Wednesday, June 18, 2008

celtic scramble brain pudding

mother of fuck.
home, about to go to bed. but WAIT
the celtics won the basketball world series and it sounds like there's a full-on riot going on outside. car horns blaring, people making hooopy animal sounds, and now helicopters. it is times like this that i find myself very torn about a) living in the city and b) being a human being. i'm sort of embarrassed for us. and i'm also jealous of people who love sports.
it's seems so easy, you have something concrete to get excited about, and you have something in addition to the weather about which you can prattle on to your fellow strangers.

i've been at home.
since tour there's been a whirlwind around my head and i'm, again, not really quite sure what i've been doing. id have to look at the calendar. my brain is fried. and it's loud outside. i know i've been finishing the record (i have, indeed, been "finishing the record" for about sixth months just went in to be mastered for the FOURTH time).

i know i've been trying to get ready for the shows with the boston pops, which are going to be in two days and also going to be incredible. i'm a little scared. i hate practicing. i am frightened of the many real people in the orchestra who all show up the day of, look at my music, play it without ever having seen it before during rehearsal, go get a sandwich, then play a huge show with me. it's weird. i want it to be good. i am trying. i'm doing so much WEIRD and new stuff for me. you'll see.
i will write about it.

i know i've been working on the album artwork. i am used to this process being long and arduous. i've gone through 3 or 4 completely different concepts and finally hit one that stuck. and now is now, so that's what it is. i don't like imagining that i have to present myself to the world on a 5 inch by 5 inch piece of cardboard. but i do. so i stress it and try to make it as perfect as possible. that is how i do it.

they are still yelling outside. people in heat. it's getting louder. the horns are blasting. there's whooping. it's getting frighteninger.

why not?

i've been trying to picture my life from here on out. it's very blurry and yet very exact. i know that i'm about to leave home and get on a ride that wont stop for about a year while i tour around the world promoting this thing. but i want to. i've never been so proud of something in my life. i want to eat my record.

oh, wait. no - now i remember.
last week i shot videos with pope. (for those of you who don't know him. he's my dear friend, ex-housemate and also directed most of the dolls videos and paradise DVD).
we took 5 whole days and blocked them off and made 5 videos for the record.
all very low-budget, all very simple. just a small idea, pope and a few cameras, and me, trying to act convincing. i think it worked. pope is going to send me the edit for the first one tonight. we're then going to start putting them online, one by one, until the record is out in september. it's real. it's starting.
the first song is going to stream on myspace next week.

me & pope on set (yes, that's my kitchen. again):

good god, it sounds like war out there.

i was going to take an ambien to go to sleep (i have a radio thing at 8 am tomorrow) and now i don't even think it will work through the noise. we'll see.
hang on.

ok....they're rioting. i wonder, really, how long they can keep it up.
while the ambien kicks in, i will keep typing. i assure you, things will start to get tyop-y and weird. as i drop to the floor, i'll hit send.

being on the set again with pope was good for the soul. i am reminded that working with people you like and who like you is the key to happiness.
our schedule became so regular that it felt like i had a job. wake up, get onto the set, make videos all day, finish at 10, go to the bar with the crew, order beer, unwind.

all the while, i was trying not to notice that my computer had crashed and was sitting inert on my desk, waiting to be saved. i finally took it into the mac store (they're very nice at the mac store)and about 3 days later (as i paced outside the video set like the waiting-room friend of a stroke victim about to hear the doctors pronouncement) found out that my mac was unsalvagable. the last time i'd backed it up was two months ago. i lost an extraordinary amount of work and a ton of photos and all of my mishmash organization (i organize my entire life inside mac Mail. which means my mail lives on my machine not online. which means if my machine crashes, i lose tons of shit). i found it strangely liberating. i toyed for a few days with the novel idea of becoming a new person.
there's a line from a song by guided by voices that i just fucking love. it goes:

I'm going to start a new life/
with my valuable hunting knife

and i think everybody knows this feeling. some small event or object inspires you to just give up and start over. change wardrobe. re-name self. start carrying pocketwatches or wearing moustaches. that kind of shit. its always tempting. i decided for about a half hour that it might be better off being one of those musicians who just doesn't email or answer anybody's shit. i could pretend the internet was a distant memory, let my managers decide what my website should look like, let other people worry if i had posters at my show or not.
i might even start writing music again.
i realized recently that i haven't written a new song in over a year. that's a record. it scares me.
it's funny. i got an idea for a song the other day and as i came into the apartment i found myself thinking "sit at piano? write song" and the immediate nasty comeback in my brain:
"no. don't write song. let idea rot forever. you have a record coming out in 3 months that you're going to be touring on for a YEAR. why do you need more songs, fool?"
this is the kind of twisted logic i live by. the truth is i actually just don't like work. i really like getting ideas. i just hate everything that comes after that.

the sonic kaleidescope continues outside. i really wish you could hear it. it's like a cross between a rave, a parade, and a terrible, terrible traffic jam.
motorcycles are revving. men sound like they're dying. if i had the energy id go out and watch.

neil gaiman is working with me on the book that is going to accompany the record. he's also writing some liner notes for the back of the album art, which is taking a bizarre turn into the 1960s.
he's an amazing man, this neil gaiman. (the ambien is kicking in). he is kind of a rock star trapped in a writer's body. i like the way he talks about things, it makes me feel like i could spends hours and hours with him and never get bored and never stop laughing and never forget for too long the profundity of silliness. i feel so lucky. all of these incredible people have come into my life lately. neil gaiman. ben folds. beth, my assistant who is helping me save my life so that i can go tour in peace.

it's stopped. now its started again

good are screeching.

ive been finding slugs on the steps
the front door came off its hinges today

here's a haiku:

in the loud city
cars express their happiness
the lawn is screaming

definitely time

time to go to bed. i think i'll enjoy these sounds much more from a supine position.......................


p.s. if you're coming to the POPS shows, try to take illicit footage without getting caught. i'd love to see this stuff wind up on youtube.

p.p.s. here's a little clip of me rehearsing at symphony hall


LMS said...

I'm in LA, where there's been moaning and wailing and nashing of teeth and much crying into tea and other hot beverages...and I would gladly sell my cat into slavery for a sleep aid. Not that this has any bearing on anything seeing as how up until 24 hours ago I didn't even know who we were playing, or what day it was on.

Molly said...

Rawr. I normally don't comment on your posty-bits; rather, I just lurk and read.

But -- a collaboration with Neil Gaiman! That's fantastically cool! And, I am ashamed/amused to say, it made me do a complete dual-fangirl squee when I read it. (I never knew I was a fangirl until now...) I cannot wait to see what you and he come up with.


Nicholas said...

My poor Amanda. Not that you know me or anything, other than when you gave me a hug at a show in Texas. I just like being able to say that, lol.

I live next to noise, a lot It took quite a while to get used to it. That and having trance music stream all night long to try and cover it up. Here is wishing you some soothing sleep, as I stay up and waste mine <3

Idril said...

I know that i love the idea that if i wrote to you i could get an answer and connect somehow to your existence, that you are not just this someone trapped in the unreality of a tv or a stage. I love to think that when I'll be finished writing this damn letter you'll actually read it. If your computer doesn't crash.
But the real reason why i love you in the first place is what goes on within your songs, and between you, brian and the audience during a concert, and that's it. so if being distant helps you go back to music.. Do it.
-with love

L said...

Neil Gaiman? Wow... That opens up a whole tangled mess of 6-degrees-ness... idity...

Now try for Neal Stephenson, and the universe may go supernova and collapse on itself.

sarah said...

I'm actually really jealous that you get to listen to all of that nonsense. As tired as you are, I think it would be fun just to see how our people react to certain things.

I'm goin' to see you on Friday, fo' my birthday !
One of my friends blew me off and isn't coming, though.
It's okay. It's so worth going just to see/hear you. :}

You totally should start writing songs again in your downtime.
See you Friday, love.

Elizabeth said...

The celtics win is crazy! I haven't checked the morning news, but there is always bad news following a riot. I bet this was x a million because it was on our turf.

My flute teacher from when I was 12 years old was AMAZING! She is in the Pops! I understand you freaking out about it, but just have fun :D

Kyle said...

I think you are an amazing person Amanda, it gives me hope that I can one day follow my own dreams to get where i want to be in life. Your so passionate about your music and it takes so much to stand up for what you believe in and not care what anyone else tells you.

I've had a really rough time the last 2 months, but I find reading all that you go through gives me the strength to fight for my dreams.

with love

love reading your blog, probably the only blog on the net I await for a new installment =D

Georgia Kid said...

God bless Neil.
Those drunk fucks kept my Great Dane up all night pacing up and down my bed, making it impossible to sleep.

eagle said...

I must be really out of the loop if I am hearing about basketball and its championship victories here. At least I'm pretty sure Larry Bird is not on the team any more. Right?…anyone.

Jed said...

I'm going to see you on Friday, with Vess and Val and others.

Will be slightly weird - I worked for BSO for 5 years - so parts of my world are coming madly together in some insane way. My first thought on watching the Boston dot com clip was "Wow, Pat Hollenback looks really old now."

So Neil Gaiman is working with you? Egadzooks. Wow. Hmmm.

Celtics noise? Umm, yeah. And then the ominous choppers and all the sirens. Made me want to hide in cellar or attic.

Looking forward (immensely) to Friday!

A said...

About your computer -
you can usually recover the files on a crashed computer with a data recovery service if you still have the hard drive. it just costs a lot, so the Apple store guys don't usually suggest it.
Also, there is a service that automatically will back up your new computer daily to apple's servers in california (so you don't need an external hard drive or disks or anything) it can be set up at
I learned this the hard way when my Mac crashed a few months ago. . .

Talking Mime said...

Thats pretty awesome... The pops think i mean.

I couldn't come to your concert when you came to the varsity playhouse in atlanta, but i wish i could have.

My sister went and she didn't stop talking about it for WEEKS. Apparently you guys were amazing... grrrr. stupid party... [reason i could not go...]

sarah said...

theres one injury from last night, how many more can we count?

oh, btw. you're picture up there ^ is gorgeous. :}<3

Yorksdevil said...

Sports fans usually riot when they lose not when they win. Boston fans must be giddy with this coming on the back of the Red Sox's return to glory. I wouldn't hold my breath for the Bruins to win a cup any time soon though.

Len Tower Jr. said...


get a mac geek friend to get your mac backing up every day

it's trivial to have copies of both incoming and outgoing mail saved on a server elsewhere

buy a second identical mac, and back up to it on the road each nigth (yes another bed-time chore: insert cable, start backups, ...)
don't use the 2nd machine for anything else.
other carry along options exist.

it's also possible to backup over the internet to a server.

continue to backup as you are now.

and have someone check the backups once a month or so, and make SURE your stuff is there!

you don't know if a program has worked, until you check it's output.

(btw, there has been a lot of engineering and science down about how to do backups ...)


i trust you have read/viewed much of neil gaiman's work.
like you, he has yet to disappoint me.

pretty sure you would enjoy reading bruce sterling

might start with his holy fire

i think you'll enjoy reading him more than neal stephenson


i have friends who to paraphase:

it is times like this that i find myself very torn about a) living in the city and b) being a human being. i'm sort of embarrassed for us. and i'm also jealous of people who love rock-n-roll

; - }

best -len

sarah said...

Okay, so I'm going on my third comment with this blog, but I noticed you put up that video, and OH MY GOD.
it just totally pumped me up for friday. you have no idea.
and your shoes and socks are adorable!@%^&

i'm ten times more excited like you have no idea. woooo~@!#$%^

Emma said...

That is such a lovely photo of you filming. *grins* I'm really, really looking forward to seeing the clips! And I've been desperately wishing to come and see the pops show, but I guess YouTube will have to do. It's going to be amazing, you'll be amazing, have a brilliant time!

Also, Neil Gaiman is my writing hero. I was going to ask him if he was collaborating with you when I saw him at his Melbourne signing but I wussed out. That the two of you are working together/know each other makes me squee, a lot.

Best of luck with the show!

Rena said...

WOOOOOOOW. That sounds amazing!!! You deserve to play there. For real. Just don't let me catch you at Carnegie here in NYC or somesuch. You're too good for those yuppies.

June Miller said...

