April 17, 2005 | Posted by david at 12:40 AM

Make it perfect, make it o.k.

Michael Penn

Poor Michael Penn. He's got plans to play a decent-sized venue in Minneapolis, and they shove him into a restaurant nearby. Renovations at the Varsity Theater meant moving last Thursday's show a few doors down, and I can't say the Loring Pasta Bar's management was very organized about the whole thing. The show, however, was fantastic. Loring Pasta Bar is all brick, leafy plants and strung lights, and it was a great, intimate place to hear him play. Penn's deceptively simple pop songs sounded almost majestic in the restaurant's high ceilings, and even though he said we were all sitting too far away for him to see us, every note was crystal clear. Though well known for the late '80s hit "No Myth", he still writes good, solid songs. Penn is also known for long delays between albums - it's been five years since his excellent Days Since a Lost Time Accident - but the songs reflect a careful writing and recording process. Penn just moved to spinART from Sony, and his new album Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 is set to come out in August after some delays. We received a promo copy from the fine folks at spinART, and I can tell you that it's really good. Here are a couple tastes:

Michael Penn - OK
Michael Penn - Mary Lynn

Upon first listen, Mr. Hollywood Jr. sounded nice and all but didn't stick. The songs stayed in my head, though, and I had to listen over and over. I know it's a while until August, but keep this one in mind until then. Penn's worth supporting, and make sure you catch him when he's in town.
And for God's sake, tip the waitstaff.


any collaborations done with the wifey?

Posted by: jc at April 17, 2005 10:59 PM

sounds good. "Ok" sounds like it's got jon brion's fingerprints all over it. anybody know who produced his forthcoming album?

Posted by: at April 18, 2005 11:08 AM

I would guess Penn himself produced it, because he produced his last one.
And Jon, no Aimee Mann collaborations, as far as I know. But their duets "Two of Us" (by the Beatles) and "Reason To Believe" (by Springsteen) are both great.

Posted by: Robot David at April 18, 2005 01:13 PM

These songs are okay but GO listen to "Walter Reed" at his website, that song is AWESOME!

Posted by: mat at April 18, 2005 04:37 PM

Sorry, not his website GO HERE


Posted by: mat at April 18, 2005 04:41 PM

dude... Michael Penn is consistantly excellent. I have been waiting for years for some new stuff... and this does not disappoint. can you post some more?

Posted by: jiko55 at April 18, 2005 10:49 PM

I've had this album for over a month (a friend works at one of the venues he's playing at, so I got a promo), and I like it more and more every day. It's better than "Lost Time Accident," and is right up there with "Resigned," which is, in my opinion, one of the finest albums ever made. Saw him at Largo and Joe's Pub, and I'll simply say that it's great to have him back.

Posted by: Dan at April 29, 2005 04:28 PM
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