When it comes to holiday shows, Aimee Mann doesn’t just get onstage with her guitar and sing a few carols.
Instead the Los Angeles-based singersongwriter brings a couple of comedians and at least one other musician, an homage to the TV specials she used to watch while growing up.
“It’s supposed to be like all those corny variety shows on TV that you can think of,” says Mann, 37, who was the lead singer and bassist of the band ’Til Tuesday until going solo in the early ’90s. “I think that kind of stuff is not done anymore, so you don’t need irony to make it hip. You can just do it and it seems like a fresh idea.”
For her show next week in Ann Arbor, Mann is bringing along comedians Paul F. Thompkins and Morgan Murphy, plus fellow troubadour Nellie McKay. Mann will play material from her 2006 holiday album “One More Drifter in the Snow” and has also prepared a short comedic film that will be shown at the concerts, which was directed by Michael Blieden which features appearances by Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo.
Mann may also pull out a song or two from “Smilers,” her seventh solo album, which is slated for a spring release on her own Superego label.
“The sound is a little bit different for me,” Mann says. “It’s got a lot of Moog (synthesizer) on it (and) sometimes almost sounds like the Cars a little bit. From song to song, everything gets a different treatment.
“It’s just an interesting amalgamation of sounds.”
Aimee Mann performs with Nellie McKay, Paul F. Thompkins and Morgan Murphy at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 12) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25-$35. Call (734) 668-8463 or visit www.michtheater.org.