Thursday, June 14, 2007

the last of the mojitos


when i was in bordeaux i found myself getting caught in the occasional thought-trap of "how will i explain/write about this feeling/thing/person/event". for that reason itself i am looking at the blog like a source of scariness - you might lose your life fucking watch out. don't start thinking you're living in your own movie. when i'm overtired like this, raw and alone and kinda hungry at the end of a long day (we played chicago tonight), i feel like it's the best time to write because i won't bullshit or get flowery. i'll just dump.

bordeaux already seems like a distant experience. it was a beautiful, hard trip. i've let it all sink in and what i've learned most is that i don't do "vacation" well since i am not a normal person with a normal life and job (but what/who is fucking normal? nobody i know, and i know shitloads of people). i had a gorgeous little house all to myself in a quiet garden right outside of the city center. i spent the first 24 hours in a letlagged and slightly hungover haze (that was my wonderful host's fault, he fed and drank me over at his house upon arrival) just thinking i was the luckiest girl on earth to be afforded this luxury, this solitude, this beautiful place. it started raining non-stop and within 48 hours i was feeling depressed, confused and totally unmotivated. not gloriously alone, just isolated.

i didn't start feeling better until i started doing what amandas do. meeting people and setting shit up. so i met william through the kaiser chiefs show and told him i was climbing the walls and wanted to set up a solo show. he took me to el inca, i met milos, and within another few moments i had made friends, established a favorite bar and had a show to get ready for. then i felt more like amanda and i could get to work. funny what i need to be happy. a show, something to look forward to, a motivation to write. i started writing a handful of new songs (i rented a keyboard and amp for the house) and read a few books and re-watched the royal tenenbaums and whacked off a lot. i slept odd hours and cooked omelettes. i pedaled my ass into town every day and met up with new friends but mostly hung around cafes outside eating whatever i wanted (which usually involved chevre, which is very delicious goat cheese).

i took a lot of get-myself-lost bike rides and spent long hours in various cafes in various squares scribbling away in my journal, trying to figure out what the fuck i'm going to do with my record, my upcoming year, my life.

i drank a lot. of wine. and coffee. i became a fixture at el inca and saw a bunch of shows there inbetween sitting and writing at the bar while drinking very tasty fresh mojitos and sampling every kind of infused rum milos had brewing (vanilla, hot pepper, strawberry, ginger, and a few i forget). ludovic-pierre and i stole wine glasses from the creperie where we were eating and took the bottle to the river and stayed up into the night. one day my wallet got stolen from right out of my backpack at a cafe and instead of being pissed off, i was actually excited to have something to do (which was to go to the police and explain the situation in my pigeon french. it was a blast). the second to last night i played my show at el inca and it was just pure, unadulterated old-school awesome. just PLAYED. i had a few new tunes to try out and did a few covers but mostly just soaked up the simplicity of banging on the keyboard to an audience. handfuls of people wandered in having no idea who i was. just american chick banging on a piano. no discs to sell, no mailing list, no fucking nothing, just being handed a wad of greasy euros in the kitchen after the show split three ways between me and the other two bands. it was paradise.

i spent my last night glued to the bar at the inca, chatting with milos and desinging a little goodbye drawing to myself entitled "last of the mojitos". i plan to return to bordeaux as soon as fucking possible, the house is there when i need it care of the french government.

i have decided that what "vacation" means in my life is that i pay less attention to business and i drink and eat more. and that's it. it's not site-specific.

spending four days in vegas last week affirmed my feelings. people come HERE? deliberately? to have FUN? you're fucking kidding me. it's a nightmare disneyworld for adults but without the childhood nostalgia. but i managed to figure out a life there: i just found a cafe that i liked in the paris casino that closely resembled a real cafe, pretended i wasn't in vegas (i think thats also sort of the point when you're there, it's like one big virtual reality since all the casinos are theme parks of other countries) and ate decent food while i sat and wrote and fantasized along with all the other schmucks. i jogged a lot on the strip and in the casinos (jogging in a casino: try it before you die) and fucked with peoples paradigms. jogging to the buzzcocks is good. (also while in vegas: i shot a new karaoke video for MTV to air later this summer. it may or may not be to a cyndi lauper song that may or may not be about girls wanting or possibly not wanting to have fun.)

