Sunday, December 26, 2004


They're closing the Cafe Pamplona.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

12/12/04 - Air New Zealand

I am sitting on a plane, on the last leg of London to New Zealand. We've been flying for almost 24 hours straight.

My head is a right mess, and my body is exhausted. We've been touring almost non-stop since summer. I remember once reading studies about the effects of Rapid Eye Movement sleep interruption....when you deprive people of REM, they can't dream. When they can't dream, they can't subconsciously process their lives. Then they slowly go insane. I'm feeling something similar.

The endless travelling with no real time to stop and reflect (and more importantly, create) has stunted my mental state of being - which I only notice in flashes here or there, like an amnesiac confronted with a sentimental photo. I try not to be too hard on myself, but I get scared by the fact that I can barely concentrate on a mindless magazine lately. My brain is being reprogrammed to think in shallow, five-minute intervals.

Things have gotten even more complicated lately by the fact that Brian and I have such an intense relationship, and it's being put to the test on the road. We're often like an old married couple, bitching mercilessly one moment and then caringly wonderful the next, and the manic-depressive relationship cycle slowly but surely starts to wear me down to the point where I feel like shutting off completely just to avoid further conflict. We're possessive and jealous like lovers, without the obvious silver lining that carries most lovers through the night. This relationship is one for the fucking books, I tell'll take them years to figure out what actually happened. We barely know ourselves.

We found out yesterday that “dimebag” daryl from pantera was shot, along with the others onstage in ohio, and we were just dumbstruck. Brian was hard hit, this was an old idol of his from high school. And we ask each other, as we always do: what the fuck? what is happening to people? But we know it's the same old's been happening for years and we can only use it for what it's worth. We're here, this is it, and if we think we're heading to something bigger and better and brighter down the road, we're fools. Here we are, on stage, alive. End of story.

I hate plane food. I want vegetables.

We're barely able to believe what's going on in New Zealand and Australia....the album is blowing up and we're in heavy rotation on MTV and the national alternative radio station, triple j. Most of the shows are sold out. I'm not even sure what to expect. The last time I was in Austrlia it was 2000 and I was on my own, performing the Eight Foot Bride at the Adelaide fringe festival. I almost got arrested twice.

On a brighter note (I should tattoo “don't post under the influence of less than 5 hours sleep in a 48 hour period” to my left hand), I've developed a new art form that keeps me from feeling I am entirely creatively zombified on the road. Together with Manta, who came on the tour to do morning martial arts exercises ( in addition to being the offical tour videographer, we have been carving out the framwork of a revolution in bad taste and narcissistic media.

It is called Karaoke Verité.

It fuses the art of film with the kitsch of karoake and basically amounts to me making ridiculous lipsyched videos in my free time as a kind of emotional/physical travelogue. For the time being, I am using the music of other artists. You can take a stab. The first one will be posted by christmas, I hope. I hope she doesn't sue.

Monday, November 29, 2004

11/29/04 - Berlin, GER

I went to my tenth high school reunion just before leaving for europe.

alcohol - 1
amanda - 0

Ah, not only did the good old days wash over me with an infinite sea of hi-I-hear-you're-doing-very-wells but I tasted the sweet taste of being hungover and ill in an airport. My late teens and early twenties all over again.
Thank fucking god they're gone.

I simply pray that I didn't do anything more embarrassing than my clouded memory can dredge up.

I did get to feel the re-creation of an ultimate High School Moment. I was in the ladies room of the trashy euro-bar
that housed the reunion, relating to some old friends the story of whacking off in physics(how, you ask? cleverly, and under multiple large, flowing, gothic skirts) while staring directly into the eyes of the ultimate heather-like volleyball girl who I considered my spiritual nemesis (thinking, as I achieved orgasm, something terribly arrogant along the lines of "you will never be free, you will never be free...."). As I finished relating the story in the reunion bathroom, a heather-like friend of the ultimate heather appeared out of a nearby stall and looked at me, flipping heather-yet-now-soccer-mom hair and said: "Yeah right", while rolling her eyes heavenward and storming out of the bathroom. Ah, right back at home. Of course, I took the opportunity to relate this story to anyone who was willing to listen for the rest of the night.

Several drinks later, I snogged the football-team-captain-freak-basher who used to make my life a living helln after a short discussion and mutual truce. A large crowd gathered around us in a circle and applauded. A very West Side Story Moment.
I've since emailed my friend M. to see if anything of a less tasteful nature occurred.

Writing it all here in my public confessional makes me feel better, but I'm actually pretty horrified with myself. There was my chance to put them all to shame with my newly-found adulthood and maturity and I probably came off like a loudmouthed and bloated fool. In my defense, the fog of insecurity in the room was so thick that barely anyone could see straight and the open bar didn't help. I'll make up for it in 2014.

Berlin is as I always experience it: large, empty, cold and hard to find.

I woke up at 5 am this morning and took a long walk listening to the Avril CD. I swear, it's like a disease. I've concluded that listening to this CD, the ultimate guilty pleasure, is about as punk-rock as it gets. The only true rebellion lies in doing the truly unacceptable. I also haven't been tempted to listen to ANYTHING on a walkman since I was around 18. I put my finger on this morning over breakfast: if I had bought this CD at 12, I'd be addicted, and wouldn't feel the shame of listening to such terrible, corporate, superficial over processed shite, because I hadn't quite turned into a music snob yet and was perfectly happy listening to pop that made me smile.

Nowadays, when I listen to the music I loved at 12, it brings me back to a very specific feeling. The feeling belongs very specifically to my twelve-year-old self, a direct nostalgic connection to a solid spot.

But by listening to Avril, I have actually harnessed the power of the twilight zone and am able to re-live being 12 from a fresh perspective. How common is that?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

11/25/04 - On Online Journaling

I can't help but find it just plain strange that writers of late have been asking: how does it feel to expose your inner life on your website?
What am i missing here? The way i see things I'm writing some pretty mundane observations about my everyday life in this band and
leaving the heavy shit for my own journals (to be published posthumously, of course, to save everyone a great deal of embarrassment) or
for ephemeral phone conversations and late-night conversations.

I've often wondered WHAT would happen I did indeed start chronicling my inner life for all to read. Would it make the music more
interesting? Less interesting? More or less revealing, or mysterious? When you give people pieces to the puzzle of your pysche, it can
often lead to more questions than answers.

Fuck this shit, I'm going to go to Avril's website and see how it's done.


Ok, so Avril's not really revealing very much. Perhaps Courtney Love's website will have some details more revealing than "We're on tour in Spain and it's awesome, the shopping here is kick-ass etc"
(must also confess I watched ALL the videos from the new record. Angry Avril!)


Courtney Love has no online diary on her website. Probably for the best. How about......Ashlee Simpson? Norah Jones? Fucking.....Diamanda Galas?

(pause. pause. pause.........)

This is a really deadend project, none of these women seem to be the online journal type.
Good god, is it just me and Avril?


It would seem so. I checked the websites of Rufus Wainwright, Bjork, Liz Phair, Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, David Bowie and Momus....
just the cross-section of folks that popped into my head. Momus has a great "daily picture diary". Bowie seems to post on
his message board with some regularity, mostly music recommendations. Not a lot of soul-baring going on. And why should they? They're
artists and they should be concerned with making art.

But isn't this the future?

This is art.

I really ought to go to bed. To make myself feel better about this whole process I will try to reveal some of myself. I've been listening
to Avril's new record all night. I can't tell you exactly why, but it sort of makes me feel like I am 15 all over again in a parallel universe. I'm so ashamed and
so proud of myself at the same time. I learned "Together" on the piano. We could never cover it. We can get away with covering Britney, but Avril would just
not be acceptable. It's like the difference between admitting you like porn (which is cool) and admitting you make child porn (which is not cool).

Cult of Personality/Reality Performance of Self Via Interweb as artform? I'm nostalgic enough about my own life and past to want to get away with this kind of crap.
I have kept every letter I've ever recieved. I need a bigger apartment to fit all the shit I can't throw away. I did screaming naked perfomance art in college.
I was THAT girl. Who has made their personality into an artform lately and done a decent job? RuPaul?

I'm not just saying this to be cool but the Avril record really disintegrates towards the end.

Amanda. go. to. bed.

Monday, November 15, 2004

11/15/04 - Portland, OR

We had a rainy day off and I spent a majority of it losing myself in the best bookstore I've ever seen ( ). I picked up what I am pretty sure is my new favorite book - "Girl Culture" by Lauren Greenfield - an unvelievably beautiful and terrifying photo collection. Nothing like the real thing, but I found some online images from the book at . Girls at weight-loss camp. Prom queens. Anorexics. Three-year olds in lipstick. Amanda Heaven. Look closely at the captions.
Then I joined forces with some of the folks from Fran Sanchez (the name we've finally settled on for the tour bus) and headed to Mary's Club, Portland's first topless bar, which is now a full-on nekkid strip joint. Not that I'm a massive connoisseur, but I've been to my fair share of tit bars and strip joints and this one was a classic. No cover, very cheap drinks, and decor that resmebled a cross between a 50's family Italian restaurant, a rec room and a FunWorld.
There were only three girls working there, rotating every three songs. There was no DJ, which was also a first for me...the girls just selected tunes from a jukebox that was nailed to the wall next to the stage. One girl was insanely thin, blond and boring. The second girl had complete control over the muscles in her tits (we spent all night trying to figure out whether they were faux or not) and did a wonderful trick of pretending to tug them into the air with invisible strings. But our favorite was girl number three, Carmen, who was tattooed from head to toe and looked like full-on suicide girl material, buddy holly glasses and all.

I've had two bizarre dreams lately.

In the first one, I was eight months pregnant. This was one of those intensely vivid dreams, in which I could feel every detail down to the scratchy pinch of my maternity-pants waistband being ever-so-slightly too tight. I refused to name a father. I'd say it was more of a nightmare, actually.

The next night made up for it. I dreamt that John Lennon wound up at my apartment and I tried to get him to cuddle. To my amazement, he was up for it. I was clumsily messing around with my cd player, putting on some mood music - specifically, I was checking to see which disc tray my Cathode "Sleeping and Breathing" cd was in, because I was sure he'd like it - but I wound up accidentally blasting the beginning of the White Album instead. John sort of tried to be nice about it, but his expression read: "Oh Please, Anything But This." After apologizing and trying to laugh about it, I switched discs again and what should come on but....the fucking White Album again. God, how embarrissing. I suppose this has some sort of traceable interpretation having to do with typical musician anxiety. When you're not the sort of girl who cares if the whole class sees a big bloody splotch on the back of your white skirt, you end up having fears like this instead.

I did wind up cuddling with John Lennon, and all was well.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

11/04/04 - Back in the USA

We were in Montreal on election day. We played at the Cabaret Music Hall and then dashed back out to the bus to sit and wait and listen to a faint radio signal as state by state the results came in. We barely spoke. The mood was pretty somber. When the prospects started to get really dim, we seperated. There was nothing to talk about, really. Some went for walks, some stayed up and drank, toasting to the new dark ages.

I went to my bunk and thought about what it really meant that Bush was going to be the president. The damage to the environment, the lives that will be lost, the progress twisted. I cried for a little while.

I'll admit it outright. A part of me is looking forward to the challenge. Might as well embrace the new dark ages for what they'll provide us: fuel. This band, though not overtly political, did what it could in a very small way. We registered people to vote at shows. We voted ourselves. Could we have done more? Certainly. Is that our responsibility? Yes. And no.

We will do what we do best: express ourselves however we like, make art we love, be kind to each other and those around us, support creativity in all shapes and sizes....and try to infect others with the urge to do likewise. That, I believe, is the most powerful asset we, and all artists, have. More so than waving a flag for a candidate or a cause.

It's a time-tested fact. In dark and oppressive political times the artistic kilns of revolution and expression are set ablaze.
Let it begin here, my friends.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


we're stuck in florida, and it's only about 12 days to the election. is it a sign? maybe we'll stay here and count ballots. anything to help the cause. "one for bush, one for kerry, one for, two for kerry, three for for brian, one for amanda, one for noam chomsky...."

the tour has been wonderful and hard so far. touring in a bus for the first time has been a huge relief (no more schlepping our shit every which way every night and morning) but it leaves one with a feeling of complete impermenance. as if we're heading somewhere and never actually arrive. there's also very little space to spead out and make a mess, which i tend to need. at least every few days.

the local shows in the south have been pretty well attended and the people we've been meeting have been inspiring and beautiful. performers have just begun to emerge from the woodwork in different places and the brigade is gaining momentum. kansas city was a trip and a half...we flew in for one show to support pj harvey and sonic youth at a large theater. since we'd been getting radio play (a lot of it) we were astounded to actually play to a captive audience of about 2000 folks who were familiar with the album and completely into the show.....we'd expected to feel like an opener (with everybody sort of milling in and curiosly checking us out, at best). it felt incredible, quite a step up for our wee band. pj harvey cancelled (something having to do with a missed flight or a canadian border holdup). i was disappointed not to be able to meet her, but we did get to play a longer set. the folks from sonic youth were plenty friendly and had very kind things to say and share.

the baby porcupines that were vigorously mating in my throat region have called a truce and seem to be huddling together for warmth but threaten to get it on at little prompting (lack of sleep and lots of talking seems to get the little buggers going at it). i soothe them with herbal teas and try to keep my stress level at a minimum, which is difficult as that often requires ignoring everyone and everything around me to keep my head on straight. staying out of everybody's headtrips and problems while living in close quarters is not an easy task, and can feel downright insensitive at times, but it's pretty necessary to maintain your own sanity and protect yourself. my mom taught me that. hi mom! i love you!

i also was intrigued at somebody's post on the dolls' forum about the current meaning of cabaret, and thought i'd cross-post my musings here.

good morning, eveybody........


i don't claim to be any sort of expert on cabaret or the weimar era. in fact, i probably hold my romantic views as fast as the average citizen...i associate the cabaret with a fantasy of an era that we can only be familiar with through books, films and other seond-hand impressions (and therefore, the romanticising of others) of a time that is now gone. however, the cabaret as an idea did not begin and end with weimar germany, even though that's the "classic" cabaret. christopher isherwood's novels and berlin stories, which were turned into a play, which were in turn turned into the musical "cabaret", which in turn was made into the joel gray/liza minelli film is a beautiful example of how post-modern this all gets....the story which feds the fantasy which feeds the story which feeds the artform which feeds the fantasy, etc etc ad infinitum. but there was also the cabaret of paris, the cabarets in new orleans, the vaudleville everywhere, the dadists, the beat culture of the fifties....the spirit of what cabaret means keeps getting captured again and again in different generations and places, it just gets tagged with a different label. for me, the concept of "cabaret" isn't the particular musical styling, it's the spirit in which it is created and brought into the world.

so when i answer these questions, i must be honest: i'm not trying to re-create the weimar berlin cabaret, i'm not trying to start a cult, i'm not trying to do anything excpet kick-start in other people the romantic fantasy which i've always had and i know many others create a space, even just an hour or two, in which everybody and anybody can take part: a spot in a dull world which keeps getting more and more frightening where everybody bands together and makes alot of meaningful noise, where self-expression is demanded, where risk-taking is honored, where art is god and where the rules of everyday life and coduct are forgotten for a while.

