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NPR Arts & Life

Musical Guest: Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann performing with Jonathan Coulton on Ask Me Another.
Aimee Mann performing with Jonathan Coulton on Ask Me Another.

Musical guest Aimee Mann knows she has a bit of a reputation for writing sad songs. She decided to lean into the joke with her latest album, whose title, "Mental Illness," was suggested by none other than Jonathan Coulton. "He asked me what the record what about and I said, 'Ah, it's my usual songs about mental illness.' And he said, 'Oh, you should call it 'Mental Illness,' thinking he was being snide and hilarious." The name stuck, and she released her ninth solo album in March.

She stopped by the Ask Me Anotherstage to play her new song "Patient Zero," which was inspired by actor Andrew Garfield. After meeting him at a party and being struck by his sensitive nature, Mann worried that the industry would "eat him alive." "So that kind of inspired me to write a song," Mann said, "that was that type of Hollywood story where the person does get eaten alive."

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