it's all about context. i went to bordeaux, i realized, because when i saw it on my off day it was during one of those typically miserable european tours where everyone was insane and grouchy and i really needed to get away from it all. the weather was gorgeous and the city and it's quiet winding streets just embraced me, it was exactly what i needed. at the time. it was like what food tastes like when you're starving. the place was a backdrop to a badly needed escape.

you never step in the same river twice. i didn't find that bordeaux again until the show at el inca. i set up my gear and had about two hours to kill and didn't want to hang around the club and talk and lose my voice and be tempted by different varieties of infused rum. so i went for a walk to get away. i stumbled into the most beautiful tangle of streets i had yet seen, it was twilight and a bunch of local artists and sculptures were partying and chatting away out on the balconies above their closed workshops busting with paintings and plaster. i felt, finally, like i had found what i came for.

i'm in love with my new songs. guitar hero is sounding better and better live and i think is up there with the best songs i've written. i only hope i can give all the songs the care and feeding they need to translate onto the record. i'm starting to have terrible self-doubt-feelings about how to make these songs work out of the live context and am starting to think more and more and more that less is more. with so many options of what to do, what sounds to make, i'm feeling overwhelmed. i'm going to be in santa cruz for a few days in july to arrange some songs with estradasphere (one of my favorite new bands, they share 3 members with the secret chiefs and are part of the mimicry/sleepytime gorilla museum/mr. bungle-type family) and will see how they come out. they are top-notch musicians and total sweethearts. jason webley and i found them by accident one night in boston when we were working on producing evelyn and evelyn's record. our jaws dropped. (here's links:, or myspace: speaking of jason, he and i are going to hopefully finish producing the twins' record in july and it sounds just beautiful. we've been trying to convince them to put up a webpage or a myspace page but they don't do internet very well, so we're working on it.

between france and true colors, at home on a whim one day i called up my friend noah and he helped me set up a home-recording studio in my bedroom. we just miked the piano and set up a vocal mic and plugged it all into garageband on my mac. i think the recordings i did that night and the next night might be the best i've ever done. they're just so fucking blunt. i wasnt thinking about posterity or mistakes, i was just recording for the sake of archiving the songs before i forgot them. now i listen back and i'm like: go to a studio why?? fucking finish this shit in your bedroom, amanda. that said, i got an even better idea: to do a cover song every day for a month. or forever. i'd like to have to do it on command at the mercy of some sort of online lottery of fans, or get a a nice little random jukebox robot who wakes me up and says GOOD MORNING AMANDA TODAY YOU WILL BE COVERING MARGARITAVILLE BY JIMMY BUFFETT WOULD YOU LIKE HONEY IN YOUR TEA post the shit up on myspace for a day at a time, then never again. just fun. i miss having fun. when i do covers, i have fun. when i play my own songs, i feel like i am working.


in band news: the "shores" video is rocking hardcore !!!!!
i am AMAZED, though, at how many people don't get the david lee roth reference. the WHOLE video is a pardoy, almost shot-for-shot, so it's weird for me to imagine what it's like to see it out of context.

anyway, here's a fun 8 minutes:

watch the original:
then watch the shores video:

it's currently got 17 honors and it creeping towards 60,000 hits. go us!!!!!!!!!!
post it, link it, spread that shit. even weird al yankovich wrote me an email to say that he loved it!!!! :) um, i'm high.
though depressing to see all the WHERES BRIAN comments from people who arent in the loop. we had really wanted him to be there....i missed him on that shoot more than anyone. so it goes.

we've been on the true colors tour for almost a week now and it's been in-fucking-credible. there's lots to tell, most of it fantasy-level. i'll write more soon, i need to go jog to the buzzcocks now (actually, i think i'm going to jog to the new NIN record) and try to answer 256 emails and work on my voice for the five-in-a-row we have coming up so i don't sound like a fucking corpse with a cold on stage. to all of you who i've met in the past week, thank you, thank you so much for making it out. we've been signing after every show so if we haven't hit your city yet and you're coming, find us for love (after our set and during debbie harry's), we're usually set up my the merchandise tables but miss margaret cho will always announce exactly where.

oh and one last thing, i'm switching instruments
i'm fucking sick of the fucking piano.
new results can be found here:

and here are some photos from bordeaux.

my backyard:

the inca (thats milos on the right):

inside the inca:

view from my barstool:

drunken self-portrait in the middle of the night, with bicycle:

up late w/ william & his friends from leisure:

ludovic-pierre in front of st. pierre:

outtake from a photoshoot with greg behind my house:

still life with legs:

very last night in bordeaux:



another said...

The covers thing is a great idea! (Forever!) I wish i had seen your show in Bordeaux... You don't often come that close! :-( Anyway i hope that for the next tour the Dolls will stop by Marseille - another lovely french city, i swear.

Manda said...

yay ... a blog by Amanda.

I wish i could get away and drink mojitos and rum in a french city. unfortunately unlike your talented self, I'm still in the moneyless stage of my life, and thus can't afford it!

anyway, i hope you feel a bit refreshed, and i'm looking forward to hearing ur new sounds (in australia of course!)

luv (another) amanda

p.s., the Shores vid is awesome!

ckyriakos said...

your vacation sounds amazing, and i'm glad you're having fun and being happy.

if you'd like another vacation and need suggestions, i have a great one: Santorini, Greece
quiet, romantic, GORGEOUS, beautiful water, winding alleyways with artists and sculptors..
beaches, good wine, good food. and beautiful sunsets.

[if you don't believe me, an episode on Food Network will be airing called "Giada in Paradise" on Saturday and it takes place on that island of Santorini]

anyways. give it some thought?! i love you.

SANTA CRUZ NEXT MONTH?! when? i should be going soon. hopefully next month, and run into you all of the sudden on the boardwalk.

also in august in santa cruz, a good band will be playing. The Tubes, i think you'd like them.


i love you

atonalruss said...

Looking forward to the Boston show this weekend. Sounds like the vaca was just what was needed.

David said...


Creep was awesome- it's a great fucking song. Love the shores vid too. You are wonderful. Have a fantastic summer, but please be safe. Don't burn yourself out.

You are so right about "funny what i need to be happy. a show, something to look forward to, a motivation to write." Such a simple truth. When we have nothing to look forward to, sadness comes.

I will NEVER go to Vegas. EVER. Stephen King destroyed it in The Stand for good reasons. Thanks for blogging.

Marika said...

I think you should do a cover a month. Always on ukulele. I saw the Creep video a little while ago and giggled hysterically for quite some time. I thought it was beautifully creative and at the same time hilarious, I just never thought I would hear Radiohead on ukulele.

Anyway, yeah, have a happy happy tour. :)

Melissa said...
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andrea said...

less is more, i think. but that doesn't mean that less has to mean lacking. are you worried about adding too many instuments? or not knowing when it's done, if you should stop or add more? i understand. but i don't think there is anything wrong with a little sprinkling of different sounds here and there. yes, of course, i would be tickled pink with a simple Amanda and her piano album. but it's not about me, it's about you. they are your songs and from someone who has spent many hours listening to studio recorded versions of Dolls songs, I think I can say that if you've been following your instincts so far, and if you keep doing that, you should be good.

Shores of California video AND Creep cover: you kicked ASS, rock on!

the myspace cover song for a day idea: fucking brilliant.

i don't know how much free time you have on your hands right now. not a lot, i know. but during those late nights on the bus when your not sleeping, like now or whenever you have some time for yourself just to fuck around on the net, here are some things that maybe will make you feel good. i liked them, i'll just assume that you will too. i'm not going to tell you what they are. i'll just let it be a surprise.

all my love


Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
entropyartist said...

Um, the ukulele.....
fucking brilliant.
and totally under-utilized; you should hop on that happy wagon.

