Tuesday, October 24, 2006

a months worth less

oct 23rd.

sitting in the Again Cafe of Nashville: the cafe coco, open 24 hours, playing hits of the eighties and making my life bright. before bonnaroo i waited for doni from trail of dead to show up here for two hours. i was so tired i fell asleep under a table in one of the smaller rooms. the cafe coco has a front and back yard, a huge porch and some tacky statues. it was here that i filmed the first (though it wound up on the cutting room floor) footage for the kaiser chiefs' video i made at bonnaroo. i put the tennis ball on the head of this madonna-like statue wrapped in christmas lights. it looked beautiful, all blinky.

i've been feeling this strange reluctance to blog lately. it's typical, there's just too much happening and i feel like i have to write something poetic and profound. fuckkit

i've had this one sitting in my outbox for about a month, i wrote it during the aussie tour and just didn't post it for reasons probably having to do with laziness, as it probably needed editing. now it doesn't need editing: it's "archival":


(approx sept 17th)

we had our first shit show of the tour last night in melbourne.
yet shit show is relative.

there are certain nights when enough things conspire against you to make you want to just give up...pull a diva and flounce off stage in a flurry of kimonos saying (in a very high-pitched italian accent) I CANNOT VORK VEES ZEEEZZ CRAPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

we've been renting keyboards on this entire tour and this was the first night the company we were renting from didn't have a kurzweil. the control buttons of the kleyboard were much closer to the actual keys, so at the beginning of the set i immediately started alternately accidentally hitting the patch-change buttons (causing some interesting slap-bass, wind-chime and clavinova sounds to take the place of the piano during "sex changes"), knocking the the volume knob to zero by accident (causing a very noticable silence and accidental drum solo, and causing many running-around-stage-techs wondering why the keyboard had gone away) and accidentally hitting the instant-super-turbo-reverb button (making the piano sound like all my bloody valentine's releases were being played simultaneoulsly). this was all just in the first 5 minutes of the show. add to that the two keys that instantly broke, and the gerbil-being-strangled persistant pitch that was coursing through the monitors due to some sort of magnetic field/aussie-alien invasion problem, and i knew this was going to be a shit show. i also realised that this was the show that had been ADDED in melbourne after the first one sold out, so we didn't have our ueber-forgiving, hard-core fanbase. most of the audeince had never seen us. and they were seeing a shit show. however.

i know, from road experience, that a shit show doesn't exist. one can just use these technical difficulties as fuel for one's emotional fire, bare all warts and hope that the audience will love you for your vulnerable & honest self. i was also tired as shit, after almost five straight days of flying every morning and never getting a full nights rest. i was asleep an hour before we hit stage. peeling myself out of bed was almost impossible. peeling brian out of bed WAS impossible. we were downstairs in the lobby of our hotel, ten minutes late for our ride to the club, wondering where he was. we called his room. we banged on the door. no answer. ultimately we had to get the porter to unlock his door and we all barged in and found him passed out in with the kind of oblivion that i believe is usually reserved for the dead. we were tired. we've been tired every show of this fucking tour, since we got here. somebody told me that jetlag realistically takes one day for every hour. i buy it. in this case, we'll be almost caught up by the time we fucking fly home.

i was watching my head during the show last night.
when things are particularly bad or frustrating, i tend to let go more. and by let go, i don't mean try less. i don't mean try harder. i think i simply mean i let things show more. i figure that if the audience knows what a terrible time you're having on stage, that you're actively wrestling demons as they look on, they might see more. appreciate more. care more? i don't know.

i watch this happen with my voice. true to form and raining and pouring, my voice also crapped out about halfway through the set (probably due to the lack of sleep and warming up, but add in the overcompensation for the shitty piano and you've got a winning combination). once is really goes, i let it. i try to keep it in the neighbourhood of what pitch it's supposed to be hitting, but otherwise i let it do what it wants. trying to make it sound pretty, or powerful, when i know i'm just doing more damage can be impossible. but i trust people to hear it for what it is. it's a trick. "i am in pain tonight and too tired to be playing a rock show for you" my little voice seems to croak "maybe for this reason you will take pity on me and hear my songs with a very sympathetic human ear". i think it probably hit people differently. one person may simply say "wow, the bitch can't sing. i want my money back." one person may say "wow. real." i also watch my flights of fancy as i listen to what sometimes amounts to little more than a croaking shadow of my usual voice. i usually start thinking about who is out there. our label reps. the promoters. the crew. some very childish part of me still hangs on to the naive fantasy that once people hear whats happening to me, sometimes night after night, even though I've made these decisions myself, even though I approved the adding of a second show in melbourne when we should've taken a day off to rest, even though things are thoroughly and utterly Under My Control....that they will magically see the error of the way we're/they're leading our life and run at breakneck speed to the closest phone booth and Call God, screaming "don't you see what's HAPPENING?.....sir, this is an OUTRAGE!" or more realistically, pick up their cell phones and call...who?....our agents? our manager? isn't there someone actually dedicated to organizing and caring about these things meticulously, who can stop me from overworking, who knows me better than myself? shouldn't someone be taking copious notes and making sure we do this right? this fantasy just won't go away no matter how much reality i face.

the reality is that there is no reality. the reality is that i make random decisions and sometimes they work. and often they don't. and that i'm usually way more interested in pleasing other people and appearing to be a hard worker than i am in my own health or art. nobody else actually looks out for that, nor should they. my fantasy entourage is never going to bust through the door and say "amanda, we've decided, from your peaked complexion and ragged voice that you need to take a nap this afternoon instead of doing press. we've cancelled all but one key interview. here's a cup of tea and some water. now go to sleep." nobody gets this kind of treatment. even madonna and britney-level pop stars have an entourage of specialized people...who need to get their own jobs done. i don't htink any of them have a mental and physical health professional onboard 24/7 who has the magic power to veto everybody else's decisions. nobody on the planet needs to give a shit about that but me and my few close friends (who are, probably very thankfully, never on tour with me), who have been warning me for a few years now to get off the rock hamster wheel lest it all end in tears. and, poetically, the sympathetic and distant readers of this journal. often when i read the comments on here i just feel like i'm reading one big terrible amanda-pity-party. but whatever, i'm not here to make anybody's fucking day. i'm here, for the moment, to bitch and complain. now i feel better. and maybe you feel better. and now we all love and understand each other's pain. now it's a love-fest. see how easy?

the last few weeks, since europe, have been a pretty uneventful blur of shows and airports. i've collected six decent memories since leeds, which is a stunningly good average. one (1) was sitting and drawing in a cafe in berlin the morning of our show. it was a perfect place to sit for three hours (cafe schwarz sauer, for you berliners, in kreuzberg...or was it prenzlauerberg?). two (2) was playing with my musical hero, edward ka-spel, in germany. i think i'll have to address that separately at some point. it was too overwhelming to go into right now. three (3) was walking on the beach in new zealand with ashley, who was kind enough to borrow his friend's car and drive me out to kare kare to the tall cliffs and the black sands and the little shells which i am keeping in a coffee cup stuffed with kleenex. four (4) was playing with ben folds, although it wasn't the actual playing that was the moment. it was the meeting him and knowing that he's one of the few people on the planet equipped to understand the sorts of things that i constantly think about. he's an ally. five (5) was finally seeing my friend glenn in brisbane and riding on his motorcycle out to his new house in the middle of the woods and seeing a goat and eating an egg-and-avacado sandwich while glenn played me the new go-bewteens CD. six (6) was watching the zen zen zo butoh theater perform at our show that night in brisbane. they covered the stage, all nearly-naked and real, and had another 8 actors out in the audience. the crowd sat down on the sticky club floor and the actors performed in place, the lights splashing off their white-painted bodies. people who rehearse for hours, unlike us. they were sublime. it was like we all fucking created a magical moment that lasted five whole minutes. we're going to try to import them over to london for the roundhouse shows.

i didn't collect any good memories in japan this time around. i spent most of the time trying to kick jetlag and trying to keep my head from exploding every time i looked out my 18th-floor hotel window at the 568,378 people simultaneously crossing the street in shibuya below. i swear, i've never seen so many people crossing one street. the show is japan was good but not great. the audience was very excited but very quiet. it was hard to understand.

everything else amounts to a neutral or bad memory of blurry travel and shows. good shows still don't leave good memories. maybe because there are too many of them, maybe because they don't leave a unique impression, maybe because i don't want that to be what makes me happy. who knows. i love it when it happens, i don't let myself be too bothered when it doesn't. increasingly, amanda amanda, it's only rock and roll. it all seems more and more absurd. watching "an inconvenient truth", al gore's documentary about the global warming crisis, was a nice moment of despair as i sat on the plane, leaving trails of jet fuel in my wake. i strongly urge you to see it if you haven't. having just read the mindblowing bill bryson book "a short history of nearly everything", it all wove together nicely (&i noticed someone commented about it.....all i have to say is YES YES YES, and i've been meeting people on the road who have read it and it is becoming a kind of cult, where we look into each others eyes and go...yes, yes, yes....we now share some cosmic connection through bill bryson and our knowledge of impending ice ages and taxonomy).

so also on the plus side i have finished two more books by mr. bryson ("a walk in the woods", a hilarious tale of hiking the appalachian trail and the brand-new "life and times of the thunderbolt kid", a childhood-in-the-golden-fifties memoir) and he is now among my favorite authors. his writing style in all three of these books tends to follow the same perfect pattern. pick a topic, write about it, yet go off on perfect tangents that are in turns gut-bustingly funny and deeply, the-world-is-about-end tragic. if he blogged, i'd read it.

we have three more shows, a quick sit-in with ben folds again back in melbourne, and then we fly home for a 10-day rest before we hit the states with the red paintings, who, along with jason webley, have been the most divine and perfect support band. you guys in the states are going to love them. imagine muse in costume with live painters on stage. they are sublime.


(back to now, oct 23)

a month later, i can agree that the red paintings still are sublime. they're had a string of misfortune that seems almost biblical: tour manager left the tour, sound engineer left the tour, gear fell out of the back of their RV, the leas singer trash fell off of stage and developed a ancient-cell-phone-sized lump on his head. he's ok. they get better and better with every trial and tribulation. they play with their hearts.

the last show with ben folds was brilliant. he remains a steadfast ally.

we flew home, and i can't remember exactly how long we were there. a little under two weeks. i re-united, as i do, with my bed and pillows and bathtub, and tried not to think too much or do too much. i didn't touch the piano. i went to yoga every morning. there were meetings about the upcoming play, costume fittings, conference calls. i sat in the cafe drained cup after cup of green tea while alternately reading the boston globe and new york times and emptying my head of random thoughts and worries onto the pages of my moleskine journal. i sat with pope and gave editing feedback for the panic video. i ate chinese food and watched a movie with my sister.

i went to the boston music awards, where the band was nominated for six awards and won three. it didn't feel wonderful. i felt sad for my town because the event felt superficial and uncaring. brian dressed up in a full bear costume and kick-started a mosh pit during Gang Green's set but it wasn't enough to save the evening.

i walked my bicycle through the public garden and made eye contact with a man sitting on a bench. "do i know you?" he said, in a gravy french accent, "i think i know your face."
i stopped, said nothing, kick-standed my bike next to bench and sat down next to him. "i don't know, maybe you know my band. we're called the dresden dolls."
"no, i have never heard of this band."
he was older than me, probably in his sixties. he was an oncologist and professor at harvard. he invited me to dinner. i said no. but we sat there for about a half hour, talking about the nature of mortality and belief and emotion.
we had seen the same woman crying on the bench across the way, about ten minutes before. she had been talking on the phone. we discussed cell phone technology and how it affected human interaction.
we took some photos of each other with his new digital camera. with the ducks in the background.
i had picked up a fallen leaf from one of the maple trees that was all green-gold-flaming-red, intending to take it home and press it in the book i was reading. i gave it to him and kissed his cheek and walked my bike away without turning around.

that was my (#1) decent distinctive memory from my off time. my (2) decent distinctive memory from off time was going to see the secret machines play in the round at avalon. we all ended up at my house and though my distinctive memories of the event are very very dark gray (i wouldn't call it a full blackout) there was much piano-playing and laughing. i paid the next day. my (3) memory was seeing regina. she also played avalon, wore a sparkly top and has a band now. watching her slay the piano in front of two thousand people, when only a year and a half ago she had barely any fanbase in boston, was like mainlining hope into my veins. there are plenty of people do like good music. we spent some good time together and got to see each other again, this time at our show, a few days ago in minneapolis. we ate vegan soup and talked about a lot of things that bounce in our brains like labels and fame and how it doesn't matter what you say in an interview, the press can do what it wants with it. the only other (4) memory i can think of that is sharable was seeing elizabeth and the catapult play at the middle east. i liked them so much i asked them to open up for my solo show in boston on november 27th, so if you come you will see what i mean.

then i re-packed my red suitcase and we left for tour.

i packed my rollerskates but i don't think i am going to get a chance to use them.

this tour has been back to happy basics, i am in the dresden dolls and not a pissed-upon opening band. i have art-allies on the road with me in the human forms of sxip shirey (our fucking amazing MC and circus composer), katie kay and erin of Ladybird (who have been doing twisted dance routines during our set, you may recognize them as d'grrlz from the dresden dolls vs. panic video) and our crew has been functioning with love and precision. we've had time to see friends on the road and catch up with other musicians....david j came out in LA and treated us to his minibar when the hotel kicked us out of the bar, in san fran we saw the whole sleepytime gorilla museum/faun fables crew and thomas dolby, whose daughter is a fan (and she also made an excellent assistant during one of paul nathan's magic act - and speaking of paul nathan we saw his magic little theater & absinthe-bar digs and they are incomparable), i hooked up with victor from the violent femmes in milwaukee and saw his built-by-hand-with-love home recording studio, where hopefully the dolls can make an impromptu mellotron and bongo record someday, and i got to see aberdeen city open up for the electric six in portland. i got to take a nap with lane in chicago, jeffers brought some homemade chocolate in chicago and some wonderful fans of ours in san diego brought us homemade mango salsa and guacamole. this is what makes tour bearable.

but the highlight was portland, where i took a full two days off and bought a plane ticket to catch up with the crew while they rode the bus to minneapolis.
it was there that i finally got some breathing room and true time to myself, and i sat down to start writing the play we're about the perform, in earnest. the rehearsals are two weeks away.
it's time. i should have done this months ago. but i didn't. i feel like mozart in amadeus trying to stave off the hoards...."it's all here in my noodle" i say crazily as the directors and set designers worryingly prepare for a show that doesn't exist yet. it exists. it's coming into existence, fastly and surely. it's just in my head and i need to get it out right.
we played at the crystal ballroom, then drank til the wee hours with aberdeen city and i parted ways with my crew and checked into a hotel. i walked to osco drug, bought a 75%-off terribly scented candle, 2 childproof lighters (i only needed one, once, but that's how they came) and some iboprofen and spent the entire next day moving between four stations in the hotel room 1) bathtub, which i kept at a tepid temperature for hours with my terribly scented candle burning brightly by my side 2) floor, where i would read prostrate on a towel until i got cold and would return to bathtub 3) bed, where i would read prostrate on the quilt until i got cold and would return to bathtub and 4) desk chair, where i would read (email, mostly) upright until i got cold and would return to bathtub. i became very wrinkled and eventually dressed myself and headed to powell's where, after my baptism, i felt finally ready to start my writing process in earnest.

powell's (www.powellsbooks.com) is a portland landmark one of the biggest and best bookstores in the country. it's stacked and organized like a libarary and has an extensive zine collection and adjoining cafe. if i lived in portland i assume i would make frequent trips. i pored through the gunter grass section, bought some new books and a blank yellow notebook. then i took my bundle down the street to mary's all-nude revue (www.marysclub.com), another portland landmark, ordered myself a ginger ale and spring water, got my change in ones, and started to write up my notes. the girls were dancing to all variety of music, as they do, from the beatles to tom waits to the clash, and i occasionally looked up from my seat in the back, where i assume i too being eyed furtively by the other (mostly lonely, certainly all-male, most certainly not all-nude) patrons of the club. if the music was good and the stripper seemed like she was at least trying to entertain herself or anyone around, i would wander up to the stage and give her some ones. she would smile at me. then i would go back to my notebook and try to piece together the dresden dolls, war, art, rape, nightclub entertainment and the other pleasant and fun-for-the-family themes that are going to make up "the onion cellar".

the play has taken over my head, and it's not a bad thing. it's an awful lot like cramming for a test or writing an essay the night before it's due...which is the way i always functioned in school anyway. and i always knew i would do my work at the last minute, and after a while i gave up trying to be the sort of person who actually planned ahead and accepted that i was the sort of person who made specific plans ahead of time to not plan ahead. controlled procrastination.

so now i know how my life will be for the next week, i will tour at night and write during the day, and take a few moments out to maintain my band, since we have two massive shows about to go up in london on the 3&4. we are filming. if you are coming, FOR GODS SAKE LOOK NATURAL. that means, DONT LOOK NATURAL AT ALL. twist! scream! crawl!!! it's posterity!!!! we've put more effort into booking these london shows than almost any other show in history. the line-up in insane: Margaret Cho, Edward Ka-Spel, The Red Paintings, Jason Webley, Sxip Shirey, Baby Dee, Circus Krin&Jonas (yes, the very ones with their very wheel of death), Future Cinema, Zen Zen Zo from australia, art from Nick Vargelis, the Pish Dolls, fancy burlesque, aerial feats and more more more more more. brigade folks from all about europe are coming to art out. i am excited yet daunted by the organizational nightmare.


(now is now not now. now it's oct 24. it's later, but soon will be earlier)

in atlanta, next to criminal records at aurora coffee, trying to wrap this up in some meaningful way.no way.

here are some open letters anyway...

dear the man in the hotel exercise room in portland,
i'm sorry if i made you uncomfortable if you noticed i was crying while doing my workout on the elliptical machine. i was listening to a really good song and getting good ideas for my play and got all emotional.

dear the guy who posted his fantasy about me offering you a cigarette as a response to the last blog,
i only bum cigarettes from other people, not the other way around. you will have to change your fantasy sorry.

dear the yeah yeah yeahs,
i watched your DVD in preparation and for inspiration in making our own in a few weeks and it looked like you had a hard show and the audience was kind of lame. that sucks.

dear the electric six,
you rocked live and it was nice to see you and fuck the jocks your political statements did not fall on deaf ears. i hope you get what you want and that the rest of the road is kind to you.

dear cloudy gray sunglasses,
where did you go? i miss you a lot.

dear matt pepe,
i DID put you on the guestlist but the club fucked up. it wasn't my fault. please stop bad-mouthing me to our hometown friends, i want only peace.

dear Barbara Ehrenreich,
"nickel and dimed" was amazing, thank you for writing it. i just finished it and my head was pried nicely open.

dear cafe meshuggah in st. louis,
thank you for being such a perfect Again cafe and thanks for finding me when i lost my wallet. i will be back soon

dear the man who walked into the dressing room while i was naked in milwaukee,
don't feel too bad because generally i don't mind people seeing me naked and i'm sorry if the security was kind of mean to you but you shouldn't have sneaked back into a land where you don't belong.

dear the security staff of the club in perth,
you guys treated our crew so badly that we're never coming back to your club. fuck you and try being nicer to people, it works.

dear the terribly scented candle i left in the hotel in portland,
i'm sorry if you felt abandoned but i had no checked luggage and frankly you were way too heavy to take in my backpack on the way to minneapolis. i left a note with housekeeping to keep you if they wanted and hopefully you have found a nice home with some nice people.

i now have my own myspace page. i'll gradually be moving my diary over here for good so if you're reading this elsewhere, soon it will be living on the dolls site and at www.myspace.com/whokilledamandapalmer.
be. friend. me.


CathyofMadcityWI said...

I was the green living statue in Milwaukee and my son was the Rhino Kisser (he handed out chocolate kisses) We got there too late to hit up with Katie- he wanted so badly to meet Brian. Brian is his god. And I love you, so we make a team. The boy is six.

You guys kicked ass. Best fucking show ever and the surroundings were Heaven.
If you liked "nickeled and dimed" you might want to look up Michelle Kennedy's "Without a Net" a memoir of how she survived months of living out of her car and working with three kids.

Michelle Kennedy BLASTED Nickeled and Dimed on Salon.com because that particular author traveled and worked with health insurance, a safety net, and an education. Michelle Kennedy had none of these things and no hope of getting public assistance. SO her memoir is a considerably more raw.

DOes the Cloud CLub house in Boston do tours? Cuz I'll have a layover there on my trip to Ireland and fuck, it's a must see. Even with admission.

CathyofMadcityWI said...


As soon as you weary travelers get home, I'm shipping you some of WI's finest microbrews and local wines with sharp cheddar. SO is it red, semi-dry, or blush the preference?


Apollonia said...

Amanda and Brian - I wanted to say that your concert in Wellington was absolutely awesome and I enjoyed every second of it. And Amanda, I'm happy to see that one of your good memories on this tour was from NZ; I hope you also have good (albeit no doubt faint) memories of the Wellington crowd :)

It's great the Dresden Dolls didn't only play Auckland this time around! At the time of your previous NZ show, I was new to NZ -and new to the Dresden Dolls. But I'm so glad that an old workmate at BBC Bulgarian, who was lucky enough to interview you, recommended your band to me - I've been doing the same to everyone else ever since :))

You've made me realise how much I miss my piano back home...I miss it a lot when I listen to your songs! But perhaps this might be an incentive to get out of my "controlled procrastination" mode (how absolutely true this sounds of what I feel!) and actually buy one here - after all, there's the Songbook to discover!

Thank you for an amazing show, defying jetlag, fatigue and what looked like a hotel with a curfew...

I hope to see you live again soon; meanwhile I'll just envy those lucky people who get to see your London show - or your play!... Perhaps you can take The Onion Cellar to the New Zealand Fringe? as a rehearsal for Edinburgh?! :)

Lots of love,

ainsley said...

I'm sorry you guys are so tired from touring. I wish you good rest..hopefully you guys get the chance to get some.
This is a bit random, but I just thought it was kind of worth mentioning.
You've changed my life. So thank you very much for saving a very confused and frightened fourteen year old girl.

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

My pet rock and I just caught your show in Chicago. I enjoyed seeing you in the brilliant light-of-day down in Grant Park this past summer, but I'd say your native habitat is certainly with the other nocturnal creatures in the dark and cozy confines of a club.

I'm horrible with flowerly compliments, so I'll just say I really enjoyed the show and look forward to your return.

P.S. I hope The Red Paintings epic trail of unfortunate events has ended. They put on a brilliant set as well.

andrea said...

1) you have me wondering about the egg-and-avacado sandwich and i'm sure i'll keep wondering until i try it. so, there's tomorrow's lunch plan and i'll probably spend a few minutes tonight finding the recipe that looks the best.

2)speaking of regina spektor, i assume a thank you is in order. i more than likely would never have found out about her music if you hadn't posted stuff about her on the forum or this blog. she's finally coming my way so i'll get to see her next month.

3)you sitting down with the man on the bench. i think those are the moments to live for. having a converstation/connection with a complete stranger prompted simply by eye contact. it seems most people avoid things like this for fear of invading personal space, including their own. well i say fuck that, you never know who you could be missing out on meeting.

4)i was going to say something about your comment on the blog becoming a pity party but everything thing i thought seemed redundant, yet here i am going to try anyways.

as long as you're writing about what you feel, whether it's good, bad, happy, or sad, you're going to get comments that echo those feelings. at least it's real right? it's not faking that everything is perfect. from a readers point of view, i think that's a big part of what this blog is about.

5) i took the weekend off and drove to st. louis to see you again. the show was really good (i think it tops my list as best dresden dolls concert i've been to) and i was happy to hear glass slipper and lonesome organist rapes page turner. thanks for that wonderful night and bringing on the girls from gravity plays favorites again, they are amazing to see.

6) as i'm writing this i start to wonder how i come off as a reader/commenter. this time i'm numbering because i want to remember the points i wish to make which makes everything seem very straight and to the point. i don't like that it sounds like that. maybe i'm feeling that i need to sound poetic and profound also. well, i'll just go with what you said and fuck it, i'll let it go this time.... i know you get TONS of comments, but i start to think that if it was me i'd begin to read and realize, oh, here's so and so's comment. i guess it's just funny. ironic in someways. this weird, mysterious relationship we all have. our assigned roles: blogger, commenters, and silent readers. but there is something special about it, though i'm at loss for a discriptive word right now

the end or 7) it's time to end this, it's longer than i intended. but maybe necessary, i don't know. ok, take care and drink lots of tea, and i'll do the same.

all my love,


andrea said...

and silly me forgot to mention that i like the american sector shirt. i've got a metal sign of it on my wall so i was pleased to see you have it on you.

ok, go rest now if you can.


sexygoddess1971 said...

Hey Amanda,

I was at the first show you played in Melbourne and you were also having problems that night. At one stage I thought Brian had cracked it so bad he was gonna storm off. So I screamed and cheered in support of you guys, as did everyone else.

In the end it was a fantastic show which you and Brian got through wonderfully by doing a few songs with him on guitar and you just singing. Your voice was phenomenal and it gave me a new perspective on your vocal abilities. Oh and I loved seeing you play the drums while Brian and Jason Webley sang a cover of Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer. Priceless.


P.S. Thanks for opening my ears to other great musicians such as Jason and Regina.

sexygoddess1971 said...

Hey Amanda,

I was at the first show you played in Melbourne and you were also having problems that night. At one stage I thought Brian had cracked it so bad he was gonna storm off. So I screamed and cheered in support of you guys, as did everyone else.

In the end it was a fantastic show which you and Brian got through wonderfully by doing a few songs with him on guitar and you just singing. Your voice was phenomenal and it gave me a new perspective on your vocal abilities. Oh and I loved seeing you play the drums while Brian and Jason Webley sang a cover of Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer. Priceless.


P.S. Thanks for opening my ears to other great musicians such as Jason and Regina.

damian said...

I was at the 'shit' show in Melbourne too.
I'm sure that apart from the "i hate this fucking keyboard" comment, most people probably didn't pick up that much wrong with the gig...

After all, to paraphrase Frank Zappa, they're your songs, so nobody can tell you that you played them wrong.

As a massive fan of the band, it was great to be able to catch the show, but on the other hand, I almost felt guilty for the fact that you guys so obviously shouldn't have been there.

I think it's a tough call, and good on you for adding on the extra show, but when you try to keep everyone happy, often you end up pissing everyone off.
Since such a big part of the band is the energy and passion that goes into the music, if you lose that you lose your artistic integrity and become another arena band going through the motions.

It's all a matter of supply and demand really, brutal economics... treat them mean and keep them keen.

Cool show anyhow though.

zinferno said...

dearest amanda,
this last weekend i finally found a break in my schedule long enough to make it to your Chicago performance at the Vic theatre.


it was exactly the sort of energy inspiring evening that i needed in order to recharge my creative spirits and add something to what has otherwise been an incredibly busy and draining month full of deadlines and increasing demands as i finish my fine arts degreework.

being an artist there is a level of inspiration that can be found watching you perform. your and brian's level of passion and energy is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. it is also so wonderful to find some musicians that break down the fourth wall during their performances and actually acknowledge the audience in a manner that you do with your level of interaction and charming anecdotal moments. It is a sadness that so few musicians do this at your level and usually refrain from addressing the audience in little more than 'thank yous' and occasional bravado rants.

So in the aftermath of such an amazing night i willingly held onto it as long as possible to the point of altering a performance art piece i had scheduled for this last tuesday. It is not typical that i choose for a full disconnection from my audience and instead strive for a total seperated immersion, and under the circumstances it seems contradictory to your manner of performance, but in conception of my piece i wanted to provide that for myself and any the audience that came and flowed past me as i worked.

So headphones intact and a carefully choosen playlist of bliss reverberating through my ears, i dare say i gave my best performance art piece of the year. My professor was duly charmed, my critique was charged with positivity and a second followup performance expanding the original conception has been planned.

your voice is my muse it seems at the moment.. *laughs*

oh how embarassing it is to say so, but thank you for your art and your amazing presence.

ever a fan and admirer,

sven said...

Leaving a quick comment about the myspace site. I was wanting to give thanks to you for posting ampersand and night reconossaince on there. The piano composition is absolutely lovely for Ampersand. Absolutely gorgeous (ive been secretly trying to learn how to play it for the past week or so now...shh. dont tell anyone. I want it to be a suprise...).
Lyrically moving as well.

much love to the site. and I may be a gay man but Im diggin the "Lick my legs" shirt you rocked out in your old profile pick. The bride does nicely as well though.

also I thought that you might find this site interesting to view-


Leslie said...

Amanda Dear,

I miss you.
Come back to Columbus, Ohio.

So this post is full of random connections.

1.Yes, nickel and dimed IS amazing.

2.So is An Inconvenient Truth, and I have been acting as a walking adverstisement for it.

3.I bought a moleskin notebook this past week at the cutest book store in brooklyn (I have no idea what it's called but look for an amazing independent book store if you're ever in the williamsburg area)

4.Read House of Leaves by Mark Z.
Danielewski. It's mindblowing. I promise you will like it.

alanna said...

"nickeled and dimed" was wonderful. i felt that it gave me the right to both be destitute for now while i'm paying my way through school and to fight for something more for myself, and once i'm there to fight for something more for everyone else. very exciting.

an' it please you, i'm dressing up as the you in the video for "coin operated boy". it started with me thinking that your black velvet dress looked very comfy and i wished i could find something like that. and then i did. i hope i'll do you justice.

love, a.

dahlia said...

the security staff at heat nightclub in perth were fascists. they made half the audience leave in the middle of 'mad world'. fuckers.

however, you (& the red paintings & jason webley) played an incredible show. please don't let the horrible security people at heat dissuade you from coming back to perth. there are nice people in perth, at other clubs. we were all so glad here to be able to see you, it was wonderful, the best night of my life. come back sometime soon.

love, anna.

Pocahontas said...

sorry to hear that you guys have been haveing such a rough tour. hopefully your next trip to calfornia won't be so bad. also i hope to see your show again soon!and i hope you guys get a lot of rest.
stay awesome!


art_of_an_orgy said...

its sort of weird how people have such different perspectives on things.. like being at another show but to the people its not another show its THE show

its sort of something ive thought about after every concert ive been to

like someone who fucks everyone they see but it means something big to everyone they fuck, and even though its sometimes good and sometimes bad its just a fuck to them

like a concert.. how it plays in so many cities for so many people.. but for the people in each city its something so significant

if that makes any sence

but its sort of weird if you think about it...

if that sounds like im saying that you dont care about ur fans im really not but i have no idea have to word what i was trying to say

scarlett27 said...

I was at your first melb show, where you were also wrestling with keyboard-related technical difficulties. I know the melbourne shows are now a bad memory, but I just wanted to say I was one of the people thinking "wow..real". I was absolutely blown away by the total honest emotion that you resonated during that performance. I think sometimes live gigs are not just about the music, but also about connection with the audience, and you guys have that connection more than any other band I've seen. I've always liked the Dresden dolls, but that show converted me to a hardcore fan. You are unbelievably awesome! Thanks.

P.s good choice for support…red paintings were fantastic!

broken0wish said...


I was at that Melbourne show. I am a hardcore fan, so hardcore I went and saw you in Adelaide too. I knew you and Brian were not having the best night, but it was still fantastic and my 10 friends who are just as into you thought so too, so did our new friends who we met outside the venue. You are still great, even when you think you are at your worst (that's the moral of this post). Sure, Adelaide rocked a fuck-lot more, but Melbourne was still good and you know why? Because you didn't give in, because you played and you sang and you came out afterwards and signed things and spoke with us, your adoring fans. You didn't let us down and you made a lot more fans that night. And I played hopscotch on the pavement. xxx


maia got new stitches said...

hey amanda.
i think you would adore David Mack - check him out if time permits. he is the creator of the graphic novels series called "Kabuki". very varied and rich artistic style with a poetic and sometimes sparse narrative. i am glad you have a moleskine, they have served me and thousands of others very well. the red paintings were great, i thought they had a really well thought out set (with the b+w film etc)
i really hear what your are saying about the echo you find in this blog, in the comments that is. but don't feel bad, people aren't trying to make you sound like a whinge - they are simply empathising with you in some distant attempt to support you. put it this way, if i were working the shows,press, flights...crazy itinery that you were, i would be either: (1)dead (2)too selfish to be fucked writing anything for the record or fans (3)be thinking a little too much about death or quiting (not that you should...Please don't!!!) (4) be complaining or purging (whatever you care to call it) a lot more than you do.
i know it sounds irrational and a bit against the concentration gradient...but, do not feel the need to cut back on the stuff you want to get angry and upset about for fear of sounding ... i dunno,negative or something (u don't). because like you say, you are human, so are we. this is YOUR blog, so feel free to expose your cracks and vices, trials and tribulations.
you can sing!
love m.

maia got new stitches said...