some of us will read up on it, take all the christpoher isherwood books out of the libabry and study the dissonant chord changes of kurt weill, some of us will lock ourselves in out rooms and try to memorize the Dada Almanac, some of us will rent "blue angel" and watch it countless times" and write essays about dietrich's influence on the transgendered community, and others will simply come for the show. let posterity show that a very valiant attempt was made at some point in the early 2000's by a group of people, musicians, aritsts, performers and common folk to fight against the overwhelming ennui of the cultural climate. the folks a few decades down the road may find the same inspiration from our efforts.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


things are wonderful despite the fact that i have a cough and throat infection and feel like two baby porcupines are making love behind my mouth each time i breathe.

the european tour was magnificent. i hope to learn how to post the digital pictures i took while we're on the US leg of tour. London, Berlin, Brussels and Paris were all sold out and the euorpean people seemed to take quite a shine to the dresden dolls. the NME is already gossiping about us (surely a sign of imminent downfall), we've gotten rave reviews in the german, dutch and UK press and i'm generally feeling wonderful(except for the fucking porcupines. right now they are dry-humping).
Brian sliced his neck open with a broken umbrella handle in Berlin during a TV-shoot for a cultural show called Polylux. He was dueling the cameraman. We have it all on film. Six stitches, and a very sexy looking scar.

We've had a matter of hours, it seems, to come home and regroup and get our shit washed and good to go for our US tour, which is kicking off in Austin, TX this friday (go, porcupines, go! fly far, far, away!).

The schedule is pretty grueling but we have a new convenience of modern rock touring: the TOUR BUS, in which The Dresden Dolls and Count Zero (and after the NYC show: The Ditty Bops) will all sleep in little pods like larvae and get on ech other's nerves with our personal grooming habits. It's like camp, except people are hungover.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

09/15/04 - "Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown...."

The idea of leaving my home for about three months of touring has me feeling miserable and ecstatic at the same time. While touring is wonderful in so many ways.....clubs, people, performing, ahhh, the limelight, ahhhh, the change of scenery, I have to admit can feel like torture sometimes. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it prevents me from doing the things that I want....writing, thinking and being alone. I am a homebody. I like to drink tea and read the paper and take walks and write music. I can't write on the road. Even if there was physical space and time carved out, I can't imagine plugging a keyboard into a socket in an empty room and thinking "ok. I have an hour." The only way I've ever written is spontaneously. Ride bike to store, have idea, ride bike home, cancel plans, write song instead. Taking that idea, jotting it down and returning to it the next day is about as effective as ligthing a cigarette you plan on smoking sometime next week. Once that shit it lit, you smoke it.

Then again, what am I writing for? Why am I being so fucking hard on myself? We have scads of material, plenty to fill up another record, or two, or three (well, the third record would probably sound like schlager) why can't I just let it go? I suppose in my own selfish way I just can't stand the restraint involved in touring life. there's almost no room for spontonaeity, which is the fabric of my existence at home. Seriously, I try to plan nothing. That way, if I am hungry, I eat. If I want to go for a walk, I go. If a song hits, I can write it. On tour, freedom of choice is narrowed down to what flavor sugared beverage this particular gas station has to offer. Splendid.

The other compoudning issue is this one: most of what I write is an outgrowth of the breadth of experince of my day-to-day existance. For a person like me, touring in close quarters with a bunch of friends and aquaintances and being surrounded by people 99% of any given day requires a certain level of patience that takes up a lot of energy. My mind doesn't spend time wandering creativly, it spends time trying to socially balance with the other humans. Even around people who I know very well, people who I doesn't happen. My mind just doesn't function the way it does when it's alone.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

08/28/04 - Back from Tour, August 2004

This one was more head-spinning than the last. I honestly had little idea what to expect this time round, and most everything exceeded what little I had expected. Chicago and all of the California shows sold out. All of the other shows were packed. Where are these people coming from? Did my mom send them all secretly?

Watching our fanbase start to organically grow without teeth-pulling is astounding. Seeing an audience so genuinely excited (about ANYTHING these days for christs sake) is about all I can ask for. I simply offer up my prayers to whatever gods are above (John? George? Nina? Janis? Klaus?) that my fragile little voice hold out as well as it has. The constant talking is killing it. After the San Fransisco show I had Pope design a tasteful "I WOULD ABSOLUTLEY LOVE TO TALK TO YOU BUT I'VE MOSTLY LOST MY VOICE PLEASE ACCEPT SIGN LANGUAGE AS AN ERSATZ FORM OF COMMUNICATION AND GRATITUDE" message on my forehead. (well, it wasn't QUITE that long).

The performers that joined us across the land were beyond amazing.

It started with Cirque Eloize in Montreal doing some amazing acts with a huge aluminum wheel called the "Cyr Wheel" and some sketch acts (a sad note: Krin, the beautfiul girl who played the "Bald Ballerina" in the Wig-Juggling act had a terrible fall from a high wire in rehearsal last week. She broke both wrists and her jaw. We're all bummed).
Beautiful statues and strip-tease in Toronto (I especially loved the "White Wedding" strip). Excellent man-lying-on-nails-and-walking-on-glass acts in Detroit, handmade shirts in Minneapolis, and coin-operated hula-hoopers in San Diego.
San Fransisco and LA were tied for first.

LA produced a Puppet-Theater-Hoopskirt that housed Brian-and-Amanda marionettes, Swing dancers, Nothings-Shockingesque belly-dancers and an impromptu stage-crashing girl dressed as Holly Hobby On Acid who nearly caused us all death by flinging snake-stuffing-beads in all directions during "Coin-Operated Boy". Brian attempted to eject her by launching her face-first into the front row, old school style, after which she did not take the hint and bounced back onto stage....continuing to spray us all with snake-stuffing. Finally a bouncer came to the rescue and removed strange Snake-Twirling-Stuffing-Spraying-Girl from the stage forever. Brian and I stopped the song, shook the snake-stuffing out of my keyboard and did a small rain dance to dispell the rest of the bad mojo. We later heard her protests and declarations of "But it's ART, man!!!" Yes, it is art. It is also art if I shoot you in the arm. Remember the sixties?
San Fransisco boasted an entire puppet theater on stage, a group of three Serbian sisters singing the most haunting a cappella music I've ever heard, and an army of living statues. And enough flowers to bury a whole village with. It was a beautiful sight.

Portland was a pro-choice benefit and Brian performed an astonishing feat: Drumming with No Neck. He pulled it off splendidly and no-one ever noticed the difference. Seattle was awash in yet more living statues and performance artists and a beautiful hand-made backdrop of the Dresden skyline at night.

All of the performers were magnificent, and are now Honorary Members of The Good Patient Club. Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen.

The bands we played with were also unparalleled, especially Devotchka (with whom we played in Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis). Fans of Wolrd/Inferno Friendship Society and The Dresden Dolls will cream over these guys. They have a hot chick playing Sousaphone...come on, now:

If you have any photos from the tour, post them on the forum:, we would love to see.

Meanwhile, how is Amanda? Amanda is tired and having an unusually difficult time kick-starting herself into action on this particular tour hiatus. I'm really started to dread the feeling that life is going to become a series of hiatuses (?) between endless touring and that real life will not resume for a long time. It usually takes me at least four days to unpack and clear out the shit from my head and floor and inbox. After that, it feels like a constant game of catch-up and I have almost no disclipline to carve out time to sit at the piano and re-connect with the self that writes songs. Although I did begin a lovesong for eminem last night. It sounds like one of those old blondie raps. I love blondie. I'm just bitching. I have my period.

Being recognized everywhere is also starting to make me wonder what life is going to feel like if we keep getting more and more well-known, which sort of seems inevitable at this point. I daily find it a shame that there is no published book entitled "How To Be a Moderately Burgeoning Boston and/or National Success in the Music Business". In fact, I am thinking about penning it myself. Chapters will include: "Boston Massacre: Facing the Hatred of the Boston Rock Scene", "That's Entertainment: Is Your Public Self-consciousness Running Your Life?", "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful: Is Everybody Treating You Differenty, Or Are You Just Paranoid?" and "Mother Should I Build A Wall?: Helping Your Mom Face The Fact That You Are an Actually Legitimate Successful Adult and Don't Need Her Advice About What To Post On Your Web Diary". There will be an entire chapter devoted to working through the collision of Pride and Guilt when walking by a beautiful girl or boy wearing a Dresden Dolls Shirt and not wanting to seem full of myself ( not saying a word and hiding behind a car).

Which reminds me of a hilarious story. A few months ago, before our big show at the Paradise, I was walking my bicycle past Newbury Comics on Newbury Street and a friendly-looking bloke in a patagonia fleece and a baseball cap shoved a handbill in my direction. Expecting a flyer for an in-store appearance by John Mayer, I was shocked that to see that it was for my own show the next night. He was a comrade! I looked him straight in the face (assuming that the eyebrows on the flyer he was holding and the real deal might click) and said "I'm actually planning on going." Didn't register. He went on about how great the band was and I stood there listening, feeling like I was in some bizarre twilight zone christmas past. Then I biked on, thinking: "Amanda, your life is most certainly about to get even stranger."


Tuesday, July 13, 2004


we're headed into the studio today (camp street, with sean slade) to put "war pigs" onto magentic tape for posterity. there's been talk of using it on the next Rock Against Bush compilation...though i think a better idea would be to rent a red white and blue hearse during the Republican National Convention and blast it through speakers from the roof while driving around NYC. so many ideas, so little time.

the video for "coin-operated boy" is finished and it looks absolutely ridiculous, in the lovliest way.

it will probably be seeing the light of day on the site and in the world within the next few months.

it was an exhausting four days of shooting and the crew were just fucking was really an honour to be around so many people working such long, arduous hours for the glory of art. we couldn't thank these people enough, from the lighting crew to the extras to the people who just flew in to lend a hand with art and costumes or slather some make-up on or donate food...what an expereince. we're humbled.

favorite new music of mine.....

i've recently discovered Muse and it's love at first listen.
I've also been listening to Yann Tiersen. he's the composer of the "amelie" soundtrack
and has some great stuff up his sleeve:

i'm also re-re-discovering the smiths. i do this every few years. what an incredible band.
i recommmend "the queen is dead" or "meat is murder" for the uninitiated. the more i listen
to this stuff the more i realize that it must have had extreme subconscious workings
on my own writing when i was a teenager.

Monday, July 05, 2004

07/05/04 - Haiku for the day

making video
for coin-operated boy
is fucking tiring

Friday, July 02, 2004


i wonder how much of myself i'm really entitled or expected to reveal.

everybody sees something different, desires something different, everybody including my own various incarnations from day to day.

perhaps these posts would be more satisfying if they self-destructed within fifteen minutes of creation.

The truth changes the moment we utter it....we edit, we rethink, we press 3 and erase and record again...trying to find the perfect words.

sometimes i feel like a complete paradox. some people assume that i am this self-confident woman full of purposeful direction. but it's all relative. some of the most convincing arguments are borne of clever

i have the sinking feeling that the more people know about me and my life (and the more fulfilled my little narcissistic fantasy becomes)the more danger i am in; yet the more opportunity i have to take it all and knead it like bread and pound it into something good, something worthwhile, something....useful...?

Sunday, June 27, 2004

06/27/04 - Mystery Animal

i've been packing deep into the night (we leave for paris in the morning) and out of the blue, this scrawny little little siamese kitten comes walking into my aprtment. how the hell this happened i don't know, but it must be a sign from god. .

I have no clue where she came from, but sh'es been hanging out with me, playing with all my underwear and banging into my feet for the past half hour. she has a sick meoul, very tortured.

I've named her Rattina Von Arnim. She looks like an albino rat.


(she just stepped onto the keyboard and that's what she wrote. awesome!)

Saturday, June 26, 2004

06/26/04 - Los Angeles, Avril Lavigne and 50 Cent

We had a schedule from hell: 48 hours packed with three shows and not enough naps for my taste.

After our show at The Viper Room (which was excellent - wonderful club) i headed around the block to collect myself. Towards the end of the night I went down to the little hotel bar with our manger for a nightcap (Brian was already in LaLaLand). I bumped into Avril Lavigne in the bathroom. Every single one of my mothering insticnts (coupled with my meglomaniacal insticts) kicked in and I started wondering....what could I possibly say to this girl that would be meaningful? I wanted to reach down her throat, grab her soul and give it a sound shaking.

She was trashed, however, and we instead talked about my eyebrows. I told her about the band. We wound up sitting across a table from each other and I swear to god, I couldn't keep my eyes off her. Here is this young pop starlet, only 19, and I feel like she represents the past and the future all at once. I wanted, at her age, to be in her position so bady...making records, being seen and heard, the focus of everyone's attention...but instead I was hiding out, more or less, stewing and fermenting.

And thank god I didn't get my wish, I think nowadays...if I had been in her position when I was 19 I'd be fucked right now. I wouldn't have learned anything about anything. I wouldn't have had a chance to live life, have "normal" relationships (hilarious, isn't that) scrape together rent, and generally fuck around trying to figure it all out. But I see here, in these mascara-heavy eyes peering at me through their purple cosmo: is she the future i've set in store for myself? This girl can't walk into a bar without everyone taking note and acting excited or desperatley non-chalant. She's famous.

And what are we? We just sold out our first show in LA, we're getting rotation on MTV, we're getting this what I'm in store for? Avril looks so desperate in a way, sprawling across that armchair on her girlfriend's lap, screaming pop songs at the top of her lungs, knowing that the world and the bar is her audience, whether they like it or not. She's only 19. I was certainly drunk nearly every night back then. Good night, Avril...I hope real life comes to you in the form of a smashed cosmopolitan.

On another, even more ridiculous, note....50 Cent was on our plane back from LA.
I met him briefly and gave him our disc, which he seemed moderatly fascinated by.

I addressed him as "Mr. Cent" and he told me very graciosuly that I could call him "Fitty".

Apparently he has some new porn flicks in the works, and I will be strongly considered
if he is in need of an "intellectual, suburban white girl".

Onto Paris.

Sunday, May 23, 2004


i found a new piano, finally......a yamaha. we're still getting to know each other, it's awkward, but going well.
things have been going along at an oddly calm pace, what for all that's been happening.
Lollapalooza has been confirmed, the "girl a" video is being aired on MTV2, and wait a second...

so we spend our days pondering what all this means. not being in any rush to be rich and/or famous, it's all a very interesting learning experience if nothing else. it's certainly a little strange, sometimes nice, and sometimes disconcerting to watch how people change. they glaze you with a faint air of celebrity and treat you differently. sometimes it's nice, sometimes it's just ridiculous. but we have each other, thank god, so hopefully no-one's head will get lost in this process.

i began working, finally, on a song i've had in my head for months. it's almost a play in itself....with lots of back-and-forth diologue.
it's a breakfast meeting between me, tori amos, courtney love, avril lavigne, bjork, pink, and liz phair.
it's hilarious.

i've been organizing...tyring to organize....tapes and minidiscs and thousands of hours and ideas and papers and unfinished songs galore, there's not alot of hope yet but i'm working on it.

i have the feeling the next record will be even odler stuff thatn the first record...and i'll just keep reaching the time we make our sixth record we'll be arranging the songs i wrote when i was 12. then nobody will like us anymore.

i am in love with Regina Spektor:

i haven't found a musician i am quite so excited about in years.
her disc "Soviet Kitsch" has been stuck in my head for two weeks.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


something happened today that was horrible enough to write about.

so, in the wonderful time off i'd had of late, i've been shopping for a new piano-friend.
the old piano-friend is not a friend at all, it's a clunky old brambach grand piano from the forties (if you're on the mailing list, you'll soon get a post that i am selling it for very very cheap, i think). it makes sounds like a piano only with the greatest amount of convincing. and with a few months home before we go away for tour all summer, i finally have some time to write.
so i have been hopping all over topwn, going to this store and that, answering want ads, following sheisty leads on craig's list, looking for a new friend.

today i was driving down the street in brookline and passed a little piano store.
"o look!", amanda thought, "a little piano store! how nice! i'll go in there and look at their pianos, and maybe one will be my new friend!!!"

so i went in. and they had lots of pianos and i started tinkling about on them (as one does when one is testing out pianos). and the salesman came over.
i asked him, how much is this piano? and this one? is it new? is it old? and he answered my questions and then went back to surfing internet porn while i kept tinkling around and testing, looking for the friend.

and then i found a nice one, it was bright and loud the way i think a piano should be and i sat down to play it in earnest.
and i played it the way i have played in 12 other piano stores and places in the past few weeks: some loud, some soft, some very loud, some pounding bass to see if it reverberates nicely, the ending of truce to see if it rings, and so forth. and after i had been playing for a minute the man came back.

he said "you are playing this piano way too loud." and he wanted me to leave.
i was so shocked that i didn't even think to say "are you out of your mind, moron? I am here to buy a piano, let me play whatever the hell i want!"

but i was just humiliated, and walked out. and was pondering all these things in my heart when a moment later my cellular phone rang and it was the producer of our next record, who has been helping me to find a new piano by listening to some of them, and all of a sudden i burst into tears and couldn't stop crying for a few minutes. i was amazed. i hadn't really thought it was all that upsetting. but it was. it hit that old nerve, that deep old wound of childhood carved out when i was never taken seriously and told that the so-called music i was banging out of the household piano wasn't music at all, it was just...noise.

but then a wonderful thing happened.

my loving and kind friend brian viglione was driving by the area and saw my blue car parked and stopped to look for me. and i told him my sad tale of the mean man that made me leave the store.
and while i sat across the street and spied through the large picture window in the front of the store, brian walked in and did his best impersonation of Hunter S. Thompson trying to buy a piano, acid-flashback nervous twitch and all.
He completely freaked the guy out. And got his card.

i posted the address to send friendly hate mail, but have taken it off.
the poor guy got inundated and i think the point got made.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


with less than 24 hours to spend in my apartment between trips, it's very amusing to see what happens when i open the front door at 8 pm at night.

first i delete spam. i don't answer anything, i just delete the spam and leave everything else. it's like squeezing an overripe pimple.

i put on a bowie cd very loud and started running around yipping and putting clothes that were piled three feet high from the photoshoot we did the morning we left for tourm while simlulataneously
sorting out the real mail and throwing away pieces of trash on the floor and putting objects in places closer to their natural habitats while cleaning a dish or two while replacing bedding tour items to the bed and putting tour tea back on the kitchen shelf (i don't know why i have to do that, i'm just going to pack it again tomorrow).
i like running while doing this, not walking, it makes it seem like more fun somehow.

about a year ago i misplaced my favorite fountain pen, it was small and green and belonged to my mother once.

also about a year ago, i recieved a very strange gift from a friend of my landlord's who swept in for a visit; he had been in some tropical country and brought me a collection of long little plastic bags with different exotic spices. i do not cook. but these were not in jars, and i couldnt just THROW THEM AWAY so i bundled them up in a rubber band and put them on the shelf in the kitchen.
about a half hour ago i found that the bundle had fallen onto the counter and when i picked it up it leaked white and i found that a small mouse friend had decided that the coconut powder was a tasty dinenr and that's why it must have fallen and that is why it was leaking white.

and the green fountain pen was lodged into the bundle of spices.

i really love nights like these.

this last tour was astounding....people in all different cities love our band. i am constantly amazed how the word of mouth is getting people out of their living rooms and into clubs in the middle of nowhere.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

please god, let me remember why i am doing this in the first place.......
not to answer phone calls, send press kits and answer endless emails.

it's happening very quickly, and when is there time to pee and take a walk?

my beau has recovered, and all of you who have sent supportive emails and stories are a constant reminder of how humanity overcomes the wickedness of constant internet communique.
he came home form rehab a few days ago and wouldn't fate just turn i's wicked turn and have me going off on endless tour just when i want to bury my head in someone's chest and remain there for a few months.

it's funny, if i had a graph of where my head wanders when it has a moment to wander.

a few years ago it was turns of phrase and theatrical stage sets and songs and songs and the occasional gas bill.
now it's booking agent business agent manager tour rider email phone email when will i maybe have an hour to drive to lexington and visit my family and curl up in a ball and
the piano has turned into a poetic resting place for unlistened-to cds that i buy on a whim.

but that's a lie.

death cab for cutie's new cd "transatlantacism" has played on repeat about 5 times and the lyrics and melodies remind me that music is there, it's there....buried under a pile of business and triumphant after all.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

02/08/04 - and life goes on.....

my beau is doing fine. it's been an excruciating process but bit by bit he started to move his hands, and then his arms, and now he's able to sit up and he is breathing on his own (instead of letting that odd loud machine do it for him) and he should be going into rehab any day. He still cannot talk but there is an odd device that they screw into the hole in his neck(yow) that acts like a voicebox that allows him to talk a little bit at a time. I go in and visit every day i can, when we're not out of town, the hospital has become some weird peaceful second home, the salad bar in the hospital cafeteria is actually not half bad....and sometimes at the cashier counter the cook puts a plate of the leftover ends of loaves of sweet breads for passers-by to sample.....poppyseed bread.....marble chocolate bread.....I try to entertain him by reading some of my favorite short stories (the happy prince by oscar wilde is one of my favorites and i always cry when i get to the part at the end where the sparrow dies). Hospitals are such a foreign real-life world to enter when you are doing things that seem so unsubstantial all day. What is booking a rock show or writing a script to a video compared to the task that is being performed by a man only a little bit older than me, here at my side, deciding whether to take the trachiostomy out or not? what the fuck? what on EARTH am i doing with my life? once again, why did i not learn how to do something practical, something that did not involve getting attention for a living, like...building suspension bridges?

and every day the future is piling up with a scheulde that i don't even really believe in (sort of like the way I don't believe that people REALLY believe in the apocolypse and the rapture).

it's 4 in the morning and i've been up all night coming up wiht clever ideas for the video that pope is going to shoot for "missed me"'ll be excellent. we shoot at the end of the month between tours and i think we will put out a DVD collection of 4 or 5 videos this coming fall. that seems very far away and also right around the bend. fucking hell, i can't wait for spring.

my two new favorite records:
rufus wainwright "want one": awesome....radiohead meets queen. i think we might cover the first song.
Sufjan Stevens "Greetings from Michigan State": some tracks I can't stand, but the rest I love. Brian loves this one and got it for me.

Sunday, January 18, 2004


the past few weeks of my life have got to get shelved in my life history as some of the most poetically insane.
on new years eve, just as the band was hitting stage at midnight, my newfound beau (of several months and many late-night talks and drives)
left the club in fright and pain and has been in the hospital ever since, practically unable to move. he's been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Sydrome.....basically an auto-immune syndrome whereby your immune system flips out and starts attacking your own body (specifically, your nerve endings). He was in a hospital down in falmouth, MA, for a while (where I went to visit every day and, hi there, met his whole family - what pleasant circumstances) and watched him go from sitting up and talking to hardly being able to muster a cough. Then they transferred him to St. Elizabth's here in boston, and he's been on a respirator, unable to do anything but blink his eyes (and move his hands and head slightly) for about ten days.
I go in every day, only allowed to visit for a few minutes at each time, and watch the drama, and feel an incredible sort of love for this person who i have just barely gotten to know.
Meanwhile, the band has just agreed to enter into a massive distribution and promotion deal with a large label and my days are spent endlessly negotiating points of contracts with lawyers and other music business folk. this strange breed of people who i am just starting to understand: the music businessman. music. business. music business. i am still grappling with this one.

so imagine, if you will, that i am driving down cambridge street at top speed, apologizing to my pissed-off drummer that i am going to be late for load-out, because there is traffic on the way to the hospital. i get the call from the label that we are working with that this lawyer is pissed at that lawyer because this lawyer said that that lawyer was lawyering in a not-so lawyerly way, and that a conference call is in order so that the lawyerly men and the parties they are representing can all have one big old lawyer-like party on the phone while the fate of my delicate little band and stupid songs for the next, oh, ten years or so, is decided.
i tell them i need forty-five minutes and pull up to the hospital. i run up the hill. i've watched the hill get covered in snow a few times since he's been in there. it's like a time lapse photograph. his beard is growing, they won't shave him. his hair is growing. he looks beautiful. this time i brought the recording of the zeitgeist show, to play for him on a discman and some huge headphones i rousled up from the downstairs apartment. i had played half of the set specifically for him, knowing i would record it and bring it in. there's a new song that i wrote for him, and a set of cover songs that i know he would love. i crept in, the room was empty and i said hello, and we stared at each other for a while, and fell in love a little bit more, and i played him my songs and he wept and i wept and then the time was over and i went back to the car and the phone rang and within four minutes of having been there at his bedside i am hearing ".....have to get on the same page about the it's very important that we all understand that plenty of concessions and considerations have been made in order to fully perhaps you don;t fully understand the magnitude of what has been negotiated whether or not is not the issue in any event the.....(insert sci-fi special effects music, a la spaceship landing, pan to close-up of amanda's head slowly imploding)....", as i drive at top speed to get back to the house where brian is waiting so we can get the fuck out of town to make it to our show on the other side of the state in time for soundcheck.
the past two weeks have been like this. but it could have been no other way. here i am, realizing that nothing happening with my future or this band is important. my small-minded litle fantasies have not been allowed to breed for longer than a few milliseconds. in the ciritcal care unit, i was walking by twelve people on death's doorstep.
but everything will be fine.

elliott smith's "either/or" has not left my CD player in two weeks.