I don't know, I think I could handle riot noises. I live next door to hicks and they're almost always whooping and hollering and revving their goddamn dirtbikes fucking early on Saturday mornings. Not that I'm bitter about that, or anything.

That whole video, you are giddy. Giddy, giddy, giddy, giddy. It's wonderful. You're pumped about this. :) Rightfully so. I was really happy to hear you explaining the violin part to that guy, because that is EXACTLY why this performance is going to be sweet: Everyone's going to be hearing how it sounds in your head through the whole orchestra, and it's going to sound facking gorgeous. I also like those stockings very much.

Yeah, I have to second the request to make an illicit recording somehow, because I'd really really like to see this. Just another reason to hate California, I guess.

Personally, I think you should go ahead and write out whatever you got going on. It's better to get it out and, I don't know, keep it for later, than to just disregard it entirely. I do that a lot with my writing. I'll think of something that sounds pretty cool, write it down, and then somewhere down the line I'll be working on some same song I've been doing for a while and then I'll find that little thing I wrote..and it fits into it somehow. And then I can add onto it from there, somehow. Make it a bridge? Then round it all back up again and hope it works out. Anyway. You might wanna consider it, I guess?

Yeah, I had to take a break from the interwebs for a couple of days. And the computer in general. I felt like I was starting to live on the thing. Doesn't help that my real-life friends and my online friends now pretty much co-exist as one, these days. Oh, well. I know how to handle my scandal. Nothing to worry about.


Hm. Though it doesn't help that I'm posting things on said interwebs at 5:45 in the morning. Whatever dude, I couldn't sleep.

Jeff said...

I'm dying to hear this show -- I just found out that you were doing this as a result of this post, and it's too late to change my plans to make it tonight. I really feel like i'm missing out. I understand you don't want to peddle your shows on your blog, but where can I go to find out about events like this without scanning everything on or what have you every day?

Is there any chance this performance could be released in a live-album form (chances are bootleg YouTube videos aren't going to get the job done)? I'm just dying to hear this and am so unhappy I'll miss it.

Thank you for your wonderful music

nick said...

All of the data solutions are uniquely Mac-User tainted. Don't take that the wrong way, guys.

Unless the hard-drive has physically begun to fall apart, the data recovery service is an effective (but likely un-neccessary) solution to your crisis.

Just go find the geek in your life. You know it's him or her because they will 1) have a desktop computer (perhaps a laptop or two as well, but a geek will always have a desktop), 2) be comfortable with the idea of removing your hard drive from your laptop, 3) understand concepts such as "serial ATA" and "master and slave" drives. If they start acting like the computer is a hermetically-sealed mystery box, run away.

The geek will get you sorted out. Consider asking them to suggest easy and low-cost solutions to other tech problems that might be plaguing you.

A word of warning, politely ignore their suggestions to install operating systems with foreign-sounding names.

Kiah said...

So, for the Pops concert I am dressing in a fancyish dress but I am also coloring the whole thing so it will be a piece of art. I am unsure of how this will turn out yet because of my lack of time and creative motivation right now but I was wondering will there be others dressing up? I am extreamly excited to sit at a table.

Wonder Jens said...

Hmm. Ok. Here’s the thing.
My friend and I happened to be in Westport when you played in KC last month, we’re both fairly recent, but HUGE, fans of the Dresden Dolls. We had no idea you were in town until I happened to notice someone’s car in front of your bus had The Dresden Dolls written on it’s window. I freaked. I’m usually known as the collected one, but you guys are literally one of the maybe 2 or 3 acts that I’ve been dying to see. I was terrified that it would be sold out, but the fates aligned and my mind was blown…continues to be blown…Wow.
In true fashion I went home and discovered your blog, whose archives I have been slowly devouring for the last month or so, making me feel like a real creeper, let me tell you. And I have to say thank you. It was better than any autobiography or biography I have ever read. Real. Immediate. Often completely random. And always amazing.
Punk Cabaret IS Freedom
And by complete coincidence, I was watching Mirrormask when I read your latest entry. Fate continues to fuck with my head.

Sarah said...

I am not too far from L.A, however, too close to an abundance of Lakers fans; I wondered about the ruckus that must have been exploding in Boston...thinking all the while "I am glad the Lakers lost," not that I'm a sports fan, I just didn't want to hear the chaos.

It is a strange thing. The humiliation people feel when a team, they feel represents them as a people, loses. For that, I envy them as well. The focal point, the conviction and faith they invest is impressive, yet the placement of said energy is, in my opinion, questionable.

ABC Africa is a documentary worth watching. Made in 2001, interesting filmaking, it's as though you are provided a scrapbook to look through, though instead of images you are given video clips. A tad outdated, though it remains pertinent.

xtine said...

hope this adds some yowza to your day, amanda!

japan's version of Coin-Operated Boy: the Battery-Operated Robot Girlfriend.

three cheers for automata joy.

KK said...

My dear amanda,
loved the video and i'm coming to see you with the pops tonight. i've been looking forward to this for months. i'll try my best to illegally record something and get it up on youtube. hopefully if they catch me they won't hack me to death with like violin bows or something..

good luck love, and i know it'll be great.

kelley kip

Alameda Green said...

The fucking Pops, man. This is huge.

Good luck, Amanda. I'll be scouring Youtube for those bootleg clips you're encouraging.

I. said...

amandaaa you should come to Mexico (monterrey , in specific) i've been wanting to see you since 2005, if i see you live i would be in the first row screaming and crying and singing
haha omg i really dont know what im writing my english is not that good...
anyways... please come to Monterrey Mexico make my dreams come true :)
you are just lovely in everything you do, its just amazing

kisses ;*
relax and sleep well
you deserve it

David said...

The nerd computer advice your commenters give is good! (I'm a professional, uncertified geek) Your mistake, as you now know all too well, was not to back up your work. Burn CDs, get an external hard drive, a bunch of flash drives, whatever. Redundancy is the KEY. Don't put all your eggs in one basket deary.

Bring your Mac up to my house in NH, go for a bike ride with me, and I'll see what I can do to recover your hard drive, if it's possible. OK, no time for a bike ride? Just send the computer. I'll see what I can do.

Mad props on your Pops gig! What I love best about your work is your fearlessness and variety and your sheer creative force. Your nervous laughter in that video is also extremely cute! Such a Doll you are!

Write new songs if and when they come to you. Sure you have time. But you're an artist, and you should be able to recognize the muse when she appears. Surely there are many more songs inside Amanda Palmer?? If not then that's OK too. We still love you. :)

glavglas said...

Hey Amanda,

I'm going through a stage like the yours... I live in montreal, with a lot of people from enywhere, specially from Turkey. Turkey wins the semifinal in the Eurocope, and there a lot of crazy-turks-people outhere. Also, some weeks ago, the Canadian (the montreal hockey team) won ONE OF THE FIRST GAME, and there was a lot of riots...

Please don't stop composing... you're songs are very beautifuls and inspirings.

If you like Funk, listen this recopilation of JK from Jamiroquai. Enjoy :)


Caffeinated Cassadie said...

I find super-sports fans a little weird. Just the whole idea of being so into a game that your not even playing confuses me. Even as an ex-volleyball player(ha i quit that shit about 2 moths ago. girls are bitches) I could never get interested in a game I wasn't actually in.

You look darling in the picture!!

--Cassadie Ponder

Emma said...

Oh, wow. I just went and looked on YouTube for the wonderful illicit footage, and I found Sing, and... wow.

First of all, you and Brian (but especially you) looked amazing! That dress!

And when everyone stood and sang, it was like magic.

You had the most beautiful, overwhelmed, amazing look on your face when the song finished. You shone.

I wish I could have been there, but it looked completely utterly wonderful.

Kristopolis said...

dear amanda,

i just came back home from boston yesterday, to see you at the pops. my best friend & i got free tickets, because she is a waitress there. we were so happy & excited- the first time we saw the dresden dolls, we were sixteen, still in our babyfat & schoolgirl clothes. we sat on the stage next to your keyboard at toad's in new haven. my supermom drove us to the show, & on the way back, we fell asleep in the car. we had to go to school the next day.

my best friend & i went to other shows, saw the onion cellar, danced around in our underwear to your music. we're halfway done with college now, & this is the first summer we are living apart. she is in boston, & i am here. i traveled to boston to see her, & you. we dressed up & ordered champagne (the cheapest bottle, of course) to celebrate your success.

when the show was over, we were both shaken by the beauty & power you brought into that place. we held hands & stood in line, for you to sign our programs. she nudged me ahead, & i told you how wonderful you were up there, but i was so dazzled, on the music, on the champagne, on the experience, that i forgot to say thank you.

thank you for the amazing performance, thank you for signing our programs, thank you for giving my best friend & i a place to meet even when we are separated. it means so much. thank you.

