Sunday, January 08, 2006

Oversaturation VS Mystique: round one

here seems the most appropriate place to bring the discussion.

the band, with it's never-ending crop of images and sound, has been led recently into a dialogue about overkill/oversaturation and when enough is enough. Everybody has their very different opinions about this, as, of course, everybody interested in the band (or products of the band) has their own agenda as well. Who the fuck is interested anyway and why? in what and how and how much and when is too much?

I hadn't thought too too much about it before. But the conversation was kicked off with the Sheet Music book, and then everything else got called into question. We live in the age of uberinformation, this we all know. I myself fall victim to it on a minutely basis, flailing late at night to pointlessly google one more obscure song reference, obsessively checking my email and cramming things into my head, reaching for ANYTHING to read when waiting ANYWHERE, unable to stop the floodgate of words and images that bombard me constantly, the mind candy that makes me think and ponder but rarely leaves me time to reflect. If I could read in my sleep, I would. But I shouldn't. i am currently reading a book called "in praise of slowness" and though i'd only recommend the first two chapters, the point is well taken. there's just too much shit, period.

We first realized that we needed to print sheet music about two years ago, when we started getting requests. people emailed asking for tabs and notation. then more people asked. then enough people asked for me to get off my ass and find a local guy in boston who could transcribe the songs (I can't write - and can barely read - musical notation) and the project seemed to be simple enough. But this being an Amanda Project, it was destined to take two more years, while I expanded and expanded the damn thing until the point where the actual musical notes and tabs seemed more like an Afterthought compared to the rest of the shit in the book.

i will admit it: I am an archivist of myself. I am a shameless archivist of the band. so it just seemed to make sense. Where and when else would have a limitless public 2D portfolio in which to cram all of the photos and notes and crap that has accumulated in various boxes over the years...boxes marked "of interest, to somebody, somewhere - do not throw away"? So I wrote a long introduction that ended being about 20 pages, pasted togehter all of the various album-related notes and photos and gave it to various friends to criticize and edit. Now, you see, I am not a prose writer. I can fake it as a blogger but you don't realize how forgiving you are being, yes you, as you sit there and read this. There are typos and run-ons and I am simply emptying out un-edited head-shit into your brain. Holding a book is different. a book is Real.

anyway, the thing grew and grew. ummmm. If i'm going to talk about this, i reasoned, why not that? and that? and that? and that and that and that? and so it went, becoming young-amanda-biography, band-biography, songwriter-101, and piano un-lesson all in one. i can't even read the whole damn thing myself, it spins my head. i think i will stick to writing blogs and songs in the future. my friend that knows me best says it all: "you use too many words". but that's beside the point. the point is, when we got to the 200-page completion of this beast, i had another Bright Idea. the Bright Idea was to include a DVD in the back of the book that held a 20-minute impromptu interview i did in the summer of 2003 with Wojtek Gwiazda, who was a film-making friend of my landlords who just happened to be in town with his fancy camera, sleeping upstairs. he wandered down into my bombed-looking mess of a kitchen, artwork and glue strewn everywhere and said

"what the hell is happening here?"
"I am making our album artwork."
"can i film you?"
"fuck yeah".

it was as simple as that, and wojteck (a charming and wonderful polish-canadian) came down and filmed. but this being the Cloud Club and the Cloud Club being what it is, the interview was of course also riddled with the Big Questions. why am i doing this. what is album artwork. and on and on. and mind you, i never thought this would really be seen by anyone, in fact, i forgot it existed for a while. i am in my boxer shirts and a stained wife-beater, all red and freckled from the july outside, looking like the unwashed, sleepless, manic, harried, starry-eyed workaholic that i was that month - two months before the record came out on our label. there's this great piece of spinach in my teeth. but there's also this beauty to it....this quiet, july morning, ivy-in-the-windows beauty that soaks onto the floor and into the discussion. it's ten in the morning, it's summer, it's roasting hot, pope is probably on the front steps drinking coffee, lee is probably upstairs screwing a tree to a picture frame, the birds outside are going nuts. it's perfect.

so, i thought, this 20-minute piece of thing would be the perfect addition to the Sheet Music Book, which, by this point, had evolved into an Epic Album Companion Coffee Table Extravaganza. Anything and Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The First Dresden Dolls Album, where the songs came from, how the album was recorded....on and on. and this is where the resistance hit. pope and our Magic Manager cocked an eyebrow. isn't it a little overboard? isn't it just a little self-indulgent? do you REALLY need to include 20 minutes of yourself rambling on in your kitchen about the album artwork? don't you talk about it in the introduction?

i argued: i like it. i think the fans will like it. i think it's interesting. am i crazy?

no, they said, you're not crazy, but maybe you have no perspective. so i tried to look at things from their point of view. but i didn't agree. so more arguments ensued. it's expensive. it adds to the cost of the book. but - i argued - won't the added DVD be an incentive for people to buy it? no, they said, it won't. really? i have no experience with this, i said, i can only follow my gut. my gut says include it.

i sat with brian and our photographer friend kelly davidson and we watched it. i asked for their opinion. cut it, they said. so i cut some fat off of it.

then the late night discussions. what would elvis do? what would neil do? what would the beatles do? living in an image and video-saturated world, should we add our constant two cents or hold back? less is more. is less more?
wait, isn't more more? if less is more? what's more? less? is more less? if more is less, and less is more, doesn't that mean that more is still more? aghhghahghhhhAGAHAAGhhhhhghhahhahg.
oh, the ashtrays filled and the night wore on.

Manager says: "You need to protect your Mystique."
Amanda says: "But I don't want a Mystique. Has nobody noticed this obvious fact?"

this is where the blog came up in the conversation. Amanda says: it seems to me, a lot of people out there seem to appreciate the fact that brian and i have no interest in being Rock Stars and Superhumans With Mystique.
the manager says: but the printed word is very different from the visual image.

then i ate a christmas fish with a friend who used to work in the music business for a long, long time. he said: amanda, you will rue the day you stuck your hand in that toilet on your DVD. you aren't protecting your image. you're forcing people to ingest self-indulgent nonsense. why did you include that hour-long documentary on your DVD? It's BORING. you're not jessica simpson. get over it. you should not be directing the dresden dolls reality show.

in the wake of that, poetically, i needed to address the question of what to do with the 80+ hours of tour footage we shot on the october tour. edit it into another DVD? put it up in installments on the web? turn it into an andy warhol-esque art project, where we just stream 80 hours of footage of the band endlessly in the internet? so many choices. but all the recent feedback echoes in my head. we can output and output, but should we? discussions abounded. now i am confused. my gut has always served me well, but i also have no interest in being a stubborn, headstrong, sunset-boulevard casualty of my own archivist vanity. it's hard to know what to do. the superfans of the band will certainly be interested in any and everything, but they aren't the majority. how careful do we need to be? doesn't everyone edit everything as they want it nowadays ANYWAY? it's the FUTURE.

i have always been insecure about my totally narcissistic personality. i used to curse and psychically mutilate myself for years in high school and college, convinced that my own selfishness and vanity made it impossible for me to make a single authentic move, from writing a song to having a friendship to fucking brushing my teeth. my life was a movie. i like to think that i've transformed my attention-needing personality into something relatively constructive, and i've definitely managed through years of thinking and listening to understand myself better, to know when to step out of the spotlight, to shut the fuck up and listen instead. but it remains a sensitive nerve, i wonder why....i am actually making my living getting attention, up there on stage, applauded, focused on. and this is supposed to be normal (while in the back of my head all i hear is the tall adults of tiny childhood saying from above "just ignore her, she's just trying to get attention, poor girl" - sound familiar?). this is fingernails-on-the-blackboard-territory for me. i will never be fully confidant as close as i may feel, it's always possible for someone to stick an easy nail in my achilles' heel. just mumble the word "selfish" or better yet "attention-whore" and i'm likely to be seen in a corner taking deep breaths, trying very hard to quiet the bawling 8-year old inside.

in other news: christmas came and went, new years came and went (we played On Stage at our san francisco show with the String Cheese Incident, thus bursting our jamband hymens), and the 4-foot pine trees lay lifeless all over the sidewalks of new york this morning, waiting to be carted away by some magical elves.


if your interest was piqued: the sheet music book/Epic Album Companion Coffee Table Extravaganza/200-page monster (with interview included....yes, i won the argument....pyrrhic victory? time will tell) is now officially on sale for pre-order on the webstore:


EmoInTheMorning said...

I think that I'll buy this monster book of yours now, just because I know the history of it.

That and I play piano and might have some sort of finger-to-mind orgasm if I played your songs.

Because Dresden Dolls is one of my favorite artists.


Jack P Toerson said...

I would think there is no problem with any of the above commercial ventures when you're questioning their validity. That's hardly cynical manipulation of anyone because there are concerned people involved.

That said, if you're pressing the Go button for a load of other people to cynically manipulate that's a tricky thing. I hate devolving responsibility to other people and I can (somewhat) feel your pain on this one.

But, I don't see that if you have trusted people overseeing all of this, that it can't be a nice arrangement for all. People get their Dresden Dolls fix verbwise and lots of people get paid in the process.

Mystique is a load of old crap. I bet you all use the toilet.