...among other things. i have this upside down vegemite jar full of interesting rocks, sea glass and water. when you in front of a light it looks awesome. don't you think the colours in rocks look better when they are wet? when they dry out they look faded and less wow. it makes sense then, how they polish them and put them through those tumbler machines.apologisies for the pointlessness of this.

Lindy said...

Amanda and Brian. I watched you for the first time in St. Louis on October 21st. You make me want to play the piano again. You both were amazing. You gave me chills. Your words and music move me. I needed that, so I thank you both.

Sarah said...

Thanks for a fabulous show last night in DC! And thank you for making me, as a geriatric 30-year-old, feel cool for being the only one who knew all the words to "Mein Herr".

APandBV said...


I was at your show in DC with my friends and it was the best night ever. I really hope it was a memorable show for you, to prove that DC loves you guys so fucking much.

While the Red Paintings were playing we noticed that you were on the balcony above watching. I thought it was really cool, cause you were just hanging out, watching and singing along. It was just another thing to show how down to earth you guys are., which I love.

I will never forget friday night, it was the best show I've ever been too. Amanda your vocals are amazing, and the way you pound on that piano. Ah and Brian is amazing as well!

After the show me and my friends stood there arguing with my uncle so we could wait and try and meet you guys, but it was to late and parents were calling. So we went out and my uncle goes "they are right there!" but by the time we got up to the front, you guys had left. AH. I know I'm probably just rambling but I cannot get over it.

In your blog you mentioned one of the shows people were excited and quiet. I know we sang along, but we were quiet too, cause we stood there in complete awe. you guys are just that wonderful.

I will definitely meet you and Brian some day, and I'll be going to plenty more of your shows.

-Jessica. <3

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

I just commented yesterday.

But, I am again. I just saw the interview of you guys on youtube i believe it was right before your first show of the tour. And it prooves to me that you are taking a break! cause I hadnt heard it anywhere else cept for friends. Its good you're taking a break, as long as you come back! :) enjoy your time off.

and i was curiuos, do you think onion cellar is going to play anywhere besides ny? you should come to DC. I want to go so bad. I'm going to try and convince my grandparents to let me come and see it. and do you think after your break you'll tour at all solo?

I wrote a letter last night you guys will recieve it in the mail sooon

blogger56 said...

goodness, you're such a good writer, even in just writing about things with no particular direction.
if you ever feel like you need a violinist for your show, i'm your girl.
happy halloween, amanda and brian. i'm going as a dead prom queen with white makeup and my roommate's going as a slut, fidel castro's slut. so her boyfriend is going as fidel castro. they even got a huge scary beard too that i can't stand to look at.
good night, music theory homework beckons.

moelost said...

dear amanda,
a fantasy simply doesn't work unless the fantasizer is given something from the fantasizee. it appears at this point the story must remain as is. unless of course you would rather choose to give me a spare lollipop or break me off a piece of your kit kat bar.

crystalcleer said...

Hate to break the news (I lie, I love it) but Mary's titty bar and the hourly rate rooms above it are Portland's prime forums for the rapes of underaged street girls who the pimps in management let dance there for tips without asking questions about their real age, drug addictions, etc.

That shit ain't sexy, it's exploitation and taking extreme advantage of Portland's larger than large homeless youth population. I sincerely don't mean this to be condescending, but I wonder if you might be like me and need a few years of age behind you before learning to listen to the instincts tickling your belly when entering such poor-girls-as-fucktoys establishments as these. Took my dumb ass too many years to get over sexy wexy myself enough to stop contributing money to pimps, human traffickers, and other motherfucking childfuckers.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Minneapolis show with Matt and mutual friends and watched your kick-ass show. Unfortunately, Matt left. Then later on, I heard you say "Your passes are in the front of the club." So, I nearly met you, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. An awesome live concert, anyways!

Anonymous said...

Amaaaaahhhhhnnnnnda, Hello, Dahling, it's stepmummy (no, not her, the REAL one ;9) Just blogging in like every body else.
Alas, am I not a FAN?

Anonymous said...

Ammmmmmaaaaahhhhhhhnda, Dahling,
Elaaaaaaaaaine here blogging in...and after all why not, am I not a fan?

sexy said...













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