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connecting the legendary pink dots. and an important confession.

this is a blog that i’ve wanted to write for ages.
(warning: if you’re in new york and you get this before showtime, head to see the pink dots tonight at le poisson rouge. tickets here/prolly at the door. ok? ok.)
and it’s long. if i’ve told parts of this story before, forgive me. i know i have.
now i connect the dots.
and sort of like the robert smith blog, it’s been brewing for years, and i suppose this is the time….in fact, this is SO the time that’s its not even fucking funny.
re: life? my mac is back from the shop.
i have over 1600 emails to look at. how exciting! my iphone has been extracted from its risotto sock and seems to be fully fucntional, aside from occasionally bleeping and blinking its lights randomly and helplessly…as if to remind me how i’ve Wronged It by dropping into a toilet bowl, and to perhaps serve as a constant reminder that electronics, like we humans, are highly resilient but fundamentally insecure.
tonight is the LAST night of “cabaret”….it went fast.
here’s me & all the sexy-as-fuck kit kat klub dancers during intermission last night….
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(photo by katherine shea…clockwise from me: eric, guy, lucille, renee, claire, annika, tam, jordy).
…and now i’m focusing on practicing the dresden dolls songs with brian, which has been going incredibly fucking well. here’s us the other day, after playing through the entirety of both records:
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photo by kelly davidson
wednesday, the last late-night cabaret was the cherry on the cake of them all, with ronald reagan (boston’s premiere 80’s saxophone duo) KILLING IT and juan son transfixing the audience in a way i’ve never quite seen happen before. it was magic.
here’s ronald reagan, rocking the house:
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the dolls? it’s almost uncanny how little work it is and how naturally everything has hibernated. brian and i have most of these songs in our physical motor memory so hardwired that we’ve played them through the first time flawlessly, looked at each other, and said….”well, yep. that’s how that one goes.”
some need more practice than others…the songs from “yes, virginia” aren’t as hard-wired as the first album, but even those came flooding back easily. i’m glad i never wrote a complicated song (at least to me). this shit is like riding a bike. and as we play and look at each other, there’s a different energy than was ever there in the beginning…the undercurrent of how these songs have lives of their own already, their own stories out there in the world in people’s lives and histories, and now we’re merely servants…conduits connecting something musical to something bigger than ourselves. it’s beautiful and weird and hard to put into words.
also beautiful and weird and hard to put into words is how i feel about my favorite band.
the dots. the legendary, pink, dots.
some of you may have noticed that they’re going to be our special and honorary opener on halloween night in NYC (the show’s long been sold out), and the symbolism is almost more than i can handle. so i will tell.
when i was 14 or 15, my favorite band was the cure. the cure were a huge, mythical, untouchable and unknowable force. we’ve discussed.
and right around the time i turned 16, i fell in love (with a person, not a band) for the first time. with jason.
jason was from germany, he’d grown up with an american father and a german mother in berlin, and he’d landed, like a stranger from a teutonic planet, in the quaint suburbs of lexington massachusetts for at least one purpose: to change the way i perceived music.
jason was a genuine audiophile. music kept him sane and fed him….he was broke most of the time, and in my memory, he bought music instead of food. he collected rarities and vinyl and bootlegs and had a love and respect of music that i’d never encountered before. i considered my oh-so-edgy depeche mode, yaz, and cure records progressive – given than most everybody in my high school was listening to new kids on the block and if they were the alternative types they had a little REM sprinkled into their collections. jason had nothing to do with this world of easily-accessible music…his world was filled with bands i’d never heard of (but started dubbing onto tape and hunting down in used record stores like a woman possessed): coil, current 93, swans, einstuerzende neubauten, death in june…but his most prized and beloved band was the legendary pink dots. and once i was led by the hand into the strange, mythical cellar-garden of this band, i wanted to lock myself in and never leave.
robert smith spoke to me, but this was different. edward ka-spel didn’t just speak; he whispered and screamed to me in his heavy english accent, pleaded for me to understand him on a bed of strange and fascinating music…his voice and his lyrics were like something that had been erased from my memory but returned in a gift-package of songs that only he could pen. he created an entire alternate world and gave his listeners a key. entering that world became a sort of salvation for me, a sonic hiding place and escape hatch that reminded me that i was not alone in my strange dreams and angers. edward sang from the core of his heart and i wanted to lap up every line, every word, every utterance. he performed barefoot and draped like some kind of lost prophet, with his face painted white and covered in black-painted cracks (he often referred to himself as The China Doll) and his partner in crime, the silverman, who spent the early days of the band performing at a bank of keyboards covered in silver paint. the other rotating member of the band had stage names like Patrick Q Paganini and Stret Majest Alarm.
these were my people.
they had strange symbols and trick scavenger hunts to be decoded by candlenight at night while i sat in my room, sneaking cigarettes out of the roof and making mixtapes.
their albums pleaded SING WHILE YOU MAY on the hidden liner notes. i copied their logo (a trident) onto my leather jacket, and doodled it endlessly into my notebooks.
here’s one i found, hilariously drawn on the same page where i taped the proof of my graduation photo:
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edward made speeches like this from stage, over a bed of music supplied by the band, who veered into space jams of epic proportions.
I want to believe in the nobility of the human spirit. 
I want to believe that mankind is essentially good and that the horror I see and the horrors I hear about are simply the last crisis of a dying spectre that has haunted our fragile globe for just to long. 
I want to believe that we are about to peel off the mask with which this spiteful god has been frightening us. 
I want to believe that we will not dance on his defeated rotting body for that would grant him victory in death. 
I want to believe that we will peel away the masks with which we frighten each other. 
I want to believe that no new spectre will replace the one that died and that we can stand alone and respect one another. 
love one another. 
respect and cherish life in all its shapes and sizes while continuing to evolve. 
I want to believe that mankind will never be too arrogant to abandon it’s quest for the ultimate answer. 
I want to believe that even I could answer this question. 
I want to believe all of these things? 
But you caught me at a bad moment…and I can’t.
(from “a velvet resurrection”…the song was often improvised live and turned into a longer and even more inspirational and depressing sermon, here’s a clip of a good one:
it’s had only 300 hits on youtube. shame. it needs more.)
this made sense to me.
i made fan art.
here’s a pencil drawing i did of edward in my journal in high school:
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edward sang about the theater of life and love and pain, about the hurt, about the terribleness of humans, about nonsense, about childhood, about the end of the world, he sang in surrealist images that made some of the songs sound like escher and dali paintings, his words dripped meaningless meaning, his voice was that of someone cursed, cursed with intelligence and more, cursed with a crippling capacity to feel.
the music was part prog, part synth-blap, part classical mash-up, and every song seemed to have been beamed in from a different spaceship. some of the songs sounded like fragments of lost soundtracks to dark surreal circus films i’d wish i’d seen, with winding stories and recurring characters spreading across years of albums (who was lisa? why was she showing up in all these songs? what was this tower he kept talking about? why is he singing about all these hotels? and singing in complete gibberish language that sounded like a cross between dutch and swahili? these questions would never be answered). and my collections grew…it was dawn of the CD era, so many of my albums were on vinyl, but my dots CD collection grew rapidly. they’d already released a dozen or more albums when i got into them…i caught up slowly and as my allowance allowed, and i dubbed onto tape what i couldn’t afford from jason’s collection.
here’s the dots-only portion of my CD collection:
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i walked with my walkman to and from school and at all other times, listening to and learning the songs by heart, feeling comforted and making up movies in my head. some of these movies would even come true, later. but in truth, the music became my own personal soundtrack, and i loved that barely anybody i knew had ever heard of this band. they were completely underground, and therefore special, holy, untouched by the soiled hands of others, and i could take their music on my knees as a private sacrament in the happy fuck-off-all-y’all isolation of my teenage years.
when i was 16, jason took me to my first small rock club show to see the dots. it was at a place called axis in boston (long gone, but not before the dolls played there, years later…some of you may have seen us there on new years of 2004) and it probably fit 350 people. jason was 4 or 5 years older than me and a veteran club-goer, i’d barely stepped foot inside a place like this. jason hung back by the bar and i positioned myself as close to the stage as possible, waiting to see my heros.