The reason I like the Dresden Dolls is that I feel there is enough force of emotion (this for me is the spark) and talent that you're worth listening too. Not because of mystique.

June Miller said...

Allow me to be a bit narcisstic, and make this comment about me, just for a bit. I hope you still read these things.

Well, one part of this long post (yes, I do tend to read all of it) did stick out to me a lot. while in the back of my head all i hear is the tall adults of tiny childhood saying from above "just ignore her, she's just trying to get attention, poor girl" - sound familiar?). Honestly? Not really. I was almost always the shyest person in the room. I still freak out to this day come my birthday, because I can't handle the attention of everyone's eyes on me as they sing "Happy Birthday" directly at me. However, that was definately me at my most intrapersonal, back when I was a youngin. Over the past few years, I've become more comfortable with becoming the center of attention, if not totally relish in it.

I'm only bringing this up because, without trying to sound like the insane stalker-type, from what I've read in your interviews, and all such Dolls-related publications, you seem to be a lot like myself. When you mentioned hearing those 'old people' voices somewhere in the back of your mind, that definately struck a chord with my little old self. You're just a scared girl like the rest of us (except the boys).

THAT's why mystique can be overrated. People, at least the Dolls fans I could think of, like your band because you're actually relatable on some level, and that plus the music adds to your appeal. Maybe not to the masses, but to the right crowd for YOU.

Relish in the attention the fans give you, because they honestly do think you're one of the most wonderful people on Earth. But don't let that go to your head, because that could make them turn on you, you know?

However, I sound like some self-help guru, so I'll just end right there. I'm listening to The Fugees, I just had a cigarette, and I'm feeling good.

Oh. I met you for a second down in San Francisco, but I made an asshole of myself, and I'm really sorry. Next time y'all are around, I'll make it a point to apologize to you in person.

Misanthropic Altruist said...

You're right. Oversaturation and mystique are both open to interpretation and everyone has their own views, but you shouldn't listen or worry about other people's views on the matter. You should listen only to your own heart. You and Brian know what's best for the band. You know where you want to head. Everyone else act as guides, but you are the reason for the band's success and your own personal fulfillment.

I personally am thrilled about how everything is turning out for you guys. And I can't wait until I get my hands on your book. My friend purchased your dvd for me as an early Christmas gift and the moment I got it home, I popped it in. And I have to say, I was tickled to see you reach your hand into that toilet. It was so human. And the rest of your documentary backed that up. I forget that you guys are people, like everyone else, so the documentary was a reminder. So contrary to what your friend said, I was excited to see what you guys go through in a single day, no matter how normal or extraordinary it is, and I'm glad you added that bit to your DVD. It made a connection with me and I'm sure it did the same for your other fans. And I'm sure this book, and DVD (I'm glad you got your way) will do the same.

So don't fret. Listen to your heart and everything will be fine.

- Misanthropic Altruist -
A.K.A. Erica

Rachel said...

im interested!!!

the dresden dolls is not about mystique. the fans seem to have such a community centered around you guys...and the musical inspiration factor makes excess material in the sheet music book all the more valuable to musicians and wannabe musicians alike.

i was at the first night of sea of dreams (two nights in a row would be insane!) and i had the pleasure of rolling to the dresden dolls. it was mind-blowing...i know you guys played more the second night, but i still had a beautiful night (despite the walk back to the car...i was drenched!!!)

Karl said...

Us fans are already fucking happy.

Just give us music and anything else you do will be brownie points.

I'd be happy to transcribe your next album's songs myself. (I think I've already done most of them already...).

[art] said...

I agree with the other comment about the mystique being a load of crap. I like the band simply for the music and lyrics.

The questiong of indulgence, well, personally there's are always going to be peope who are interested in knowing everything. Personally, I think that when you compile that amount of information that you break it up into different releases, through different media i.e. web, dvd, book, etc. This way people will get to pick and choose what they want. For example, I am interested in the storys behind the songs and the interview, but I don't play piano, so I don't have use for the sheet music. There will always be a dresden dolls fan who will buy whatever it is you put out, I suggeted you break it up so that people can pick and choose.

the bitter mediocre artist said...

haha i eat up anything you guys do. i really do love you guys. your musics speaks to me and it puts me in a better mood. sometimes i feel like i can see right through the lyrics and melodies and into your heart miss amanda. for a while i didn't have a favorite band and now i guys :D. you made eye contact with me at the sea of dreams on december 30th. i swear i felt like you wear singing to me and everyone else disappeared. miss whitney moses also said i was cute!i sang along to your performance.someday i will buy the book but not at the moment for i am just a college student working in retail and circumstances do not permit.update often!

love glenn

maia said...

i disagree with the notion of you guys lacking mystique, or you personally. regardless of how much you give away, or vent into any medium, i think you will still have a certain enigma about you, peraps still more than joe normal. vainity can be a mind-bug in a guise if you know what i mean. i can't i stop swaying from chair to wall: i pecieve my need to get a copy of your self-indulgent 2d montage of "shit". i don't think i would have needed the CD for insentive to purchase (although bonus:]), but victory must feel matt-finish for you. when are you coming to Australia? please don't do an over eighteen gig over here before october!!! :)that would be pure sacriledge even when there's no god. i know. it's not up to you...
care n stuffxx

andrea said...

I'm going to put this quote here cause I'm sure I'll refer back to it. "

Amanda says: it seems to me, a lot of people out there seem to appreciate the fact that brian and i have no interest in being Rock Stars and Superhumans With Mystique."

First of all, don't listen to what those people are telling you. If it makes you happy and you think you're doing something great (before someone tells you otherwise-you are). I ordered the damn thing as soon as I saw it was available. Then I heard about DVD and I got super excited. I was like wow, "I'm getting even more than I bargained for, yay! It makes it even better." I didn't think, "oh, too much Amanda, calm down and pace yourself." I think it's great.

Referring to the quote: That's the truest thing I've heard in awhile. The fans love that about you. I mean who doesn't want more? Whoever said less is more just did it cause they didn't have more to give. If you stop giving it and became those rock stars with super human mystique we'd become uninterested. I mean, you guys are a local boston band, and you know how fans feel about local bands. But you guys are the type of band that feel like EVERYONE'S local band...and that's a great thing to be.

I think you had all the right ideas. Share as much as you can cause I guarantee you we love it. I know I want to see the tour footage...I don't care how, just bring it!

Have a lovely day and just do whatever fucking feels right to you in the first place.

Andrea M.

Mika said...

Every surviving note Neal Cassady ever scribbled, snapshot Allen Ginsburg ever clicked, word-collage William Burroughs ever snipped from a magazine is fodder for adulation and academic examination today.

Their art was, as yours is, intimately bound up with their lives. The lives and the art are by now practically indistinguishable from one another.

Mystique may be an appropriate concept for marketing some bands. It's not for marketing yours.

Your documentaries, like the one on the Paradise dvd, and interviews, like the one with the sheet music book, provide hope that Jessica Simpson's is not a reality show we have to be stuck with.


Komaja said...

Everyone's got their two cents worth. Here's mine.

It was said to you that "you aren't protecting your image". I think this needs to be looked at. To do this, some questions come to mind. One-What is this image? and Two-Does is it need protecting and if so how? and Three-is is or is it not being protected?

I can't answer them for you, but I can give you my perspective as a fan. Your image is something that is ever-evolving. Your band is growing, you both are growing and changing. I've only been a fan for a mere year, but still. A fan. What I've seen in the last year is a realization of things fans have been begging for over the last 4+ years you guys have been climbing to the top. The DVD. The songbook.

Funny semi-related side note: I have a friend who says his band was one who played with you guys in a basment in New Brunswick, NJ a while back. Weird how very small the world is.

But that's just it. That's what makes you guys awesome. You're incredibly talented, wonderful musicians, but you're also so very accessible. Your life isn't an open book; I'm sure there are some things that are just yours. But you control what gets out and I think that if you and Brian decide that this is something you want to get out, then you should go with it. Fans, like me, with clamor at the chance to gain more insight, be more inspired, see how other people's creative process works. Plus, you guys have to make a living. I think people will buy it. I know I will when I find a new job.

Also, you are not alone in your "totally narcissistic personality". I think you channel it well. What the hell is wrong with making DVDs, songs, songbooks, -anything- if A) you want to release that info and B) the public wants to view/listen/read?

Do you guys really need Mystique? To me, your strongest point has always been that you are so...real. Human. Personally, I get kinda turned off by the fluff and the glitz and the elaborate web of how someone is "spun". More room for the celebrity in question to fall from collective pedestals. You guys, however, are so human. We see frailty, power, anger, sadness, joy, intrigue, playfulness, etc.

I mean, really, are you guys trying to be Jessica Simpson? Are you trying to reach that market? Cause I know people are diverse, but I don't see a whole helluva lotts crossover between Jessica's diehard fans and yours. And what exactly, does it hurt to put this out there? What's the price of oversaturation? I don't know, really, so I'm asking.

Is it that you'll turn people off? People will see that you have too much stuff to buy and go away? Or is it that there'll be too much info that you (or the band) may one day regret releasing into the mainstream collective? Or is it that it's too big an investment to do the DVD or related projects and not enough people will buy them to make it "worth it"?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but maybe the questions themselves'll help you figure something out. Or maybe they won't and at the very worst you'll have spent 3 minutes reading someone else's "floodgate of words". Whichever it is, know that I wish you well and look forward to whatever you guys put out in the future. I also look forward to the NYC solo show in February.

Take care and try not to drive yourself too crazy with the debate.

frankycastle said...

Well i would say that i am a big fan but, i was not going to buy the sheet music book but now that you have told us how much more is in the thing I am probably going to buy it now. So Thank You.

Rach said...

I would just like to say that i have always loved the way that you guys as the Dresden Dolls are so personal. It really let's the fans feel like they are a part of something. Like there's a hell of a lot better chance that we're going to feel like we "know" you guys, but there's no way in hell we'll feel like we REALLY "know" Trent Reznor. I appreciate the way you let your fans into your lives anstead of setting up the blockade and all we know is music. Thanks for that.

Rach said...

I'm buying the book for me and my love who also happens to be a big fan. (Don't worry i love you too) And you have every right in the world to be narcississtic. *smiles* *waves goodbye*

Bill Hicks said...

Put it all out there. Some will want it and others will not but for the ones who do it will be worth it.

helena said...

If you're still in the city, grab a book and go over to The Bourgeois Pig on E7th btw 1st and A on the south side of the street. Its nice and calm and pretty and they have good tea.

4evayoung said...

gosh all i wanted 2 do was leave a comment yet was foced 2 create my own blog and ended up writing for half an hour about my pathetic day... CRAZYYY!!! any way my mind has totally drifted now... errrrrrrrrm aaaah i jus wanted 2 mention the ironly of this blog and the fellow comments. The issues are raised of 'mystique', comerciallism, the issue of your big book that you argued over concerning the fans interests in sooooo much being put in.... write it down... result everyone wants too buy the big book now as it has history.
Was the book not big enough without the history? uve now extended the issue of the book in2 a manifesto adding more and more too it through writing about it, YET lo and behold, i bet THEY didnt think that u could flip reverse the whole problem and use it too your advantage!
i dont know if i make any sense in what i jus sed, im too tired too read it over... good luck with the big book.... i wont be buying it... xxxx

4evayoung said...

CRAP did i sound mean then? im sorry if i did, read it in lighhearted jokey manner, i probly wud buy the book and all ur other merch and jus stick it all to my wall and proclaim myself as the biggest ever fan! however truth be told... im skint : ( xx

indigo strange said...

It’s not too much, if you don’t think it’s too much. I, personally, don’t. But then I’m an obsessively-adoring fan. Just remember it’s up to you.
Now, I don’t know much about the detailing of the music business, but surely it’s you and Brian that are the band. So you two rely on your Gut because it’s that that is the most important. You and that Gut instinct of yours (also a ton of amazing creativity and talent) have won you millions of fans. It sounds terribly clichéd, but it all comes down to what you believe in.
I hope all these comments settle your mind somehow.

Much love.

P.s ‘"just ignore her, she's just trying to get attention, poor girl" - sound familiar’, Girl anachronism, right?
Take care now ;)

Bold As Love said...

I have a feeling this is going to get repetitive, but just so you know that one more voice agrees with you, I am going to tell you how happy it makes me that you won the agruement. Stick with your gut, it's gotten you this far, and your fans (including me) adore you for it. I am so upset that your New York solo show sold out so quickly. I had this whole roadtrip planned with a friend to see you again. If you have any more tickets available or would like a new brigader or two to show up, please let me know. Thanks!
Feminist Love,

andrea said...

I had to come back and post again cause this blog entry of yours got me to thinking today. What about? About The Dresden Dolls compared to other artists I'm equally devoted to {or other artists in general0--as far as mystique or lack there of. If other bands I like gave as much of themselves to the fans as you guys do I would be THRILLED. It's weird but when bands are open, accessible, and make themselves appear human to the fans we feel good about ourselves. We think, oh wow, this bands trusts us, sees us as equals, and wants to share all of the band with us. It's comforting. It's confusing that we feel this way but it's true. You adding all this stuff to the book to me says that your comfortable with yourself and it's nice to an artist work so hard to put something out for the fans that they think we'll really apprecitate. You said yourself you didn't have doubts til someone brought it up to you. Let me ask you? Has a fan ever told you hey, you guys show too much of yourselves? Have they said that after you put out the dvd with the documentary that they thought it was ridiculous? I'm doubting no unless they were little punks trying to get a rise out of you. Anywho, I just hope this debate doesn't make you stop putting out stuff like the book or the dvd or whatever else is cooking up in that mind of yours. If it all suddenly stopped after I've become used to you as this very personally open/sharing band I'd think, geez, what did we as fans do wrong to make you stop giving to us? It be a total 180 of what I
ve grown to know as your style. Amanda, if you put it out there, we will buy it. Guaranteed or money back on that one. I hope you let us know how all our comments effected how you think on this subject. In our favor I hope. Best wishes and keep doing what your doing, cause guess what?, it seems to be working for you.
Andrea M.

teaturtle said...

Yes! Thank you for the looooong wonderful beautiful gorgeous amazing disgusting disturbing lickable sweet sour bitter wonderous tasty etcetcetc. dvd! I would have bought it with or without it...however, I would've definitely complained if you did not win the argument. ;D

md said...

The music buch:
Seeing as it is that and only either musicians or superfans will buy it because of that…go ahead and put in a little extra. I did not know there would be all this fun time spent wonder going on in the sheet music book until you wrote about it here, maybe you should advertise that more, made me more interested. There are people who think you do show too much, definitely, with your DVD anyhow. Showing you off to some folks… they didn’t really frocking care for the documentary, then I play Pierre for them…
I will watch your little fun crafty DVD of sunshine touched paste, I don’t know about everyone though. I don’t think anyone will complain that you did add it unless they are referring to the price upage, “aaaaah! Who the fudge added a dvd in this! Wtfaljkasoujoiuajlk;a! smash…(starts reading music and playing piano)” or if they are deaf and are tortured because you didn’t add subtitles to it so it is just another Dresden doll thang that they can’t listen to… but that wouldn’t make sense, I mean for one thing deaf people are just myths…and they can’t read.
Extra footage: ? Is it of shows or before shows? Both? Yes? The shows would be fun to see… maybe more money can be made, do you need more money? Are you asking if we would like to see them, yes, put em out somehow, don’t spend loads of time on them editing wise.

God damnit stop being so god damn narcissistic and caring about what others think you whiney attention getter.
Really though, you shouldn’t worry about that kind of stuff (too much liking of ones self, that is), other things are more worth worrying about…
But I don’t know you. Suck on a Barbie foot.
With reading everything and not pondering about it: I think that is the wrong way to go. im sure you want to know all, you do know a lot, but think about it. at least you recognize that you don’t think.
You should slow the fuck down.
Fingers curl over
As someone bites the tips.
Tale still lodged in place
No one pulled it off.
Slow down, digest.

Olivia said...

I'm glad you won the argument and I'm very excited to get the sheet music and see the DVD. Also, I don't think you should ever rue the day you put your hand in the toilet for that bobby-pin, because when I watched that, it totally made my night and I will never forget it for the rest of my life. ^__^

Ahh, Christmas!!! There are two pictures I'll be sending in to you guys to show you. I think you'll enjoy them. ^__^ I hope your Christmas and New Year's were good.

Speaking of the sheet music, my best friend and I have this agreement that when he get's the sheet music, he's going to learn all of Girl Anachronisim that night, then the next day, while we're in orchestra, he's just going to get up during the middle of class, sit at the piano, and start playing, and I'm going to get up and just FREAK-OUT; singing and dancing to that song and everyone in class is just going to be like, "O_O!!!"

And then, more than likely, we'll both get referals for the disruption of class. And it'll be totally worth it. And I'll frame that referal.



Morrigan said...

While none of us can speak for anyone else, your availability and lack of 'mystique' or whatever the snobby stars too busy and selfish to actually interact with their fans prefer to call it, drives me to be a bigger fan.

Though it's hard to overcome a bit of awe in person, I know the drive to attend Dresden Dolls concerts for me is all about how personal they are, and how human and available the two of you are.

A performer is fun to see once, a person, people so many of us feel deeply moved by and attached to, is worth every trip, every contact available.

I wouldn't have bought a book of sheetmusic, but now I want this one.

Plumpbeutlerchen said...

I'm sorry to say this but I must confess that I wondered whether I`d ever watch the "One day in the Life of the DD"-part on the DVD again. Apart from the beginning, were we were shown how you live etc., I found it pretty boring and pointless.
Now please tar and feather me. I would consider myself a big fan of the Dolls, gathering material and songs and so on, but I felt pretty annoyed when I saw the whole lot of merchandise you offer on your homepage... Isn't it a bit too much? And when I go to the Shadowbox to check whether there is any valuable information, I always think that it is a rather painful thing to do. Most of the people seem so pretentious and hyprocritical. It's all just "so beautiful". There are hardly any posts which contain information, just 20 people saying over and over again how great, artful, awesome everything is you produce.
I want your music, I want you to tour, I really enjoy the insights you share in the blog. So don't feel too offended.

Domestibot said...

