Monday, August 24, 2009

Music Monday: Amanda Palmer

I first heard Amanda Palmer as one half of the duo Dresden Dolls, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I'd heard of the Dresden Dolls long before that, and all I really knew is that they did 'Punk Cabaret,' which made no sense to me at all when I stumbled across them in AP magazine. But I loved the way the band looked in the photos I saw of them. I wanted to be the woman in the photos. Except... with my eyebrows, since hers looked drawn on. I liked my eyebrows.

The first song I heard from the Dresden Dolls was "Sex Changes." I loved this song. Loved the way it sounded, loved the way the lyrics worked, loved the pure energy that went into it.

(The option to embed the video I linked to is disabled, so here is a live version for those of you that hate clicking through to another page.)

But my interest dead ended there, at least for a time. A lot of it had to do with my limited access to high-speed internet and the pressure of school; I was constantly busy with classes and while I got a laptop last year, my folks didn't get high-speed until late last year. I still talk about it with a note of frustration in my voice, while many of my friends say, "Wow. I forgot about dial-up."


So my potential love of the Dresden Dolls got lost in the slush and snow of winter, and while I listened to the two songs I had on my iPod, I never went looking for anymore.

Then Neil Gaiman started posting on Twitter about a book he was working on called "Who Killed Amanda Palmer." This past spring he mentioned on his blog that he was dating Amanda Palmer. She was also on twitter. I followed her quickly afterward and loved her quirky style (they went on a road trip and she wore a horrible lime green paisley lonnnnng dress. My new love is things that are possibly ugly, thanks in part to her). I don't know when it came up, but it came to my attention that she was the lead singer of the Dresden Dolls.

Well, that stopped me in my tracks a little bit.

Then life went and swept me up again. Finals and helping friends move and then working 40 hour weeks because EVERYONE goes and decides to take vacation at the same time and... I still don't own a single Amanda Palmer or Dresden Dolls album.

But my youtube explorations have me reconsidering my failures. (This video is not for the faint hearted. Not many songs can gloss over rape, but this one kind of does.)

See what I mean about the eyebrows? Or the style for that matter?

One of the things I love about Amanda is she is an entertainer, and not in the straight-up crass manner that you so often see in female performers of late. It helps that she's not 16 and having to wait for her eighteenth birthday to be allowed to cut her hair. (For those readers who don't get bored and read Miley Cyrus's twitter, she is the particular pop starlet that I'm referring to.)

It looks as though the majority of the songs from Who Killed Amanda Palmer? are available in a series of videos through her youtube page. There is also a companion book, with pictures of her in various forms of being dead with words/stories by Neil Gaiman. (That link also goes to the WKAP website, for those of you that prefer to avoid youtube links.)

So, why am I recommending someone whose albums I don't own? Because in the few months that I have been following Amanda on twitter, she has been an amazing, entertaining person to follow. She started Losers Of Friday Night On Their Computers (LOFNOTC) on Twitter and will often respond to the @ replies she gets. She is someone who has become known and loved by her fans NOT for drinking or being naked, but for being a talented, hard-working musician/performer, who is willing to connect with fans. What's not to like?

I believe I read on her blog that she is planning on touring the east coast this fall (which I hope includes Ohio, as it is more East than West), so keep an eye on her twitter or website for an eventual tour announcement. I have a feeling she will be completely worth the cash to see.

1 comment:

Birdie said...

Amanda Palmer is totally boss.