To understand what I think of Amanda Palmer‘s music, you should probably know I am a music snob. After being in and around music so long, you tend to have certain preferences or you get stuck with your favorites. Sure, I had a long, cold pause of not investigating the new and the shiny, which is why that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Only, I can’t stand auto-tuners or pre-manufactured songs that don’t fit the artist’s range. I understand why these things exist, but to me a lot of technological “bling” removes that irreplaceable personal element. I don’t want perfection. I want soul. Empathy. Humanity. Personality. I want the singer’s voice to show who they are and not turn into something we — the listeners — worship.
The artists I most admire are the ones who have a range, depth, and breadth to their repertoire. Who are not afraid to be naked up on stage in a way that makes them vulnerable, that forces us to understand our own pain and joy. To force us to plummet into the depths of ourselves and lift us up at the same time.
Being as picky as I am, you can imagine how turned off I am by any sort of hype. It’s impossible for me to embrace that shiny new release without hearing samples first or waiting a month until the reviews come out. But this time? I did something that I didn’t expect. I fell for the artist *before* I listened to her music. On the first day of Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter, you better believe I donated. This wasn’t marketing, this was personality. This was art. This was excitement in a way that is not faked, replicated, or disingenuine. This was an experience.
Then, last week, I got the first single Do It With A Rockstar in my InBox which is the first time we’ve also heard the musical stylings of The Grand Theft Orchestra. I had no expectations mind you. None whatsoever. For all I knew, the music could have been crap, and I still would have bought it because of my views on art as Art. And then? I fell in love. With orchestration. With complexity. With vocals that weren’t auto-tuned or prefabricated, but a voice that had to sing, because in between each note was pure, unadulterated joy.
I wound up buying Who Killed Amanda Palmer the other day and heard a story embedded each song. This, even though there is marketing and commercialism and all of that necessary crap, is a true musician working with other artists who are having fun creating music as a shared experience. I imagine Amanda and the artists she’s worked with could bring to life a small stage just as much as she’d be able to light up a stadium. She’d be just as comfortable singing to herself as she would the President, too. We could all be so lucky, to live in our art in way that lights up the world. How damn inspiring.
So yes, as her website declares, she is Amanda “Fucking” Palmer.
- Mood: Hell-bent on selling a novel so I can raise money for my music and art habits.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I lost count.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Not enough.
In My Ears: Who Killed Amanda Palmer
Game Last Played: Battle Nations
Movie Last Viewed: Harry Potter as part of a marathon
Latest Artistic Project: Crystal Cluster bracelet in gold
Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG