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amanda fucking palmer for sale

the comments on the last blog made me feel better.
not because i was fishing for reassurance, but because people were so honest back at me.
i fucking love you guys. thank you.
meanwhile, everything has gotten better.
well, neil left, so that wasn’t necessarily better, but he left behind him space to think where i was mostly just spending time in love and figuring things out.
space is good, sometimes, for getting thoughts in order. i think i forget that. i know i love space but i forget why. then i remember why.
i’m backstage in newcastle.
jim batt, kim boekbinder’s melbourne boyfriend who’s been coming along with us, just took this….
in the last few days, some really good things happened.
good thing number one was the gig at karina’s house.
she buckled down and got a bunch of people together to buy the $5000 “I WILL PLAY YOUR AUSTRALIAN BARBECUE” bundle.
we took a night in sydney and got a ride from crystal out to prestons – an OUT there suburb of sydney, and had a fucking wholesome freaky picnic.
i was actually kind of nervous about the gig – not about whether it would be GOOD (it’s almost always GOOD) but about whether we would all feel weird about a situation in which people had paid serious money – pretty much directly –  to attend a fucking weird suburban picnic with a crazed piano player.
strange, i don’t feel weird or think twice about 2,000 people paying $80 to see me at the opera house, where i don’t handle the money.
but this was different – i was wondering if i’d feel strange, guilty, whatever. i didn’t.
well, actually that’s a lie. when i first walked into the house and i saw all the food karina’s mother had cooked (good god, there was a a lot of food) i thought: i’m getting paid? for this?
why don’t i think that when i see catering? or when people bring me food backstage, like they often do, sometimes at great expense to themselves? i dunno.
i think there’s something inherently difficult about saying: THIS IS WHAT I COST IF YOU WANT ME directly to your fans.
it’s easier to say it to a promotor, to a venue. i say it all the time. it’s harder to say it to your friends and fans.
but….it worked. it was a fantastic fucking night. i feel so incredibly lucky to always work on the assumption that my audience will be made up of people that are interesting, people i want to actually talk to.
i borrowed a piano from a girl who came to the gig (and she wound up playing after me, while i signed and chatted to folks), took requests, drank beers, told stories, listened, hugged. kim came along and played some of her songs, and we sang together, and we….felt right at home. i was given some incredible gifts. i feel like collapsing sometimes under all the awesome that comes into my life.
thank you to all you who were there. that was special.
ever since i put the $5k BBQ on sale with the australian album i’ve had people from other parts of the world emailing – asking if i’m for sale in their part of the world, because they want to buy me.
the answer?
fuck yeah. i just have to figure out how to do it.
i think i actually LOVE touring this way. it just takes some getting over the weirdness of dealing with money directly with your fans,…but i’ve been getting good at that in other realms, and so has everybody else. this is the way the whole industry is headed as the structures of old topple and the internet takes over. you find your people and go to them.
eric and i talked a lot about it. there’s something really fucking satisfying about the money not going to everybody inbetween…the promotors, the ticketmasters…and not having those inbetween people involved AT YOUR GIG. there’s something that kills the vibe about playing in a venue and knowing that everybody who works there doesn’t give a shit about you, your music, or your fans.
usually, when i do a show that EARNS $5k at the door, i’m lucky to see less than half of it. and that’s being generous. granted: it would be near-impossible to play a backyard gig like this for more than a few hundred people, tops, and SOMEBODY has to be the incredible organizer (in this case, it was karina’s unpaid hard work and dedication that gathered all these fans together). and in the “shit that can go wrong department”, well….there’s a shitload. but still. who the fuck says we can’t? shit goes wrong in venues all the time. i’m going to think about it. i loved it, everybody else seemed to love it, and the point was: not every band could do this. but since i can whip out a ukulele and play a solo piano with no speakers – it’s easy. why the fuck not?
here’s all of us….on karina’s porch, photo by (i think) karina’s brother. she’s the one next to me who isn’t pink haired. that’s kim.
the next night i headed to an old train station in sydney that’s been transformed into an art center called carriageworks and did a totally free ninja gig – which was also amazing.
not as intimate, not as cozy, but cozy nonetheless, and everybody had a fucking blast. i learned a last-minute clash cover on the uke and invited people to crowdsurf….and it worked.
i love australia.
people brought weird things, as directed on twitter, and this led to me wearing a merkin on stage. i will try to find photos.
kim entertained people as is her talent…and i keep talking about her without mentioning she’s got an amazing new album out on bandcamp, called “the impossible girl”, which you should check out.
tom and jen (ie the jane austen argument) who’ve also been opening for me left and right, also just released their first bandcmap ep:
we’re ALL here in newcastle tonight….tom, jen, kim and mikelangelo. we’re playing A BAR in newcastle. we all just ate fish, and i gotta go get dressed.
quick quick
here are some pics of the sydney ninja gig….
getting ready beforehand: applying tom dickin’s guyliner while kim and i simultaneously rehearsed our cover of “such great heights”…
(all the below by ben chant)
me and everyone
watching tom play piano….
uke uke uke…
the world’s first ukulele crowd-surf? possible….
 and i took this one with my iphone right after the gig…..
in closing….
i think more ninja gigs and house parties are in my future. the money….i think the money will figure itself out.
judy collins said something that struck a hard chord on the radio interview i did with her the other day the other week; one of the most true thing i’ve heard in the long time.
she said:
musicians get paid for the long flights,
the shitty hotels,
the delays,
the crap food
and the lonely nights
…the music is free.
amen judy
Back to Blog
  • Dragonsally

    I’d much rather go to a gig and hand you the money than give it to all the middle men! Not that the people working at the venues don’t deserve to get paid too, but the idea just feels more honest and intimate somehow. More spontaneous I guess. Like when you say pay what you want with things on bandcamp – it makes me pay more, because I want to indicate how much I value your art.

    • Gaba

      It’s nice to think the more money goes directly to the artist the better. A definite ‘hurrah!’ for that. But I would just like to keep in mind that sometimes the “middleman” is the crazy enthusiast who makes it possible for you to see an act you’d never have a chance to see. I know people who’d seel their flat to bring an artist to town, don’t earn a cent from it and make it possible for people who don’t have a couple of thousand of dollars at hand, to pay a few bucks and have a dream come true. So I say – support the little, independent venues and concert promoters. they do a hell of a job.

  • Fiona


    So that's what the Great Northern looks like upstairs! ;)

    Love the idea of BBQs and the like for gigs. A friend was having a houseparty gig the other night here in Canberra. Alas, busy, but awesome nonetheless.


  • PolitelyOffend

    Though it seems like a lot of work to manage a gig like that, it seems like it would be worth it. Hell, the first time I ever cooked was for you and the cast of Cabaret. Lona and I cooked for two days straight. I had never had any of the dishes I prepared. I had to get Lona to taste. Despite the hard work and stress of cooking for 25 people the first time ever cooking, it was completely worth it. Not only because omygoshit’samandapalmer, but also because you and the entire cast were incredibly grateful. It never felt like exploitation for a moment, because you made sure it was a great experience for us. It’s still way up there with favorite days.
    I like the idea of the fans giving directly to the artist. Shit happens during any show, but at least there is less complication with dealing with it if it is musician-to-fan. I know that I would be willing to throw a show together with a paying audience, and I’m sure many others would too. This also makes it more likely that people who would not otherwise know of you or of your show schedule will be at your show. If it is put together by a fan, their friends, fans or not, will likely come on their suggestion. As long as there is some kind of system or consistent agreement between you and the fans, it sounds like an excellent idea.

  • Bill Chant


    thanks for using the photos!!!!!!!!!!! just a BIT exciting.

    Thanks for a great gig.

    More photos to come, including the merkin action!

    Bill, but Ben is close enough :-)

  • Andreas

    This is so awesome. It’s making art more personal, and more possible. You inspired me to sell comics pay-what-you-want to the people at my school, and they DID: people were actually donating $5 a piece because they WANTED to, and asking how they could donate later if they didn’t have cash in hand.

    In short, this is amazing, and revolutionary, and fuck the haters. Who cares if the system works perfectly? It’s OUR system now.

  • The Geek of Oz

    A great few days for you and a damn great day for me. Thank you for your time today ma’am. You and E were real. Good folk who I am lucky to have met. Thanks for your time, your ears and your love. Looking forward to catching up for a pint when you swing back through.

