You can actually see the joy in Aimee Mann’s face as she exchanges riffs and vocals with Ted Leo in their new collaboration, The Both. The former ’Til Tuesday chanteuse has always been a smart, thoughtful songwriter but she seems much less restrained with Leo, whose punky power chords supply the wildness and energy that’s sometimes missing from Mann’s more cautiously arranged solo recordings. Leo appears revitalized as well, and his singing and wit feel more focused and passionate as he twines his harmonies with Mann’s on poppy tunes such as “Milwaukee.” Mann’s annual Christmas show at Largo has become such a big deal that it’s been expanded to two nights. The singer will stave off saccharine sentimentality with visits from her celebrity friends and her arch version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Also Thursday, Dec. 4.
Wed., Dec. 3, 8:30 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 4, 8:30 p.m., 2014
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