When I decided to write a blog post about a favourite (and new to me!) musician, I wondered what I should call it. Surely a post wouldn’t be enough … maybe a gush? A love letter? Regardless, I knew that when it comes to books and music and all things beautiful, one name comes to mind these days.
Or, should I say, Amanda Fucking Palmer.
I’ve been a piano player for years and I remember people always saying that they loved The Dresden Dolls and that I should too because Amanda plays the piano in it. I always told people yeah, I’ve heard of them, but no I don’t listen to them. I figured they were a Tori Amos rip off and just never gave them another thought.
Then Ben Folds happened.
I kind of love Ben Folds, and have for years and years. I remember sitting in front of our tiny television waiting for Tori Amos to come on the Glastonbury Music Festival. This was back when TV was live and I waited and waited for her to come on. As I was waiting, Ben Folds Five came on the TV. They played The Last Polka and I fell completely in love with them. So naturally I listen to everything Ben says.
So when Ben said, “Listen to Amanda Palmer!” I had to listen to him. This was her album produced by Ben, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I listened to it over and over again and liked some of the songs on it and onto the shelf it went. Then I heard about Theatre is Evil. Actually, I heard about this album for QUITE some time and just never listened to it. Then I put it on my computer and had it going in the background and all was good until Trout Heart Replica came on and I had to stop what I was doing and turn up the music. I listened to that song over and over again. Then I realized that I had to listen to the whole album.
My love for Amanda EXPLODED at that point. I listened to Theatre is Evil on repeat in the car — and still do, MONTHS after first really listening to it — and immediately bought all of The Dresden Doll albums. Fell COMPLETELY in love with it all.
I knew that Amanda was married to Neil Gaiman (my bookish true love) and had to look up everything on YouTube that they’ve done live. I listen to them signing and reading together on their album, An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. I sing Amanda’s songs to the boy. He sings along in the car.
It’s ridiculous, this love, I tell you.
Now she’s written a book.
I’ve watched Amanda’s TED Talk on YouTube many, many times and it was when I signed up to be a tea consultant that I really watched it. It was all so true and real that it made me cry watching it. We never ask anymore. We think we can do it all ourselves. We think people will just say no. But there is no harm in asking — and sometimes that asking can lead to a yes.
Amanda’s book, The Art of Asking, comes out next month and I’m super excited to read it. I’m still working my way through everything she’s ever done — her music, her videos, her art, her writing. She writes amazing blog posts, posts avidly on Twitter and Facebook, and she’s not afraid to get personal. Being a musician, I have a great respect for her because she is all about SHARING her music for free.
If you’re looking for one new author to read this year, read Amanda. If you’re looking for some amazing music, listen to Amanda. If you want to have your heart fall to pieces and cry your eyes out, just watch the following video. I promise there will be not one dry eye in the house and it’s because of the beauty, the honesty, and the sadness of it all.
SO happy to have found such an amazing artist and I hope that she keeps creating beauty for many years to come.
Have you listened to Amanda Palmer? The Dresden Dolls? Are you planning on reading The Art of Asking?