I believe it's something like 3:30 in the morning... I really shouldn't be awake, tommorow is my last day of work for all eternity (like, maybe a month. Seems like a while anyway)

I had these elaborate plans for ending my employment by going out in a blaze of glory, but it looks like I'll just sputter out in a poof of exhaustion. Maybe if I sleep through the day, it'll go quicker. I think commenting to your entry is about as cool as pulling off whatever grandiose caper I had come up with.

To start off with, The Dresden Dolls aren't even really what I would categorize as... music. I know that's a lousy way to start a comment, but hear me out, it was the best way I could think to begin. What I mean to say is, like... Whenever I crank up the volume on my MD player and listen to a song from some rock group, I know I'm listening to music. I think this has to do with a few things... one, the bands I'm listening to I know virtually nothing about them, their lives, why they're writing the songs they are, etc... and two, because while I'm listening to these bands I would have no problem with zoning out and focusing on something else. .. The music doesn't really do anything for me but make the time pass by quicker.

Then there's you... I'm not sure I feel like a "diehard fan." There is evidence to support that I would hunt you down and stalk you for the rest of your life, and then there's also just... well, counterevidence.

First off, your merchandise. Now, in all my twenty years of this phenomenon called "life" I've never collected anything before. I think I tried with stamps and was successful in collecting two or something, but... starting just this past year, I watch myself end up on your website and buying just about everything you put out. My brain is nearly completely blank while I perform this exercise, I'm not thinking "MUST BUY!" or "God, I have to have this." it's just... I don't know. I would compare it to masturbation. You find yourself with nothing to do, and suddenly next thing you know, you're just doing it. I have a shelf which I have metamorphisized completely into a makeshift musuem of Dresden Doll Memorabilia.

But here's the thing, I don't worship you or feel any of the things that fans tend to feel... I don't bow down to you and get all googly eyed when I see you perform. I suppose it's similar to my roommate, who obsessively collects Star Trek Models, replicas, DVD box sets, and watches every episode now and again... but Star Trek isn't her life, and she doesn't consider herself a Trekkie... in her words, she's just "trekked." I can relate, and feel much the same way about you. What would that be called? "Dolled?" I don't shave my eyebrows and paint nice ones on. That's who you are... but I like you. I feel like I know you, and that's because you don't leave much room for "mystique." Hearing about your life in the form of a DVD or what you write here in your blog is sort of like keeping in touch with an old friend. One that moved away and I care about. I like listening to what you have to say, and I don't care how many times you say the same thing in different format, be it DVD, blog, VHS, morse code or whatever. If you want to include the DVD, that's great. I mean, the footage exists for a reason, right?

Then your music... There is an air of difference from it than anything else I listen to. Even though it's true I can multitask while listening to your music, it's like... I dunno, I start to feel something very tiny in my soul when any of your songs are playing... like some small part inside of me is listening very, very intently to what you're playing and what you have to say. It's a pleasant experience, and I don't get that feeling when listening to other bands, which is why I pretty much categorize you seperately from other Music...

You're not perfect, but you know what? Perfection is boring. You do what you love and you're genuine and true to yourself, as far as I can tell. That's fucking inspirational. Since I try to lead that lifestyle with my comic book writing, I feel as though "Hey, Amanda did it, so can I!" and it helps me get off my procrastinating ass and get some work done.

I think I just want to thank you for being as open as you are. Regardless of whether or not the songbook included a DVD, I would buy it, and not just because it would be great for my collection of your stuff (to which I frequently doubletake and wonder just when the hell did I GET this stuff?!) but even if I didn't watch it right away, there could be some rainy day that springs up, and I'll pop it in my player cause... I haven't seen it yet. And in those twenty minutes where you're being interviewed, my undivided attention is all on you and Brian... and wouldn't that make it worth it?

Take care Amanda. I think that if you feel you're not overindulging the fans with Dresden Doll knowledge, then... well, you're not. You would know where the line is on "too much," and everyone probably has a different line.

FireAngel said...


Realistically, you would probably attract masses of fickle fans if you followed the advice that no one wants to know about your every day life. I realize that many people might think this way, but some of us like real. What's real about Jessica Simpson? I'm still wondering if she really is that stupid or she said and did what she did to get ratings.

Regardless, I rather like that you and Brian aren't all glam, the unreachable god and goddess that we stare at with glazed over eyes and you remain but an untouchable, unreachable concept, rather than a person.

I think you do have mystique. Your mystique is that you aren't like The Rest. My favorite post of yours, so far, was the one where you just came back from a long tour and felt like you didn't belong and you were crying on the bridge. I felt like I was almost there, with you, and I felt honored to have been able to share in that vulnerable moment.

Right now, you are pretty successful, by my book, but you still are human. An aspiring musician could read your stuff and see bits of you in themselves and can say to themselves, "She's not that different from me. I can do this!" Some people want fantasy to carry them through their lives, because reality sucks so bad, but some of us revel in the complexities of real life... The kind of life where you are completely aware of the things around you, the things inside of you, constantly searching and learning and digging. That truly is rare.

I am glad you stuck to your guns and kept the footage. I for one would be more than happy to pay money for it.

aeonflux said...

hy amanda!
firstofall -as I read You would be "obssesively checking my email", i wondered if You received my x-mas present (this was in fact an overkill 3 mail- 30mb extravaganza) which i sent to - perhaps you can check if it got there or otherwise i (thomay@....) will send it again.
speaking of output- please do it!!!
i have no problem with that,cause noone is forced to buy it- love it or leave it - in my case its the former!
wanna see output ? check out the :wumpscut: - discography at a dozen pages times 6 or more albums/ep´s/boxes etc in 12 years!
especially the boxes are very funny incl. t-shirts, cd´s, making-of´s,original scripts, buttons, stickers and so on- and this is just a bavarian onemanshow making hardcore-electronic music for moreless 100.000 people in the world! or look at ryan adams (twice 3 albums in 12 months) or whomever

anyway - everything is better than another boring christmas-happykit- greatest-hits-sellout-compilation

and praise the Lord that You´re not Jessica Simpson (whoever that is- is she akin to Homer?)

greets from germany

maxrob said...

i would have buy it with or without the dvd add. so I did infact. i think the right point is to preserve your creativity by not feeding people with everything you produce. it's true that fans love and want to have everything about the band, and so nothing should be left out, but a selection of what it's worth would increase the attention of people, you don't have to put yourself in a realityshow. and I, as a fan, don't expect to have a day-per-day chronicle. you're doing a great thing by realizing this blog, and there's a lot of places where fans can listen to live recordings and unreleased song and more. that's it, you don't want to act like superockstars, and that's why people love you more. and you don't have to get mad about people really expect. oversaturation makes people bored at long distance.
hold on amanda.


sexygoddess1971 said...

Yes I related to the 8 year old inside bawling. I do that quite often. Being the selfish attention seeking type myself. I am also shy if that makes sense. And no matter how much I pretend, I will never have huge self esteem. All I can say is thank god there are women like you in the world who have the attitude "fuck you all, i'll do as I wish". It gives women like me the strength to keep being our wacky selves.

Oh and I'll be buying the book for sure. Thanks for adding all the other stuff that I find fascinating cause the sheet music holds no interest for me.

P.S. When are you coming to Australia again?

Lauryn said...

Wow Amanda you think a lot but I like that you defended what you believe. I think that by adding in the live stuff it's a nice bonus for your fans that are truly very into your music. I enjoyed it and still do. I am very excited for the big giant book that i will be picking up probobly sometime before I go to France. I think that the choices you have made for the band are good attention isn't a bad thing and I love that your not out to be the biggest stars in the world. I think every single one of your fans would agree that your relatable down to earth personna is what draws a lot of people to you. Keep it up yur doing great! With love Lauryn

crazyjaneski said...


I think there's no way around the kind of sensitive nerve you describe when you are what you are, but all I'm saying is that I wish I had even one iota of your ability to be invested in my own narcissism as you are in yours. If you didn't do incredibly worthwhile, beautiful work that people love with the kind of intensity that only comes from responding to something with a level of authenticity and personal exigence that your work so obviously has, then I might say, "Yeah, maybe you shoudl shut the fuck up, Miss Princess," but that simply isn't the case.

I loved the hour long, totally not boring documentary on your DVD, and while I am not a mucisian, and therefore, have no use for sheet music, the only reason I might buy your book is for all that exigesis and an interesting DVD. You are an artist in a medium that is so much more than music and performance, and that book, this blog, and your agonizing over questions like these are your work. People who enjoy your work will always be interested in it.

It's true that we're all being generous here, but you are, too, in writing this for us to read. The relationship between artists and audiences is one of generosity, I think. You give something, we are happy to recieve it, and give something back to you, that you take in. I hope your experience in making your art is as satisfying as mine has been in enjoying it.

I could probably ramble on in an interminable fashion, here, but all of this is just to say that I am much more interested in your (you and Brian's) instincts than I am in your manager's. If you feel like something should be included, you should include it. Maintaining a "mystique" is bullshit. You'll have one whether or not you manufacture one.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I took beautiful pictures at your show in LA. They are here:

Thanks for asking.

stacie said...

I am glad that the interview will be included. I only just found your music last year when you opened for NIN in San Diego, but I have been hooked ever since.

I also went to the show in Echo Park recently that was amazing. You and Brian are both so talented.

The thing that made the Echo Park show so great was how much you two talked to the audience. It just makes you real people that we can identify with. I think that is why the interview being with the song book was an awesome idea.

