I must confess, the first I ever heard of Aimee Mann was when her songs formed the (broken) heart of the the wonderful soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson‘s brilliant 1999 movie Magnolia, one of my all-time favourite films.
In fact, her music provided far more than simply the soundtrack– writer/director Anderson became so fond of her work after meeting her in 1996 that he used the lyrics from a number of her songs as inspiration for several of the characters and their storylines in the film.
After the script was finished, Anderson sent the script to Mann, who wrote two brand new songs for the film, inspired by the script that had in turn been inspired by her songs.
This one, Save Me, which plays over the closing credits, is my favourite song from the film. It was nominated for an Oscar but criminally lost out to You’ll Be In My Heart, a Phil Collins song from the animated Disney Tarzan film. Mann reportedly subsequently introduced Save Me as: “The song that lost an Oscar to Phil Collins and his cartoon monkey love song”.
This performance is from a gig at St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York in 2004: