Wednesday, June 07, 2006

i don't have to go home but i can't stay here

last night, for the first time in my life, i was actually awakened by two (well, i assume it was two) people having sex. sex like you read about, sex like you rent at the porn store: like, serious, SCREAMING, wild, pounding sex. they must have been in the hotel room above me, they must have woken half the hotel or at least everybody in the adjacent rooms, i felt the ceiling shaking. thwok thwok thwok thwok thwok and then a rest, and another scream, and then silence, for a moment....then again. but i wasn't upset at all, even though it was about 4:30 am, and i'd had a terrible time trying to get to sleep...this was exciting. i lay there smiling to myself, thinking "I'm in hotel room in berlin listening to people have sex like you rent at the porn store." it made me feel happy, then horribly alone in my empty bed. i've been staying in this hotel room for three days, waiting to leave for home, where i'll only be for four days before turning around and coming right back. this has been the loneliest tour yet, and i've never wanted to be more alone. it's confusing to say the least.

i was seventeen. i was in germany for the first time and had just slammed my hand a good centimeter into a rusty nail, which was jutting out, unseen, from a door in the squat in east berlin where I was staying with jason.
that whole flood of emotions still feels the same, or - at least - I can detect them even though they've been pushed underground and given years of caring, karaoke and karate.

we were convinced that jan was home, since he'd said he would be. so we were knocking hard. It was freezing, winter vacation, just after christmas. the only heat jan had in the squat, next to his towering piles of dubbed cassettes (millions of dead cops, the cramps, sex pistols) was a retro little stove that barely kept the room above see-your-breath level. cold cold cold. he wasn't there. we pounded. then my hand went through the nail. i screamed. was it serious? well, it was bleeding, but not much. it was a hole, a nice little german stigmata. it only took 15 seconds before i didn't know myself whether i was crying to get attention for a wound that wasn't all that bad, actually in pain or shock, or crying about the fact that i was confused about whether i was crying for some real pain or over the confusion my possible ruse. this was a typical pattern in my life. maybe i was homesick. maybe i was just looking for a reason to weep and the nail was just a little gift. we bandaged and disinfected. the incident was easily forgotten. i think jan wasn't there. but he must have come home at some point. thwok thwok thwok thwok thwok. is there anybody out there?

i walked by that door yesterday. it's 13 years later and jan is still living in the same squat, one floor up. the cassettes are CDs, but most everything else is the same, jan still smiles his shining czech smile, his girlfriend cut up watermelon. we rode around on his motorcycle and watched berlin setting up for the world cup, the russian war memorial, drank come coffee, walked through a church with no insides. there are lots of these in berlin. in my bunk, hiding from the tour and the world outside, i've been watching DVDs of american propaganda films that were shown to soldiers in 1943...right before they were shipped off to die. a series of Seven Informational Films called "Why We Fight". brought to you by the ministry of war, the letter Z and the number 8. this is a jap, this is a german. kill, kill, kill kill kill kill. thwok thwok thwok, watching the bombs drop on every side, watching the bodies fall. hitler at nuremburg. metallica at nuremburg. morrissey at nuremburg. the dresden dolls at nuremburg. that was four days ago. we played right on the rally grounds.

the last three days of the proper tour were those huge festivals. i remember the purgatory-like feeling it had last summer. not many fond memories, mostly images of trailers, where we sat and waited to play, unfriendly people all waiting in the same miserable conditions, pointy shoes, and rain.

one day was good, there was some sun and some air and some shyness that was criminally vulgar....i hiked, with the Dancer, up the huge dutch hill and we looked down on it. there were tens of thousands of people gathered below. tranfixed in the flashing lights and the spectacle of it all. around us, european teenagers were all smoking cigarettes and throwing trash into the tall grass. you just played in front of all of those people, i said. so did you, he said. then we laughed, at the people. at ourselves, at all the trash.

you want your solitude, miss thing? you may just get what you wish for. you may just wake up one day in that twilight zone earth after all the bombs have gone off, surrounded by a pile of books. with no reading glasses.
we joked that it was the only hill in holland. made after the war.

when i was 9, i was at summer camp. not sleep-over camp, but a sort of dregs-of-whoever-was-left day camp at the local rec center. i was one of the richer kids with intellectual parents who simply didn't Believe in overnight camp (the way they didn't Believe in sugar cereal or gel toothpaste or nintendo). when there was a costume contest at the end of the summer, a la halloween, i (of course) threw myself into it full-force. alongside the makeshift draculas, freddy kreugers and michael jacksons, i went as The World. i sported an electric blue leotard and tights and onto my flat-chested, scrawny little body were safety-pinned asia, africa and the rest of continents that my step-sister helped me to cut out from green felt in the kitchen the night before, while my parents probably looked lovingly at their wholesome and intelligent children . but the majority of the contestants, who were mostly boys, went as boxers. not boxers with everlast belts, mouthguards and shiny warm-up capes and fancy boxing shoes. just 10-year old boys who had no costumes. take off the t-shirt, throw it around the neck and when you are asked to parade on front of the costume judges, start punching the air as hard as you can. then you were a boxer. i remember feeling that bizarre combination of feeling costume-proud and insanely jealous of those boxers and their raw power, as i stood there, looking like a spoiled rich art fag in my The World costume. i imagined them at home, eating sugar cereal and playing nintendo til the sun came up, unable to buy materials for any clever costume because their parents were mean and on welfare. but they were punching, punching, swinging with everything they had, putting me to shame.

one morning i woke up to find myself in a city that i had seen before. i hadn't recognized it in the tour book. i was in france, in an Again venue. i wandered up the stairs. ah yes, i remember this. was it a good show here? when was it, a year ago? six months ago? was it a good show? i couldn't tell you, i couldn't tell you if you held a gun to my head. but i remember what amandas remember, and this is what starts to disturb me. and then it hit me that this was happening in every city. was it my mood? was it bad luck? there it is, that's the same yellow backstage couch where i slept when i was ill before the last show here. hey, that's the closet with the electrical supplies where i tried to get some privacy to make a phone call home. that's the airport cafe with the internet. that's the industrial parking lot where i walked in circles for an hour to warm up my voice, and probably where i'll walk in circles tonight. that's where i couldn't find a bathroom in the morning so i had to poop in a plastic bag. that's the dressing room with no door and that's the same potato salad they put out last time. that's the guy i met with the long hair, whats-his-name, who promoted the show. hi. are there any good memories? honestly, they're really few and far between. tour doesn't tend to leave many fond memories. what makes it worth it? the shows should. but i can't remember them. they are mostly the same, even when they're good. it's like taking an amazing shower. do you remember it? even if something remarkable happens, like you have a profound thought, or come up with a wonderful idea? not when you take a shower every day. i doubt it. i don't take a shower every day. i don't want to. mike penta used to say, amanda palmer, amanda palmer is a dirty girl. he started a new toothbrush every two weeks.

when i go back to milan, if we play in the rolling stone again, i'll remember being doubled over with menstrual cramps in the bathroom before the show, not doubled over to really fix anything, because nothing was fixable, and not doubled over for the effect, because nobody was watching. just stuck, knowing full well that the few people outside the door were rolling their eyes at me. uh-oh. amanda's turning into a rock star. here we go. but maybe i was paranoid. it was too late for me to separate the cramps from the confusion. pounding pounding on the door. then i went back into my bunk, and watched The Wall, again, and the maid keeps knocking. thwok thwok thwok thwok thwok. housekeep-iiing. housekeep-iiing. brian throws his sticks, exits stage. i play another solo song. is there everybody....out there.

that was the day my mother emailed me some old pictures of my cat, govinda, sprawled on the back yard with first litter of kittens. the four of them are flopping all over her and her head is all upside-down with her tongue sticking out a little bit.

there i was, crouching in my pajamas with my eyebrows shaved and bleeding. in an overhead shot, in the the corner of a dank bathroom in a random rock club, clutching my little black book of poetry after the teacher smacked my wrists. smack smack smack. watching my 12-year old self come running at me with a dead rat.

bill asked me why i hadn't blogged in a while, that he felt the hole. i asked for a suggestion. if you can't say something nice, he suggested, don't say anything at all. nail on the head, i said. on the nosey!! so i decided to save it all for one, nice, poetic and painfully long entry. better that way.

it took a while, but it occured to me i wasn't really homesick. i was myself-sick, just sick to death of not being alone, sick to death of not having space to breathe, to make anything. to feel anything other than a kind of numb irritation and simultaneously sick of feeling disconnected, alone, missing my friends, my grounding home and hearth, my piano, the things that make me feel like myself.

this tour, which lasted seven weeks, is over. i'm getting on a plane. but it's not over. it's a four-day break. this was the first tour where, prison-like, i started crossing off days on my tourbook list, ripping out each page as it passed, one day closer to...what? to four days off? whatever i was looking forward to, i'm not getting it. i'm here forever, or at least for anohter five months, which feels close ot forever.

but there were some nice things. there was the scene with the rat. there was the beautiful flower animation. there was the dinner i ate in portugal, treated like a queen, eating real food, cooked by real people. this was good. there was dinner with dahlia the first time round in berlin. she made some broccoli soup, which was wonderful. there was the cafe in fribourg. there were a few other cafes. and there was seeing my family in dublin, for an evening. that was over a month ago. but it left a nice memory. stained, as it was, as it always is, with the soil of sorry-i'm-so-tired. sorry i'm not myself. sorry i'm not available because i'm exhausted and sorry i've been too much of a pussy to organize my life in such a way that i can sit with you without feeling like i'm collapsing into my appetizer, that i can enjoy a conversation with you without losing my voice. different city same story. i've started to sound like a broken record when i run into my old freinds, when it's now going on three visits and two years in a row and it's still: "i'd love to hang out but I'm just too tired...i look unhappy....well, yeah....i've been touring too much....we should take a break....i said that last time?....well, you know, it's hard to find the time to really go home for longer than a week or two...i said that last time? ...oh...i guess i must have...listen, the NEXT time i come to town we'll grab a cup of coffee and i'll....i know....i said that last time....well, what can i say....(insert ironic laugh).....i don't have a real life anymore......" and they let go of my hand and wave good-bye. with pity.

that was supposed to be a positive paragraph, it derailed. just like most days in the past month when i woke up thinking that it wasn't that bad.

i wrote a long blog about two or three weeks ago, when i was really in the thick of it, but i let it be, didn't post it.

now i am looking back over it, cherry-picking the parts that i want to reveal and letting the rest rot in it's stinking heap of negativity.
here are some excerpts:

.......................

excerpt 1

when I first went on tour, it felt a little like a vacation. free from the routines of home which had become too mundane and repetitive, leaving behind the smallness of playing local clubs to convincing a new audience, and the illusion of freedom and the open road. but even then, i went into the process unwilling.

i never wanted to Get Away or Escape From My Life As I Knew It. i walked blindly into it, taking each sacrifice as it came, since it wasn't real life. i assumed that the situation would either improve to the point where it would be enjoyable instead of just tolerated, either that, or it would end.

nowadays i'm softly banging my head against the thin curtain of my tour-bus bunk, not wanting to make any noise because i don't want to wake the ones sleeping.

all the journalists ask me: "aren't you afraid you expose your private life too much?" i find this funny. my family reads this blog, my manager reads it, the label publicist reads it, brian reads it, our crew and promotors read it. this is the fucking ART of telling the truth carefully.

if i actually shared my private life in all it's complexity and detail, i would anger and worry and confuse these people so much....i'd be crucified. so i generally save my personal conflicts, my true heartbreak, for the emails i send to the ones who don't need me as a boss, a rock star, a musician, an idol, a promotional tool or even an artist.

it shouldn't come as a surprise that everything i share here is heavily censored, well, slanted at least..a combination of the reckless impulses to emote and the simultaneous, hyper-conscious measuring of the consequences. i can complain about my own faults, my own mistakes, my own fears, but the line ends there. it's not my place to complain about everybody else's.

...........................

excerpt 2

i am a performer. it's my job to get up on that stage and entertain the crowd, even when i'm sick, even when i'm sick of it, even when i'm ready to keel over in exhaustion. there's something noble about plastering that grimace and/or smile on your face and heaving yourself up there, trying anyway. but for god's sake, i still need to be honest about it. i feel like that's the only saving grace. hello everyone, here are my mistakes. i don't want to be here tonight. we're touring too much and the show is starting to suffer, my voice is starting to sound like it's being ripped apart by the middle of every set. good evening everyone: no illusion for you.

i fuck up on stage, a lot. i never play a song perfectly, and i think that's just fine and dandy. i've played girl anachronism, by my count, over ONE THOUSAND times and i STILL fuck up the lyrics. i can forgive myself everything and anything as long as deep down, i am convinced that i am trying as hard as i possibly can. and i actually like it when things beyond my control take over and force some kind of snafu. i don't invite disaster, but when it comes in the form of a power outage or a blown monitor system or a broken keyboard, i notice how human i become on stage. and i notice, more and more and show by show, that people have not paid their money to sit down and witness perfection. they've come to experience something, feel something, see something real and human. and to err is human. to err while striving for perfection, the small but inevitable glitch of Real Life, is more beautiful than perfection in my book. i believe the japanese have a term for this.

..............................

....and the rest of it was too negative, childish and bitchy.
and i want everyone to love me and think that i am compassionate, wise, kind and clever.

somewhere in the UK, a girl near the front row fainted during "shores of california". she must have been no further than ten feet away from me, and i watched her limp body get passed over the barrier to the security guards. this is where things just seem insane. the human being in me, the woman named amanda, says: "stop. wait, there's someone suffering, do something." the performer smiles and keeps playing, continuing the ruse for the 92% of the audience that has no idea what's going on, in cahoots with the 8% that knows full well that you are deliberately ignoring a fucked-up situation. the solution? none. just mention over the microphone, after the song, how fucked up and inhuman it felt. but when there's no body, when the girl passed out is you, when the girl passed out is the drummer, ah, this is different. then, sometimes, you should downright lie.

or not.

or smile and nod?
or tell the truth?
or dramatize the truth? laugh about it?

when you're playing solo, the choice is yours.
when you're playing with a band, you need to agree to believe in the same decisions.
this will never be easy.

i do have still have fantasies.
i do love touring, and god, do i love playing for people.
when my life isn't ridden with pounds of extra rubbish.
it's sort of like anything you love. something pollutes it, and it really turns on you.
try eating a chocolate cake while listening to babies getting strangled. ruins it.
you want to be able to enjoy your situation, your work. you don't want the noise pollution, the emotional pollution, the baggage and the stress around you. but eveyone, including you, creates it. you're all stuck in a zoo-like environment, and nobody comes to clean up the cage very often. so you adjust. you learn to ignore it, grapple with it, evade it, solve it, eventually....you take it or leave it.

or, someone gives you a Book. you escape. you breathe and find a minute to read Alone even though people are shouting everywhere.

after watching The Wall again Again, i watched the commentary.
roger waters recited the beginning of a poem he had written:

There is a magic in some books
That sucks a man into connections with
The spirits hard to touch
That join him to his kind
A man will seek the reading out
Guarded like a canteen in the desert heat
But sometimes needs must drink
And then the final drop falls sweet
The last page turns
The end

and it goes on, more hopeful, turning the metaphor to his wife, to the book that doesn't end. i have had this Book on tour with me. it's remained unfinished quite on purpose, i was sucked into it and then started to measure Very Carefully how many pages at a sitting. i looked forward to two things for a few weeks. reading the Book, and having a cup of coffee alone in a cafe at the beginning of the day. but it needed to be Away. and sitting down.

a cup of coffee in the venue was worthless, and cup of coffee on the bus was more than worthless. the best cup of coffee was in a good cafe. a bad cafe was better than no cafe. a restaurant was also passable and i did that a few times but it could be unnerving, bothered by waiters. the worst case scenario, but still coffee, was to brew myself a cup of tea on the bus, walk in a straight line away from the Mess and towards Being Alone and sit there, on a stone, on a bench, on a mound of dirt. anything. just give me some solitude, some time to process those thousands of faces, those nasty comments, those conflicting thoughts battling in my already-boiling-over brain. stick me in a room full of people all sitting around, making small talk and sandwiches, staring at the wall, waiting for time to pass, and i will eventually just Go Postal.

there was another book, the one i kept stealing for the camera out of different hotel night tables, dramatically ripping out pages of genesis or whatever. but most of the good footage from prague got lost, and i don't know if it will ever see the light of day. as it poured down rain on the charles bridge, we tried to cover up the camera to get the shots of the book falling, page by page, into the river. under the covered entrance to the brigde were two blind women, street performers. one was playing a synthesizer and both were singing.....ave maria for an unwilling crowd. all trying to escape the downpour, crushed up against them. everyone was forced to listen, barely anyone gave them any money, and the blind woman playing the synthesizer just kept singing, empty eye-sockets rolling heavenward. when the rain lets up, the crowd will thin, and maybe people will listen. i knelt at her side and closed my eyes, all i could see was the heavy coat of the rich italian tourist in from of me. manta tried to get a shot, but the coat. the coat got in the way. a few nights later, a boy from the Brigade named valentin gave me his eye. i thought it was a language barrier issue, when he handed my a small cardboard box at the end of a show in switzerland and said "here's my eye." but no, i opened it up on the bus, and there it was. he was missing an eye, and this was his prosthetic. i put it over my own, stuck a wedge of orange in my mouth and scared the shit out of brian the next morning. when i want to i can make him laugh.

"It is still a fairly astounding notion to consider that atoms are mostly empty space, and that the solidity we experience all around us is an illusion. When two objects come together in the real world - billiard balls are most often used for illustration - they don't actually strike each other. 'Rather,' as Timothy Ferris explains, 'the negatively charged fields of the two balls repel each other . . . were it not for their electrical charges they could, like galaxies, pass right through each other unscathed." When you sit in a chair, you are not actually sitting there, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimeter), your electrons and its electrons implacably opposed to any closer intimacy.'"
-Bill Bryson (from A Short History of Nearly Everything, aka The Book)

people complain in different ways and at different volumes. smelling the heroin cooking from the next dressing room cubicle, never being able to escape the noise, wading through piles of trash. and i LIVE here, i keep reminding myself. the floor on which i daily tread is sticky from vomit, stained with ashes and i rarely see a dressing room wall without a giant, hairy penis staring me in the face, bidding me a happy welcome. hello, amanda! i wanted to take pictures of every penis in every dressing room i've been in and make a nice little children's book. i wanted to take pictures of every piece of art hanging above every bed in every hotel i've ever stayed in and make a nice little flip-book. i wanted to do a lot of things. sometimes i get a good view of the sky. sometimes there's a hill nearby.

that was the day my mother emailed me some pictures that she had taken that morning of the newly blossomed rhododendron bushes ouside the old house.

after we climbed down from the view, it was dark and the festival was over, placebo had left the stage, we walked onto the space where we had both just played. where the hoards of people had just stood was now just a capret of cups and bottles, the smell of ashes and sweat and french fries and ripped-up dirt. we trudged through it with no snow shoes. wondering, as you do, who is going to pick this up before tomorrow, when it starts all over again? machines? immigrant workers, punching, punching, punching sticks into these cups at a rate of 2000 cups and 6 euros an hour? probably. don't complain you, we say to each other. what's your work day consist of? singing? getting your photo taken with a bunch of fans? sitting and waiting in a bus all day? shut up. just SHUT UP.

i miss myself more than anybody else.

everyday i reach back home, see my apartment, remember my life. when i get enough quiet to myself, the picture becomes clear. i see myself through four lenses, on the television, sitting in the chair in a hotel room, outside in the middle of a huge field in dunkirk, as a couple in the hotel room above me pounds and punches away, having sex like you rent t the porn store. so what was it? did you want to be alone? or have someone here in bed with you?

hand into the nail on the door. thwok. i remember when it seemed like staying in a hotel was a huge luxury. now the fists pound on the door. housekeep-iiing! housekeep-iiing! housekeep-iiing! thwok thwok thwok thwok. cardinal hits his head against the window. housekeep-iiing! stab those plastic cups. thwok thwok thwok thwok thwok. housekeep-iiing!! thwok thwok thwok! shoot that heroin, my friend in the next dressing room. smack smack smack. there's always somewhere out there a little less well off, isn't there? bombs could be dropping, i could have be ODing, there are much worse things out there than not getting your solitude. solitude is a fucking modern phenomenon, anyway. they didn't use to have it back before the 1500s. it was invented. by da vinci.

my friend reminded me this one: "i complained that i had no shoes, then i saw a man with no feet."

i, unlike a lot of my contemporaries, never actually went through a obsessive full-on pink floyd phase in high school. i've simply gone through a life-long Wall phase. it's not too late, i was discussing with dave. i don't have a bedroom in which to do it anymore, but i do have my bunk. i could download every album, leave them on repeat from my mac and exchange my bunk curtain with a big black-light tapestry of a fractal, put in some spider plants and start taking more drugs. a waft of incense and pot would wave out behind me every time i exited my bunk for the bathroom. i would become comfortably numb, and communicate with nobody (except via my sneakers, which would be covered with meaningful lyrics in sharpie) simply because NOBODY WOULD UNDERSTAND ME. and to a certain extent, i would be right. nobody understands fuck all about anybody else at a certain level. it's just the degree to which we want to be understood that screws some people.

it all became clear to me quickly: i need more time Alone. vast amounts of time Alone, dripping, oozing, mountains of time Alone. enough to fill up a stadium. but i ain't going to get it. i'm lucky if i get 1 or 2 hours a day, and that's not even actual solitude. that's cafe, walking-down-the-street-surrounded-by-voices solitude. from the start of this tour i felt like a polar bear in a zoo-cage. except i made the choice. i want desperately to entertain those people on the other side of the bars. i need them. i was supposed to have a full week off after this tour and i deliberately chose to give it up, to head back to england to do more promotion after being told by Everyone that it was So Important. still, my decision. why am i doing it, when i know it means yet more time in airports, with people, going crazy? i make these decisions in times of stress and accidental high morale, then regret them sorely. i suppose i continue to believe, as all of my rock elders keep telling me, that if i give it all up now, i may be free later. free to tour when i want, free to spend time with my friends and family, free to spend time alone, free to think. free to become myself again. free to write again. but all later. if i think it's worth it. today, i think it is. and it's never all bad. i am juts going to have to learn to be greedier in the correct ways, in the wise and compassionate ways, despite the pain in the ass it causes. there's no other choice.

every band has much the same different same story, every famous singer i meet gives me that knowing You Sucker sympathetic look when you tell them you're been on the road for six weeks and don't have much of a break for the next six months. but they can't do much to help you. they know you Know. they way they Knew. when they were that sucker. that's what the wink they give says. then where you headed? australia? brilliant! then back to the states? then japan? lovely! then europe for another while, good, good, new single coming out. great. this is the push, you know! someday you won't have to be this sucker. they pat you on the arm. but here they are, themselves. some happier, some more trapped, some less, some more free than me, some on the other side already. but we all talk about how we can't complain, because we don't want to, because it's Just Wrong, when there are bands in vans playing to 12 people and children starving in china. and we all sit there, mumbling black ego humor to ourselves, cooking at a slow roast in the dressing room trailer behind the tent, triumphantly safety-pinning another green continent to our electric blue leotards. grinning that toothless grin of empty accomplishment, stealing jealous sideward glances as the boxers around us punch into the air.

65 comments:

moussaka said...

reading your blog is like reading poetry... you can tell you're a musician, you can almost hear the music of the words. it's really quite beautiful.

petergrimes said...

i wish it didn't have to be that way, i saw you at the astoria in London and it was the most amazing gig I've ever seen, I felt so so moved I've never felt that way about a band- ever. I wish you could soak up all the amazing feeling you create for your audience and use it like a blanket..........
xx

andrea said...

This entry leaves me not knowing what to say. But I know that I want to/need to/must say something, anything. You give me something everyday with your music and all the other little extra things you do, that aren't required of you, and it's only fair that I give back and try to do the same thing for you. It feels that most anything I could say in response to this entry you already know. You know and hear the comforting words of those who want to make touring easier on you. You know more alone time could make it better. You know the problem and the solution but everything in between is what's hard to figure out. It's like if you're an alcoholic and it causes you not to be able to keep a job, the solution is to quit drinking. Figuring it out and actually taking that step is the hard part. I think you were right when you said you're just going to have to be greedier in the correct ways and that there is no other choice. I think that's part of the solution. In the meantime I guess you could look at the silver lining: four days off (which I really do hope helps in some way) is better than no days off, and while you may be touring and working your ass off now you have at least the next fifty years to be alone or not alone.

XO
Andrea



Thank you for working so hard to make us fans happy, even when it takes so much out of you in the process. For some it's more than the people actually in our everyday lives do and we appreciate it. You should feel good about that.

The Not-So-Dreadful-But-Not-So-Nice Puppy Boy said...

Life smoothers us, the mothr who doesn't understand that, no, I don't really need to eat (I'm not hungry), the boyfriend who wants a kiss, the sex, and a movie (can't I take a day off), the friend who calls you up everyday which makes you want to scream (Leave me the fuck alone!) For one moment, everyone, GO AWAY . . .

And you have that moment, and it's bliss. And you cram a few more nto life, here, there . . . and you realize how lost you feel, how pointless.

You get trapped in an existentialist melo-drama, not knowing how to stay sane, when to be with people and when to be alone.

I'm not sure if we'll ever know that answer, A, hun . . . just breathe and know that, hey, there's a possibility of balance.

If only it were a simple matter . . .

- Frankie

Skye said...

i missed you

ainsley said...

I've always been intimdated to post a comment to your diary entries. Constantly worrying that I won't come off as intelligent at the other commenters with clever internet aliases, but I've already made my little blogger account for the sole purpose of commenting on your blog, so I may as well, right?

It's scary to not know who you are..though I suppose knowing who you are and not being that person might be even scarier. I'm attempting to think of something comforting to say to make this comment even the tiniest bit productive..

Well I guess I'd just like to say thank you. Your music can always comfort me. Always. After I confess to my mother something that would make her ashamed of me, 'The Time has Come' plays loudly in the background. When I need to feel happy, I stream my Dresden Dolls playlist on iTunes and pound on the keys of my keyaboard {named Kaledrina} acting like I have a clue as to what notes I'm playing and in what octave. After I get out of the shower, I lock myself in my mother's bathroom. I sit down in the corner, hug my knees to my chest, rock my fourteen year old body back and forth as I cry, trying hard to get bad memories out of my head, and I'm singing 'Mrs. O' to myself all the while. And when I reach the line 'If you never stop beleiving..' I know it's time to shut the fuck up, stop acting like an attention whore, get myself in my mis-matched PJ's, and walk out of the bathroom like a normal, self-respecting human being.

And I thank you for that. Thank you for keeping me sane. If I ever have a daughter, I've vowed to name her Amanda.

Misanthropic Altruist said...

As I read your latest blog entry, I as a dedicated Dresen Doll fan and great admirer of yours and Brian's, I can't help but feel responsible for this confusion and heartache that is conflicting within you. We the fans ask so much from you, that you try your hardest at shows and push for new material even when you aren't in the right mental and physical state. And you as the artist wish to give us these things we ask of you. But as I read in your blog, your situation appears to be the most stressful to be caught in, and I almost feel sorry for being on the side that pushes and wants wants wants. But as saddened as I am by what should be a blessing having turned into a burden (encouraging the band, buying the albums/merch, and tickets - keeping you so busy you haven't a moment's peace) I know that it is the best way to support you without completely dropping you flat.

Amanda, we all support you and everything you and Brian do. It's not just in the music, the lyrics, the on stage performance and antics, but also by just being you. Being beautiful, stressed, dedicated, tired, confused, flawed. We don't just admire what you do, but we admire you as the whole. So it's not the music and the performance that attracts us. It's the beautiful person (or people, should I say) that back this band. Don't push so hard that you burn yourself out. Take a break. Find your happy medium. Find your time Alone. We will be waiting for you.

As you question whether you wish to be alone or not, I leave you with this: As alone as you want to be; having the quiet, the solitude, the absence of mind and thought, that is obtainable. Perhaps not now, but you can have it if you so choose it.. But in reference to emotional attachment, your fans are in this relationship for the long haul. We were right there with you in the bed while you pondered in those sheets what you wanted, loneliness or reconnection. You are in our minds and our hearts. You have touched each and everyone of us. Remember that, when you can't sleep at night and those latenight suggestions make the bed feel emty. We love you.

LobotomizedGod said...

While reading this post I kept flashing back to something I kept saying to someone I had just met while I was on the worst, and only, drug induced trip I've ever had. But I imagined you screaming it instead... "I hate you! Please don't go..." I could wish to know the darkness that you choose not to share but I doubt I would ever be in the postion you would need to be able to share it. I could analyze this latest posting for hours and discuss what you could be going through like I really knew you but I don't really know you and what I could offer regarding it would be meaningless drivel and most of it you will have heard before. Still, I could offer up words to the icon and maybe the person behind it will hear the sentiment.

Your words and music haunt me.
The world would be a less interesting place without you and Brian in it.
Just once, I would like to provide you a comfortable lap to lay your head while I stroked your hair and told you eveything would be alright. There are times when your music does that for me and it would be just to return the favor.

In the mean time, do what you feel is necessary on the road you choose to follow. I will continue to enjoy reading and listening to you on your journey. And if you choose to stop sharing I will understand that too.
Jacob

jimmycity said...

Amanda,

Thank you for for sharing so much with us, with the world. I can't help thinking how much safer it would be for you to keep your connection with your fans to just your songs and the occasional photo op. Isn't that the way the other rock stars do it?

Seems to me you need your Alone time so desperately because you are so hell-bent on being In The Moment, working so hard to be Accessible, so bravely putting yourself out there and squeezing so much Life and Thought out of every passing moment.

You are an honest and courageous little girl with fierce talent. Your fans stand before you, mouths agape, marveling at your tenacity, electrified by your Art.

"Yes, Virginia" is played constantly n my pick-up, as I scurry about my corner of this world. I play it for friends and their eys open wide, unblinking, like deer in headlights. You are intense.

We love you and will always be waiting for the next beautiful thing you have to say.

jon said...

thanks again for having the balls the bare any details of your life with us...regardless of how censored they are, they are still something. the fact that you're willing to share these things is something of a bridge, i suppose, between you and your fans. something that distinguishes you from a large lot of self-absorbed pretentious rock-asses who clock in 75 minutes on stage and then sod off.


the fact that you're willing to let us understand even a little bit of what's going on in your life gives us further insight into amanda... which in turn helps us understand the music better, which helps us understand amanda better. i mean, i guess you don't really feel the need to reach out for that connection... not from us, atleast. most of us are strangers that you may speak with for five minutes in eternity, and/or toss a hug to... you've got friends and family for the intense connection and interaction... but the fact that you take the time out to just check in here and there is actually really touching.

much like the fact that you gut out these tough times on tour. i understand that it's something that you genuinely enjoy, both from hearing you say it, and from my own experiences in the same vain. but i also know that there are many many nights when it just doesn't seem worth it. and it's times like those that i feel you must be thanked for.

just for that extra little effort to show people you care. just like the blogs. they're something you don't have to do, but will anyway.

so thanks for taking the time for that. thanks for still seeing us as peers, and people to talk to as opposed to a demographic or market... it's what i love so much about your band. there's a personal level of interaction and connection that doesn't exist in other places.

thanks for not being a fucked up rock star, i guess.

i'm sorry that you have to feel so alone. i'm sorry that in doing what you love and feel inclined to do, you have to suffer through these boughts of repetitious hell dazes and lonesome nights.

the story about the people having insanely loud sexy is familiar, and a little humbling... i've been in the same boat, and hearing people in the throws of such intimate affairs really accentuates such lonely times... it's interesting to think about though. i mean, they're up there having the time of their life, while someone below them is the loneliest she's been in a while, and at wit's end from travelling the world and performing for various people grateful and not, on stage and off.

it's a neat perspective change... i wonder how often i've been having fantastic sex, or having any other type of rambunctious fun and keeping up somebody that's having the worst day/night of their life. it's not often we can look outside our own world in those moments to catch the bigger picture.

ooh, i'm rambling. crap. oh well, given the length of your entry, i suppose a lengthy respose is fair enough.

regardless, i guess you can [or already have] stop[/stopped] reading if it's too much. i ought wrap up though.

your writing voice is fantastic by the way, intense and casual all at once.

as for floyd, they're worth a mini-phase, but from what i've seen most people gravitate outward from the wall and explore things, usually gravitating towards darkside of the moon, then checking out some of the new line-up stuff. but they seem to eventually find their way back to the wall. it just seems to be a comfort zone for most people. well, that and it is one of the best albums ever written.

but do yourself a favor... if you read and take to heart ANYTHING i've said here, check out their album 'wish you were here'. not as themetically and conceptually thick as the wall... but definitely as strong emotively. it's my favourite.

i see that the venue for the show i'll be attending has changed. instead, i'll be seeing you at the molson amphitheatre as opposed to the docks... huge capacity shift there. regardless, i cannot wait. you're my favourite band to see live. the intensity you guys bring to a performance is rivaled by only one other band i've seen... and that was the nine inch nails. they were my favourite band, that is until i saw you guys open for them in toronto. then they became number two.

i finally got the album artwork stencil yesterday. i had long since given up on it coming in the mail, figuring you guys just plum ran out. i plan on painting everything in sight with it. thanks again for that.

thanks for bringing devotchka on tour with you way back when, too. i doubt i'd have found them without you.

ahh, hell. thanks for it all.

i hope you start feeling better.

-jon

veritas said...

oh amanda. you know, right now i wish i read this entry as a random find on blogger, seeing the soul without knowing you were an 'idol'. i don't envy you one bit; i feel thankful for my random boring life in a bookstore, begging food of my mother, shelving new cookbooks and old dictionaries.
i feel selfish loving your music/ does that make sense? not really, no.


i wish i could offer some sort of raw comfort that was... how do i put it. special? yeah. from one human to another. one random bit-and-bite over the net to another. you get flows of comments from all these people with little pieces of you in their hearts, all trying to fit something in yours.

i guess we all understand loneliness, and listening to a stranger orgasm below cement.
xxx

sexygoddess1971 said...

WOW.

This entry has really made me question myself as a fan of anyone.

Here I am Alone, listening to whatever the hell I want to, however loud I want to. This Alone is a once a week thing for me as I have young children and am forever a mother even when they are with their father.

But you, Amanda, you are living the life I wish I led. But are you really? Is your life any better, any more productive than my pittiful existence? Well fuck, I thought it was. But maybe, just maybe you would feel more wholesome and complete living my life. Hell there are probably lots of people that would feel more complete living my life.

WE ALWAYS WANT WHAT WE CAN'T HAVE and then when we get it we find out it wasn't all that crash hot anyway.


I truly hope Amanda that you find your happiness wherever that may be. Even if it is just sitting at home with your piano playing beautiful music that no-one but yourself can hear. Because I want you to know, the fact that you can compose such music that makes a difference to someones life, even if it just mine, is, I hope worth it.

You have a wondeful gift and I am in awe.

If I ever do get to see you live in Australia, I will never look at you as just a press and fame junkie.

I will walk away feeling privilidged that "I" have had the experience in my lifetime to see a true artist that gives to me something that is intangible but absolutely fulfilling.

amelie said...
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amelie said...

Hello little Amanda I wish it wasn't so hard for you... your concert was the best thing it ever happened in Portugal! I'm so glad you liked the food! And thanks for your simpathy, your music, thanks for your existance :) If you read this please see my blog! it has lots of fotos of the concert in Portugal (www.punk-cabaret-is-freedom.blogspot.com) Give a kiss to Brian for me and thank you guys for sharing your music with us around the world.

adelle said...

ok hi,im not gonna waste my time with pointless rambling ons about how poetic your writing is or by telling you im your biggest fan,whats the point?you've heard it time and time again,i don't wanna be a repeat,so here is my two cents,i know this wont seem much coming from a 17 year old girl,but here goes..1)STOP...just stop,i know you wanna please your fans and you take great pride in doing so,but belive the fact were here for life..and we will be right here when you get back,god amanda just find YOU time, be yourself.
And if all the producers and band people and who ever the fuck else keeps pushing you to work,just turn around and say as plain as day,i need me time...and if they cant see or understand hw much you need it just walk away,even if its just for 3/4 hours.you and brian are basically the boss anyways..find a feild, a park,a animal enclosure, somewhere!And CHILLAX.you need and deserve it.i saw you in dublin,and honestly you were brilliant.if thats you when your exsausted...wow!mind you you did break the chair,that was funny, its on youtube btw.ok anyways..yes 1)chill 4 god sake girl chill! 2) if you do indeed want someone in your bed..their are plenty of people belive me,half of which are my freinds.no but really, i know its hard when your on the road but a girl needs what she needs right ?id volenteer but im not the gay type...mind you 4 you i could be.lol..and 3) well i dnt think their was a three..i think thats it.oooh yea three if you dnt wanna go back to the u.k for promo...DONT!i know thats hard but like you said its your decision, your body will die of exshastion,and im sure the fans dont wanna see a dying amanda.your a strong woman and i admire you greatly,but their is only so much you can take.we want a mandy that remembers our faces at least for a day after a gig.ok a comment adelle more like a letter, jesus.anyway i should go now im doing my finals and iv got maths tomorow...but hey then college...as you say (college...),i so hope its sex and drink like everyone keeps telling me.anyway i doubt you read this but i tried k ?night amanda may you not die of exshastion and may you find yourself again:)coz god id miss me if i were gone...good old fabulous me.night mandy sleep tight without the sex noises like at porn stores mabe?unless your into that..lol.bye,love as always adelle,xxx

George said...

If I could give up being a fan and loving your music to be a friend, I think I might. I don't know if that would help, but it would be worth trying. It's what my instinct says to do. But it can't happen, so I'll type this message and hopefully give you a little energy. Bon voyage!

polyhymnia said...

The solitude you mentioned is exactly what everybody (at least I do) goes through from time to time although everyone has a completely differing life. We always long for something that we can't get, or if we get it we notice it isn't as we would have liked it to be. My solution for that is to see this loneliness/discontentedness as a beautiful thing itself. As a phase of melancholic beauty that is part of our living and a unique feeling discribing our personal life and soul...

And I think if we decide to do something because it's important and do it although we don't want to, a kind of satisfaction will follow after we did. If we don't do it, we might be unhappy with our choice later.
But it's never good to overestimate one's ressources, so, as someone already said:
Your fans will wait for you if you take a well deseved break (and be glad to see a band that feels rested).
love

ALY said...

Well Amanda, I think you are human and a you have a nice soul. I want to thank you to sharing your feelings with us.
I think that your work, looked from outside can seems wonderful, but I can understand that as all works, there are good moments and not.
I am a photographer and when I say that to other people everyone says "what a cool work!", well, yes it is, but there are some moments that I want to close myself in a dark room (not for work!) and never go outside.
I understand that there was "something in the air" when you played in Milan (I had mestrual cramp too, heheh) but the show was wonderful and I want to thank you for this.

Go baby, you rock and be strong. Even if sometinmes you could think you aren't.

A big, big hug.

ALY

Caulleen said...

In this pit, where you only have an hour or two to yourself each day, do you find time to meditate?

crazyjaneski said...

Being alone, I find, is both hard and necessary, and what I like about this entry is that even though you are with a million people all the time, you don't let it distract you from your loneliness.

I'm 36 years old, I got married to the wrong nice man when I was 20, and had a child when I was 22. I am often DESPERATE to be alone, and then when I am, I feel desperate to escape from the loneliness. I live in Prague, and my son is moving from here to his father's house tomorrow, to start High School in California, and I feel a kind of abject terror of the aloneness that will follow that is massive and oceanic in a way I never imagined before this.

Maybe I'm a self-absorbed idiot, but I can't help feeling that maybe it's important to just dive into it and swim.

You do beautiful work. You and Brian were wonderful in Prague. Thank you.

writingmiles said...

The full-on Floyd phase still finds some takers, every once in a while. Interestingly enough, though, I always found that the "Wall" period I went through was the most chaotic (comparitively) and unnerving of the bunch. Good luck on the rest of the tour (the next one coming up, I guess?).

ClosetAmanda said...

I'm incredibly excited for the Montreal and Toronto shows, even though it's disappointing that you're opening. (I hope the set is a decent length!)I'm sure that the other bands are great and I'll stay to watch. I just don't know how they can successfully follow up as unique a performance as the Dresden Dolls.

Anyhow, you post gives me the urge to bring you a homemade meal to the show. That's the most accurately that I can describe my reaction.

Love the music.

C said...

I wish I could show you just how much your music, and the fact that you're putting yourself through all this, means to me. I can't help but feel it's my fault, as a huge fan, that you're running yourself ragged.
It probably doesn't help, but the only thing I can think to say is that every single day I listen to Yes, Virginia all the way through, singing along every word at the top of my lungs. I scream and I cry with this amazing creation of yours, and it's the only thing that makes me feel better.
I'm sorry that I ask so much. I'm sorry I put so much pressure on you to perform and create when I know you're tired. I don't want to you be perfect. If you were, everything I love about your music would be lost.
And I know that nice words don't always help, but it's all I can do.

Ramsey said...

I think caulleen has a point....

Daimus said...

Digital crack
It doesn't quite tap the vein, but serves a need. And yes, the need must be served, for the servers sake.
They listen, and you squeeze it out, time and time again.
Would it be a shame to let it all go? What use is pain? Wishing for that horizon to come? If only it would. Move because you feel you must, and the parallels with junkies holding the last needle are complete.
If there was only one thing I could believe to be true, it's that the things which cause you pain are either wrong, or are there as a lesson to learn. If you don't serve it, and it doesn't serve you, then it has no power. I see that you are at a place where you are uncertain. It's easier to go on, survive, than make a stand. And that's a place any reasonable person frequents on occasion. Music is a manifestation, an interpretation. It's pure and as close to the source as anyone could ever dream of touching. Harm comes from incorrect interpretation. The pure filters through the dark and becomes grey.
I wish for you, strength, patience and clarity.
Some day, this will be a memory. You will be on the other side. The outside looking in.
And it will shine, brighter than anything you have ever imagined. It was honest. It was true.

Ed Murray said...

I hope you're living your dream ... because you're most certainly living mine.

Melampira said...

"people have not paid their money to sit down and witness perfection. they've come to experience something, feel something, see something real and human"
A photo i'd like to show you,but it's not OF you : http://www.deviantart.com/view/34520487/

Thank you.

ashlee said...

1. maybe you should derail. then you can rebuild the tracks.

2. we don't need you to be anything. but it's so nice when you are.

3. i've always wanted to visit germany. maybe next year.

Andreas said...

John Steinbeck says
"No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself."

if is this true, then you'll survive. it's what we're meant for. one of these days maybe you won't have to deal with all of that, survival, i mean.

Katie said...

I think everyone else has pretty much covered what needs to be said. And in truth, what actually needs to be said? Suffice it that you are amazing with words and it is a great pleasure to see new fodder for us.

Have you ever read anything by Gerry Spence? Easy in the Harness, is a short but stunning piece. And you talked a bit about freedom in here, and I think that would make for an interesting juxtaposition with Spence's essay.

Anyways... I have no words of wisdom. Just a thank you for the humanization you do for us.

lanilou said...
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lanilou said...

I read this a few days ago and then last night I had a dream.

You were performing in a theatre next to a beach. In the intermission (yes, you had one at this particular performance) you and Brian walked over to the beach, bantering about the merits of Lionel Richie (?!). And the tide came in and suddenly washed over you. You both sat in the water, splashing around. You were laughing your beautiful laugh.

I woke up smiling too.

Yes, darling. I too agree that you need to take care of yourself. Perhaps you will force yourself to continue until this tour is finished, but after that please take stock of all of these things that you know. You are incredibly self aware. I believe in your ability to find more of a balance with this.

*Joins in with general Amanda love-in*

Sam said...

Amanda,

First of all, I just wanna say how much I appreciate your music. I saw you guys in concert recently and you totally blew me away. You're obviously incredibly gifted, musically, and this blog of yours only serves to demonstrate how personable, intelligent and unique you are, as well. For better or worse, it's precisely women like you that I've ended up getting involved with (of course they weren't famous, though).

Anyway, this last blog post really got under my skin. To be honest, Amanda, you need to stop whining.

From your own admission, you are living the life you dreamed about as a kid. You get paid to do what you love. You travel around the world and crowds of people scream your name. At the end of the day, (most) people are paying you to be yourself, set to music.

It seems that what is bothering you is that the whole experience of touring actually turns into WORK sometimes: i.e., you can't do exactly what you want when you want. Well, I have difficulty feeling sorry for you there.

Regardless, I just want to say again who much I enjoy your music. I bought the new CD last week and have just ordered the DVD from amazon. You guys keep on putting 'em out and I'll keep on buying 'em :)

I just hope you can learn how to enjoy yourself more.

Respectfully,
sam

la di dah said...

I find it very hard to accept the fact that other people may feel just as disconnected from everything as i do :(, it makes me want to cry, really it does. But I wont go into that, I'm commenting to tell you...

I'm glad you kept playing, when the man picked me up to take me outside, my mint green (not good) knickers were shown off to everyone that could see me, at least you distracted them from being fixated at my arse, seriously, it's big enough.

don't feel sorry or what ever, it was my fault for causing the problem; but i promise you next time I come to see you, I'll stay fully conscience!

And, if you ever find out how to not feel so disconnected from everything, I beg you, LET ME KNOW.

I want to see amanda perform as amanda, not a woman dying of cramps :), you can get a special magnet that helps increase the blood flow, it does help an awful lot, well that and lots of paracetamol and aspirin and ibruprofen.

I'm not going to be all sympathetic or offer advice, because really, what do I know, I'm just a random fan in the big wide world; obviously it hurts me to read this blog, knowing to some extent I understand (or so i think)
but I don't want to add to the negativity, it doesn't help. so really, just take care of yourself, and you're Amanda, end of story really.

love the girl who happened to pass out at a gig of yours somewhere in the UK

xxxx

TralfamadoreZoo said...

You guys can do magic. MAGIC!

You are the dragons, the fairies, the angels of this world.

I know that whenever I listen to your songs, and even more when there comes the rare, unbelievably precious opportunity to see you on stage. Live. I was at your concert in Hamburg, and saw you walking out, Amanda, with a couple of people before the show.
GOD I´d have loved to walk over to you and... don´t know. Ask for an autograph? Hollow, not enough. Pester you? NO WAY. So I just watched you walk off and hoped you´d have a good time wherever you went and was grateful for having seen you.

When you come back to Germany, I´ll be there. And this tima at all shows, if there´s any way I can manage it. Since I´ve seen the Dresden Dolls live, every other band must lose in contrast to you. Even Nine Inch Nails, at whose Berlin Show 2005 I first saw you. They´re a power, a force, wow, but in contrast to YOU... pfff, forget it.

Thank you for Eisbär in Hamburg, thank you for enriching my life, thank you for constantly touring, for taking all the troubles and toil, thank you for being there. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! The only thing that I´m missing is a Dresden Dolls Tattoo which my mother would hate me for (not for the Dresden Dolls just for the tattoo, ANY tattoo) and half an hour after the show for a hello from you and an autograph...

If you didn´t have to go to France I guess you´d have taken the time for the autorgraphs in Hamburg, wouldn´t you?

Thank you for everything.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I
cannot change, courage
to change the things
I can, and wisdom
always to tell the difference


Thank you. I love you.

Carol

Sam said...

Hello again,

Perhaps my previous post came off as being a bit harsh. That wasn't exactly my intention.

My point was simply that all significant accomplishments are supposed to be hard. That's what makes them real accomplishments. And what you guys are doing now most certainly qualifies as one.

Take care.
Sam

utterly utter said...

Berlin is such a beautiful, tragic, crazy, intense, dark and fucked-up place. I find that my surroundings affect the way I feel so profoundly. They provoke the strongest memories. A particular scent on the air, the sound of a chiming clock, or the view from a window in the late afternoon sun. Suddenly they sweep you back to another time and state of mind. Disjointed moments of inexplicable intensity, scattered across a lifetime, a multiplicity of existences.

A little writing can go a long way. Sometimes the words just fail to come, and letting it go for a while seems like the only option. I find this. I feel like I'm echoing into myself, yet somehow it won't translate to words. People offer kind words and condescending advice, but they're like a slap in the face, because they don't understand what it was exactly that you wanted to express.

It can be galling that, no matter how far you go and how much you achieve, that sense of incompleteness and struggle can follow. I wish I had a more concrete answer to it, except that the one thing I try to remember is that, for all the bullshit and the loneliness and the disappointment that life throws, there will always be the art and the beauty that humans are capable of. I don't believe in god. I don't think that we can find answers to life's problems with blunted sentiment or organised passion. I do, however, feel that as long as we can have faith in the deliciousness of shared emotion amid the sea of the banal, there will always be a way to face the tomorrow.

Philsophically yours,
Anna

PS, my mother never believed in sugary cereal either.

iamnefarious said...

I am going to be honest and admit I did not read this entry all the way through although I should be commended for reading so many all the way through. Anyways, you miss Palmer are great at what you do. You might be getting burnt out by doing these tours and living out memories constantly but think of your fans. We love you, we admire you, we appreciate your words. People such as yourself are how people such as myself get through the day. Words and music that apply to "John Doe's" life, to "Jane Doe's" life, to my life. Knowing someone out there feels the way we do, that contact is what people live for. Remember your fans are here for you.


josh

P.S. - If you don't mind the request a show in Alabama would be a blessing. I missed the last show you had due to surgery. :(

Silje said...
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Provanity said...

I know a great coffee shop just off the Grassmarket in edinburgh.

If you get this. And you remember. I'm going to take you there when you're at the fringe.

Silje said...
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Silje said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Silje said...

First of all i think you are a very brave woman. It takes a lot of currage to write the things you do, espesially with all the jugdemetal human-beeings that is out there.

I love reeding your diary becouse it gives me a sort of feeling to how it is to be in a band,and all the changes everyone (all bands) have to go though when they start to experience success. But you also make me a little anxious. I'm fearing that you and Brian (in the near future) will push yourself too far and can't continue with the band. That would be awfull, since (I feel that)Dresden Dolls makes a difference in the world.
I'm a 17 year old girl who live in Norway, almost none of my friends know about The Dresden Dolls and your cd's are almost impossible to find in the stores. I might not experience one of your shows before I'm 19 and leave Norway to study in Boston(unless you play here). Anyway... I really hope that you both take care of yourself and slow things down a bit, but look at it this way:
You'll look back on this period of your career (hopefully)with joy and thoughts like
"how the hell did we manage to do all of that in so little time?"

Me and my "bridgade ideas/material however,will just have to wait until I get the chance to go to one of your shows and perhaps perform then, if I don't chicken out like the coward I am.

This comment became much longer than I intended so... continue doing what you love and never let the passion and the love for Dresden Dolls die.

broken0wish said...

Amanda, you are gorgeous, talented, brave and simply amazing. Aaand you are coming to Melbourne soon! I love you, I love you, I love you!

Danielle xxx

Rebecca said...

You and Brian are amazing. What you are doing means so much to so many...it may not be an answer to any of the worlds tragedies...but you're giving something that is truly appreciated. You have so much love aimed your way. Your exhaustion is, of course, very understandable. There are horrible things happening all over the world, but I don't think that makes your feelings any less valid.

Love,
Rebecca

polishcorridor said...

i feel odd now,i dont feel im writing to you, the musician but a normal woman.

i decided to post something because this days im feeling that way, i needed to have my own time, reading a book or even knitting but i wanted to be alone.
and its been the greatest week ever.

im embarrassed :B


anyway, i cant stop thinking of your music, and how much have helped me but anyway you know that, you must hear it everyday.
ill buy the two albums soon

take care.
Pd.- ill name my daughter amanda.

Nyx said...

Your Prague-Charles Bridge memory made me smile. I'd forgot about that, raining on the bridge, everyone huddling under the shelter and the blind women playing Ave Maria. Sometime back in September '05. They must play in the rain by the sheltering masses a lot.
Was glad to finally see you guys play in Tourcoing, France!

Slato Metakide said...

After reading that I just remembered how my fathers been dying his hair because it's going grey, and knowing that it's going that way because, as far as nature is concerned, once you've lived past 20 years old, if we haven't fucked anyone and had babies, we've had it. So every day we live past 20 is a lucky day. This reminded me of how simple and stupid life is, or seems, and made a very confusing contrast between that thought and what I just read in your surreal, beautiful, tragic and even humourous blog entry.

We all think that we are born alive to rock out, write poetry, create artwork, archetecture, cure cancer, and be immortal, but as far as nature is concerned, the only purpose in living is to fuck and die.

So later on I sat at my piano, played a few random notes, imagined you, Amanda, lying down in that hotel room, listening to those above you banging off, beginning to feel lonely. Then I realised something, that those random notes that were still resonating through the pedal on the piano, sounded familiar. What poor Amanda needed, and i'm sure she could answer this, was a coin-operated boy.

futureofthedarkness said...

I don't know what to say now that I read your last post...I saw you in Lyon (France) et I spoke with you when you were going to join you bus.I think that I just acted as a vulgar fan that says "oooh amanda you're my god et i want to suck you feet!!!!"...Oh fuck!No I'm not like that!!I know what you feel and how touring is difficult.Even when fans follow you everywhere in Europe...You/we/I need to be alone and just think or not.Why people don't think today?Why are they all going on the right/left and just don't fucking watch you??I know my English is not good but I've got the courage to telle you that I'm sad tonight and that I miss you so much!!I need to know that someone is just thinking right now and that i'm not alone...in my mind...

Slato said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Slato said...

Heh, Amanda, sounds like futureofthedarkness wants to seduce you. Careful, you don't want a repeat of what happened with your ex-piano tutor.

Susan said...

Hi Amanda,

I read "Short History" earlier this year, and I hope you can get through it. Bill Bryson is pretty easy to read... just a little long-winded. Anyway, the idea I was most impacted with from the book was that the point of evolution *wasn't* so humans could exist. Humans are going to die out -- just like a trillion other species -- because there will, inevitably, be another ice age (in fact, we're kind of in the middle of an ice age right now, as you'll read from Bryson). We're really quite fragile... a nanosecond of a blip on the soundtrack of existance. A meteor six miles long, landing in the middle of the ocean, could wipe out everything.

With that in mind, why don't we all just do whatever the hell we want? For me, though, there's not too much to do in Indiana.

I'm loving "Yes, Virginia" so far, though it seems to be a little on the pop side. As long as your lyrics continue to be honest and you don't compromise your mad piano skills.

Hope to catch a live show soon, but Indy's been sold out. Next time, next time. :) Don't wear yourself out!

Mike said...

Yo homegirl,

I hear you about missing 'home'. Of course, whenever I've been 'home' for too long, I miss being AWAY from 'home'. It's a vicious circle.

Anyhow, anytime you want to switch jobs just let me know :)

I just noticed that the Songbook has now been pushed back AGAIN - to the end of July. What's up with that?

Regardless, I'll certainly be ordering it when it comes out... in 2009 ;) I must admit, though, that I'm a little worried about the quality of the transcribed/arranged sheet music (as I understand you cannot read music too well.) My experience with such songbooks are that they are either significantly 'dumbed-down' or just altogether different. I sincerely hope that your integrity has dictated that the sheet music is as close to what you played as possible.

Anyway, hope the rest of the tour isn't too hard on you.

Peace out,
Mike

JV said...

Amanda,

I'll try to keep this concise and to the point. You are obviously going through a difficult time where your happiness is dwindling even though you have "made it" in your dream career and feel like you should be endlessly thankful for your good fortune. You may feel like you owe your soul to your fans, to your label, to Brian, or to anyone around who helped the Dresden Dolls gain the notoriety you currently have.

One downside to your lifestyle is that you will consistently be bombarded with input by those who have a stake in your success and career. These people may not be objective; those who are disconnected from your success (like other musicians who can relate to your situation without having a stake in it) may be best able to provide good advice. If possible, try to get perspective from the point of a detached third-party individual whose fate is not wrapped up in yours.

You have expressed yourself very well through this diary, so excuse me for assuming I have a fairly good grasp on your situation. The arguments for continuing to tour, sell, and keep on your current path seem to be the following.

First, as mentioned before, you may feel compelled to do this for your fans and those around you who have a stake in your career. Second, you may feel like you would end up in an even worse place if you stopped these activities, saw the popularity of the Dolls fall, and suddenly you couldn't reach as many as you had previously as a musician. Maybe there's even a concern that you don't want the same lifestyle you had before the Dolls' success where you had this dream of becoming a big time musician to keep you going. Finally, you may feel that the pressure and touring will subside at some point (with continued success) and then you'd be allowed to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle of a musician who has made it big and can therefore pick and choose when to work, when to create, when to sell, when to tour, when to rest, etc (i.e. Trent Resnor).

My impression as a relative outsider is that your following and your fans are more passionate than most but that you're not as mainstream (and probably never will be, by choice) as a typical successful band. To me, this suggests that you may never reach the level of a megastar who doesn't have to deal with pressure from a label or who can choose when to rest, when to play, etc. But the upside is that if you scale back your touring, your selling, etc. that you probably will not lose your fanbase either! They love you guys! I can see a situation where you could have both a fulfilling creative life and the opportunity to play to and influence a relative small but dedicated fan base.

I'll stop now...but let me conclude with this. Please try to stay objective and not be overly influenced by what you feel is your duty to those who support you or have a stake in your success. You have no obligation to become a martyr for any of them.

Good luck and best wishes.

Anthony UK said...

well, as the title is a line from an ace song, i'll reply in kind: 'every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.' Thanks for the astoria show, see you at reading and the roundhouse.

Elinora said...

You have been my inspiration for two years now and your music means so much to me. I know you hear this kind of thing from so many people but it's the least I can say.
I was so happy when I recieved your album, Yes Virginia, from my best friend two weeks ago. The music has barely left me since. Everytime I hear the songs, I am instantly reminded of my old house, where me and my family (or what's left of it) used to live before we moved to the city of bath. The freedom i felt in the countryside and the hills and fields, my burrow hill, all comes back to me when I start listening. I have spent hours just listening, thinking and it has benefitted me more than you can imagine. But then again I cannot really say that, for you have a brilliant imagination.
I am also happy to say that my mum has just said that I am alowed to see you in concert when you visit the UK, on the third of November at the round house. I hope you are not feeling as awful as you seem to be in this blog entry, otherwise i will feel terrible. It would be nice if you would reply to this, though i would completly understand if you don't. After all you obviously don't have enough time on your hands and not feeling atall at your best. I hope that you will be ok.
Elliexox

Redshift said...

Just saw you on the Jools Holland show. You were fucking awesome. I sat glued to the screen, all the passion and energy from your songs racketting through me. I've been caught in the feeling a lot of other fans of yours fall for; the feeling of personal connection to you through your blogs. Whether it's just classic human stuff no one really mentions much, or you're just more humane than anyone else would admit, you form this incredible link with your fans.

The same thing comes with your music. I sit every few nights with my MP3 player and a pack of Cigarettes, watching the clouds and listening to your music. It realeases me. In those few moments,there's no one to impress, no one to hate; or love. I have no self. That's what your music gives me. Contentment in short sharp bursts.

vera said...

i want to spank amanda for being so awsomely alive

cheese and crakers

vera said...

i want to spank amanda for being so awsomely alive

cheese and crakers

vera said...

its most important so i posted it twice

amada im training my self to be your personal jester for the rest of your life like fore ever and ever i suck at juggling. i can make really a really good bowl of cereal though frosted flakes kick butt

aaammmeeenn

TNude said...

Wow,

You need a hug. Or at least someone to talk to when your touring, some one you can call and bullshit with to take your mind off things. Beyond that, girl! Enjoy this path of life you've decided to take. There's a ton of people out there that will never have the chance to be where you're at. Even if you only do it for a couple more years, make the freakin' most of it. And call me if you need to talk. E-mail me first to get the #.

T

The Not-So-Dreadful-But-Not-So-Nice Puppy Boy said...

I get a kick out of our community, here. we're all supportive of amanda. What about Ben? Poor Ben's not the Other half. He's an equal, though he never posts here.

We're all anonymous, invisible, and yet we are heard.

A, dear . . . cram in 'me' time whenever you can, and fuck the rest of the world. Your life is more important than your fines. i'd rather have you at least a little happier and content than stressing and getting vexated by touring and writing new music.

- Frankie

The Not-So-Dreadful-But-Not-So-Nice Puppy Boy said...

Er, fines=fans

Natalie Rose said...

Dear Amanda,

My closest friend and I were recently discussing our high school experiences. We both went to small town, public high schools; we both traveled the honors/AP classes route; we both have a work ethic that we've since found baffle most people because it usually prioritizes homework above sleep, food and hygiene; we both had few to no friends in the schools we attended; we both had disastrous junior years and leaned on boys, both named Jonathan (they're still dating, I broke up with mine a year ago).

The similarities are frightening, to be honest. But there's one quintessential difference: my friend dyed her hair, I didn't. This may seem trivial, but this fact got her labeled as the "freak" of the school. There's not a single comment in her yearbook that doesn't refer to her being "weird," "unique," "independent," or outright, "a freak." While I was awkward because I was (am) chubby, refuse(d) to wax, pluck, shave or do anything to my eyebrows that anyone would actually like me to do, dress(ed) the way I damn well please, and continually wrote bad, angsty poetry and made violent doodles in the margins of my math notes (I still do, but scrawled across staff paper nowadays), I was shy and decently discreet about it all. Sure I got made fun of, but I will not be infamous as the school freak. And this, naturally, lead us to have rather different high school experiences, despite the countless similarities.

While we were sitting in my car outside the 24-hour supermarket at some ungodly hour of the morning, she told me how she hated all the attention she got and how everyone knew who she was. At the same time, I was attempting to point out the irony in the idea that I hated being invisible in high school (to the point of, yes, actually getting sat on) and would've liked attention. She said she would've given, well, some limb or another to be invisible. I actually walked away from the encounter feeling guilty for being as unnoticeable in high school as my friend wanted to be and not appreciating it.

Now, despite the fact that this is the 17th time we're driving around the traffic circle and you're fairly convinced by this point that I am, in fact, lost and don't know where we're going-- well, I'm going to get off here now and you'll see that we were a lot closer than you realized to the point the entire time. That is, later on I came to the conclusion that even if my friend had been the invisible one and I had been noticeable, we would've been no happier than we were originally. For one, that tends to be the trend in high school. Well, actually, let's examine this fact. Why is it the typical high school experience to be miserable and angsty? This trend is not bias in most ways-- it is not exclusive to any financial bracket, race, gender, religion, etc. However, we are discussing a specific age group.

One could chalk it up to "the grass is always greener on the other side" syndrome, but I don't think that quite explains it. I think my and my friend's high school experiences had very little to do with what actually happened to us in high school. Not that those things didn't fuel the fire, but they weren't the point of origin. I think it really all has to do with where we are in our development, and it seems like many of us get there around high school. We suddenly reach that stage where we start wondering who we are and how we're supposed to fit in and suddenly nothing that actually exists in our reality is how it's supposed to be. If we're noticed, we want to be invisible. If we're invisible, we want to be noticed. And if we landed somewhere in the middle, we'd damn well complain about that too! It's just this sudden rebellion of realizing that as human beings in the society we live in, someone is going to try to place us in a category and we want anything but a label or a category-- yet, at the same time, we want somewhere to belong. And somewhere along the line we realize that unless we're willing to accept the up's and down's of it and probably not find a kindred spirit for a long time, we'll have to resign and place ourselves in a category for the sake of companionship.

Neither my friend or I did that, and we both wound up alone for it.

Thing is, I think a lot of us never stop wrestling with that problem. We're good humanists, we need to question, but we start letting it get in the way of potential happiness. Who am I? Does anyone really know me? Do I really know me? Why am I so awkward? Why don't I fit in? Will I ever fit in? Do I want to fit in? Is there a place where I can belong without compromising myself? Will I ever find it? Do I have to create it? How do I go about creating it? Does anyone want me to for who I am? Do I have to change? Do I want to change? Should I even have to change? What if I change and people like the new me, but they probably wouldn't have liked the old me, does that mean the entire relationship is a hoax? Why did I want to change in the first place? Is there a real me? Is there one me? Why are there so many mes? Is one me less real than another me? Why can't there be a comprehensive me? Will anybody ever love me? Will it be genuine? Why doesn't anybody love me? Will I ever find love? Why should I have to wait so long? Are some people meant to be alone? Why are some people meant to be alone? Am I one of them? Will everyone just leave me in the end? Why is this my destiny? What did I do to end up with this kind of karma? Was I mass-murderer in a past life? Do I even believe in past lives, or karma, or destiny-- or love, while I'm at it? Will I ever learn to love myself? Am I capable of love or happiness? Why am I asking so many questions? Where do I come up with all these questions? Why did I start thinking about this in the first place?

There have been nights I've been content and comfortable to have a bed all to myself to spread out in and simply rest. There have been nights when I feel like sleeping alone is the loneliest thing in the world and I would gladly give up what tiny extra space I have in a bed that's been too short for me for years to have someone warm and loving laying beside me. There have been nights where I've laid beside someone and felt content with my heart overflowing, cherishing every little bit of that moment. And there have been times when I've laid beside the same person feeling awkward, out of place, overbearingly hot, restless and a deep pain in my heart caused by that person but that will not ease if I get up and go back to my own bed.

When I'm surrounded by people sometimes I suffocate, and all I want to do is be alone. But when I'm alone, I weep and only want them to come back. And I tell myself, this time, this time I'll remember and be grateful to have them even when I feel suffocated. Will I? Eh, it's a toss up. Sometimes I do remember, and in those moments I smile. But there's bound to be a time I slip up and get annoyed and forget to be thankful... and when they're all gone again, that's what I'll remember-- the slip up, not all the times I did it right.

There is no easy solution, if we have all of one, we crave the other. And once we get it, our desires shift right back to what we just had. I myself have a firm belief that life is all about balance-- the yin and yang-- and moderation. The only satisfactory answer I've ever gotten to "why do bad things happen to good people?" (and the verse) is that we would not appreciate one if we didn't have the other. It's true. Birthdays are special because they only come once a year, flowers are sweet because they are occasional (even if the reason we got them is for no occasion at all), and that fancy dinner tastes so good because most of us can only afford to do it once a year, if that. Birthdays, flowers, fancy meals everyday would lose their luster quite quickly and we'd suddenly find ourselves longing for the times when he/she bought us the hand-picked daffodils instead of the expensive two-dozen roses we get once a week because someone, somewhere is capable of clicking a button and whipping out a piece of plastic they keep in their wallet.

Maybe that's the real reason why we hate being unhappy-- it's so abundant. When I am happy, which hasn't been for a while now, I don't long for unhappiness-- but I do appreciate it. Without it, that good moment wouldn't gleam quite as much. I also have come to appreciate the idea that some great art is born of our unhappy times. However, for me, as an artist, the sustained misery has stunted my art, which depresses me in itself and suddenly we're in a grand downward spiral. I have come to resent the idea that we have to be miserable and depressed and starving to be great artists. It's wrong. Some great art is born out of unhappy times-- but the best of it is not.

I'm not you, Amanda and I never will be. Nor will I ever be your close friend (well, I won't write it off completely-- I've lived just long enough to know that more freakish things have happened and are probably happening to me right now). But, unless I start working my butt off now to make something nicer come out of my keyboard than does now when I punch it (not that I actually punch my keyboard, I'd never hurt an instrument... or at least, I wouldn't again. I am ashamed: I was in forth grade and I just go so frustrated... oh that poor flute. Two of the keys popped off during my next lesson. Thank God it was a rental...) I doubt I'll ever have the opportunity to get to meet you and get to know you and discuss the philosophy of fireflies. Nor will I ever be that fan who knows every little detail about your life that I could possibly dig up and have memorized your date and time of birth, your astrological chart (and how compatible it is with mine), your favorite food, the names of your pets, or what's the first song you ever sang in a talent show. I'm never going to be that fan (I honestly just don't have the inclination). And when I see you perform in a few days, I won't know all the lyrics. And it's not for lack of love of the songs, I just don't read the lyrics to a song over and over again until I have it memorized. I play it. Again. And again. And if through osmosis (or something similar) I manage to memorize the words, fantastic! In 30 years, I'll know all the words to the songs I know now, but by then you'll have new ones.

Anyhow, despite my nasty habit of derailing, my point is that I don't really know you, I'll never really know you and like you said-- no one really knows anyone else. Only you really know what you want, Amanda.

You say you're not sure whether you want to be alone or have someone in bed there with you. Though it may be paradoxal, perhaps in that moment you wanted both but had neither. It's certainly possible to be alone with someone else, or have your alone time and still have someone laying with you during other nights. What's my point? I guess my point is just a question: Do you really want solitude, or do you just want it because you can't have it? All the same, do you really want someone in bed next to you or are we all just jaded by what society has set up for us (despite the constant attempts at rebellion)?

As far as the solitude goes, how much of it do you really want? While you groan at the idea of only being off for four days, perhaps it the moderation that makes it so desirable, that will always leave you coming back for more, that will always let you appreciate the time alone when you have it?

Wikipedia has something interesting, in my opinion, to say about solitude.
Solitude (also seclusion, isolation) means lack of contact with other people. It may stem from deliberate choice, contagious disease, disfiguring features or repulsive personal habits, or circumstances of employment or situation (see castaway).

Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed.

Long-term solitude is often seen as undesirable, causing loneliness or reclusion, resulting from inability to establish relationships. However, for some people solitude is not depressing. Still others (e.g. monks) regard long-term solitude as a means of spiritual enlightenment.


I don't know you, and I certainly recognize that there are plenty of people out there who can't get enough time alone and would be thrilled to just hibernate by themselves for months... years on end. And no, I don't know you, but there's a dichotomy in your questions, in the entire entry, that leaves me to believe that that is not you. You love touring, but it's become polluted and become a burden. You long for solitude, but too much of that would pollute itself as well, I suspect.

I must be coming off as so pompous right now, and it really was not my intention. This is in no way meant to be a "be thankful for what you have because it might not be there tomorrow rant." (Lord, I am sorry if it sounds preachy or presumptious.) It was just supposed to be... something to think about that might, in some small minute way be a comfort because I know you are on tour right now and you have so many pages out of your date book that haven't been ripped out... you know you won't have your solitude for quite a while, you're exhausted, your voice is taking a beating along with the rest of your mental and physical state and it all only piles on top of each other. I've never been on tour and I have no real reason to believe I ever will be. I don't know how you feel, I can only begin to imagine what it must be like.

I wish we, as your fans, could do something to help. I guess the irony is, we're the ones buying the tickets and the albums and keeping you on the road, but it'd be worst still if we just abandoned you in hopes of giving you some time off.

Your tour now is what it is, but we love you and Brian for the very real people you are and would more than understand the need for some time off after all this is said and done. Though, I do know musicians and I know you'd only stay away for so long. But, honestly Amanda, after my whole uppity rant on solitude, my real focus is that you do what you need to do. We'll understand, we'll still be here. We don't love you guys because you work yourself half to death touring. And while there is no way to express how much we appreciate the fact that you make such valiant efforts to keep in touch with your fans, it only adds to the love.

(Now, this is just my experience.) The love comes from... well, the music obviously has a lot to do with it. The music is why I admire and adore you and Brian. If I actually got within ten feet of either of you I imagine I'd just wind up suddenly studying the anatomy of my shoes and pray that you didn't spy me and all my awkward glory. After all, then I might be forced to say something and chances are it would be blundered sentence that ever came out of my mouth assuming what came out of my mouth even resembled any words at all. (Edit: Actually, I got within two feet of you at the Fuck the Back Row! show and I was much worse than I even predicted... I take comfort in the fact that you probably won't remember me acting like a petrified idiot.) Now, if it were only admiration and adoration, I would probably attempt to speak. But when it's admiration, adoration and respect, I being to wonder what kind of gall I have even being the same room as you or Brian, polluting your precious air.

Like I said, I'm not the fan who's going to memorize your astrological chart, but I've certainly been more interested in you and Brian as people than I have in any other musicians. Usually, my appreciation of musicians goes no further than their music. (For me, knowing the full names of the band members is a fairly noteworthy accomplishment.) But there's something about you and Brian that made me stop and take notice...

I don't know you, but I feel like I could. And this is a pretty unique feeling. Not only are you two real people (not just "rockstars"), but you're our kind of people. I feel like I could know you from school. Which, I know, sounds like an odd statement, but, well... I go to Bennington College. Most people smile and nod when I tell them this, I then tell them it's in Vermont and the make some reference to skiing. Clearly, we've made a connection! Especially since I've never been skiing... Anyhow, the truth is, I don't know how to describe Bennington, other than it seems like it's own planet much of the time. The entire school is composed of those of us who didn't fit in anywhere in high school, we were the losers, the geeks and the freaks. We were repressed in grade school and now we come to this tiny (600 or so undergraduates) campus in the middle of nowhere, Vermont and... we blossom. Suddenly, we have a niche-- and practically everyone fits into it (those that don't know it pretty soon thereafter and high tail it out of the crazy vortex that is Bennington College). On any given day you're bound to run into at least one of each of the following:

(1) Someone naked.
(2) A boy wearing a dress (or skirt).
(3) A girl wearing a suit.
(4) Someone unintentionally androgynous.
(5) Someone intentionally androgynous.
(6) Someone doing performance art on Commons lawn.
(7) Someone inventing a new food in the dining hall.
(8) Someone wearing bunny ears.
(9) Someone wearing a fake body part of some kind.
(10) Someone taking photographs.
(11) Someone making a video (usually with lots of odd props).
(12) Someone wearing something they obviously put together from kitchen supplies.
(13) Someone playing guitar, banjo or violin outside.
(14) Someone high on [some substance].
(15) Someone high on life.

The list goes on, but hopefully this small complication illustrates what the environment is like. Everyone goes to the beat of their own drum; clothing is mismatched, created, unique or optional; both sexuality and gender are nonconstrictive and optional; and the creation of art is not a pastime but a way of life. Seeing the Brigade, I am reminded of Bennington and begin to wonder if such kindred spirits exist outside of that tiny campus. I feel like I should know the Dresden Dolls and their fans from school, that we all should've gone to school together... maybe we did.

In fact, the funny part I guess, is I do know the Dresden Dolls from Bennington. In September of 2004, my freshman year, the Dresden Dolls came and performed in the cramped downstairs café of Bennington College. Members of the campus activities board (CAB) made makeshift photocopy posters with this picture on them advertising the once in a lifetime performance that I essentially missed. We'd been on campus maybe a week and like mollusks we attached ourselves to the closest person. I wanted to check out the band in the downcaf, but the girl I was hanging out with at the time wasn't up for it. "I heard they're good..."

At some point during the evening we were walking by the downcaf and I made a sprint in that direction. It's a small performing venue (they're finally building a new one) but it was PACKED. I'm not claustrophobic, but I never liked sardines, so I stood outside I listened for a few moments. The windows were dirty or clouded or something (they still are) but one was open and I peered in only to catch a view of what I've since come to realize was the back of Brian's head. My friend was trying to pull me away. "Come on, just five minutes?" I doubt she gave me two before she grabbed my arm and literally dragged me away from the downcaf whimpering and whining. But, two or so minutes was enough. Whoever told me was right-- you were good. Very good. And all I needed was a little taste. (She and I, by the way, don't really hang out anymore.)

(By the way, this is also where I plug that you should come back to Bennington because we do have a new and bigger performing venue now and we love you. A LOT.) [/plug]

Anyhow, silly story aside, there is something about Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione that enchants people. And while the music is amazing (not a word I use lightly), it's Amanda and Brian that we want, love, know and respect. Do what you have to Amanda, to be content, to be yourself. We love you, we'll gladly wait, and when you need us we'll be there to support you.

Hans W. Urst said...

Hi Amanda!
I want to refer to that night in Berlin! That hotel, the room above you... that was me, probably!

I was working hard, because that is my profession and my tour-calendar is quite filled with elderly ladies who need some "hugs" and some more treatments to forget life for a few moments ("thwokthwok").

So I wanted to let you know that I feel quite a bit like little Amanda... nice to be adored but cursed by the feelings and thoughts of the unknown crowd you make happy standing face to face with the loneliness we chose to compensate.

I just wanted to share that news... love is not always love... it could be a hardworking man on top of a 59 year old lady as well as a singer in front of her audience...

To close the circle: if you had listened more closely, you could have heard -just beneath the neverending thwokthwokthwok- the DD-CD I was playing to give us some atmosphere!

So... I share your small amount of love (sometimes hard to find in your music) with my clients to give them some more than I can give...

Hope to see you on 3rd of September... if you let me know your hotel and room number I will arrange a client to visit me in the room above you... would be a good finish to our next meeting, me as part of your anonymous audience and you as my secret listener... :)

Take care
Hans W. Urst