the night changed my life. the only shows i’d seen before this were shows in enormo-domes and giant ampitheaters. this was different. this was a man whose music i worshipped singing FIVE FEET FROM MY HEAD. once, during the set, edward looked right at me. he was singing a line about a butterfly and he reached his hand out to touch my head and flickered his fingers up into the space, miming the fragile little creature as if it had taken flight out of my hair (and i don’t remember the song, but knowing the dots, the poor creature was probably on its way to a costume party at an garbage-gilded hotel in the ruins of the apocalypse, where it would be turned into a garnish on a giant wedding cake made from the flesh of innocent children).
after the show was over, edward was signing CDs. jason had met him before, at shows back in his native germany. i didn’t really understand it then, but they were (and still are) a struggling Band on the Eternal Road. they signed pretty much every night and maintained a close connection with their fans. i stood in line, terrified and thrilled, and thought about what to say – wondering if i could possibly put my profound emotions into words.
when my turn came, i walked up to edward and i looked him straight in the eye (oh, those loving, tired, beautiful eyes) and after our initial hello-hello pleasantries, told him (i remember this to the word, because i practiced it in my head over and over): “someday i want to write music that is as true as yours”. and he said something kind, and off i trotted, fulfilled that i had actually met my icon.
by the way, casey is living next door. she came over the other night because her apartment had gotten overrun by stoned people and i was listening to one of my pink dots records. she asked what i was listening to. i told her. we got into a long discussion about drugs. i’ve done a lot of drugs, or at least i did when i was a teenager. she’s done almost none.
when i told her that i was a major stoner in high school, she cocked her head and said “was that when you were into this band?”
i’ll admit. it’s slightly stoner music. maybe. i never thought of it that way.
a year or so after that, my senior year of high school, i gathered a group of 5 actors and created a stage show to one of my favorite pink dots records, “asylum”. it was the third significant stage-play i’d written/directed, and the high school drama teacher (and my theater mentor steven bogart – remember him? he just directed me in “cabaret”) was so impressed by the show that he chose us to represent the school in a state-wide theater competition. if you’re wondering what the play wa
s like, imagine The Wall as a stage play, set in an insane asylum with no dialogue. it was Out There. it was disqualified from the competition for being Too Weird. pressing on, we took the play to the middle east nightclub in boston and performed if there on a bill with 3 local bands.
the dots had an online message/bulletin board system (BBS – remember those?) called Cloud Zero. this was back in 1993, the internet was just gasping its weird invasion into our homes and minds. and when i first created an email account on AOL, the only emails that arrived in my inbox were group-wide notifications from other legendary pink dots fans around the globe – and many of them were from boston, since the board had been founded by a guy names alan ezust who lived in cambridge. jon whitney (who would generously go on to host the dresden dolls first website on his now-legendary music site brainwashed.com) was another ally, and sandy charon – who was a DJ on the way-out-there boston college radio station WZBC – was another. all three of these people became my actual friends through our love of the dots, and they all, in their own ways, turned me onto other music and art (sandy even drove me up to vermont to see bread and puppet, a theater experience that left me changed).
when i was about 19, and a freshman in college, the dots came back. they needed a place to crash (they always needed a place to crash – and often stayed with fans if they could, to save money. sound familiar?). jason communicated with them and somehow i convinced them that staying at my parent’s suburban house would be perfect. my mother (bless her) said yes. it was halloween weekend. i drove home from college, met up with jason, went to the band’s show and they followed us back to my folks’ house about an hour outside the city and we spread the band among various rooms in my parents Dear Old House (except for niels the horn player – he wanted to sleep in the camper to guard the gear. i tried to convince him that the incidence of theft in the woods of lexington massachusetts was on par with the incidence of sunstroke in a bunker, but he ignored me). i could not believe the legendary pink dots were sleeping in my house.
i may be getting the chronology wrong and this may have been another tour, but around that time, everybody met up at alan ezust’s house one night after or before the dots were playing in boston. i’d still barely exchanged many words with edward, and i was still some combination of starstruck and dumbfounded just being around him and the other members of the band.
i had made a demo tape of my earliest songs and i’d given copies of it to alan and jon, my friends from the Cloud Zero board. and it was at this gaethering at alan’s house, with assorted folks sitting around the living room, when alan said to edward: “do you know amanda’s a songwriter? you should listen to her demo tape. i have it here.” whether it was out of sheer politeness or actual interest, edward said yes, so alan went off to hunt for the tape. it was the most terrifying moment of my life. i’d made rough solo-piano recordings of “bad habit”, “slide”, and a few other songs and the whole living room of folks sat there and listened for about fifteen minutes. i held my breath the entire time.
i didn’t know if my music was good or not, back then. i just knew it made sense to me. but i was completely insecure.
the party clinked back into action and edward went out onto alan’s front steps to smoke a cigarette.
i followed him out. we sat there, smoking. he turned to me and said: “you know, amanda, i listen to a lot of crap. people are giving us tapes all the time. and you’re really, really actually good. your songs are good. i hope you’re actually going to do something real with it.”
and with that simple statement falling out of the mouth of edward kaspel on alan’s steps, the path of my life changed. i’d been given some kind of cosmic permission to take the final plunge and dedicate myself full-time to being a musician and a writer….it was as if the fraud-fairy came by and tapped my head, rendering me Not Full Of Shit and given leave to go forth and prosper without fear. i floated along like a person in love for the first time, or on crack, for the next several days.
last night after “cabaret”, someone came up to me and said “i read your blog. and on behalf of all your blog readers, i want to thank you. you make me want to join some sort of revolution.” and i looked at him and said: “if you’re saying that, you’re already in the revolution.”
anyway.
here’s a beautiful picture of edward performing live:
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so.
a couple years later, i was living in germany. long story, but suffice it to say that i followed my bleeding heart into a language lab and learned german in a matter of 10 months and then got on a plane to study at regensburg university in 1996. after my semester at regensburg was done and i’d put on a good 15 pounds in wurst and weissbier (no shit – i’ll try to post pictures from that period at some point), i moved to cologne to commence study at the university of bonn and simultaneously start an internship at a small experimental theater called the Horizont Theater (for y’all living in koln, es is neben/hinter der dom, und wenn es sich nicht viel verandert hat, die shows sind ganz gut. sag hallo von amanda die bloede amercianerin).
while i was living in cologne, i read in a local newspaper that the pink dots were about to play in a club somewhere in the city, and i counted the days where i could go commune. i was miserable in cologne, i was living in a flat with no heat or hot water and it was fucking freezing. i was drinking an absurd amount. it was dark times. the novelty and excitement of being in germany had worn off with the incoming winter weather, and i was more homesick than i think i understood. cologne offered up no solace and no friends. i felt completely alone, and i pretty much was. in regensburg i’d had a collection of friends and a boyfriend and people to drink and be merry with. in cologne all i had was an alcohol problem and a yearning for human connection. one night i drank too much alone in my apartment and decided it would be a great idea to experiment with the bottle of zoloft i’d brought along from college, where it had been prescribed to me by a psychiatrist who spent about 35 minutes with me, listening to me cry about how i felt confused by life. that’s a topic for yet another blog. the experiment left me with a sore taste in my mouth and a neck caught in electric-shock wet cotton spasm.
that’s where i was at when i went to see the dots show. i needed them. i got drunk, i’m sure, and somehow i wound up helping at the merchandise table, because i spoke german. and somewhere in the course of the evening the band told me that i should hop in the tour van and come on tour with them and Do Merch for the tour. they didn’t have a dedicated merch person. now that i Speak Merch i can see what was going on: they used the venue person and send a Band Delegate to the merch table after the show to help out the fans and ask questions about the releases that the venue was wholly unqualified to answer. i, obviously, being a complete pink dots completionist, could answer any answer under the sun about any of the records – in german, no less – and was an obvious asset to the touring party. i had a huge essay due for school (it was a 15-page beast about the collage work of john heartfield – IN GERMAN).
but i found myself mouthing the words ARE YOU SERIOUS YES OF COURSE I’LL COME to the band and the next thing i knew i wasn’t taking the u-bahn home to zuelpicherplatz, i was getting in a fucking european campervan and driving to some german city with my favorite band. i was in heaven.
we toured to a few random german cities and we ended the tour in denmark. i sat behind the merch table and sold the CDs. those days are a blur of drunken disbelief, but i do have one flashbulb memory. there was a night somewhere (maybe berlin?) when an uber-goth german guy started hitting on me. i’d had so much to drink that i was barely intelligible. ( a warning to those heading onto the Road Of Rock: the drinks are free. beware.) he was a sort of strange german goth…highly coiffed, angry, and i remember he reeked of cologne (the drakkar, not the city). i was making out with him (of it memory serves correctly, he was just gnawing at my face) when edward drfited by me and said ” i don’t trust that guy”. i, of course, was too drunk to not trust anybody. in my drunken stupor, everybody looked like mr. rogers.
beside the point.
it all blurs together on this particular night. it was the night when i committed a cardinal sin, and i have to come clean about it because it’s haunted me for years.
for real.
i was standing at the merch table after the show, drunk as fuck, and (i have a hard time writing this)….i stole five CDs. i remember thinking in my drunken haze THEY’LL NEVER NOTICE THEY HAVE SO MANY OF THEM but by the time the next day came around, i was so dripping with fear and shame that i couldn’t confess.
i kept the CDs. the irony is that the band probably would have happily given me anything i’d asked for…but i was drunk and lost and dumb and i didn’t understand that at the time; i just felt like a thief. i remember watching phil (aka the silverman) counting out boxes of CDs the next day in the european campervan and thinking: the game is up. the money i collected won’t match the sales. they’re going to leave me on the autobahn. i should confess.
i sat, hungover, in the campervan, looking at my library-loaned book of john heartfield’s anti-nazi collages and writing my essay.
a few days later, when i was leaving the tour after the show in copenhagen, phil (aka the silverman) tried to pay me for selling their merch. i was shocked. THEY wanted to pay ME? they’d ferried me away in a rock n roll vehicle from my humble drunken stupor in cologne and shown me an entire universe of love. and what had i done? a few hours of german-speaking and CD-venind. and stolen from them.
i flatly refused. he pressed a handful of marks into my hand saying “we really want you to have this, you’ve helped us” and i refused “no no no no you don’t understand what you’ve done for me”. and i don’t even remember who won in the end (probably them, i was poor and he was insistent) but i hold those memories to me, so closely, to this very day.
here i am, a musician begging and pleading to her fanbase to act out of faith and donate.
it’s hilarious.
i’ve hired a lot of random merch people. i’ve trusted countless human beings, night after night, to guard my merchandise and take money for it, and scribble down sales on a napkin.
i trust everybody, implicitly. like they did. or did they? i have no idea how much money (cash or otherwise) has walked away from my business and the dresden dolls business, lifted from those who were drunk and young (or worse: old, sober, and sleazy, or even worse: young, sober, and sleazy) but i know i don’t care about that as much as i care about not wanting to eyeball the wolds suspiciously. this gets me in trouble all the time. i may be clever, but running a business is not my forte.
here’s the tattoo i told myself i would design and put on hold for 5 years when i was 21.
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it’s the symbol of the legendary pink dots with my scottish clan motto (in latin: “fortune aids the daring”) written in the handwriting of my mentor anthony, my latin teacher and mentor dr. fiveash, and my stepfather, john.
i waited five years. i decided i didn’t need the tattoo and i could carry the message inside. but i keep the drawing up at my desk at all times.
sometimes i wonder when i changed.
i still sometimes steal toilet paper from venues.
maybe i haven’t changed. maybe it’s just a matter of degree.
bravery or stupidity? such a fine line.
i stray from the topic – that was my confession, now back to the story.
i continued to be obsessed with the dots through the rest of college and of course (like all the other musical obsessions i had) they faded into the background when i became a working “adult” trying to make ends meet and kickstarting my own music career and my own band…a full-time battle that left very little room in my brain.
i stayed in touch with edward over email throughout the years and always made a point of seeing them when and where i could, and i invited them to come be the dolls’ special guests at our Roundhouse DVD-shooting in london. they couldn’t come in full formation, but those who own the DVD know that edward ka-spel & the silverman (aka phil) played as a duo and gave a beautiful little interview on the extras. they also opened up for us in hamburg (the dots are well-known in germany – they have more going on in some parts of europe than anywhere in the states) and brian and i remember that show (at a weird club called uebel & gefaerlich) as one of the best dolls shows of all time.
there’s something i only see looking back. some things only come with perspective, i suppose.
they changed my view of music and community, with their commitment to touring their strange brand of songs, their commitment to connecting with their fans as friends…as family…to blazing a trail of This Is What We Do Join Our Circus mentality. i watched and learned, and did. i’ll be forever indebted to them, and i needed to say my piece.
whether or not you ever love their music is irrelevant. i needed to pay homage to Whence I Came. and They Are It.
here’s a picture of me & the band when they stayed at my house in boston, probably in around 2001:
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now, comrades, they are coming to play on halloween, the day of our bandiversary.
if you see me watching from a hiding place in the venue, as i will be, probably with a glowing look of love and awe on my face, please don’t interrupt me to tell me how much you love them.
just love them. maybe hold my hand. that’s all.
and if you’re not in new york….you can still go and see for yourself.
they’re on an american tour right now, which is how we managed to talk them into it, here are the rest of the dates. go see them if you can.
TONIGHT!!! 29 Oct 2010 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge
31 Oct 2010 New York, NY Irving Plaza: with The Dresden Dolls – SOLD OUT
1 Nov 2010 Philadelphia, PA The M Room
2 Nov 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Thunderbird Cafe
3 Nov 2010 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
4 Nov 2010 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
5 Nov 2010 Orlando, FL The Plaza Theatre
6 Nov 2010 Tampa, FL Orpheum
9 Nov 2010 Dallas, TX House of Blues
10 Nov 2010 Austin, TX Elysium
14 Nov 2010 Phoenix, AZ The Rhythm Room
15 Nov 2010 San Diego, CA The Casbah
16 Nov 2010 Los Angeles, CA EchoPlex
17 Nov 2010 Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke
18 Nov 2010 Costa Mesa, CA Detroit Bar
19 Nov 2010 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord
20 Nov 2010 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord
22 Nov 2010 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
AND?
buy their merchandise. tell them i sent you. bring your friends. support them. they will be signing after all their shows. tell them i sent you.
….and for those curious about their music but overwhelmed by the number of choices (they’ve put out over 50 releases, probably more, if you count all the side projects), here’s amanda’s guide to where to start.
my favorite albums, and the ones i’d start with in no particular order, are:
* asylum
* any day now
* the maria dimension
followed closely by:
* the golden age
* the crushed velvet apocolypse
&
* the legendary pink box (a two-disc set).
if you’re into more minimal, synth-y blipp-y stuff, you’ll like the eighties records (i love these):
* curse
* the tower
* island of jewels
this one has two of my favorite dots songs ever (“the lovers” parts I and II”), but the rest of it is a little too proggy for my taste:
* the lovers
and if you’re into more organic sounds, you’ll probably like the later stuff:
* from here you’ll watch the world go by
* nine lives to wonder
* shadow weaver & malachai
…and anything else that’s come out in the last 6 or 7 years.
edwards solo stuff is incredible, and i’d recommend this as a must have:
* down in the city of heartbreak and needles
but:
* lyvv china doll
is also amazing and one of my favorites from the old school.
i’ve been listening to the new dots CD (it’s called “seconds late for the brighton line”) and it’s just beautiful.
i’m assuming you can buy it at the halloween show if you’re coming, otherwise, check it out online by clicking on the cover:
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…and that’s that.
if you just want a taste, i put together a personal playlist of my favorite dots songs. we’re uploading it now and will post a link on twitter when you can download it and have a little #LOFNOTCLTTLPD party…
and there you have it. welcome to my favorite band.
xxxx
a
p.s. since writing this blog yesterday (with the intention of putting it up before they played in cambridge), i have an update. i went last night to see them (only catching the last 5 minutes of their set, after i raced from “cabaret”).
i saw edward & phil (photo below by the third touring DOT, the VERY TALL guitarist erik). sandy was at the show. so were a lot of old friends….time marches on.
and?
i took a deep breath and finally confessed to stealing their CDs. they forgave me.
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(but edward did creep over to me at their merch table and warn their current merch guy to Watch Out For Me. I’ll probably never live it down. ONWARDS with the bucket list.)
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  • http://alwayscoffee.wordpress.com/ Ali

    “it was as if the fraud-fairy came by and tapped my head, rendering me Not Full Of Shit and given leave to go forth and prosper without fear.”

    You know, I think you hit on something I haven’t quite been able to put into words. I’m a writer. I’m most unpublished. I write, because it’s like breathing (sometimes, torturous breathing, but still) — I can’t NOT do it. But there are moment where I wonder if I’m a fraud, because I’ve never really had that Moment. The one that says I’m not full of shit. Thank you for articulating that.

    Also, the fact that when you’re drunk, everyone looks like Mr. Rogers? That is a fantastic way of phrasing that.

    I loved this story you told, by the way. It felt slightly Almost Famous, minus someone yelling, “I am a GOLDEN GOD.” *smile* I don’t know the Pink Dots music. I’ll check them out, though.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/libbyking punksocks

    i’m glad you listened when you were given your cosmic approval, that’s half of it right there.

    • D Thomzig

      Hi Amanda,
      what a wonderful story. A little bit you put my feelings into words about that wonderful music. I discovered LPD more than 20 years ago and fell in love with their sound. Not so much about the lyrics because my english was really bad as a german school girl. It’s the instruments, the sound collages – and his voice, his voice, his voice….

      However, I downloaded your collection and listening to it right now, hearing Casting the Runes… and again it gives me the creeps, gives me the feeling of being touched very very deep inside…

  • Nakedwomaninrags

    Yay. <3
    I've been an LPD fan for years, ever since I discovered them from… where? I think I was listening to Current 93 a lot at the time and found them in the same playlist somewhere, second year of university. For some reason, it makes me all happy and squeeful that Amanda Palmer totally likes the same bands I like.
    *cough*

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    Love seeing you as the fangirl ;)

  • Dreaming Squid

    My favorites pretty much echo yours, for the top 5 or 6. How could one not be sucked in by Fifteen Flies in the Marmalade, or a line like “sea-blue marshmallow eyes”? I think I first heard them in ’89, or so, when my then dopey DJ boyfriend tried to tell me Legendary was not part of the band name.
    I’ve loved them ever since, and am sad I did not see them last night.

  • Veronica

    Wow, it’s a really long story. But the best stories are long. And I always enjoy reading your stories, no matter their length.
    I read about the Dots in the wikipedia a while ago, probably after reading somewhere that you loved them. But, like you say, they have too many records to just choose one or two randomly and listen to them. What I usually do when listening a band for the first time is picking a live album, I believe in these albums the bands try to put the best of their music. When I started with The Cure, I did listening to “Show” album and it BLEW ME AWAY. I still remember bursting into tears while listening to “From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea” for the first time.
    So it’s really very kind of you (and handy) to include that list of your favourite records by the Legendary Pink Dots, and also personalized recommendations depending on our musical taste.
    I’ll start with Asylum, and I’ll write my opinion here, OK?

    Thanks for showing me this band. If someday I get to meet them, I promise I’ll say “Amanda Palmer sent me”.
    Oh, and… someday I want to write a blog about how your music changed my life too.

  • http://markrubianes.com Mark Rubianes

    I literally have to move my wrist all the way across my desk in order to scroll to the bottom of this blog, which is awesome that a musician spills so much out so uninhibitedly, but I wish I had time to read it all because what you have to say is so interesting :/ but for now I quickly skipped to the confession, and hey, we’ve all done something like that before (you’re just flat out lying if you say you haven’t), and the most important thing to know is that true friends always have the capacity to forgive, which apparently they did. Need to read more over the weekend!

  • girlwalkingbackwards

    I was supposed to see them at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig this year! We actually went over to the venue, only to find out their show had been cancelled. I was looking forward to seeing what they were all about, knowing that you love them so much. Thank you for the album suggestions, I’m going to have to check those out soon. :]

    Oh, and great blog! It was a very interesting read.

  • kypri

    I love your long blogs. (I love your short blogs too, but the long ones are always best.) I love reading about your synthesis/journey from fan/musician to performer/professional musician. I love seeing that you started out like your fans. It’s funny – you said that the Dots’ music made you want to write music as true as theirs – and that’s exactly how your music makes me feel. It’s some kind of beautiful vicious cycle. I hope one day I’ll be out there, playing music that means something to other people. Connecting to people. I’m a college student right now, and I guess I identify a lot with your younger self. Not everything is the same, of course, but the similarities are strong enough. Even though I’ve only been to one of your shows ever, even though I couldn’t think of anything meaningful and worthwhile to say to you afterwards, I feel a connection to you through your music and your blogging and your tweets. I love the network of amazing people you’ve brought together simply by being fans of yours. You do a lot of good. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/usagizero Andrew Iverson

    For what it’s worth, i’ve never done any drugs, and i adore the Pink Dots. Even saw them live at the 7th street entry in Minneapolis many, many years ago. Hands down best live show i’ve ever seen.

  • oneiricackle

    Then one Halloween, 5 cd’s vanished from a New York merch table and could not be accounted for in the sales figures. Perhaps these discs were lost forever, condemned to the coat pockets of legendary daubs masquerading as vibrant pink dots in our peripheral vision …

    Looks like I’m going to get the introductory list to LPD after all these years. Yay! Thank you AFP.
    I do like these blogs. Like another of the seven skins of onion unpeeled…

  • Izzy

    Excellent. Glad you told your story (in great lenght) regarding the growing love & impact of LPD music and how great these guys are. They surely deserve this full page. Hopefully your fans will discover them. (funny about the stolen CDs!) I had Phil’s eye-tower drape for years (wasn’t intentionally stolen though) and I too, was shy to say it was ‘me’ who had it :) Now, who stole the Princess Coldheart handpuppet back in 1991? lol. Cheers & you guys have a great time on the 31st!

  • FrivolousRogue

    It’s amusing to see you like this. Every day it dawns more upon me that you are just a normal (and I use that term rather loosely you crazy woman! haha) human being, and I love you so much more because of that!

    I don’t know if you have ever thought about it, but the influence that the Legendary Pink Dots had on you when you were young… you are the same inspiration to a lot of us here! I, personally, am musically handicapped, so you’re experience with them pushing you towards finally going through with your music career might not apply to me… but songs written by you speak to me. It’s an amazing connection that now I know you have already experienced.

    “and i loved that barely anybody i knew had ever heard of this band. they were completely underground, and therefore special, holy, untouched by the soiled hands of others, and i could take their music on my knees as a private sacrament in the happy fuck-off-all-y’all isolation of my teenage years.”

    All I can say about the way you put this… is YES! I feel that way about all my bands. I know it is kinda selfish, but it’s true! It makes it a lot more special and a lot easier (or harder in a sense?) to find friends who share the same tastes as you. Music is a connection to the heart, and when two people are connected to the same music, connection between their hearts is nearly instant.
    ————————————————————–
    It’s sad to see Cabaret end, I saw it twice and was amazed both times. First one was like an awakening to me, it’s very different from all the other theater I’ve seen. Very dark, gloomy, quirky, revitalizing, insane, interactive… perfect. Every single one of the actors was amazing, Lucille, Matt, Claire, Jordy, Chris, Renee… excellent actors and. having kind of mingled with them on two occasions I can say, they are amazing people too.

    But the next great thing for you is around the corner, be it personal or something you can share with your fans, I’m sure it’ll be grand!

    Oh, and I hope you are feeling better! You said you really needed the LNFC goers really badly last night. Hope we managed to cheer you up and make your night! (’cause you certainly did ours!).

    Keep being awesome!

  • oneiricackle

    Me again…

    I knew that AFP had non-mainstream tastes in music whilst at high school but it just reminds me how musically “safe” I was at that age. Nirvana, Hole and Greenday were as far as I explored at school.

    I left school at 16 and got into Queen Adreena (Taxidermy era) and that was my secret band that only I knew about but it always felt like a guilty pleasure. It was weirder than anything I’d listened to and I couldn’t imagine justifying it to friends or family. This all comes down to upbringing and embarrassment…

    A couple of years later I was introduced to skinny puppy and Joy Division via an online friend that I met on a Goth forum (LPD were frequently mentioned on the forum too but I didn’t know to begin because of the quantity of material). One day I was playing skinny puppy (“grave wisdom” was the track) in my bedroom and my mum walked in and said something like “that’s a bit different” and walked out. She didn’t seem flustered about it and it bought up questions about whether I needed to keep my “weird music” away from people. It seems like AFP understood the worth of the unusual early on and I wish I could have understood that at a similar age, drugs or no drugs.

    Forgive me AFP and other readers for I am drunk (but sincere)…

  • Brianna[h]

    ‘“someday i want to write music that is as true as yours”’

    When I read that line, I knew instantly that that is what I want to tell you. Hell, I even had a dream the other night about what I would tell you – thank you for, bow down to you for – if I ever got the chance to meet you (I did, once. You were with Neil, wearing a nice sweater, and talking about how you had to leave the venue in fifteen minutes, in North Hampton. But I didn’t really know your music very well or then, or much about you at all, so my brain was still in that development Holy Shit phase). Thankfully, in that dream, we had to write it in a book, so I had time to think about it. The people in line behind me got angry, though, because I was taking too long. But listening to your music, seeing what you’ve done, has inspired me – driven me – to the creation of music, something I’ve always played with but never really pursued.

    ‘it was as if the fraud-fairy came by and tapped my head, rendering me Not Full Of Shit and given leave to go forth and prosper without fear.’

    Every time I see you and people like you and the shows you people put on, I feel a little bit more validated. You and Cabaret and all this crazy, wild, beautiful stuff that’s happening is driving me to chase a dream of amazing performances, creation, and Art, to the extent that I am currently planning my first busking act Evar. I feel more and more okay and able to go out and create and do all this stuff that I haven’t thought of before, or that I was previously afraid to do. Like writing music, like allowing the demons in my head to just create whatever feels right at that time. Like now, after reading this blog – I feel a little bit better about myself and everything I want to do and make.

    And really, I have you to thank for that. So I guess the tie-in to this egocentric comment and your blog is that you are my Legendary Pink Dots, and I hope someday, I can meet you as a fellow performer, and bow down to you, and kiss your feet, and thank you for helping shape me, because without you, I never would have found this world and I would probably still be lost and confused and without a purpose.

    I’m so happy that you had the Dots. I loved your story. Sometimes, it’s amazing to realize ‘hey, Amanda’s a *REAL* *PERSON*’. It’s part of what makes you so special. I attended the A.R.T. Cabaret panel, and I somehow wound up sitting at the table with all the panelists *before* the panel, and someone came over and said ‘I’m going to introduce Amanda in a minute’ and in my head, my brain fizzled out for a moment. And then you were there, and you were a Perfectly Normal Human Being, and it was this weird moment, seeing you not as a performer, a rock star, a musician, an actor, this amazing force so…amazing and awe-some, but as a person. I just overused the word ‘and’ far too many times in that sentence, but I’m pretty good with it.

    Now I’ve just rambled a lot, and I’m very sorry for that. But thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank the Pink Dots, and thank Steven Bogart and thank you.

    This is officially the end of the first-time-and-far-too-creepy comment.

  • Andrea1986

    First off, I LOVE YOU. Why do your blogs make me feel all glowy inside?

    This is the perfect time for me to thank you for introducing me to so many artists that I now love. I heard about the LPD from you years ago and I was smart enough to go see them when they came to my city. It was the summer you guys were on tour with Panic At The Disco that I saw them. And it was beautiful. I only knew one of there cd’s pretty well at that time (Any Day Now) and they played maybe one song from it but it didn’t matter. The energy in the room was amazing. The performance was amazing. And it still surprises me when people stop me when I go out in my LPD shirt and ask me if i’ve seen the band, etc…

    Also, there is Neutral Milk Hotel. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is definintely in my top 5 albums of all time. Regina Spektor, The Smiths…..I could go on but you get the idea. All bands that I would have loved if I’d discovered them on my own BUT if I hadn’t discovered you (and if you weren’t so great at sharing) I probably would have gone through my whole life never knowing they existed. So thank you for introducing to many of my favorite bands (including your own).

    And congrats on the huge success of Cabaret. I’m just thankful that I got the chance to see it. AMAZING!

    And now I must do laundry and I think I’ll pop in a Dots cd. It’s been awhile since I listened to them.

    All my love,

    Andrea

  • Kris

    Hi Amanda! Kris here again – I wish I could write my whole LPD story here, except that a) It would take up most of your server space and b) it’s only half finished – I’m still living it. They are also my favourite band in the world and my most favourite people in the world as well. I have known them since 1993 and I can completely empathise with the way you feel about them. If you let yourself be touched by their strange music, you enter into their world and never quite come out again. I first heard them around the same time I began reading Neil’s Sandman work and some of Edward’s tales and music just seemed to dovetail nicely with Neil’s. I have always thought if there were a screen version of it that some LPD HAS to be in there somewhere. I actually have Phil’s permission to use “Serpentime” from “Dreamn Cell” which I did for an opening title sequence when I was trying to make Sandman work as an anime.
    Anyways – Lisette runs the .org site which is now the main page, but along with Jon Whitney a fellow in Israel named Eyal and I both maintain the Cloud Zero website now.
    It always brings such a good feeling in my heart to hear someone wax on about how moving LPD has been to them – it confirms that I am not some weirdo in a basement that all my friends keep there to entertain guests with his weird mutant musical/philosophical interests – but part of a very deep community who keep the torch alight for the freedom of the human spirit. Hmmm…that may sound pretentious – but I think you know what I mean.
    I could not believe Neil had not heard them! Sent you an email hoping you would turn him on – he and I wrote back and forth several times about it – I sent Neil a copy of Edward’s “The Saucers are Coming” and Edward a copy of Neil’s “The Day the Saucer’s Came”. Both seemed impressed with the other as far as I could tell. (Edward said “Hmmm…this sounds familiar!”) :)
    Much love to you oh Amanda Palmer! Perhaps one day our paths will cross and strange music will manifest itself around us as we impose our will onto unsuspecting air molecules.

    ’till then.

    -Kris

  • Andrew Janke

    Thanks. I really like these personal background stories.

    I ran in to the Dots’ music in college, along with Coil and Current 93 and the rest. I’ve loved Shadow Weaver ever since then, but found the rest of their discography too overwhelming to try to listen to the rest. Your list will be a nice guide; I think I’ll go give Asylum a try.

  • insignifikunt

    I am so grateful that they encouraged you to pursue your own career in music.

    That tour with them sounds as though it must have been such an amazing experience, even if you spent most of it drunk.

    Curious as to why music and marijuana make such a good combination? Here’s an explanation by neurobiologist, music producer and McGill professor Daniel J Levitin:

    “Music combined with marijuana tends to produce feelings of euphoria and connectedness to the music and the musicians. THC – the active ingredient, is known to stimulate the brain’s natural pleasure centers, while also disrupting short-term memory. The disruption of short-term memory thrusts listeners into the moment of the music as it unfolds; unable to explicitly keep in mind what has just been played, or to think ahead to what might be played, people stoned on pot tend to hear music from note to note. Subconsciously all of the usual processes of expectation formation are still occurring, but consciously, the music creates what many people describe as a time-standing-still phenomenon. They live for each note, completely in the moment.”

    -from The World in Six Songs, Daniel J Levitin

    • https://twitter.com/#!/libbyking punksocks

      i like your name, though i’m sure it’s not true :)

  • sabixerangharad

    this was beautiful. i will definitely listen to this band. and to the cure. thank you. <3

  • adam bridges

    Your amazing and aweesome experiences that you tell us all about fuel my lust to experience amazing things of my own, you make me look foreward to life, and all its fun, memorable, terrible and terribly weird things that it offers us all. my lifes just begining at 18. and i cant wait, so thank you!!!

  • http://twitter.com/AHisme Ayala

    Wow, is all I can say. I know what you mean, but it also feels so far away from me. I loved reading about your experiences, because my favorite thing about you is your fearlessness, a quality I greatly admire because I lack it.

    I also want to say that seeing Cabaret and also LNFC changed my life in ways I can’t even say yet (it’s too soon). It left me wanting more, from my life, from my art.
    As of my life, I’m still looking for ways to make it happen (because I am in Israel, where I don’t feel like I belong in the least, and never have felt so), in my art, well I try to use what the experiences has left me with (one of the videos I am working on, is “life is a cabaret” about my early childhood memories).

    Anyway, thank you for being you. Thank you for telling your stories so well. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to your fans. It is very appreciated and never taken for granted.

    P.S I am sad Cabaret is over. Although I realize this is how theatre works.

  • aspiringastronaut

    First of all I have to express some excitement that burst into me at the near start of this blog.
    I have only recently discovered Einsturzende Neubauten in the past few weeks, they are fucking amazing and just the other days i was wondering if you may by chance know of them or like them
    (due to you living in germany for some time and the german boyfriend thing etc etc.)
    but seeing you easily list them off was super exiciting!!
    since listening first hearing them, me and a friend of mine have started to make strange industrial-esc music, and just letting our creative senses guide us. at the moment it’s very undeveloped, but after reading this i’m even MORE inspired to create and live and just completely connect with the people i play to. (my thought process of the past year or so has been along the lines of your little ‘amanda talks’ thing on your ‘Who Killed Amanda Palmer’ dvd.)

    but none-the-less, you are amazing.
    you inspire.
    you make me get butterflies, everytime you express yourself.
    i love your longer blogs.
    they are the ones i pay the most attention to.
    i would love to meet you again, and repay you for interupting your lunch last time you came here.
    and also for the evelyn evelyn cd and the dvd’s i bought from stores and all the music of yours i’ve downloaded
    maybe i’ll buy you dinner.
    maybe you could stay at my house for your australian tour (p.s. make sure you do come over to perth, no one ever comes here, they always just go to the east coast.)

    but yeah, i’ve forgotten all the things i wanted to say.

    and on that note, i’ll head off.

    muchos loves

    rachel.