Talking Mime said...

This is the second time I've commented xD

I just wanted to say... my sister [spinewillsnap] and I are going to invade your city in the summer xD

My parents wanted to go to Canada, but we convinced them to take us to Boston instead =]


Tracy said...

Each time I read your posts, they make me wish I could spend a day with you just to experience something crazy, something fun, and something completely different than the life I lead.

In other news, put up a followup video of you performing.

I'm hoping I can see you perform in Chicago in August. Be well.

Heather B. said...

I saw your show at Symphony Hall on Thursday night and it was absolutely fucking AMAZING!!! unlike anything I have ever seen! thanks again for signing my poster! :-)

Anonymous said...

great job on friday!
i was the guy that told you the "mom! where are the unicorns?" - "son, im dad" story. i was afraid that my "mom!" sounded too much like "mahhhhhhhhh", and made the "son im dad" reply not make sense.

just wanted to clarify that because you and brian had identical expressions of "wtf?"

awesome show!

sarah said...

have you seen any videos from the shows yet? cause it was EPIC!!! :D

you signed my butt~


Elise said...

My god! It's my favorite singer teaming up with my favorite author! What more could I want in life? I bet you rocked with the POPs, i really wanted to go. I hope to see videos on youtube.

DitaDoll79 said...

Please please please tell me the Boston Pops show was filmed and you will be releasing it?!!! Youtube clips are stunning xxx

Shauna said...

"let my managers decide what my website should look like, let other people worry if i had posters at my show or not. i might even start writing music again."

What you said really helped me, i read that and thought "noooo!" and the same goes for me because thats exactly how i've been feeling about my work and what i'm doing too. What I am doing seems like it's pointless and I should just give up and let other people do this stuff, it would be so much easier to chuck it all in and... cut grass all day long.
But then what would we have created - nothing!
Would we have changed the world or anyone in any way - no!
Would it fulfill us - noway!
So is the effort worth it - of course it is!
It's difficult because it's important and worth doing. Our ideas need to be out there. I can't wait to see your album artwork Amanda. x

Anonymous said...

Amanda & Brian,
Congratulations on your show with the Boston Pops! What an amazing blend of the old world and the new! I must admit I was brought to tears when I watched "Sing". I have watched the video and live versions, and was brought to tears before. But, this time, it was different. I am so very grateful for what you and Brian are doing. Thank you for raising the vibration and the consciousness of the planet. You are helping to bring about a major shift in consciousness through love and light and music! I wish I could explain to you how thankful I am. Connected as one,
Erin Marie

Amanda said...

Any chance your show with the Pops will become a CD or a DVD? I'd managed to stumble upon some footage on YouTube and am extremely jealous that I live in Arizona and couldn't be there to see the show.

springkuikentje said...

Why is it, that when I read your blogs, my mouth has something that looks like a smile only bigger?
OMG I think i'm starting to become a fan!
I'm pretty good with a guitar... we could do a gig together ;-)

See you in Utrecht! (Netherlands)

x Margriet

springkuikentje said...

Do you think that, when you fuck a guy it's better than having seks with a woman?

Briar said...

the pops gigs sound like they were amazing. alas, boston is a long, long way from new zealand.

i thought i'd pose you a question, ms amanda, because that's what people seem to do here. reading the entry before this one a little earlier, or more specifically, the section when you talked about monsieur morrissey the great.

is it odd to realise that you are to us as morrissey/robert smith et al were to you? that you are the punk cabaret queen of our hearts?

Laura said...

YEAH! your coming to Glasgow in October (saw you and Brian at the Cathouse, AWESOME!) but boo! it's a Thursday night and I have to work the next day :O( But I shall be at that Gig and to hell with the hangover the next day :O)

bobby said...

Avril's fierce new clothing line!

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