As always, your writing brings an extra bit of good-creative-people vibes to my life.
I live in montana. Those vibes are few and far between here, so thank you.

brianna verdugo said...

ill be honest, i like you a lot. not only because your in an amazing band, but because i read this entire blog and didnt feel bored, infact i laughed out loud multiple times.

also, the shores video is amazing. aparently two people in it are from my hometown. my sister called like 50 times to say her friends were in it, but i was in a bad mood and didnt anwser. so i saw it the next day.

p.s. im extremly jealous you went to france. id only be more jealous if it was japan. but at the same time im really glad you enjoyed it instead of people who go to other countries, and spend idiotic amounts of money to stay in and be in places that are designed to look like rich places in america. its like people dont go to other contries to go to other countries, they go for stories and some what of an acomplishment. im really gald you got drunk in a hole in the wall place, and walked around with intentions of getting lost, and took pictures in the middle of the street. do it more often.

im sorry this is so long, i feel like im intruding on you. but all of it, somehow, was a compliment to you. hope you can see it that way.

Jon Leighton said...

I loved the Creep video! Have you seen this?

I hope to see you at the Edinburgh fringe :)

Alex said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

nan said...

i love milos and el inca
my band schwervon played there a while back
bordeaux is gorgeous!
we have another friend in common (regina) - always wanted to tell you how much i love your writing
but was too chicken shit till now.

but i really love it.
thanks for putting it out there.

David Grenier said...

I haven't posted your video on my blog yet (sending literally up to a DOZEN viewers your way!) but my first thought on seeing it was - "Holy shit its like I'm back in the 6th grade except David Lee Roth is an art chick!"

My second thought was - "How many Dresden Dolls fans are old enough to get this?"

Damien said...

"fed and drank me over at his house upon arrival)"


Also, how are you enjoying Year Zero?

Reina said...

Much love from the two Dresden Dolls fans in the front row at True Colors Chicago. We're the ones Margaret Cho made fun of. Yeah. The obviously insane ones.
I'm still kinda high off the whole thing- I was typing away at the office on Tuesday when a friend of a friend of a friend unloaded two radio prize tickets, and BAM! there I was handing Cyndi Lauper off the stage. I don't want to do anything else for the rest of my life but be in the front row at concerts.

We (me and my ticket-procuring friend) didn't manage to get out to the merchandise, because it felt like leaving during Ms. Cho's set and she was looking right at us, (and pointing at us) and by the time we finished buying signables during intermission y'all were gone. How often do you do this signing/greeting the populace thing? I'd normally be too shy, but Tuesday night we got so close to all that POWER and ROCK on the stage that I still need a picture to believe it happened.

I could talk about it for ages, mostly incoherently. I have been.
Rosie O'Donnell saw me give my number to a roadie. I was hoping to get that picture I missed, but I think she judged me for it.

Naruko said...

i must admit i didn't know about the "california girls" video... shame on me waaaarghhh >__<

so you went to Bordeaux ? oh,shit. i wish you came to Besançon so we could have met, haha.
I like your photos alot. not because they're beautiful or well-taken, no. just because i can feel an atmosphere in them.

bye !
(if you have some time to spare, take a look at my blog...even if it's all written in french, i'd like you to see my drawings and to get your comments ! )
thanks in advance !

Andy said...

"it's a nightmare disneyworld for adults"


no, seriously. I have a photoessay I made there. Me standing in front of every single fountain on the strip, giving it the finger.

thanks again.

Marciel said...

Hi Amanda,
I was at the True Colors tour in Columbus, OH. I totally booked it to the lobby when Margaret Cho announced you and Brian were gonna be signing autographs afterwards.
I feel silly about this because I am 26 years old and I felt like it was 1989 and I was meeting New Kids on the Block.
I have never done this before. Except for one time a few years ago when I went to meet Jenna Jameson at her book signing. I have no explanation for that though.
I am trying to make this short but I just have a few questions for you, I dont know if you will be able to address them but here goes...
#1. Is it really weird to be meeting all those hoards of fans after shows? You and Brian were really nice, but I couldn't comprehend what that feels like. I thought for a second I stared too long at you and we made eyecontact for a nano second (I think?) and I felt REALLY creepy. Like I looked like the creepy old lady in line.
#2. Does it creep you out to know that everybody in line is lusting after you and frothing at the mouth? Because they are. Do you block it out or embrace it?
#3. Where does your confidence come from? Will you write a self help book? Because I had to stop myself from saying "Hi, My name is Jen, I work for an insurance company and my life is really lame.",then burst into tears.
#4. Have you ever heard of The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus? I saw them perform in Cleveland last night and I thought man, it would be awesome if The Dresden Dolls went on tour with them. They are like an old school punk rocky adult circus. Check them out!

Feel free to come visit my sad little blog if your life ever starts to become less awesome and you want to feel better about yourself.

Tits and ass,

Beautiful_Wretched_Liar said...

Seriously? People missing out on the David Lee Roth reference? COME ON PEOPLE!!! Jeeze Loise!

I am so happy that you found your happy place in Bordeaux! You live a fascinating life. I would love to see a raw performance of yours. Perhaps you should create an alter ego for those times when you just want to cut loose. I imagine a red wig and the name Anastasia.

You need to have more fun hun. Play your cover songs. Garage band is amazing. I have no musical talent what so ever and even I have a blast recording random shit.

I shall be visiting you lovely folk tomorrow at true colors. It shall be me and my best friend. I hope you will be continuing with the signing of stuff tomorrow cause I have quite a few things that need some amazing amanda love. I just hope I don't embarrass myself. Chances are: I will. So that tall 'fluffy' blubbering chick tomorrow will be me.

FYI Fuck the piano. You don't need it. You and that ukulele are going places kid. I can feel it. And I got a knack for sensing this shit.

PS Just because you said that you might be listening to the new NIN album I get to steal that information and alert all of the NIN fans of it. NIN Hotline here I come!!!! Yea I am a NINcompoop. You wanna go Ms. Palmer?

ElliotManning said...

I just love the way you write. The content is always spectacularly thought-out and never rambly, and it always pulls me in, so I'm a little let down at the end that it's over. But that's the sign of a great piece of writing for me -- if it's so good that I can't get enough of it and when it's done I feel a little sad.

So, it's great! Hope the rest of the True Colors tour goes harmoniously.

David said...

Also love the self portrait of you and the bicycle at night. You're a good photographer AND a good subject. What a combo you are!

Let's ride bikes some time!

rotten said...

Can ya stand it...Last night we went to see the Boston show...Drinks on our deck with ocean views went longer than planned but we expected to have plenty of time...buzzed in, had a parking space of a friend under the Seaport Hotel...everything going according to plan albeit a little late...Grabbed a beer and turned around to see you guys signing stuff...NO SHIT we missed your set...We went to see you guys...I was too dumbstruck to even meet and greet and my girlfriend forgot her camera (she brings that fuckin thing EVERYWHERE)... The show was great though and we did get to see you with Cyndi...Keep the blogs coming...My girfriend is too impatient to read them and wants me to read it aloud to her...she hears me laughing and wants in on the joke...Hope you are enjoying this tour..

June Miller said...

Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?

I love most of Wes Anderson's films. I haven't seen The Life Aquatic yet, but I'm fixing to get around to it. Rushmore is actually my favorite movie in the world. Again, well played.

You know, I was kind of saving this for the next time you guys come to the Bay Area and I could ask this in person (and seem pretty fuckin' sweet), but since you brought up the topic of covers...I was listening to "Sex and Violence" by The Exploited a while ago, and, I don't know, I thought it'd be kind of interesting to what you and Brian could do with it. Him with the drums, especially. Just not in front of the True Colors crowd. That might not go over so well. Simply an idear, I suppose.

Seriously, isn't Weird Al a bad-ass?

I cannot emphasize how envious I am of your wonderful vacation and your wonderful vacation cottage. I'm glad to hear it was splendid. All that rum sounds damn good compared to my lonely beer. Damn good.

I look forward to the Berkeley performance.

Maire?? said...

haha bitches! i do not know why i am here, because i use myspace, and amanda is more likely to read what you write on myspace, even if myspace is over rated. infact i do not even think amada reads what you write here, i don't know, maybe maybe she does. anywho, if someone is reading this, then that is odd. but i met amanda and brian last night. that was the best thing ever! TRUE COLORS!