Much love!

Lymari said...

my friends used to tease me for stalking you all the time. i'd squeal and argue "no! she invited me over, she asked me to email her or brian hugged me first!". but admittedly the love of the dresden dolls had turned into an obsession beyond sane rationalization. much worse than the crush i had on ian brandon in jr. high school. but the answer is no, i never arbitrarily walked in front of your house 3 times a day or went through your trash. but yes i know everyword of every song, yes i have taken thousands of photographs of you and i did treck out to dc just to see your show against my friends' highly verbalized taunting of "stalker". i was sad to leave boston thinking that the lack of live performances and random chance runnings in to you while grocery shopping or dancing at manray would squash the consistent inspiration i'm accustomed to. (i was really bummed i couldn't do the rollerskating/shaving night). actually i think now the 10 thousand miles and pacific ocean between us makes me cherish more the extra documentation.

so there's the truth. i'm a super doll fan and i loved the extra footage on the dvd and am looking forward to the new book with interview included. that being said; i did think the dvd was very long and remembered thinking that no one else but me or another doll stalker would truly enjoy that footage as much as i did. when i show the dvd to my friends whom i'm introducing them to life changing fabulousness that is the dresden dolls, i skip that part.

but maybe that's the point. with the inundation of information these days people are able to edit what they want to see. let them decide their own level of involvement. even objectively i can say that if i had more documentation on my other heroes in life like jerry ueslmann, vladimir kush or kurt vonnegut i would be a happier obsessed stalker and somehow feel more complete.

Mystique has nothing to do with it. more is more. this is the future. the fear should be is that there might not be enough documentation of you to not get buried in piles of spam and crap reality that means shit. i'm so glad you document everything. i think it's fucking interesting and apparently others do too.

love you, miss you...

Aloha ~ Lymari

sarcastic said...


This is not an appropriate place to bring the discussion. You brought it here because the responses were predictable. Every post is the same with exception of plumpbeutherchen's. That and I'm starting to wonder if people use a thesaurus to impress you. Anybody who bothers to read all your blogs and comment is likely to buy the book/dvd.

The Dresden Dolls are my favourite band, but I experienced little enjoyment from the dvd. Somebody said you're generous, but I think you do all of this for yourself. You know that.

You are a very open person... Through your music. The lyrics are what initially drew me to the band. Since you are primarily a musician, maybe that's where the revelations should remain. I think that anything revealing about your character will be more appreciated that way.

Plus, what are you leaving the record company to release in the event of your death? Tupac and Nirvana are still going strong, Amanda.

Jackk said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! I LOVE THE DRESDEN DOLLS!!!! only 12 but I FUCKING LOVE THE DRESDEN DOLLS!!! sorry about that.....just had to let that out...

Jack P Toerson said...

Sarcastic, I rather disagree with your contention that every post is the same.

People's relationships with a band vary. It's like a relationship with an author. Some people want to know every last detail about an author, from their socks to their peccadilloes, other people are happy with just reading the author's books, and many people want a little of both. The Internet and cheap multimedia have made all three options faster than ever before.

You can get a warts-and-all account of most recording artists just by searching on the Internet. In that respect, and others, mystique is dead. Any bad performances are reported on fan-groups, any public misbehaviour by the tabloid press, and it's a rumour-mill. I found out about the Dresden Doll's via an email last year from a friend in Boston who said 'Dude, you've got to hear them' and a link to an MP3. Not TV or the music press or radio. My decision to buy the album was entirely free of mystique, it was based entirely upon what I heard.

I'm not going to rush out an buy any of the things under discussion, if they're even available in the UK, but I'm not opposed to them either. In the same way I'm not opposed to reading about an artist or author that I like.

sexygoddess1971 said...

Ditto above.

It was the music that sucked me in first. I knew nothing about the DD's, just heard a couple of tracks on the radio which I normally do not listen to and had to buy the album straight away.

It just happens that the DD's are a fascinating band in every respect. But when you get down to the nitty gritty, if it weren't for the music the fascination would have waned long ago. I don't give a rats arse what they look like, how cool they are, how Amanda's eyebrows look today, even if I had never seen them and they had dummy's as themselves, as long as their music (unlike anything I've ever heard before and I've heard alot) keeps my emotions flowing, I'll keep my interest.

And no I didn't use a thesaurus to type this. I don't even know if I spelt the fucking word right. If I did I apologise for my intelligence. And no I'm not a goth, or anything exciting. I'm a boring 34yo mum from Australia with discerning taste in music. And there aren't many of us here. Believe me.

Nils said...

I think your diary is always an interesting read. Since you do read a lot I‘d like to suggest Roland Barthes‘ „Mythen des Alltags“ (myths of everyday life), it introduces you in a very fascinating way to the effects of language and apart from that, the more I got into all these different types of literary theories about „totality of communication practices and systems of meaning“ (an attempt to define the word „culture“ by an author whose name I forgot) which I now try to teach in introductory tutorials I find others‘ well-thought through ideas ever so interesting. I am very careful when reading your diary because I think that „reader-response criticism“ makes an interesting point on how readers first try to adapt the written text to one‘s own concept of reality and I do believe that subconsciously I‘m trying to find statements in your diary that will confirm my views. Why do I chose you to be someone I structure my arguments with, you, whom I‘ve only seen on stage (and very shortly talked to after a show in Cologne, Gebäude 9, where I felt like discussing stuff with you but there were so many people and I just said the usual stuff like great show – which I truly thought it was – and have a great time etc.)? Well, I heard Girl Anachronism on a Rolling Stone CD and I am a piano player myself who tries to transcribe songs, e.g. by System Of A Down to the piano and I thought this song (and later the album) is a good way to do rock music on a piano. I love pianos when they‘re violent and I love this just bashing the keys as a sound effect. I really enjoy your lyrics and it is mostly one or two lines in a song that I like to quote when I don‘t know how to say it better. And once they are taken out of the context of a song they are put into a new context which might differ then from the original meaning. One thing that distinguishes literate from oral societies is that the written word does not imply one meaning but lots. Plus, once something is written down it is fixed and excludes certain details that were part of something which didn‘t find its way into the text. And when I read your diary I sometimes find myself going „okay, now I am gonna find things out about music industry, the way it is“ etc. and then I have to be aware of that your perception of it is (slightely/very) different from others‘ perceptions, which then means that there is no such thing as „authenticity“. That‘s a fashion word. I try to read your entries as prose. And when friends of yours who are experienced in music industry backbiting behaviour try to be an orientation for you (I mean, Joni Mitchell called the industry a cesspool) that‘s probably something that is useful. But I can see your point about not regretting that putting your hand into the toilet. I understood the documentary‘s title as your awareness of the non-existence of authenticity because through the title you do not claim any authenticity right from the beginning. And I think if someone would claim it to be authentic, he or she ignored the title. I would rather consider it as self-ironic seeing you in front of a mirror (though I must say it must be quite intimidating knowing that now thousands of people now know how you live, know where your teabags are etc.), it‘s already a quite postmodern statement on artists‘ mystique. The so-called mystique is probably something that a lot of modern hip boy- and girlgroups need in order to stand as rolemodels for teenies and children who can project all their wishes and desires onto them. Men can cry when their football team lost the match because they identify with it. When I went to your show in Cologne, Gebäude 9, I really thought „Wow, she is really having a ball, she‘s so into it, I wanna copy her movements, she is so present.“ And then a few days later you wrote in your diary how you knew what you did only half way through the show, that that was when you really were present, because you were in a terrible mood. Now I also read your entry on Tori Amos and she really put it well: she says that performers are a mirror. What an audience really is doing is „They wanna give it to themselves. Performers have this power. They can keep what the audience is giving them and not give it back. You have to keep the wheel going which is intake and outtake.“ Maybe some of it underlines this mystique thing but I guess partly that‘s what happened in Cologne. I guess I identified with you, projected my wishes on you, filled your show with a meaning that would suit my perception, my expectations, different from yours. I mean, a seducer is only a seducer when the person in front of him is susceptible to it, this again based on very personal reasons that the seducer is not aware of but understands it as a miraculous or nature-given power he or she has over others. That is myth. If one is not interested the seducer can seduce as much as he or she wants. Seducer is always seduced first. Have you ever read the various interpretations on Half-Jack? I‘d rather think of your music as sophisticated (that‘s why I hope you won‘t have to bother with the toilet-scene in the future and apart from that you have no power over how a person perceives you) and not whether someone is half man half woman because they wrote „it‘s half biology... you‘ll notice something funny....“. That‘s just plain stupid. And some people will disagree with Amanda Palmer‘s piano playing, songwriting, will say the usual stuff like „oh now she is rich and she‘s gonna be in every magazine, she‘s gonna sooo sell herself“. Is that envy maybe? I love Bret Easton Ellis‘ novels but I don‘t think you‘re a Ellis-novel-character!!! And some people will find the DVD too much and others will like it – but for the industry I guess statistics are the decisive thing. But I don‘t believe statistics that I myself did not fake!! And less is more when it is suitable. But who is to decide anyway? Once you date Tom Cruise media will probably tear your image apart.

jamablue said...

For what it is worth, a little mystique doesn't hurt. Too much 'real life' can take away from listener's appreciation of your music. When you listen to a song you really like, you will create your own history, meaning, whatever you want to call it for that song to make it special to you. You create your own 'hook' to the music, lyrics etc that you will forever connect to that particular song. The danger of knowing too much about you and your life is that you may take away the listeners ability to make that special connection. For example, lets say someone is listening to 'Perfect Fit' and that person makes the 'hook' connection to a past lover/friend (for whatever reason). That person now holds that song in a special light. If he/she later finds out that the song was written about a favorite pair of jeans (j.k LOL), then the song can't hold that special meaning anymore. Make sense? I am a huge NIN fan (thankful to TR for bringing you on tour ... I am also huge DD fan!) but I really don't want to know too much about what he was thinking when he wrote that stuff. I am able to appreciate his stuff and have my own 'hooks'. Music is sound and emotion. Most people can create a timeline of their life by listing the songs they grew up with.

Anyway, love your stuff ... keep them coming. Later.

mollixs said...

The people who will be buying this book will be the same people who want to see your kitchen interview & want to read your 20 page long introduction, etc. The book has sheet music which is its original purpose in being made, but the people who will want to buy Dresden Dolls sheet music, are the same people who would want to see everything else you said is going in there.

& just to let you know, I'm definitely going to buy it.

It would be awesome if you would come back to Pittsburgh! :)

A Unique Alias said...

If you want to make money, then delegate the archival and chronicling and marketing tasks to the right people.

If you want to make art, then don't listen to the business managers and so forth - - just make art.

If you want to make music, then put down the effing gluestick and the construction paper.

turtle said...

hey amanda
i'm a fan with a broken heart
i'm the typical broken heart too with all the tears and rejected phone calls and such.
my girlfriend wants to be single after 3 years.
i've been sick and haven't been well for the past three days. no sleep.
the future is unknown. she doesn't have any reasons, she says she will update me when she finds out.
she's a very honest character so i trust her on that. she says she's just following how she feels right now. and that she wants to not be tied down, but be free and experience the rest of the world.
n e ways i just wanted to let you know whats happening in my life since your letting us know whats happening in yours. also i was hoping you can give me some insight into what she might be thinking *wink*. since your superhuman powers can override everything. if you have time email me, if not just ignore this. thanks

aeonflux said...



"This is for all you guys who work on industrial estates

Dresden dolls are back in style!
With a clockwork walk and a backward smile
Dresden dolls don’t hear a sound
They’re programmed to jump up and down

Up and down
Round and round
Tapping feet to formless sound

Dresden dolls and nazi boys
Dance arm in arm to formless noise
Up and down-
Round and round
Tapping feet to formless sound

On plastic bars they sit and pose
Count their fingers with their toes
They sit and smile and drink and grin
Then they all get up again

Up and down-
Round and round
Tapping feet to noiseless sound

Dresden dolls are back in style!
With a clockwork walk and a backward smile
Up and down
Pound and round
Tapping feet to formless sound"

Don´t get me wrong - this has obviously NOTHING to do with Brian and Amanda - maybe except for the coin-operated "clockwork walk"- a friend of mine (a big old punk stuff & The Fall-fan)just played this song after I "forced" him to listen to the DD-album
(might be worth a cover !?)

ps. i thinks he´s addicted now ;)

Skye said...

i can't wait to buy the monster book. i love anything and everything you guys do, there is nothing self-indulgent about it.

there are so many bands that try to act "cool" and to see a band that tries to appear human to their fans is not only relatible but refreshing!

you guys are my art heroes! i want to lay the smack down like you someday!


Lou Ming said...

Dear Amanda-whom-I-do-not-know,

I recently purchased a ticket for your solo performance in NYC in February. Two months ago I knew not who the fuck you (or Brian) were. Now I own the DVD, and both the "A" album and Roadrunners pressing of your studio album.

So, I like your work.

You spoke about over-saturation and releases and instinct vs. management.

I swear to you: your obvious talent will overwhelm any bobby-pin/toilet bowl issues.

You are a creative shotgun shell of an artist. Beauty, blood and shit flying everywhere, and you're still young. Don't release everything now, but don't shit-can it either.

Save everything and wait for a time when you're not so busy fucking growing.

I've read you're working on your next album. That's alot of work, and you're playing everywhere, that's alot more work.

If it's valid now, it'll be valid then.

Focus. Breathe. Archive.

yer pal,

p.s. I look forward to seeing your show at Joe's Pub.

Taelor said...

i can't play piano and even considering trying to learn to read musical notation in order to further my guitar skills makes me feel sick, BUT that is not going to stop me from buying the Epic Album Companion Coffee Table Extravaganza.

you could have rewritten war and peace and i would buy it, i mean hell, i read that blog didn't i?

wayne said...

vyAmanda, the singer and keyboard player of the dresden dolls. Amanda, song writer for the dresden dolls. Amanda, spokesperson for the dresden dolls. Amanda, the living statue. Amanda, the blogger. Brian, the umm.. uhh.. drummer? You are not a glory hog. You have an interest, he doesn't.

Amanda the god like person on the mtv videos, high gloss photographs and a one time appearance on the jimmy kimmel show, combined with the music that you make, draw in the crowd. If you want a bunch of money to blow up your nose, stick with that. Fire your manager.

You are honest about your experience with being a musician (artist?), that honesty sedates people, it takes all the cindy lopersfaslkfj type fans into a different mode of thought. Those young girls get an early look at reality, which turns all the thoughts about what a person should be, into a single thought that you are what you are or you are what you feel/do or whatever this constant current state is right now. You help. All those people that you break in, will be more attentive to what they do, which promotes better manners and a higher level of respect for everything.

Now, you are almost 30. For what is known, you aren't married. You don't have any children. Take away your career and money, you are pretty much fucked. I mean, your mom isn't going to be around forever. You have everything else that you need, but what can you do with it? What's the value if you can't use it? Get knocked up soon (if your body allows it), or create something else that will carry on a piece of you after you die. (suicide at the age of 43, something hilarious and sad (please don't)) Open up a playhouse/concert hall. "AMANDA'S SHADOW BOX THEATHER" or something. Plays some nights, bands another night. This way, after you and brian break up (thinking 3 years) or if you are too depressed to continue with what you are doing (like, your mom dies or something), you have something to fall back on, something that provides purpose and income.

All the stuff you write down, i want to see it. I want to hear your old tape recordings, see all your notes, see all the songs you wrote but never composed, because there is no other way i can get to you. I am under the impression that i will out live you and when you are dead and just some noise on a CD, the regret will be strong about how i never knew you. I would like to kidnap you for this reason (no intention, but i seriously could). The expressions you make, the things you sing, that black dress with the "A", the shaved eyebrows and armpit hair and stockings and make-up are your image. The image is what you put out and it works well but all images are false to what a person really is. The "oversaturation" validates this point. You basically have a full grasp on everything that is going on in your life, and you show that to people. If you did not tell people about the things you thought or how you feel(you do this by blogging your thoughts), we could think that you are only concerned with taking money.
You seem lost, something is missing. What else do you want to do with your life, that is what i want to know.

You go at your own pace, you do what you want, and that should make you happy with your career. There are things you can do to make more money, but that's capitalism. You don't want that, you don't want to manipulate money out of people. I'm glad the book costs $40, it should cost $60. It's your work, you had all the things transcribed. You wrote many things in the book about yourself, so what. If people don't care, they can skip over it. I must tell you though, I will read every word. The fact that something you made pleased at least one person should be valued.

To summarize, open a play house (cost about $500,000) or have a baby. Set your manager straight, be the fool for once. After brian leaves, hook up with someone that is equally as interested in the music as you (try for a girl). Please continue with everything that you do, we like to think about you.

Souless Fatality said...

in my personal opinion, which may or may not account for very much, nothing from the Dolls is boring. whether it's a 20 minute interview or a 20 hour interview, i'm going to watch it, because i love this band and lap up all the information i can. it's not just the band that i want to see, but the people involved. i pre-ordered the DVD as soon as i heard about it, and i absolutely loved 'a life in the day of'. i've watched it a few times and i think what's attractive about it is that you get to see what's going on behind the scenes, almost like you're there. i loved it. when i heard about the music book, i thought, I WILL HAVE THAT. first was because since i've heard the music, i've wanted to play it. i suck major ass on piano, but just to have those sacred sheets in my posession is more than enough to keep me happy, whether or not i'm banging my face off the bloody keys of my piano in frustration.

so yes, i ordered the book, and i found out about the 20 minute intervew, the photos, the notes, and i went crazy. i cannot fucking wait for that thing to come in! Amanda, if you'd publish a book with all your thoughts and such, (it may be a neverending story,) idk what i'd do. lock myself in a room and read for days. i feel obsessive and slightly ridiculous sometimes, but... you guys are awesome. i'm not JUST interested in the band, but as i said before, the people. you interest me. i wish i could know you.

now that i've rambled on with my thoughts and have gotten them all out of line and confused, i think i'll end... i'm a faithful reader of the blogs here (as i'm sure many people are) and i've never gotten bored. Go Amanda! as a fan i'll just say that if you could, you should have kept everything... i know i'd enjoy reading it. i don't know anything about money and all when it comes to making all this stuff.... but just know that at least by some of us [the fans], probably all, everything is well-loved, appreciated, waited for, drooled over, and excited for.