    • aspiringastronaut

      also, sorry for the length of the comment. i’m tired. don’t judge me. :P

  • E7ili

    HI
    I´m a 33 child from Spain and I´m vey exciting because I discovered a few days ago this blog. It´s like a portal to your world, to an extremely beautiful and painful world. Dresden Doll´s music was, and your solo album was, but I have felt so close to your feelings and experiences the last days that I can´t avoid writing you. I ´m not used to do this. I´m not of the kind asking for autographs and looking forward to met my fav bands and writers. But this was totally different. This seems as the blog of my best friend, or the perfect sister I´ve never had. I feel so connected that I laugh sometimes and sometime I´m nearly into tears reading you.
    But I never cry, and I never scream, and I need someone to do it for me.
    So I rolled down the blog, and see the archives, and found the Robert Smith´s post. I´ve never been a goth, but The Cure is my fav band forever, and I still listen to them and the originators of post- punk, and discovering not-so-wellknown groups as The Sound (highly recommended).
    About the goth, ungoth subject, I saw it clearly in my 14: well, all these artist were screaming that we must to be OURSELVES, not a bunch of bad imitators. I never had that hair, wore crucifixes and funny stuff like that… though I always loved wear black and still do. It was a sign of distinction then but not anymore, indeed. Now it´s only elegant (simply elegant!!!)
    Anyway, I feel different now. Things doesn´t affect me the same way. I´m a happier person. But I still can get thrown into music, like yours, or The Sound, or others. It will accompany me the rest of my life. It saves me from the hole of burocrapcity, absurd duties, and silly days. I found myself the last years remembering my teenage years. Now they seem absurdly beautiful and romantic. But it wasn´t. It was quite horrible almost all of the time. It´s much better now.
    There still a lot of stuff to change. A lot of truth to be told. Music industry have become something very SF, but I still believe in the power of music. That´s the only important thing. I love, per example, the way that Dresden Dolls ROCKS with only drums and a piano. That´s THE THING. You don´t need to play a fucking guitar to ROCK. You showed me that. I learned from that.

    I love the strength of your voice. I miss female-singers singing like that.

    I´ll never forget the songs I have loved. I´ll never forget you, Amanda.

    PD 1:
    I recommend you an album by Harold Budd: “Ambient 2/The Pleateux Of Mirror” . It blows my mind everyday. “First Light” or “Not yet remembered” are my favourites.

    PD 2:
    I lived in London seven years ago but my English now is very poor. Excuses for that. I got my Deustche Diploma but my german now is even worse. My Spanish is good, but you would´nt understand a word. Well, maybe. Maybe two words.

    • Veronica

      Hola, yo también soy española. ¿De dónde eres tú? Yo de Tenerife. Si quieres podemos darnos los correos y hablar, me siento muy identificada con lo que has escrito y también adoro a The Cure, además no conozco a casi nadie de España que siga a Amanda Palmer y creo que ya va siendo hora de que salgamos del armario, jajajaja.

      Bueno, pues si quieres, éste es mi correo: vvrunedance(arroba)hotmail(punto)com

      Un saludo PunkCabaretero!

  • http://www.myspace.com/jasonwakefieldmusic Jason Wakefield

    I absolutely love it when people share their stories about their favourite bands. I’m quite certain people do it about how they discovered The Dresden Dolls/Amanda Palmer too :) I know I do.

  • http://mataduvor.blogg.se Angelica

    I. Just. Love. This. You are awesome Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/dave_hull Dave Hull

    When Edward appeared on the DVD I had one of those mental connection clicks. “Of course Amanda’s an LPD fan!” Somehow it just made sense. With this, I understan a bit better why it made sense.

    I love that you put this up during one of my “Dot attacks”. A while ago a friend was surprised that I didn’t know them and instructed me only that I had to come to this show with him in Berkeley. That ended up in an LPD compulsion that although not as deep as yours was, still took over my mental-aural landscape for a while. These days I get smaller versions where they take over my listening for a while – often in autumn. I wish we had the resources to catch them this tour, but I’m sure I’ll catch them again.

    I’m always happy to find something new by you. You just keep tying things together, often in the coolest ways. Speaking of which, putting butoh in Cabaret was a whole new level of win.

  • John M Coons

    I’m the guy who came up to you and wanted to audition for the revolution. I’m not sure yet if the hug you gave me and proclamation that I’m already a part of it will end up being my “Fraud-Fairy” moment… but I do know that *that* particular moment and the LNFCs have been and will continue to be the juice that keeps me going.

    Moving here to Boston just under two months ago and feeling lost in pretty much every way, your twitter feed and weekly late night festivals of the unexpected have been a soft, consistent voice- “Dude. Chill the fuck out. You’re a twentysomething, a musician, in a city, and you’ve managed to pay the rent for another month. You already have everything you need to make your life the creative mess you want it to be.”

    It’s always strange and rewarding to hear stories about how one artist inspires the next. I’ve been the inspired and I’ve been the inspiration to others; hearing about one of my inspirations and her inspirations gives me a lot of damn hope. We’re all in this together- let’s change the fucking world.

    • John M Coons

      Also, this: http://tinyurl.com/3agtcal 106 year old Holocaust survivor talking about the power of music… not sure why I felt the need to post it, but I did… it seemed relevant at the time.

      • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

        thank you, for both of these.

      • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

        ahhhhhggg. i just watched that. and got teary

        MUSIC IS GOD

  • http://twitter.com/lilitum Julie Chudova

    Thank you for this beautiful and honest blog. I always got a warm feeling when I found out that some of heroes are the heroes of my other heroes (like when I’ve started listening to you I found out you love C93, DIJ and Coil – i’ve been obsessed with C93 for a few years, and lately by Coil, DIJ and Sol Invictus, or how just after I started listening to Velvet Underground I’ve learned that they’re Neil’s favorite band.)
    And now this – I’ve only known of TLPD for about two month (and I already ridicously in love with them) and now you give us this wonderful story. I only wish I’d discovered them sooner – they were in Moscow just a year ago and I missed them. I knew of their concert, but I couldn’t be arsed to listen to them then. So go their show and tell us, who can’t be there about it, please :)

  • http://twitter.com/Grund00n Mike Guttormson

    Amanda, you are awesome. It’s very courageous of you to bare your soul in this fashion. I can just imagine your conscience shadowing you all these years. Well, you’re free of that now. I really appreciate you sharing TBD with us. They’re great. I’m going to go see them when they come to Sandy Eggo in a couple of weeks! Much love to you and your gang. Happy Halloween!

  • Letty

    I like to imagine that one day, years from now, I will be writing a blog entry about you. Explaining about how you taught me all about love and art and connecting with strangers changing the course of my life entirely. Well, I’ll defiantly be writing the blog, I like to imagine people reading it.

  • Zurkin

    i love your writing style. you invite a zillion friends that haven’t gathered in ages into your private boudoir via webcam, we transmute into light and arrive naked and alive, dive into this giant crater prehistoric lake ensconsed in your bath, and as we paint our respective hearts into your malotov cocktail impressionistic equation ~ blam! we dive into ripples of skin as stories unravel in batik and india print seams; one erotic gang bang ongoing orgasm that undulates over fields of days as we live through your eyes. now i understand the F in AFP.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      and i like yours.
      thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/i_justdontknow i_justdontknow

    The way you talk about The Legendary Pink Dots reminds me very much of how I feel about your music. Because of you, I am writing my songs, really writing them, and working on putting together a demo. I am scared and insecure and driven and in love with music making and filled with a zeal for creating that I’ve never experienced before. My friends laugh, comparing me to a lovestruck fool who moons about with only one subject on her lips, and in a way, they are completely right. You have changed the way that I view the music industry, and the way that I view music altogether. How could I go through a day without trying to tell people that? How can I listen to a Dolls song and not proudly brandish my phone or ipod in my companions’ faces, telling them who you are? I’m the president of Authors Anonymous, a writing club on my college campus that my best friend started three years ago. I showed them the last blog you wrote, I tried to instill in them the same love for you and the Dresden Dolls that I have, and to explain to them why you are a visionary. When you responded to my last reply, I had to tell them; it was proof of everything that I’ve been telling them about your commitment–no, dedication and love–to/of your fans.

    If there is just one ticket left when I get paid on the 15th, I will buy a ticket to see The Legendary Pink Dots at their LA show on the 16th. I’ve already told my professor that I won’t be in class that night. I want to pay homage to the people who helped shape you, the way that you continue to help shape me.

    I love you, for everything. Thank you.
    -Briauhnna

  • JustAnotherRecluse

    You are the most interesting person on earth, Amanda. Thank you for the story… and the new music to check out.

