“Pretty much everybody on earth has a threshold for how much to indulge an idiot who doesn’t know how to conduct herself, and I think Ms Palmer has found her audience’s threshold.”
Speaking of familiar face Amanda Palmer ’98, the reviews are in for Theatre Is Evil, the album she funded independently over the summer by taking to Kickstarter and somehow emerging with over a million dollars. Palmer recorded the album with the Grand Theft Orchestra, her latest backing band ensemble. If The Guardian is to be believed, the album “feels like sitting on the bed of your tattooed, far cooler cousin 30 years ago, while she tells you ‘all you need to know’ about music.” Sounds about right. Ben Folds, meanwhile, had this confounding opinion to report: “This record is as good as it gets. You’re going to shit when you hear it. It’s going to be around for ages. Otherwise, it’s total crap.” You can hear the album for yourself on Neil Gaiman’s site, or pay what you want here.
If you’re the visual type, observe Palmer’s gruesome new video for “The Killing Type,” in which her band performs in white in a bright white room before Palmer murders her lover and splashes it all red. (“I’m not the killing type, I’m not the killing type,” she pleads in the track’s lyrics.) If you’re squeamish at all, consider skipping it entirely.
But funding the album isn’t the only task Palmer bestowed on her fans.
If you’re doing nothing right now or if you want some background cabaret-punk and Wes-alum rock, tune into the live-stream from Amanda Palmer ’98’s NYC concert with her new Grand Theft Orchestra. They’re promoting Palmer’s new album, Theatre Is Evil, which came out this week, and I’ve certainly been enjoying. If you recall, Palmer famously raised $1-Million on Kickstarter to finance the album and its tour herself. Stream started just a few minutes ago, so there’s plenty left.
Check it out above and check out an interview with Palmer via the soon-to-be-returning Aural Wes (by me!) below. And coverage from her “ninja gig” at Eclectic last year here.
“If you really love the people who support your work, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.”
Speaking of Kickstarter campaigns, remember that time our very own Amanda Palmer ’98put up a plea for a modest $100,000 to finance her new album and tour? Instead, the Dresden Dolls frontwoman ended up raising—wait for it—$1,192,793.Sure, you could say there’s a unique cult of fandom surrounding Palmer. Just recall the reaction to her impromptu “ninja gig” in Eclectic last September. Or consider that two donors fronted $10,000 for the chance to have dinner with the singer while she drew a portrait of her guest. But, Palmer says, crowdfunding is a viable model not just for the beloved and few.In a fascinatingvideo interviewwith TIME, the singer argues, convincingly, that “we’re really looking at crowdfunding as a new, future model for how musicians and artists can connect with their fans and audiences and put out music.”
“I think this can pretty much work for anyone, but you need to keep your goals pretty realistic,” says Palmer, whose goal turned out to be a hell of a lot more realistic than she realized. For her, the story of independence began when she left her record label after 2008’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer?. She describes her thought process as: “My fanbase is pretty big now. These guys [at the record label] aren’t understanding me. . . . I think it’s time to go and do this myself, and I think I know how to do it.” So she did. And she let her freak flag fly. As TIME points out,
Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls recently visited seven Occupy sites in Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, Boston and New York. Afterwards, she worked with Boston filmmaker Michael Gill to produce a video paying homage to the protesters. It features a montage of photos documenting the movement, as well as Palmer’s ukelele rendition of the 1975 Leon Rosselson protest song “The World Turned Upside Down”.
Click past the jump for the full video, and click here, here, here, or here for more high-profile Wesleyan alums weighing in on the OWS protests.
[A-Batte edit: If you’re curious about what’s happening for today’s #OWS Global Day of Action on campus, check out the march this afternoon.]
So about three weeks ago, y’all saw video clips from Waka Flocka Feinstein ’13‘s awesome interview with Amanda Palmer ’98 under the auspices of the Aural Wes blog.
Little did you likely know, however, that three others–Elizabeth Litvitskiy ’15, Grace Nix ’15, and myself–were sitting immediately to the left of the frame, recording the conversation on Audacity (you can hear our laughter at certain points). What’s more is that we have nearly forty minutes of delicious audio footage taken before Waka Flocka started asking his questions. The majority of this recording is new shit, and is worth listening to even if you have never heard of Amanda Palmer before. Of course, if you know/love Amanda Palmer, then this is a must-listen.
“I wanted to write a mock Wesleyan fight song. And then I heard the actual Wesleyan fight song, and it wasn’t very interesting, so I just wrote a song about torching the school.”
Shortly before Amanda Palmer ’98 took to the stage (err, floor) for last Friday’s intimate “ninja gig” at Eclectic, Aural Wes’ Waka Flocka Feinstein ’13 caught wind via Wesleying of the performer’s surprise presence on campus. A longtime fan of Palmer’s work, the film major and Static Stamina frontman acted fast: he grabbed his camera, temporarily unprivatized his Twitter, and set up an interview within the half hour in one simple tweet:
The result, which surfaced on Aural Wes earlier today, is a fascinating and darkly hilarious conversation focused largely on a topic previously shrouded in mystery and taboo: Palmer’s experiences at Wesleyan in the ’90s—and just why they were traumatic enough to warrant a scathing (if hilarious) bastardization of the Wesleyan Fight Song.
A: An Amanda Palmer “ninja gig” ensues when a striking, heavily made-up Amanda Palmer ’98 appears on the Eclectic steps and politely invites a couple hundred riveted students into the Eclectic living room, who sit cross-legged at command and politely await the singer’s direction. The show was announced two hours earlier via Twitter.
Update from our last post: Amanda Palmer ’98 continues running around Wesleyan, tweeting her every movement, and linking to Wesleying. HEAD EXPLLLOOODES. The “ninja gig” will be at Eclectic—technically “near College Row”—at 7 pm. Palmer says:
I will be playing at Eclectic (200 High Street) at 7 pm sharp TONIGHT. Totally free, totally open, all ages welcome. Bring food, bring ukeleles, and fermented malt beverages for Amanda Palmer. There is a distinct possibility we will then parade to the Goldsmith Family Cinema for Stop Making Sense. Amanda would also like people to volunteer to make out with her during the movie.
[Edit by frostedmoose: HIIII MEEZZ PALMERRR. I WUVVV YOUUUUUU]
Spring semester is over, Reunion and Commencement is days past, and I’ve flown 2/3 of the way across the country from Connecticut, so I guess it’s official: the school year is over (for most). And it’s been a pretty crazy one. So this is farewell. Farewell to eager-eyed freshmen getting acquainted to their EastCo dorm rooms, some of us dropping two classes at the beginning of the semester (to pick up three more), and punk concerts in Memorial Chapel. Farewell to Fall Break being too short, exam week too long, and Winter Break even more too longer.
Farewell to the first Snow Day since the last time a cult leader claimed the Rapture was coming. Farewell to snickering to ourselves or the ACB while scrolling through prefrosh facebook groups. Farewell to ruining my hearing forever. Farewell to Wordsmith, Mel and Josh (as a duo [for the moment]), Flora and Fauna, and any/every other outbound artist I’ve neglected to list here. Farewelltocontroversy?
Farewell to fuckyeahnouns facebook event pictures (hopefully not for long). Farewell to anonymous commenters (or not, am I right?!). Farewell to WeScam. Farewell to the University hiring people to wash chalking away from the top of Foss Hill, to the ire of students, alumni, and even random documentary filmmakers (seriously: ask Zach or myself about the documentary filmmakers).
But most of all, farewell to…idk, lol.
I feel now the most tasteful way to send you all off to your jobs, internships, or sudden urges to backpack around Europe is with a random video found by searching “wesleyan goodbye” on YouTube…so here you go. Here’s to doin’ it even nastier next year (Save the Date: Werner Herzog’s 69th Birthday).