The former lead singer of 1980s new-wave band 'Til Tuesday ("Voices Carry"), Aimee Mann gained further recognition as a solo artist for her work on the Magnolia soundtrack a decade ago. But the famously moody singer-songwriter, who grew up outside Richmond, Va., has shown herself to be in an uncharacteristically playful mood of late. Her most recent album, 2008's impressive @#%&*! Smilers, offered blazing electric guitars but also lush and light horn and string instrumentation, with a rich tapestry of complex sound and emotion. On tour these days, she's previewing songs from a new musical she's writing. Tuesday, April 12, and Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $49.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.