  • http://twitter.com/lentower lentower

    do you want to live it down? ; – }——es is neben/hinter der dom, und wenn es sich nicht viel verandert hat, die shows sind ganz gut. sag hallo von amanda die bloede amercianerinhttp://translate.google.com/ english-cizes toIt is next to / behind the cathedral, and if it has not changed much, the shows are very good. say hello to amanda only stupid amercianerin

  • Sadie

    I just read this entire blog post out loud because I felt like it needed to be shared I live in fear of how I will be perceived by others , my friends, my work. And I carry the fear of saying or doing something that will bring the hammer of Thor down upon me and shatter my world into pieces with me all the time. I have no idea where this came from…I have lived an entirely sound life, making wise safe choices. Straight A’s in college, no drugs, no cigarettes, some booze, never enough sleep, a really good husband, and yet…I am so afraid of speaking. So afraid of being wrong and misunderstood, misinterpreted. So I censor. All the time. Your blog helps. Your blogs makes me less afraid. Thank you.

  • http://brokemedievalist.blogspot.com/ Viraumus

    Hi,
    You will get a lot of posts like this. Long, praising pieces about how brilliant you are.
    Believe every one of them. They are all true.
    I think you are awesome. I think everything you write about is awesome too.
    Despite my useless liberal arts degree that tells me to actually go out and express myself in interesting ways to fascinating people, I am completely stunned when it comes to even your electronic presence. Your songs can make me cry, make me laugh, and most of all make me think. What more an artist can do I’ve yet to find out. That useless liberal arts degree from a good university is proving absolutely worthless in the world of job hunting–turns out nobody wants to hire someone with a Medieval Studies degree for pretty much anything–that said, if nothing else, I slog through each day knowing that on November 17th, I get to travel to Chicago to see you perform…and that is pretty much awesome. Being unemployed and living with my parents at 23 is not exactly the height of a thrilling lifestyle, nor is wandering around town in a quest for work, being pelted by a milkshakes (I always throw them back, usually with better aim) thrown by passing students. All the same, much of my ramblings are taken with the music from your wonderful albums.

    I love reading your long blogs. They are awesome. Your short blogs are nice too…but it is your long blogs that enable me to sit down with a cup of tea and read the entire thing while the tea gradually turns from hot to tepid. Not that I really like tepid tea, just that your writing sucks me into the world of you, and that is a really spiffy talent right there.

    So, thanks for the sanity your music has helped foster.

  • cooltop

    no, you beg your fan base to donate because you’re an obnoxious little shit who can’t prioritize and probably donates half your cash to scientology

    • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

      ZING!! POW!! RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

    • Sarah Hackett

      And you’re an anonymous fuckwit wasting your time posting ideas gathered from internet conspiracies. Amanda is a generous sweetheart who majors in badassery. I can attest to this as she’s been most generous to me. Have you met her? Or do you not leave the house for fear you’ll miss a prime trolling opportunity?

  • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

    ‘i’d been given some kind of cosmic permission to take the final plunge and dedicate myself full-time to being a musician and a writer….it was as if the fraud-fairy came by and tapped my head, rendering me Not Full Of Shit and given leave to go forth and prosper without fear.’Small yet numerous things like that have been happening for the past while now. This is hopeful.I’m also in a perpetual battle with my bank account, though. I guess we all are…..I’ve only known one other person who loves the Legendary Pink Dots as much as you do, and that was this amazing artist named Anthony who I befriended up at the community college where I used to live. I knew he did, because no one else in that godforsaken town would have heard of them and worn their shirt so proudly. The first time I saw him wearing it, I caught myself staring at him, and he stared back at me and it was like lightning: eventually, we’d have to start talking. I was about 19 and he was about 34, I think.While I’m completely gay, I can admit to having a respect-crush on him. He was the coolest, most honest, down-to-earth person I’d ever met–AND HIS STORIES, my god! His life experiences were rich in themselves, but they lent to the beauty of his poetry and his fictional writings. My favorite story of his was once, at a bar, some burlier dude tried to start shit with him, just because of how weird Anthony looked. He told the guy he didn’t want any trouble, but the guy pressed a bit more.’What are you, some kinda fag??”No man. I’m an artist.’The burly dude paused and looked at Anthony, then mentioned he played guitar as well, and then they bonded over music and drinks.When I actually got to hang out with him at his pad, I was wondering why I didn’t live in this place, myself. I felt at home, is the only way I could put it. We hung out, smoked pot, and he would put on a lot of obscure goth stuff but occasionally he would rock LPD, and worked on introducing me to Tear Garden. He asked how I knew about the Dots and I mentioned how they were a big influence on you/the Dolls, and introduced him to your stuff.He’s been to nearly every LPD gig in the Bay Area ever since he’s heard of them. I think it was his girlfriend who made a portrait based off a picture of Anthony and Edward Ka-Spel together, both with their shades on. In his room he had an amazing set-up for his synthesizer and basically we’d make the walls shake making alien noises on his keyboard. That guy wanted to BE Edward Ka-Spel.As much as I loved him and admired him, though, I noticed how much he struggled. Struggling by Ukiah standards, and that’s just rough. It put my life into perspective. I want to live as passionately and truly as he did, but I didn’t want to do it there, and I didn’t want to feel as stuck as he was. He admitted he liked the smaller town thing more than I did, though. Maybe, in his own right, he’s living his own Band on the Eternal Road existence.Even now, I still think of him to help put things into perspective.Thank you for the LPD playlist recommendations, though. I’ll admit I don’t know enough about them still, and am really only familiar with a couple select tracks off Any Day Now, so I look forward to more exposure. Such precise, broken down recommendations, no less. Yay!…I found out recently that my dad basically comes from a long line of farmers and servicemen, while my mom’s side is pretty much shrouded in mystery in the Philippines..though it involves a lot of abuse. She actually had to get married very early just because she didn’t feel there was any other way to get out of her house.I’m not a farmer. I’m not a farmer’s wife. I didn’t need to marry myself off to get away from the abuse. I wouldn’t. I was raised to be a soldier, but because of that I know I’ll never take orders.This is literally a case of someone having to make themselves from the ground up.A lot of my happiness is riding on this. I feel it’s a welcome battle.You completely made yourself, all with a little help from your friends and loved ones. I think of you, too, to help put things into perspective. So thank you.

    Also: Happy Halloween :))))))))

    I’m also the weirdest stoner ever because I don’t really listen to slow, atmospheric things when I smoke. It’s actually the opposite: I usually listen to fast stuff. Dance-y, rock-y, something with a beat…I blame it on loving fast, aggressive punk music. Sometimes it’s classical music, though.

  • wanna-be-musician

    Kypri wrote, that he feels rightly the same what you felt about The Dots – and I completely share this feelings, this excitement and hope. Hope… yeah, that’s what your blogs give me. Thank you Amanda for being there, making your music and giving me over 1000 reasons why I really WANT to make music.
    your little fan from Poland, Anna, the wanna-be-musician girl.

  • tina

    Amanda, you amaze me, you inspire me, your music, your blogs, ALLES erinnert mich daran, dass ich nicht in der Masse untergehen will, sondern ich selbst sein will, so individuell und ANDERS und wundervoll, ich weiß genau dass ich das kann. Good that you speak German, because my English skills couldn’t express what I wanted to say!

  • http://myorp.livejournal.com/ Puzzleclocks

    This is something special and important. Probably for other people too but especially for me. I only started reading this blog a few weeks ago because your Mr. Gaiman linked to it at some point over on his. It is somehow enlightening to read this about those who have been your Heroes for so long and feel as though the spirit of what you are writing could very easily be applied on my part to Neil.

    If I were to write a post online about him, I would be forced to go on in the same wonderful length as you have here about your Heroes. I realize that the “scene” isn’t the same in most respects, but in others I think somehow that it must be, and given that I have been struggling with a bit of writing I’ve been doing, I just wanted to say, thanks for the inspiration to keep on Doing-What-I-Love as well.

    Also, thank you for sharing a band that is new to me and from what you’ve written, I’m sure will have a few bits of music(at the very least) which I will enjoy. Maybe they will become another new inspiration of mine, as you also have.

  • itrademyoldshoesfornewfeet

    thank you for the tips, i”ll gladly check them out. if they are the victor frankenstein to the amandafucking palmer monster i’m totally downnnnnn
    ps
    i can read your words forever amanda
    and hear our music.

  • Mrs. Hackett

    I, too, have been struggling with musical merch karma! It’s been eating away at me. I’m going to use this as my confessional, if I may?

    Recently, I volunteered my Saturday to help Hesta Prynn sell merch…then 4 hours before the gig, cancelled to cuddle with my new bride who was sick. Well, mostly she was just adorable and off work early. >.< (You might remember us. We're a few blogs back.)

    I DID find a suitable replacement, but I've feared I soiled my music career/relationship to the industry by being a super flake. My hope is that when we see you in Lexington, perhaps you'll give me some Musical God penance….or at the very least, I'll feel a little better having publicly admitted this. Either way, I feel a little less alone. You are consistently an inspiration and a relief. Thank you for being nothing less than painfully honest, or as Edward put it,"something real."

  • PolitelyOffend

    I love this band, they were amazing at the Halloween show last night. I’ve been listening to them since last year and never would have heard of them if I hadn’t seen an interview where you mentioned your love for them. This was at the time I was devoting every moment possible to memorizing dolls lyrics. I bought Asylum and listened to the first two songs, forgot about it for a month or so, then picked it up and listened again during a rough week at home and fell in love with it. I’ve only really listened to 10 or 11 of their albums on repeat, I go through weeks where I will just immerse myself in them, but I am trying to catch up. What the dots did for you, you and the dolls have done for me. I can’t imagine going through the past few years without carrying your music around on various ipods.
    Thanks for turning us onto the Dots,
    Thank you for treating us with the same affection, interest, and understanding as the Dots treated you with.

  • Rachelcrook91

    fucking wow.

    thank you so so fucking much.
    LPD are amazing so far. (just listening to a few songs on youtube at the moment)

    I love discovering new music.
    It gives me these one-of-a-kind shivers that i once felt first hearing your music.

    thank you,

    rachel.

  • Lizzie Hudson

    I’m a 14 year old girl, from a little town in England where there is a bus station and a Costa coffee and not much else. I sat and read this blog, and by some point midway I was hugging my knees to my chest and shaking a little, and smiling the kind of smile that your face just makes without you knowing because there were about five times during this that I realised there are things in here describing exactly how I feel.
    I think I know a Jason, and I know than I’ve found my Ledgendary Pink Dots.
    I get scared by so many things, like being an accountant, living alone in a place like this with a lot of cats, not going to see Imogen Heap for an entire year, and your blog makes me feel better. Being here for a while sometimes makes me feel, like you said, like I’m part of a revolution.
    Amanda Fucking Palmer, I hope that someday I see you live and get to meet you, because maybe it would make things better. I think you’re one of the bravest people I know in some ways. Thankyou for everything xx

  • Andi Dilu

    Well said! A friend forwarded this entry to me because of the Dotz content, I have to say that this is one of the truest and most honest (and probably universal) accounts of in-over-your-head lovesick infatuation with LPD that I’ve ever read.
    I caught them at the Middle East a few days ago. I should point at the white elephant and say that this stripped down version was kind of sad to watch. Not because they weren’t kicking ass, it’s just… you know… different. And kind of sparse. But I’m really happy they didn’t throw in the towel, and I hope it goes in some new awesome direction.
    Anyway, taking 2 minutes to say thanks for that.
    ~A different AFP from Boston.

  • Melissa

    The coolest thing about being old and deprived of good music is always having something new and insanely fucking awesome to listen to. Three years ago, someone left a Dots cd at my house after a party. Tonight I attend my first show. Loved the blog, as always.

  • Ryan_Anas

    Wow, your love and passion for the Dots is beautiful. I’ve read this blog three times already, and it’s really amazing how you’ve captured your love for your favorite band and translated it here for us. I am very glad that you’ve introduced them into my life as well. Their music, like you have said much better than I can, is really great for imagining lush scenes in my head. I find them especially great for long drives. After the Boston show, I drove home to New York, and listening to their CD was incredible. I was seeing landscapes and other realms when I heard that music. Reading your blog now makes me happy that you did too. I wouldn’t call it druggie music, but it is surely conscience altering, and, what is wrong with that? I have been lacking something like them. You know, soundscapes with the mutilation and depth and darkness.

    I’m very glad that your first experience with them and your subsequent encounters were pleasant and helped to give you the confidence you needed to take on your own music full force. It is a beautiful flow of force that drives our hearts and touches the people in our lives. Thank you for bringing that flow full circle and sharing something that means so very much to you with us.

    Love,
    Ry

  • Kris B

    It’s wonderful to know where my heroes got their inspiration. Thank you for sharing what inspired you, fueled you, and assured you to become the trail blazing fucking rockstar wonderful person and artist that you are.

    I know I’m not the only one that’s grateful to be a part of the revolution.

    They’ll be in San Francisco this month, and because of this blog, I will be buying my ticket shortly.

    Love to you, Amanda. And so much thanks.

    From one writer to another, you are my inspiration.

  • Samuelle93

    wow. I pretty much feel the same way about you as you did for Edward. I’m a 17 year old girl, and and was first introduced to the Dresden Dolls debut album when I was 14. The love i felt for it was instantaneous. I think i will always be grateful to my Gothy-Boots friend for having introduced me to the wonder that is your music. There’s this quiet girl with faint scars on her arms and hair in her face always daydreaming and writing weird poetry (me) and this crazy confident Gothic girl unlike anyone our small town had ever seen before with a shitload of amazing cds and we meet at the beginning of high school, and BAM. I hear Girl Anachronism through her Walkman at lunchtime and I MUST. HEAR. MORE. she lends me your debut album and i go home and listen to it again and again and again. Then Yes Virginia. Then No Virginia. A is for Accident. My boyfriend bought me your solo album on vinyl when it first came out. They way you describe actually MEETING and SPENDING TIME with your favourite band, I’ve had dreams exactly like that but about you. I’m trying as hard as I can to not sound freaky and stalker-ish, but, seriously, I’ve just admired you for years, you’re my role-model. The fact that you even did any of that when you were 16 amazes me, because I am pretty sheltered and have strict parents. And in a way, i feel like it’s too late in the game to rebel. I just have this mantra in my head all the freaking time about moving out in 10 months. I’m convinced that then I will be free. That could be my childlike naivete acting up agan, but, there’s only one way to really find out. Thank you. For your music, and your blog, and speaking out to me, and making life indirectly exciting

  • BB Wulfe

    The way you feel about The Legendary Pink Dots, I must say this, is exactly how I feel about you and the Dresden Dolls. There is not any other music or musician(s) that I always look forward to listening to or that reach my utmost inner feelings and I really have to thank you for all your being. I am really looking forward to finally seeing you perform on New Years. I already know that it’s going to be an experience I will never forget or even fathom thinking of forgetting.

  • http://cdohphotography.blogspot.com/ Cat

    This might not seem as amazing or exciting to you as it does to me, but this blog post has inspired me to comment.

    I am a long long long time reader, first time commenter. I love your blog. I always read every word. After reading, I always feel inspired to write my own blog, only to remember that my life is no where near as interesting as yours (hence why my blog is mostly pictures and photographs!).

    I try to keep up with each time you post, but occasionally I have too much uni work to get done, and I will fall behind, only to play catch-up once my work is complete.

    I have spent the last three days writing a 3000 word essay, the whole time thinking “Once I get this essay finished I am going to go and spend hours reading AFP’s blog”. My essay, just completed with 3012 words (Booyeah! over the word count!!!), was on the works of John Heartfield, and his photomontages from the 1920’s.
    I guess we have more in common than I already knew.

  • delilah

    i feel the exact way about dredsen dolls and the “who killed amanda palmer” album (and book) as you do about dots. i guess dots are too 80’s for me, but its a nice demented dimension of music.
    i also knew and fell in love with a buy who loved music, fed off it. he constantly sang even though he wasnt that good. he liked underground bands, bands i never heard of. the first song he showed me was “coin operated boy” i loved it so much, and the music video made me happy. i love it more than he does and i know the words to all the doll’s songs, and they quickly were limewired onto my ipod and i listend to them on the bus and everywhere i went. the soundtrack of my life began.
    the boy i am in love with doesnt love me any more. she loves an emochick and she doesnt know about the dolls so it still feels secret and sacred. i love reading your blog because it’s like lyrics.
    anyways. that’s all i had to say. i hope youre having a good day.
    dolls is one of the reasons i learned german. i dunno…its just great.

  • delilah

    i feel the exact way about dredsen dolls and the “who killed amanda palmer” album (and book) as you do about dots. i guess dots are too 80’s for me, but its a nice demented dimension of music.
    i also knew and fell in love with a boy who loved music, fed off it. he constantly sang even though he wasnt that good. he liked underground bands, bands i never heard of. the first song he showed me was “coin operated boy” i loved it so much, and the music video made me happy. i love it more than he does and i know the words to all the doll’s songs, and he quickly were limewired all the songs i liked onto my ipod and i listened to them on the bus and everywhere i went. the soundtrack of my life began. dolls is one of the reasons i learned german. i dunno…its just great.
    the boy i am in love with doesnt love me any more. she loves an emochick and she doesnt know about the dolls so it still feels secret and sacred. i love reading your blog because it’s like lyrics.
    anyways. that’s all i had to say. i hope youre having a good day.

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