Coming into public consciousness in 2002 with punk-cabaret troupe The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Fucking Palmer has heaved her way to the top of the music industry's summit wearing little more than a corset and a bra. Four albums and five tours later, she and her independent attitude went solo, releasing 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer', produced by Ben Folds, in 2008. After extricating herself and her art from a suffocating record contract with Roadrunner Records, two self-released EPs followed ('Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukelele' and 'Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under'), along with a musical theater-esque Evelyn Evelyn album and tour with Jason Webley.
Beyond her recorded work and touring, Palmer also starred in Statuesque, a short silent film with well-known author and now-husband Neil Gaiman, inspired by her years as a living statue of the Eight-Foot Bride in Harvard Square. She co-wrote and produced a play, 'With the Needle That Sings in Her Heart', with the students at her high school alma mater in Lexington, Massachusetts, based on Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 album 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea'. She played the Master of Ceremonies at 43 sold-out performances in the American Repertory Theater’s 2010 Boston production of Cabaret. She toured the West Coast with Gaiman in the fall of 2011 and recorded an album of the performance that was released to fans who pre-ordered the album online, and which will be released commercially at some point in the future.
*Queen of the Internet*
In addition to all of the above, Palmer has made a name for herself in the last few years as the quintessential social media artist, engaging in daily interactions with her fans 365 days a year and making an art form out of using Twitter for everything from finding her band and crew a place to crash on the road to canvassing for band names (her new band’s name - The Grand Theft Orchestra – is a lyrical nod to their belief in crowd sourcing all that they do). With over half a million Twitter followers, a deeply personal blog where she bares her soul and her tits, and the ability to amass hundreds of people for spontaneous "ninja gigs", Amanda Palmer has one of the most responsive and supportive online fan bases on the internet.
“It’s sort of like filling up a room one by one and then stage-diving,” she says. “You make a million connections and they’re all just there waiting to catch you. And I love that part of the job. I fucking love connecting with people. So I am lucky; if this is the age of the social artist, I’m in the right place at the right time.”
Which is why it was no surprise when Artist/musician/world citizen Amanda Palmer achieved this year what many would have predicted to be impossible; she changed the music industry and, indeed, art and commerce, forever. Palmer made global headlines with her wildly successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, raising $1.2 million dollars by selling close to 25,000 copies of her new album 'Theatre is Evil', her first full-length release since 2008, along with assorted premium merch and “experiences”, like house-parties and other opportunities to interact with the artist.
“My fans are so fucking great, and are literally, I mean thousands of them, holding me up and making me possible. They are literally making it possible for me to make music for them - the way I want.”
*The New Album*
This September, 'Theatre Is Evil' will become the first studio record her rambunctious fans have heard in four years. But first, determined to bring together the perfect ingredients for her musical stew, she knew that the city she recorded in would affect her biggest album yet. New York was too busy, Dallas was too remote, San Francisco would be too distracting and LA "just sucks". "Then I kind of sat myself down and thought, 'You know what? I want to make my fucking record in fucking Melbourne!'" she exclaims. So, following the 2011 Dresden Dolls reunion tour that sold out multiple shows across Australia and New Zealand, Amanda bunkered down in an apartment above a Melbourne cos