Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann learned a valuable lesson early on in her career.
When she followed her instincts and wrote songs that suited her more than a record label tastemaker looking for the next No. 1 hit single, she scored a home run.
That's why she left the major-label game in 1999 and went independent with her own label, SuperEgo Records. And she's never looked back.
"I get to make my own decisions. There really is nothing worse than having people make mistakes that you then have to take responsibility for," Mann said during a phone call from a concert stop in Portland to talk about her show at Rialto Theatre on Friday.
"With major labels, you always get this thing of 'None of these songs is a single.' Then you have to play this guessing game: 'What do they even mean by that?' It's impossible," she said.
On her weeks-old album "Charmer," Mann has several single-worthy cuts. She released two already - the title song and "Labrador." The poppy "Crazytown" and "Gamma Ray" could easily fit into a Top 40 format, while "Barfly" and "Disappeared" have funky adult-contemporary vibes.
Mann, who hasn't played a Tucson show in years, returns with a full band - her first non-acoustic tour in several years.
"The last tours I've done have been semi-acoustic," she said. "This is the first time we've gone out in years with an electric guitar player, a drummer, keyboard player, bass player. It's a five-piece band. They sound great; they are really terrific musicians."
The shows will mix her earlier solo works with cuts off "Charmer." What you won't hear is her dipping back to her days as the lead singer of 'Til Tuesday ("Voices Carry").
"It was so long ago that it was kind of a style we were playing with. But it was a long time ago, and most of the songs I don't think were that great," she said.
The tour takes Mann back to places she hasn't visited in years, including Tucson.
"I'm really happy that we're able to come back because it's been so long," she said. "It's nice to finally be able to go to some different towns rather than Los Angeles, Boston and New York."
If you Go
• What: Aimee Mann in concert with with Field Report
• When: 8 p.m. Friday.
• Where: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
• Tickets: $20 to $29 at rialtotheatre.ticketforce.com