FireAngel said...

That video was so professional! Amanda you make a very sexy teacher too. *yum* Watching the first shores video sure brought back memories. I think I liked yours better though. I liked that it made fun of making women nothing but pretty objects.

The creep video looked like a blast. One of those spontaneous things you never forget.

CawfeeGuy said...

you were incredible in Atlantic City!

SammieIves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SammieIves said...

Amanda you're my fucking hero. I just thought you should know that. I love your music. you're fucking amazing in concert. I saw you at Radio city music hall for the true color tour. God, i wish i could see you again. I would do anything. I almost fainted when i got to meet you, and take a picture with you, oh and when i gave you a kiss =X teheheheh. ahh i need to see you again. i'll die if i don't. <333
I wish you the best from the bottom of my heart.
Love Always,

btw...i love the pictures you took.

Ps. you're so fucking sexy, you make my panties happy=X

here's a pic of us.. ( you have to go to the site)

my myspace

Erika said...

i'm glad you got what you needed! and ukulele fucking AMAZING! but dont give up the piano. HAVE FUN! that's something importrant in life to do! lots of love ~ Erika S

FashionFuture said...

I love the covers idea it would be so awesome please do it ^^ I can't wait to hear any new music from you. Gravity and Girl Anachronism are stunning songs and I pride myself on knowing all the words and keeping up with you when I play them ^^

stef said...

Tonight you def. played in Atlanta. You guys were amazing, but totally didn't play enough. Sure, the other bands were nice, but I came to see the Dresden Dolls and there was only four songs. BUT I got to meet you guys after at the signing and it was well worth it... I just wish I had made less of an idiot of myself.

Hope you're feeling better.
Come back soon?

and btw: vacationing in France= on my to do list.

A Unique Alias said...

Hm. There was a lady passed out in your back yard, which reminds me of the backyard scene from Shawn of the Dead.

Spot-on with Vegas. I went there for two weeks on my 21st birthday and really should've gone anywhere else.

xcruellaxdevillex said...

hey! sooo...
i was standing outside of radio city when you did creep out there. i just wanted to say i really do love the band, i'm completely speechless on how a cover of creep on a ukelele can be so awesome. anyway, whenever you guys come to the tristate area, i'll be around!
(remember the funky spelling? haha)

Laura said...

David Lee Roth really? Well you learn something new everyday :O)

Alice said...

Bordeaux sounds heavenly... makes me realise that I really NEED to go somewhere new. Unfortunately, it won't be ths Summer as I'm still revising hard for my GCSEs. However, next year I should be going to Berlin and Amsterdam for a couple of months, for the INternational Brecht Society Festival in Berlin and visiting friends/family in Amsterdam. So readin your blog today has made me even more impatient.
I was watcing the Roundhouse DVD preview, and spotted the top of my head and my hand waving in the air! I am now even more excited. Unortunatelym there was a very tall person standing in front of me, so it seems likely that that's all I'll be seeing of me. Oh well, it was the best night of my life.

Kaylee said...

Your piano skills are fucking amazing.

You make me want to try being good at that damn instrument again.

Keep doing what you do.

Kaylee Smith

Kevin Doran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Doran said...

Not correcting, cuz i know you don't care about mistakes; just making aware: i think it's 'pidgin', instead of 'pigeon'.

Always good to see you're well.

Biby Cletus said...

Hi, i just surfed in searching for interesting blogs on Spirituality, you have a cool blog. Do keep up the good work. I'll be back even though i live far from where you live. its nice to be able to see what people from across the world thinks.

Warm Regards from the Other Side of the Moon.

On a related note perhaps you might find the following link interesting. Its propossing a theory and i'll like to hear your take on the subject via comments. See ya...

Jesus an Essenes ?


Kerala, India

ghysmo said...

hy amanda,

it's the first time that i write you ( and probably the first that i add my shit on a blog).
yesterday i went to the cinema to see a german movie called "4 minuten". did you see the film? it's about a "crazy" girl that plays piano (thats because i decided to write it to you). if yes what you think about it?
if you don't, i hope you will do it soon.

greetings from bologna italy

sexy said...