I like Amanda Palmer

I like Amanda Palmer.


This is weird, because I am also quite fond of The Band Perry, and Alan Jackson. And, if my Darling Lover ever shacks-me-off I am going to marry Tim McGraw. He will say yes. We will wear cowboy hats at the wedding.

But… I also like Amanda Palmer. I think I’m channeling my seventeen year old self, buried for thirty years under the cellulite shell of marriage and parenting and divorce and bills and responsibility which I have allowed to alienate me from something that spoke to me so many years ago. Music that is poetry and angst and yelling and sweaty.

Shave-off-your-eyebrows-and-pierce-something music.

Stand-in-a-field-and-scream music.

Music that pours directly into your veins.

Visceral. This is a word I have never associated with the music of Tim McGraw. Amanda Palmer’s music crawls into your guts wearing steel toes hiking boots, notching divots into your spine as it drives it’s way, sweating and bleeding, into the place where your seventeen year old heart still yearns for anarchy, and love, and understanding, and freedom. Tim McGraw? His music makes you want to drive a truck. Which is nice. But visceral, it ain’t.

And, she has balls.

Her middle name? Fucking.

Amanda Fucking Palmer.

Not, I’m sure, what her mamma named her, but it is eloquence itself. It is a sadness that my breeding days are over, and my spawn have all grown quite attached to the names I gave them years before I became inspired by AFP. My youngest child’s middle name is Elizabeth. What a shame. Had I but known of the possibilities.

I found AFP because she is married to Neil Gaiman. (If you haven’t viewed his commencement address, Make Good Art… do it.)

Sigh. Neil Fucking Gaiman. Author of American Gods, Sandman, The Graveyard Book. Only one of my favorite authors of all time. Stories that stick to your ribs like good poutine. We share a birthday, me and Neil. November 10th . Soulmates. In reading Neil Gaiman’s blog, I read Amanda’s, and my youth resurrected itself and sang the Hallelujah chorus.

At least, until I saw the video she made with all the blood. Not a fan of the blood… but the lyrics? Love the lyrics: “I wouldn’t kill to win a war… I wouldn’t kill to get you back… but I would kill to make you feel…”

And I love the one with the words written all over her.

And I love, love, LOVE the Bed Song. It’s beautiful. And so, so sad.

And I love her balls.

Amanda Palmer held a kickstarter for her album which raised over a million dollars from fans willing to fund her music. It was very controversial, very edgy, and very… visceral. She writes a wide-open-honest blog where she bares her mind and is brave and funny and endearing.

A woman who doesn’t shave her armpits.


No lie.

Having been a die-hard shaver since I was twelve, this is a leap for me.

I also like TED. As in: TED-is-Awesome kind of like. (Technology, Entertainment, Design. If you don’t know TED, you’se livin’ under a rock, yo. Google it, then be prepared to spend hours being awed. If you’ve been killing brain cells watching reality television… google TED. Save yourself!)

Amanda Fucking Palmer did a speech at TED. Absolutely cool. I haven’t seen it yet, it just happened this week, but I am waiting impatiently to hear what she has to say about music and the on-line presence of artists in this new world of downloadable music.

“ She thinks people have been asking the wrong question, “How do we make people pay for music?” What if instead we ask, “How do we let people pay for music?”

 (Lillie, Ben. Trust people to pay for music: Amanda Palmer at TED2013,  Feb 27th, 2013)

I think she has it right. I think she is grasping both the humanity and the marketability of an on-line presence. The internet may threaten to isolate us, to make us automatons; thieving, pirating downloaders with no conscience about who or what we steal… or it might make us a community of like-minded individuals eager to share and support and witness the creation of art. As a self-pub author, this speaks to me. AFP took a leap of faith and walked away from a record label, became an independent recording artist and connected directly… viscerally… with her fans. This is the new paradigm. I never would have listened to Amanda Palmer’s music if I hadn’t read her blog, been intrigued by how she was delivering her material, and felt that she was real person.

I can’t wait to see her TED speech.

The refrain from “I’m not the killing type” runs through my head at odd moments in my day.

I shave my armpits every few days.

I like Amanda Fucking Palmer. Eyebrows and all.

Watch Amanda Palmer’s TED talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

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13 thoughts on “I like Amanda Palmer

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  1. Amanda Palmer is fabulous! and the fact that she is married to Neil Gaiman makes her even more fantastic! I’m with you on the armpit thing though. One summer (of teenage boredom) I PLUCKED all of my underarm hair. Because plucking is supposed to make the hair grow back more sparse….. I’m pretty sure that I’d still have two big bushes if I let it grow….

  2. Amanda Palmer’s TED talk was beautiful. I hope her homily was as honest as she seems, because it was a needed reminder on the power of human connection. On the basic give and take that is never equal, but always justified by mutual benefit. Go watch it :).

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