Alleh said...

I've been a Dolls fan for a little over a year now and I must say that I am just thrilled to have a huge-ass book of stuff and dvd of my favourite band! I'm waiting very impatiently for the songbook to arrive.

I went to the detroit concert this fall and was completely flabergasted! I sang along to all of the songs, enjoying every moment (including the one when you glanced and smiled at me!) I was quite dissapointed that I couldn't stay after the concert to meet you and Brian (I had school the next day and had to be home right after the concert ended!). I hope you swing by detroit for another concert soon!

Anywho. As odd as it may sound to you, I look up to you; you're my idol. I've watched the dvd over and over, wanting more. And I've got to say that the toilet part is one of my favorites! I don't find the dvd to be boring, one bit! I don't have much more to say, but I thought that you wouldn't mind me commenting.

Keep up the amazing work. I'll always be a fan.

wanda said...

mysticism is overrated, do you really want to be some unreachable image-obsessed musician that fans cant relate to?

I think its such a good idea to include the footage of you making artwork. You're a band that constantly give your fans so much more than is expected of you, whether thats a more rounded visual experience live, in the amazing artwork that comes with your cd or the musical book.

How can it be selfish or attension seeking to want to give more?

You're just proving how passionately you love what you do and how could your enthusiasm fail to rub off on your fans...

we appreciate it

the bitter mediocre artist said...

gah save me amanda :(

i wish i could just leave my life behind and go on tour with you everywhere and have adventures.

shadowplay said...


One thing that no-one has said here is that you might want to protect *yourself*. Publishing yourself like ed-TV gives people the means to get obsessed with, and criticize things about you that have nothing to do with your art. I'm sure it's hard enough as it is to protect 1) yourself from critiques of your art, 2) your art itself from other people's criticism.

Video snapshots of yourself are a bit like tatoos, in that they reflect the mood and person you are when you created them. Edit well, leave out things that you feel could hurt you if they are misused by fans, stalkers, critics, enemies.

That said, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, and Tommy Lee don't seem to have been hurt at all by their overexposures! Pop culture is a voracious consumer, eliminating and forgetting almost as soon as it ingests.

Wayne makes an excellent point about modelling behavior for others (otoh I dunno what hir obsession with having a kid is!). Your providing a perfectly mundane look at your life helps breaks down the myth that it's cool to be distressed and dark all the time, as well as the obverse myth that so-called "ordinary people" are uninteresting and shallow.

But nevermind the bullocks; A unique alias says it best in hir comment!

-- love & respect.
*goes to buy the sheet music*

Sarakiel said...

To me, the hand in the toilet was perhaps the most human and poignant part of the DVD.

Without artifice or effort, an intimacy was created. Perhaps destroying one mystique but creating another more authentic one.


beat_alice said...

wow, you have some major fans. i'm one of them, by the way. and i'm not sure exactly why im leaving a comment. im usually not the leave-a-comment type. i keep up on my idols, but usually dont go as far to let them know i exist. but whattya know, theres a first time for everything. i guess what i wanna say is...keep being a control freak. your openness is a part of your mystique, because people are stupid, see, many only take a cursory glance at stuff, music especially and most people wont be all "eww the dresden dolls are everywhere" because youll be subtelly blending in with all the other shit in the media thats oversaturating our neon-light bulbed lives. only your output is interesting because its honest and honesty is a real rarity. like, you being aware of yourself and all your self-concious entries in this diary-thing. but you know that, and how your honesty attracts the hard core fans thats why you are how you are. your narsicism has evolved quite nicely that way. but im rambling now and starting to sound like some sort of psycho analyzing fan. all in all stay narcisistic. thats why we all love you. the end.

toodles for now
-m. love (its my real last not trying to be cool)-fellow narcisist, music afficianado, and mental masochist.

gnat said...

if you were Mystique Superhumans, i would probably cry. if you had left that dropping-bobby-pin-in-toilet incident in that box, in which is everything that might ever be of interest to anyone, i would live in a state of Not Knowing How.. Amazingly Possible-To-Relate-To Amanda Palmer is.

you're narcissitic, amanda. why, so am i. i like nothing better than dressing myself up in my tiara and a tutu, hiding my true age (fourteen-going-on-four) and letting the words "you're adorable" drift through my brain, feeding the part that indulges on these types of comments.

it might please you to know, that even though you don't know me and my self-obsessed personality, i often sit in front of the tv with your concert dvd playing and just gaze, for hours on end. the time passes by and i don't even notice. i watch, and i beam as wide as i can, and adore you and brian (well, you especially) more than anything. i close my eyes and the image of you remains, and i bask in the way you move and the way you sing, and it doesn't matter if i have something more important to do because you're all that really matters anyway.

i love the way you're in boxer shorts throughout this dvd in question, and heck i'll buy it, and heck i'll stroke it, even though i don't even play piano.

hannah said...

i like you
and your boxer shorts
and your bobby pin in the toilet.

when i saw that i smiled like i had gone crazy
for 3-6 minutes.

morgan said...

sometimes i try to play girl anachronism on my keyboard...but's its so fast!

mdhatter said...

Nah, i like the way you write, no-cap run ons and all.

Ramsey said...
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Krist of the New Age said...

I think one of the reasons I grew more in love with you guys is because of how much you show yourselves to us. For two years all I ever heard was the Dresden Dolls CD, and only recently did I rediscover my love for your music. It's so enticing, and so what I did is I wanted to find out about the genius behind the music.

And I don't think I've ever known so much about a person I admire, even the ones close at home. I don't think it can get any cooler than that.

Plus, I would have never bonded so much with a person who I have never met before, over the small little thing of loving to be alone.

After all, for those that go for mystique, that's certainly something one would never say.

I'm still amused by how that's made me like you more.

And I'm so getting one of those books. I got all my friends hooked on your music and so now we can learn it and play it together. Woo!

Ixaradius said...


I do not know if you will read this but I have been ghosting your site for a while now. I have wanted to see the Dresden Dolls but have not yet been in a city to which you have played as of yet. As I live in Nashville, I feel confident that I will one day get to see the band.

It hit me, reading this specific post, that my words might serve some use.

I live my life through music. The notes and the words given from many artists fill my head, giving form to emotions that I is kind of like waking up. Experiencing a world where there is no specific one emotion or thought for the moment but layers of them. All woven together to make a tapestry for that one moment. It seems that all we can do is capture that one moment and then put it into whatever form comes to us naturally and project it to the world, and hope that it inspires someone.

When I found the Dresden Dolls, I was at a period of life where I was VERY despondent. I was trapped in a town where I could not express myself and all but one of my true friends had left me due to a multitude of reasons. Most of them were not there due to our life paths finally parting. No fault, it just was.

During this time my best friend had gotten lost to drugs and alcohol, she had become abusive and I let myself get wrapped up into her world, sacrificing my own ideals and dreams in the hope that she would convalesce. But all she ended up doing was pushing me further and further down the chute.

...I had become truly lost.

I had a friend from San Diego that had just seen your show and suggested that I d/l a song or two from you. So I went onto Kazaa and looked up the band and downloaded a few songs.

I thought Girl Anachronism was cute but wasn't the most impressive. Missed Me twanged me in places I wasn't willing to go so it was a kind of brush off. But then I heard Perfect Fit and that hit the nail on the head.

All the sorrow, confusion and pain that I had felt in my life was given words and form in one simple song.

For the first time in my life, I had heard the song of my soul sang back to me in a singular song.

...I had never had that happen before, it had always been 2-5 songs to express one moment. But there it was and it took my breath away.

I downloaded many more then bought both albums and I realized that your muse was the catharsis to so many errant thoughts that I had just brushed aside. Things that I had never given words to because they were too self-indulgent or simply because I could not find the words for it. I saw how each note that you gave was woven with care, each word ripped from the deepest core of your soul.

...And those words and notes reflected mine.

...I had never before had a favorite band but at that moment I finally found it, in you two. And that muse that you both follow gave words to the pain, desolation, and isolation in a place where I had none. It gave me the words to be able to finally step forward with my life and move on. Reveling in the pain and the secret elation that came from living in the dark for so long.

...That is my story, and that is where the Dresden Dolls will always live in my mind; immortal, uneffacible. I continue to spread your muse through every new friend I meet. And every new friend loves what you two have to say.

...So I do not know much about mistique or oversaturation. To me, I decide that with what I choose to buy and to listen/not listen from you. And even if I did follow every tour and memorize every song or talk to you every day, that mistique will still be there because I am not nor will ever be you two individually nor collectively as the identity called the Dresden Dolls. It will continue to be a mystery, no matter how many/few words you put into it.

What I do know is that you follow your heart and no one, not even you know all the secrets of that.

My two cents is that as long as you follow your heart and not your head then you will never become cliche nor will you become oversaturated and the mistique will always be intact and the Dresden Dolls name will never be tarnished.

I hope my words help and I ferverently hope to one day see your show and to, hopefully, speak with the people who had the heart to bring to light the words that I may very well have withered without.

