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Friday, June 13, 2008

Aimee Mann

Tonight @ the Pabst Theater - 8 p.m.

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Still best known for her moody contributions to the Magnolia soundtrack, Aimee Mann is a singer-songwriter in the dignified spirit of late-period Elvis Costello, writing deeply considered songs that never pander with overblown hooks or gimmicks. The refined nature of her albums accounts for much of her critical acclaim, but it can also make it a bit difficult for them to reach audiences outside of the coffee-shop scene, so for her lively, latest album, @#%&*! Smilers, Mann tossed casual listeners a bone, playing up the easygoing, ’70s- FM poppiness inherent in her songs and fleshing them out with bright, borderline-vaudevillian arrangements that show she picked up a couple of tricks working with producer Jon Brion all those years ago. Mann does an 8 p.m. show at the Pabst Theater.