that she performed as a duet with Paul Tompkins. It was adorable.

Amusingly enough, Paul Tompkins was dressed a little like Cerinthus does at Chrismas; he wore a stunning  crimson silk vest and a slightly old-fashioned suit with a bowtie. However, Paul Tompkins sported a frighting and silly mustache that ruined the elegance of the look.

A larger group of musicians than usual backed up Aimee Mann. The second they came on stage, my focus zoomed in on one particular person: Jamie Edwards. Jamie Edwards (whose name I literally discovered five minutes before writing this) is an incredible keyboard and synth player, and apparently also plays lead guitar incredibly well (as he demonstrated last night). He looks like a cross between Hugh Laurie as Dr. House and a good friend of mine from college and he even dresses a bit like House, wearing a blazer and jeans. There is a quiet flourish and an arrogance-tinged elegance to the way that he plays. It's really fabulous to watch. He seems to enjoy himself up on stage (he ended up laughing so hard during one of Paul Tompkin's jokes that I saw him quietly wipe his eyes with a smile before returning to playing lead guitar). I remember the last time I saw him I had a similar reaction: he's just incredible. At her last concert, I would have sworn he looked right at me staring at him and smiled, except I am almost positive that they cannot see the audience from the stage at the venue at which I saw Aimee Mann perform.

I do not know almost anything about Jamie Edwards. The first time I remember seeing him was after Aimee Mann released Smilers (which is a fabulous album that I highly recommend). I know he has played with other people, but there is almost no information about him online. On a forum on Aimee Mann's site multiple people inquire whether or not he's single, but there seems to be no real information.
@#%&*! Smilers
Update 12/13/10:
Darrell on Don't Tell Betsy! also posted a review of the Aimee Mann Christmas Show with some of the music she played. Check it out. I also edited and added a few more comments to the above review.

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