Ramsey said...
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Emiko said...

well amanda, oversaturation over mystique any day!

also. for some odd reason i really relate to the things you write about (minus the actual touring/music creating/meeting bands bit) when you're pondering about yourself, life, etc. which is odd. since i never would have thought we'd be that similar. we still aren't, i guess.

err. i dunno what i'm saying. but i'd buy your book! i love your music and i'd love to know more about you by watching that interview.


Circular Reasoning said...

Any plans to do any more shows in Dublin, the temple bar show is just too little for us fans. Also, it says over 18s, so I am guessing ID is in order, great looking older than you are, bus drivers refuse fairs, but then you need an ID to get into things you'd pass for 18 for. Grrr.

WaxEcstatic said...

More is always better where the fans are concerned... Feed the obsessed and they will be nothing less than overly psychoanalytical and still begging for more. I wouldn't worry so much about being an "Attention whore".... as a growing celebrity that just comes with the turf. So publish the fucking thing, fo' sho'....

As far as worrying about losing mystique, it's a non issue. In your letters, and bio, it's easy to see some of the forces that shaped you to make you who you are. You certainly aren't a mysterious recluse like that old ass actress Garbo? Certainly not keeping tight lipped, boarded windows, watch the spiders spin webs, hermit-esque.

Your lyrics are cynical, funny, insightful, dark... incredibly touching in a way myself and many others I am sure, can relate to their personal lives ... you are an open book I think. Not so mysterious at all, rather you are enthralling in your talents and abilities.

Honestly, I haven't heard a better album as a whole since 1991 when Nirvana came out with Nevermind.

Simply amazing, I got chills.

it's just me, diana. said...

last night when you played you were phenominal! i'm liking the whole puberty-voice thing that was going on lol and also.. you know how you said only 4 people listened to Legendary Pink Dots.. I was all the way up and you couldnt hear me. I was so depressed.

Jenny S. said...

I doubt that most folk watch reality shows involving dear Jessica Simpson for quite the same reason though. Christ, does nobody realise one of the primary appeals of the Dresden Dolls is you? And why you have your very own hate-community is exactly the same reason why your fans adore you in the same way that fans adored Elliott Smith or Kurt Cobain and similar (I was really trying to think of someone who didn't commit suicide to include there). The fierce individuality and autobiographical songs and the type of love and respect that goes beyond music - clearly if you actually have this here dialogue going with fans. I don't think levels of confidence matter really, the fact that you are doing it right now is enough. People want to know more about you. The bad parts of course cause of a mixture of ghoulish interest and because people are currently going through what you survived and they want to know how. I don't think mystique has much to do with it at all for anyone, especially the ones who read your blog or would think about reading a book.
And the book sounds perfect. I wish more people made books like that. I always wanted there to be a gallery of sketchbooks instead of one finished, polished art piece. People's minds and ideas are so fascinating. You don't need to be techinically an excellent writer do make that sort of thing and infact, it ruins it. How many kids have a copy of Kurt Cobain's journal? Have you ever seen Frida Kahlo's? It's maybe one of my favourite creations by her and the very fact that it's a private journal means that no thought went into polishing it for other's viewing.
This is fairly redundant though, seeing as the decision has already been made, but I'm posting it anyway.

Ramsey said...
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sonofabobo2 said...

I know this doesn't apply to this blog and that you probably won't read this far to see it, but have you guys ever thought of rerecording the tracks on 'a is for accident' in studio to make it even greater than it already is? hmm. check out my myspace at sonofabobo2. yeah. you guys are majestic.

Rachellie said...

seems hard to balance creativity with public perception and control of communication. do we live in a PR world? dunno>>> maybe Karl Rove knows.

if you visualize what you want at the end of the day, do you see a bunch of fans digging & "getting" what you do, appreciating it so you'll continue to do what you wanna do, or do you see tons of people accepting the acceptable?

i think you should not let the advice people get in your head & keep that space sacred so your creativity doesn't get overly calculated like politicians who want votes. you don't want my vote. you want my sustained interest. by being true, this is what u'll do.


lips_lie_silent said...

i really want to get the book now. im just one of those people that seems to think you are an amazing person. i realize that you dont want to be, but maybe secretly you do want that attention, but i still think you are amazing. you are by far my favorite female singer. i'm a little embarrassed that when i met you at one of your concerts that all i did was stare at you with my mouth gaping open. i am psyched about the new CD and will buy it and the book as soon as i have the money too. being abroke teenager is not fun. i completely understand about the rambling on thing while writing. im doing it right now. i can't wait till you and brian go on tour in the US again. i am determined to see you guys again.


Arturas said...

Listen to me, I only know your songs last 4 hours. I gave you an interesting comment to your private area just before 2 hours. I said that you impressed me. So keep working. By the way, I looked your live concert preview, and, I changed my mind about live concerts video. I loved it. And only 10 dollars? Unfortunately, I am in Lithuania, and there is no possibility to buy it here. I see in your texts an interesting mind of yours, but...

I wish you stop thinking, and give all the time to music. You are gifted, you are best in the world electronic piano musician, also you express yourself in schocking ways, sometimes you look more sexual than other models without clothes, what is more, you sing good, and you know how to make that drum&drum rhytm and suddenly stop, like scooter and queen together, but you are a sexy girl in old style, this is your advantage, everybody wants black&white, and come to history, to show and fun, where girls are with more clothes, but girls are flexible, their legs are unpredictable, this is what every man miss now. Sex is not a number one today. Your style is number one. I never heard piano vs drum. And to add your sexy expression, good vocal, best piano, you are the only unknown star in the market, so change this situation. No thinking! Just go, and change! Let everybody know about you and your partner, who suites your best of all when is without shirts, like devil, it is great. Find people who can give your DVD to all countries and shops. Advertise. Your clip could go to MTV. Make more songs, and get best offers from international music arenas. You can be in big arena, you need only a good background, somothing like your clip only in big screen, so you need more backgrounds, and more sexy you are in those backgrounds, more pleasure fans will get. I want you let every man from the world enjoy yourself. Let us buy your DVDs. Let us go to your live concerts. Work, please, while so young. I want you let us give our money to you. But stop thinking, work work work. Simply like that.

devlin said...

A month mind is full of all these impressions of what people have commented on before me, so much that I forgot what you actually said in your original post and had to re-read it to get clear in my mind what I wanted to say. Anyways.

There are different types of fans, as I think someone said up there before. There are people who just want music, pure unadulterated sound in their head so they can form their own impressions from the lyrics and piano and drums and little bits of cello/violin scattered everywhere. These fans don't even need to know what the people who make this music look like. They will most likely not buy your DVD, and if they do, will not be interested in the minor intricacies of your life.

Then there are the fans who want every detail of your life, the music you create but also the person you are, who enjoy their favourite songs all the more because they feel as if they know the creators. They will buy your DVD, and your books, and your biographie(s) and everything you create, because it is through the creator that they communicate fully with the creation, your music.

Of these two types I'm somewhere in the middle. I'd buy your DVD (in that magical land in my head where I have money to spare) and I'd watch the documentary, and if it bored me I'd switch the tv off and put on one of your CDs. The point I'm trying to make is that your fanbase is likely so diverse (and will keep getting diverserer ^_^ as more people hear about you) that you can't please everyone.

You're right to label your boxes 'of interest to someone, somewhere'. There will always be someone who is interested in the most minor detail, so if YOU feel it's worth recording, do so. There is no such thing as oversaturation. How can people blame you for not preserving mystique? It's their choice to buy the DVD, watch the commentary, buy the book, READ the book, and if they feel the need to keep a strong barrier of FAN-ARTIST, then so be it. It's not like they're being force-fed Dresden Dolls. The difference between you and Jessica Simpson is that you don't have Amanda Palmer shoved down your throat every time you turn on Channel 4 (sigh...if only.)

Obviously this is not the only difference between you and Jessica Simpson. if you ever want to get in touch (god knows who's the 8-year-old crying for attention?) my email address is I can't WAIT to see you play in my country. Astoria in May...see you there.

thegumchewingwoman said...

drop what you're doing and come to Melbourne, Australia. you can stay at my house...

bennyprofane said...

definately go for the non-stop 80 hour online cycle of footage.

thegumchewingwoman said...

...and why can't people ever spell the word 'definitely' correctly?


Gooney Gu Goo said...


You said it yourself, you're an archivist, for better or for worse.

I'm glad you won the battle, because this is your 'legacy' ... not someone else's, and at the end of your life, you're going to be happy that you did what you wanted to do.

As for the conflict of narcissism vs. personal validity ... just keep writing about it. It's one of your battles.

Enjoy the conflict.

MarkFarley said...

I think we can all say that too much Amanda is not a bad thing... but yes... you are barking.. xx

scholargipsy said...

Erm. Don't know where to begin. Good concert in Edinburgh Exchange last week, excellent in fact. Saw Amanda on her own last time (Brian indisposed) and it too was excellent. But the new album is not a patch on the one before. Seems like you guys are working your little tails off and not taking time to produce what you are best at.

PS Was that you Amanda on the Meadows lying in the sunshine with Nightmare Before Xmas?

scholargipsy said...

Gee, I wrote a remark about reservations I had regarding the Dolls and, guess what: all hell broke out and two people checked my profile. Weird or what? Not a blogperson myself but I do have an email address I check from time to time.


giantmidget said...

Are you reading this comment? Why? I have nothing interesting to say.