By Hollister Dixon
Two summers ago, I saw The Both – comprised of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo – at Project Pabst here in Portland. Aside from being phenomenal musicians and songwriters on their own, their combined forces may not be totally groundbreaking, but feel warm, comfortable, and an absolute treat to listen to. But, this is only half of what makes the duo work: anyone who has had the opportunity to see Leo and Mann perform knows that they’re masters at witty stage banter, effortlessly filling the downtime between songs with jovial chatter – with each other, with the crowd, with anyone. During that particular show, during a long-winded (but still thoroughly enjoyable) rant wherein Leo revealed himself as a massive Tolkien nerd, I found myself thinking that, if these two ever wanted to just put down their instruments and put on a solid hour of crowd-work based comedy, I’d gleefully be there with bells on.