Amanda Palmer has spent almost her whole career balancing between devotion and criticism. Her intensity has been a subject of debate since the early 2000s, which peaked in 2012 when she funded an album through Kickstarter, raised $1.2 million dollars, and then asked her fans to perform in her band on tour for free.
Palmer says that the money has only gone to making, producing and distributing her music, and insists that everything she asks of her fans, including free artistic labour, is part of a revolutionary overhaul of the music industry. One that puts community above record labels. Given the fact that she’s still funded through Patreon, allowing her fans to pay her directly for her content, she definitely has ideas and a strong community behind her.
Palmer is the mind behind several different musical projects, all of which are angsty, unbalanced and brutally honest. Girl Anachronism by The Dresden Dolls, Palmer’s duo with drummer Brian Vigilione, is an intentionally imperfect piece of music. The piano keys are mashed rather than played, and the rhythms seem more often out of sync than in.
The song tells an urgent story that comes out in a barrage of lyrics about a girl who is “the world’s worst accident.” It’s full of violent scenes of emotional distress, all in Palmer’s token raspy Cabaret voice, which breaks and falls and whispers throughout.
This song distressed me when I first heard it, and I only started to like it when I realized that’s exactly what it was supposed to do. The disastrous imagery is captivating. Like a horror movie, German Cabaret style.
Before the first lyrics are even out of Palmer’s mouth, her groans and wails warn us of the ride we’re in for, and by the end of the first burst of lyrics, we know it’s not going to be pretty.
You can tell
From the scars on my arms
And the cracks in my hips
And the dents in my car
And the blisters on my lips
That I'm not the carefullest of girls
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About The Curator - Abby Yaeger
Abby Yaeger always keeps an eye out for the weird and the wonderful. As a journalism student in Montreal, she walks whenever she can, usually without any specific destination in mind. Weather permitting, she’ll sometimes stop and sketch, or just sit and watch the people that pass by. As a writer, she hopes to support artists and creatives who see the world for the messy, strange, and wonderful place that it is.