Wailing the Grammy Blues

What do you do when you lose a Golden Globe award and a Grammy to Phil Collins? Well, as far as Aimee Mann is concerned, you express your disapproval at live shows and play a kick-ass set that proves that the judges were either incompetent or deaf.

Mann’s Dec. 13 stop at the Sun Theater in Anaheim was the 15th on her tour promoting her third solo album, “”Bachelor #2.””

She mockingly showed her distaste when she introduced “”Save Me,”” the song for which she received two award nominations. However, as she put it, she lost to a song about “”Tarzan and a cartoon monkey. That’s kind of how I feel about the election right now.””

Playing to an audience of mostly middle-aged people, Mann’s 13-song set included work from her solo albums “”Whatever”” (1993), “”I’m With Stupid”” (1995) and “”Bachelor #2″” (2000). It also included songs from the “”Magnolia”” soundtrack (2000), which made her music known to a mainstream audience.

Grant Lee Phillips was the opening act that night, playing a fairly long 11-song all-acoustic guitar set. “”You guys might be able to rent ‘Magnolia,’ and by the time it’s finished, I’ll be done,”” he joked at the beginning of the set. This remark was one of many odd yet comical comments that Phillips made throughout the night.

Aside from the jokes, his performance consisted of deep, metaphorical lyrics sung to beautifully elaborate chord progressions. His folk-blues set included songs from his recent album “”Mighty Joe Moon.””

The transition from Phillips to Mann encompassed a change from acoustic to electric guitar. Her set list ranged from heart-wrenching, slow ballads such as “”4th of July”” and “”Wise Up”” to upbeat tunes like “”Ghost World.”” The show’s highlights included an amazing acoustic rendition of “”It’s Not Safe,”” with violins fusing in after the first verse.

After the song, Mann joked about the despondent nature of her music and sarcastically declared, “”That was my all-purpose protest song with my usual message, which is ‘Give up — it’s hopeless!'””

Other highlights included the energetic classic “”Choice in the Matter,”” the emotionally charged “”Susan”” and the desperate and vulnerable “”Long Shot.””

The night ended with two encores, the last of which was a moving, acoustic version of “”I’ve Had It.”” Mann left the stage graciously thanking the audience while the crowd cheered earnestly, affirming Mann’s position as a great performer and one of the more prolific songwriters of our time.