Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Forgotten Arm

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2006 at 12:00 AM

In the world of literary fiction, great short story writers usually fail to produce a novel that rivals their briefer works. For Aimee Mann, her lyrical vignettes of dysfunction and addiction — every bit as complex and beautiful as a Raymond Carver or Flannery O'Connor story — have always had just as much difficulty assembling themselves into long-form masterpieces. Her albums, as a consequence, always seemed like piecemeal collections. Director P.T. Anderson's Magnolia revealed the inherent cinematic quality of her alt-country-tinged pop-rock, but it was Anderson who provided the glue that made the storyline stick together. Mann's last effort, Lost in Space, was just as dense with narrative knots, but didn't have any stick either. Her latest, The Forgotten Arm, however, finally sticks together — and sticks with you. By imagining the concept album as a novel (even the packaging suggests as much), Mann has imposed a discipline on herself she previously lacked; the result is a 12-chapter chronicle of a carnival worker who falls for a down-on-his-luck boxer, only to lose it all to the addiction he brings back from Vietnam. It's her version of the great American novel, full of love, promise and disappointment, but, in a very '70s manner, no resolutions.

 

Appears Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 248-668-8397.

Cole Hadden writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Cole Haddon

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 27, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation