Tuesday, June 14, 2005

caged bird blurs

i just don't give a shit. i'll just have to work backwards. the diary turns into a curse, the more that happens and the more clever things i think about to relate, the less time i have and the less motivated i feel to sit down and take hand to keyboard. i don't write songs anymore. i write diary entries. it's a start. i wrote the rough outline of a song in mexico and tried to flesh it out during my 2 hours off in boston. it centers around a moment a photograph is taken at disney world. three voices: minnie stuck in her oppressive fucking costume, the housewife, and minnie's boyfriend the junkie with a view in the projects three miles away that overlooks disney world. main theme (like i can't relate): WHY AM I DOING THIS?

backwards number one.
so tonight was out first show of the european tour. we landed in deutschland yesterday and hung out with a huge bunch of caged exotic birds (all colors of green and blue and in a box sort of shaped like mini-bird-kennel with a few square inches per exotic bird) at baggage claim D, while british airways figured out where on the planet our luggage had migrated. they were destined for a german zoo. we felt for them. brothers. we bussed to the hurricane festival and slept over in the bus (on the grounds) and woke up with just a few hours til soundcheck. europeans know how to take care of artists...everybody says it and they're right. we had a nice little cubicle in artists village and we were the first band of many on the main stage. the show was fine despite the fact that it was in the fifties, bright yet drizzling, windy as fuck, and we were jetlagged and unpracticed. being the first band of the bill had the huge advantage that we could wander and observe for the rest of the day. so we ate and watched boy sets fire (punk and effective). then we watched NIN (nin-like and great).
then we watched rammstein (german and hilarious. i decided that making fun of rammstein is as pointless as hating the circus. the people must have their fun). then we watched oasis from the side of the stage. i was pretty unfamiliar with their music though i have checked out a few CDs.
the point HERE is that emily, our tour manager, is an oasis FIEND and had been looking forward to this day the way a....i can't think of a good metaphor. the way a crazed teenage obsessor looks forward to meeting the band they obsess over. which isn't a metaphor.
but you understand. this was the girl who had three complete walls covered with oasis posters and magazine centerfolds and spent every allowance on the latest maxi-single. to pick up, we watched them form the side of the stage with NIN (all five in a line, which was poetic and lovely) and then i wandered backstage to where emily had secured a concrete spot hanging with oasis and was introduced to each member of the band, including liam, the singer who was the most opinionated fuck i've ever met (guess what - i sorta liked him), noel his brother, who was very nice, and zach starkey, ringo starr's son, who is drumming for oasis on this tour. truth be told, they'd had a pretty terrible set. it was freezing for them too (i empathized) and they faced massive feedback problems. so i asked liam, the singer,ß what the difference was, for him, between a good show for himself and a good show for the audience.
it's a mystery. sometimes you play like shit and the audience goes nuts and cries and sometimes you're completely on and the audience just isn't there with you.
according to liam, it only works if you play well. don't you feel the tide turn when you talk to people after the show and they shower you with love and you-changed-my-life-tonight?
i asked liam. no, he said, i fucking leave the venue immediately. well, liam. ah, whatever. they also clued me in on the motto that i would have believed if i had really truly wanted to: "drink and smoke whatever you want, you'll be fine tomorrow." fuck. really? two marlboro lights and one vodka orange juice and one heinekin later i lost my faith. what am i doing? you're going to lose your voice, you fucking idiot. quit thinking that being in the presence of rock stars is special dispensantion for vice.
you'll be just as hung over tomorrow, asshole.

backwards number two: the DVD shoot.
so while back in boston, for a grand total of four days between tours, we shot our first DVD and played an additional show at avalon for WFNX. it really honestly looked kind of like a fast-motion cartoon in my house as i dropped my suitcase on the floor and started talking to pope downstairs about the shoot. beautiful marie and emilie flew in from france to take part and so did casey from san franscisco, the gentelman beyond reason who has been organizing the brigade through the magic of the interweb. the house was packed from top to bottom with people buzzing 24/7 getting things ready for the shoot...film interns, art department, piano tuners...madness.
the shoot itself began the moment i woke up (good morning Camera In My Face, i know i invited you in but now i wonder if this is truly healthy) and the day was a fuzzy soup of mania that I can luckily go back and watch now that i've forgotten. the power went out shortly before soundcheck and about 300 people patiently waited on commonwealth ave for three hours while we waited for it to come back on and finish soundchecking and readying the club. despite this disaster, the show did get filmed and we will see what becomes of it. we were tired. i gave the show a B- overall. maybe the visual will make up for any terribleness. in a stroke of true randomness, we did get christopher lydon to play the MC. i am strongly considering releasing the DVD without the musical performance, i think it would make more sense.
the show at avalon was a typical radio-station-throws-20-hip-bands-together kind of awkwardfest. pointy boots and sunglasses everywhere. i got to see one of my rock-crushes (the singer of the kaiser chiefs) and i streaked across stage during their set to keep the night interesting.

backwards yet still more: ....and everything before that must have been on tour with nine inch nails in america. we did do that, didn't we? it all gloms together in a blur of bus, dressing room, show, gas station, people and sharpies (both black and silver). i do not love the blur, i do not hate it, and i certainly don't try to focus on it any more, it's like trying to make sense of a film playing on fast fast forward. just appreicate the images for now and we'll take a closer look later. not that i am not enjoying myself. i am, actaully.
i have more free time lately to do as i please. i'm in the tour bubble. as the NIN stage manager, bitter and hilarious name-a-tour-i've-been on-it british chap,would put it in answer to everyone else's crass "living the dream" mantra: i'm "circling the dream". you're only in the picture when you look back at the photos. as he also says, after he takes a moment to sigh, order another few people around, yell into his cell phone that any other color WILL NOT DO and puts his hands on his hips while looking around for a moment, fully convinced that the venue will not collapse within seconds: "Time for a fucking hot pocket." that too.

NIN needs it's own chapter. it is it's own world. later.

right now it's three days later than i started this entry, we've played two more festivals and frozen our asses off, brian's faith in music has "been restored" now that he's seen motorhead, and i can't fall asleep and it's 4:30 am. we've been driving almost an entire two days. we re-unite with NIN tomorrow for vienna and it will be nice to see the whole crew again.

the only thing i can remember that, for some reason, i felt it was important to relate was the food on the way back from san diego when the NIN tour finished. we were flying some typically cheap ticket and the food was brought. i always get vegetarian (though i do eat fish) because it's almost always better than the standard fare but brian, who was sitting next to me, was brought some really unidentifiable meat. it was sort of saucer-shaped and had the consistency of meatloaf. in his defense, he did actually TRY a bite before turning it into entertainment. it came in a sad bed of peas and corn and so he took two of the peas and gave it eyes, gave it a leafy hat and split it lengthwise to create a frighteningly mean-looking mouth, and made it sing all sorts of beatles songs and impromptu operatic numbers about how it's life was a misery because it was neither beef nor foul, chicken nor pork, and it was going through the most wonderful musical existential crisis and
i was peeing my seat with laughter and we were of course irritating the fuck out of all the nice families around us. then he made things worse by exchanging one of the peas for a corn kernel, so the little mystery-meat-beast had two different colored eyes, and making it sing a medley of marilyn manson songs. here i fully lost it, and needed to either throw up or fling the thing so we gave it a burial at the empty tray table next to me under a blue cocktail napkin.


CaptainSquarepeg said...

Wow. I saw you at Download festival in the Napster tent. I was lucky enough to be right at front, which is just as well as you were both amazing. I think judging by the number of CD's that flew over my shoulder at the post-set signing session that you converted a fair few new fans too.

My friend managed to get Brian to sign my plastic yellow duck and your good self to sign the inside of a packet of painkillers for me. So when it came to my turn all I asked for was a hug. I doubt you'll remember but I was the one in a pirate bandana who held out her arms like a demanding toddler :)

I love the music and I think you're great. Don't ever stop!

stay_strange said...


I find it someone randomly delightful that I awoke this morning to read your diary entry…no really, when you start having to dream that the gorgeous talented girl that you are has updated, you know there are issues. They are mine to deal with, so we will move on.

You know what? You will not remember, but the highlight of my little life to date was receiving a hand written letter from you last year. I screamed and I cried with happiness. So, now I beget that you never stop the link you have with your fans. Ignore Liam, he is in some sad place where people cannot touch him or be touched by him and as Oasis has made some good music in their time, I pity the poor lad. You and Brian on the other hand continue to amaze me and inspire me with the stories from people who have met you to your journal entries that make my day. Yes, Amanda this is another ‘you and Brian have changed my life and I love you so much’ story.

I am so envious of Sunday by the way. I mean is that girl in the loop and living amidst the Punk Cabaret! The photos with Amanda and Sunday make me want to call the little girl and ask her what you are like, and then I remember how young she is and just carry on my not-so-merry way envying her and all other people who have met you. There are these people in shows with you, making a DVD with you and in pictures with you. All I want to do is be in the same vicinity and marvel at the amaaaazing talent you and Brian possess.

If I could have I would have flown the twenty-something hours to see you perform, but I am not that fortunate. So, instead my friends and I made a pact…if you do not return to Melbourne, Australia by 2007, we are coming to where ever in the world you may be. Please consider coming back soon so as I can stop crushing my friends and forcing them to mope around after they hear you are playing with NIN (seeing them in Melbourne in August and you should just take the same flight and come. We would build you a shrine and worship it. I’d make my friends. It would happen). Do it for the greater good Amanda, return to Australia!!

Keep up the journal entries, they are my soul link to a world of art and passion and all things Amanda and Brian. Remember, we love you down here and they love you up there. You touch the hearts of so many with your music, yet you give so much more.

Danielle xxx

Jen said...

The last time I remember being a "true fan" of something (if that can ever really be defined) was when I was 12...of what I will not even say. Then your band comes along and I find myself checking your updates...excited to see what’s new in the life of someone I have never even met before.
As dark as some might describe your music to be, it had pulled me out of apathy. And not just by turning me into a pro-active blog reader. But I find myself re-exploring my old artistic interests more fervently...and I owe that greatly in part to your music.
Maybe you have just warped my mind...but I love it.
Can't wait until you come back to NYC.

Kurt said...

You may have rated the DVD shoto show a B-, but for me and everyone else I've talked to, it was an amazing evening. The synergy between the Brigade and the performance made it a magical experience. I thought about it for days afterwards and I've decided it's the 2nd best show of any kind I've ever seen, beat out only by a Survival Research Labs show I saw in SF that I'd been waiting 10 years to see.

I've seen five Dolls shows, and I actually thought this one was quite good and a little more punk than usual (the bloody fingerprints Brian was leaving on the cymabals added to that effect). I was amazed at how much energy you had (I was dead tired by the end of the show).
I hope you don't omit the musical performance on the DVD - I thought it rocked. I also don't think I'll ever forget the experience of being there and the DVD would be a great souveneir.

Maybe I'm an uncritical fan, but it's hard for me to put into words how great last Sunday was. Don't be too hard on yourself.


Nathan said...

My fave part of this journal is the mystery meat and the angry plane family's. You write really great entry's and I love reading them. But i just wish if you write under any rules, and keep them normaled out for the public. Anyway, I hope you Don't stop until 100 cd's. I'll listen to everyone of them. I know you have enough talent to fill tons of cd's. It's so good to know your having fun and loving the blur! Keep having fun in any insane wild way you can and never stop. Youde be normal then. right? yes. i think so!!
i hope your creative mind lights fire and continues to amaze the world!!! burn beautifal!!

Kacy said...

I wonder if it would matter more or less to receive a comment not disingenuous, or talking about how amazing you are, beautiful, talented, blahblahblah. You hear it enough. It's something you've written..."Funny how those compliments can make you feel so full of it." Yes, I'm a fan, but that shouldn't really be important. I mean, it is only fair to you to hear from me, in all seriousness, that you've affected me more than any one single person. I've never found someone who understood, as petty as that may...Whoops, I'm doing exactly what I had not wanted. Ah, well. Words aren't worth it anyway. I have to warn you, my only other alternative would be to walk right up and kiss you. I do hope that'd be alright. If you were busy or something, I'd just blow a kiss. Otherwise, a 5'5 girl with 3' of blonde hair, a great deal of eyeliner will be kissing you and then most likely running away. Just so you know.

Kacy said...
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A Unique Alias said...

You know you're in trouble if you're taking tips from Oasis.

You're on the right track. A great show is complete when the audience feels like you "delivered." That will come through very strongly on your DVD.

It's very easy for an artist to be overly self critical, and bearing that in mind, your assessment of "adequate performance" shouldn't matter. If your voice cracks, it seems like a big mistake to you. Conversely, it seems like an infusion of emotion to the audience. It works the same way in any theatrical production. An audience doesn't see an actor hesitating and fervently trying to remember their lines - - they see a character wracked by guilt, or overcome with joy, or immersed in self-loathing and struggling to express themselves.

Or I'm full of shit. Either way, thanks for the music, and thanks for letting us get a glimpse at your experiences (re: diary.) If it bogs you down, though, it's something we wouldn't miss nearly as much as we would miss your third album.

Sorry for the lengthy note :-)

*smiles* said...

I like to sing as well/ Birds are cool/ Drinking before a concert could result in a ghastly outcome/ NIN rocks your socks/ I wish you the best of luck with the video producing/ I'm looking forward to seeing it/ I like you better without all that make-up on but the image is cool I s'pose.


Simonizzle said...

I just got to know the dresden dolls and I sooo love u!
I'm from germany but I don't have a chance to see you life. But hopefully I can buy your CD as soon as possible... .
Well, I just wanted to say that I love the page and everything....

space mermaid. said...

liam = british snob.

and writer's block sucks. i sympathize, trust me.

Rohan said...

Well, there is not much I can say that the people commenting before me haven't expessed.
I wonder if even posting a comment is worth it.

All I have left to say is that I bought tickets for the show at the Royal Festival Hall and hope to see a very interesting show.

I only started College in Boston 2 years ago and am quite sad that I never got to see “The Bride” in hvd sq. Funny this world is. I would have passed you by thinking "just another very cool street performer", recognized the temporary beauty, put a few quarters in and then walked on; without further attachment... How the tables have turned.

Thank you Brian and Amanda for reminding us that genuine, cathartic, musical power can out ride any fashion/trend/phenomenon army launched out by thrifty money marauders

look forward to seeing you on stage in both London and Boston

~ Rohan

emma said...

I almost wish you'd devote your time to writing here instead of songs. If only this thing had music in the background. Your writing is amazing.

*smiles* said...

I wonder if you only read these comments on rainy days when you need some motivation.

Lynsey said...

I should be doing other things - namely revising how an external locus of control may lead you to become a criminal - but I have wanted to post on here for a while. It's amazing that a band such as Oasis, full of utter twats, is so inaccessable - whereas I can actually post to a diary written by someone I hero-worship somewhat.

That said, I don't know that you read these. Somehow reassuring when I may well sound like an idiot. I am coming to see you at the Wireless festival, ('oh are you going to see New Order?' 'No, I am going to see the DRESDEN DOLLS. WATCH THEM DAMNIT, THEY'RE GREAT,') and I am too shy to go and meet you if you were around, even shy of actually going to the gig when I've been to about one in my whole life - so that if I can't do it in person, I will probably be able to post here about how amazing you were.

Anyway. You rock, and stuff.

Mister White said...

Your diary entries give me a glimpse of what I can truly expect on the road as an artist.

It makes me want to vomit. But after that it just makes me happy.

Thank you.

fieryredfairy said...

I was one of the people at the dvd shoot, and i was waiting in line. It was defiently worth the wait to see you and brian perform. I think the lyrics are beautiful, even though I get kick out of the jeep song. I had a bf once that drove a jeep, and now when I see a jeep I either can't stop laughing or bap bap bap.
Also despite the power outage and crap, You guys put on an A+ performance, even though brian was bleeding during the set. Thank you.
photo from
NIN concert on the 13th of may

stacie said...


I've been waiting for you to make a new post, so I could comment and tell you guys that you kick ass!

I saw you in San Diego on 5/30 w/ NIN. I had heard your name before, but didn't know who you were.

Once you guys started playing... it was amazing!! Your lyrics are unique and your sound is brilliant! Oh, and I read an earlier post you wrote about people telling you that you remind them of Tori... when I saw you, I didn't once think that. You have your own style and voice.

I hope that the rest of your tour goes great, and that you have a fun time! Oh, and I'm SO jealous that you get to hang out with the oh-so-hot Trent Reznor.

I look forward to seeing you again.

luap said...

Carve out some quiet meditative time each day and night.
Take care of yourself.
Shut out the world and go inside that divine YOU.

I love you.


st. louis

maedchen said...

here you can find pics of your arena-gig in vienna/austria.
ach amanda, du bist einfach wundervoll.

Savannah said...

i've been meaning to tell you...i had a bizarre dream about going to one of your shows afew eeks back....not that i have ever been to a show... anyway, it was bizarre, like i said, but awesome.

i think i was going through doll-withdrawal, as my cd had been at my dad's house for about a month and i had not.

i love you two.

Max said...

Hey Amanda,
I truly believe you're one of the great song writers out there so I'm sure you'll get over your writer's block. Not to pressure you though...hehehe. I've always heard that Liam from Oasis was a pretentious and oppinonated guy so for that reason I've generally stayed clear of their music, which probably isn't fair of me but so it goes. I'm glad you have such good things to say about Trent and NIN because they too are of my loves. Well, I look forward to your next entry.

Rachel said...

I feel like I shouldn't have been at the DVD shoot, because my dad made us leave after Gravity. The show, or what I saw of it anyway, was great.
Let me add that, though I may say so myself, you have the greatest fans ever; most fans would be RIOTING if they had to wait three hours to see a band, but I was there with DD fans (and one D&D fan, but that's another story) and instead we watched someone breathe fire and then dueled with empty water bottles.
I'm looking forward to buying the DVD so I can see the rest of the show!

BlueLippedStare said...
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BlueLippedStare said...
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BlueLippedStare said...

I finally got enough money to buy your CD about four weeks ago and haven't been able to stop listening to it since. I truly enjoy your music, and feel like I can relate to all of your songs (especially Half Jack and Girl Anachronism). They feel sometimes life-saving, and even I was suprised that any music could have such a profound impact on me as yours seems to have. Although it is seemingly impossible, my greatest dream would be for you guys to come an play at the Salt Palace in Utah, although it is most improbable. None of the great bands ever comes to mormon-suburbia hell. Good luck with your writing, and don't ever stop!

<3 Aurora

Justine said...

Hi Justine from M.A.S.S.
here. This is spooky. After we toured with DD in Germany in March our new song that came out of that tour is called 'Bird In A Cage' that I am now fighting to make sure it goes on our new album and here is A's post with a similar title. Good luck with all the stuff in Europe.. J x

Allison Dawn said...

I don't usually comment, for fear of making a complete idiot of myself, but I read this: "typical radio-station-throws-20-hip-bands-together kind of awkwardfest. pointy boots and sunglasses everywhere." and just wanted to laugh. I know the scene and just having it put into some sort of sentence structure just made my night. Also, I never got around to ever saying that seeing you live is a mindblowing experience. Every bit of your performances are on such a personal level and it's great to see uniqueness of that caliber. Have a good one.

Griffin said...

Heh. I read the thing about the meat. Now that's what I call playing with your food ^_^

karheil said...

Just a little post... I saw you tonihgt in Paris for NIN... I did not know you before, and I discover you are great, I think all the public did not get at all bored by your music and just really love you (that's not so easy to manage before a group like NIN)... Thank you for your presence, your music... and the song with Amelie was absolutely magical. I was under a spell...

It is a pity, i did not find you after the show for your dedicace, but at least i can write you here... CONGRATULATION !!! and don't stop !

Megan said...

Well I just heard of the dresden dolls like two days ago when my friend bought your cd, but let me just say I think your songs are very inspirational and just amazing, I love them. At the moment I have no money but as soon as I do i'm totally buying your CD! I think it would be awsome to see Brian and you perform live because from what i've read out of everyone else's comments you are truly breathtaking performers. If you ever come to Toronto, Ontario I will drive down and go see you no matter what!! You have got yourselves another fan and I've been telling all my friends to check out your music because you guys rock! :D

Megan said...

Oh and also, that meat thing made me laugh I think that would have been freaking hilarious to see!!

billyjoe noodle-bob said...

Miss Amanda,

Like many others to post here, I'm slightly apprehensive about what to say, knowing only that I want to add my voice to those that say things such as - you rock, your music and words are inspiring.

Saw you in Melbourne, Australia last year, and echo stay_strange's comments about hoping for your return, if only because my son only got a chance to see you in utero the last time, and maybe if you come back we can organise a keyboard that works....

Keep on truckin'

David LeBlanc said...

I am so amazed at the time you take to update your diary. Thank you so much. I'm a rather new fan, and have just been going nuts with listening to ya'lls music and watching video footage and all. Ever time I hear Coin Operated Boy, all I can imagine is the episode of Real Sex where they had the "male doll". Anyways, you totally made me crack up about the meat monster. When you mentioned about Brian changing the one pea eye for a kernal of corn, I instantly thought of Manson. Low and behold, he was on the same level as myself. Absolutely hilarious! I'm a huge Manson fan, so that just totally made my day. Hopefully you can play with them live. That'd be a total trip. Right now you're on similar grounds with both of your cabaret/burlesque thing going on. I could imagine the two bands making a great song together with a video. That's me dreaming though. You should get a myspace account and stop by to say hello. Here's my profile: http://www.myspace.com/davidal00
So, if you ever get some spare time (fat chance), I'd love to hear from you. Good luck with all the touring, and hope to see the dvd in the near future and will continue cranking up my car stereo with the windows down, blaring your songs, and watching everyone wonder what the fuck I'm listening too. Later!

- David LeBlanc

David LeBlanc said...

Well...I spoke to soon. I didn't realize there is already a Dresden Dolls myspace site. Still I invite you to send me a comment. Goodbye once again!

what's_my_line? said...

I'm laughing my ass off! Brians mystery meat parade in your own poetic words! Anti-meat Superstar!

So I'm reading up on your blog at work where I'm not supposed to (ever the villan). I'll switch screens so I don't get caught, but it's killing my eyes, cause your blog is black, and the work screens are just snow white!

Runs With Scissors said...

I was at the DVD shoot, and it was one of the most amazing times of my life. (And trust me, I haven't had a boring life). The three hours before the show was less about waiting and more about being part of a vaudeville-ish carnival atmosphere. We fans make our own fun, and enjoy each other. DD's fans are an amazing, eclectic, artistic, intelligent group of people. Misfits fitting together.

You may have considered the show a B-. (shades of grade school flicker through my mind). I was awestruck, the stage looked great, the floral art a perfect complement to the equipment and artists.

I felt you guys were on. I was particularly blown away by your performances of Girl Anachronism.

It seems trite to describe the energy of the show as electric. No, it was like a dark earthy electrical flow, a viseral force that moved from the stage through the audience and back again. The frequency and velocity of the flow varied from number to number, but it was palalapble.

Perhaps I am but a smitten fan. I am no musician, but in my eyes, this was the best of the several performances I've seen.

I personally can't wait for the DVD, and am proud to have witnessed it's making.

Of course, if you want to make it again, I'm happy to come watch again! :::mischevious grin spreads across face:::

Lillian Millicent Entwistle said...

That last part, about Brian and the plane food cracked me up. I could picture it. It is nice to have amusing friends while stuck on a plane with nasty food. I'm sure you two were a much better distraction than the norm of "screaming baby with an inner ear infection".

I would have paid money to see that show.

sexy said...