    By the way, I have your hat.

    PS: What the hull? Avril forev’s!

  • Dougall

    Have some photos of you, wearing a merkin, on stage:

  • Tony (@poprock)

    Personal gigs are a great idea. The punk scene have been doing pass-the-hat house parties for decades and it’s lovely to see how the Internet has made it more comfortable for other artists to find a way – getting paid up front takes a lot of The Fear out of the equation for you brave performers.

    The Indelicates have been having success with this idea too – Amanda, you may remember them from your epic Edinburgh Fringe gig a couple of years ago. A friend and I paid them £300 to come to Glasgow and play for us. We booked our favourite local indie venue, arranged for friends to play support, charged three quid for a guest list place and promoted it ninja style on Twitter. We decorated the venue, chauffeured them from the airport and the gig was amazing. The room was full of love and laughter, just so much more relaxed than a regular show. We fed the band, put them up for the night, and sent them off home in the morning. In return, they let us record the gig and signed over the rights to the recording. We mastered the live record, put together some artwork and put it up for sale on – which is the Indelicates’ own record label. Pay what you like, download and enjoy. We made our £300 back in less than a week.

    The new music industry we are collectively building CAN WORK.

  • Shane

    Amanda, I can honestly say that Friday night at Karina’s house was easily the best gig I have EVER been to. After burying our beloved pets the day before, you and Kim were just what we needed (and Helen is still on a high from playing for you and from what you wrote on her piano).

    I don’t mind the serious money – no other show comes near to the intimate and open performance you two lovely ladies gave to all of us at were there. It was worth every penny.

    I would hate to think that you would stop doing larger shows (the buzz of a crowd is a wonderful thing) but if you ever decide to do another Aussie BBQ in Sydney, we will both be there (piano and all :D )

    Oh, and just wanted to mention that Friday night has inspired both Helen and myself to get back to writing music again. Your spirit and energy touched us like nothing else has. Thank you so much.

    • insignifikunt

      Hi Shane, this is karina, thank you both again for bringing the piano and once again I am so sorry about your pets!

      i am glad you still made it on friday. it was awesome to meet you both!

      • Shane

        Karina, it was most definitely our pleasure, and without your organisation and the generosity of your family to let us all into their house, none of us would have had the experience.

        It was lovely to meet you (and everyone else!) and, most deeply and sincerely, thank YOU :) It couldn’t have happened without you.

        • insignifikunt

          you guys have all made me feel so amazing lately. thank you.

          • Ian Ronald

            You SHOULD feel amazing… I looked at that deal and thought “I wish”. You looked at that deal and thought “I can”. If you hadn’t done that, we would all have missed out on an incredible experience…

  • OMGShian

    Reading this blog makes me wish that I was there, to experience all of it. I really hope you would consider doing something so awesome like this in the UK, it would be amazing! Your music inspires me greatly! x

  • Miss Alice

    The thing about the money is… I shall tell it in a story. (I would do it in interpretive dance but you can’t see that from here). Hopefully I’ll make sense:

    Last week I went to buy WKAP off the Interwebz Of Wonder (no idea how this is only just happening in my life, I guess we’ll blame Spotify and spending too much money on cider and inner-city rent) so naturally went to Amazon. I saw a review which said that if I bought it there, not a single penny would go to you. “Fuck that,” said I (out loud, in my tiny little uni library – the librarian looked at me funny. this is nothing new, she thinks I’m strange but seems to like me so whatever). The review said to buy it direct from your website. So off I tootled to find it. Oo yes, there it is. Excellent. Once I added the delivery cost to England, it was going to be almost twice the price as it was from Amazon. But I realised that I didn’t care. Because that money goes to you, not disappearing into company bonuses and stuff… To you. Where it should go.

    I think it’s the same with the gigs. I would cheerfully pay a lot of money to see you play – I’ve gone so long without, because I’ve always been too young or in the wrong place or just too broke. Now I have a student overdraft, and savings, and my Nan would approve of me spending every penny I have on things that make me happy. So I’d gladly double, triple, that money, for it to go direct to you. And I definitely wouldn’t mind cooking for days and clearing up and somehow getting a piano to my house (even though I don’t know anybody who owns one). Because it would be OHMIGOD AMANDA PALMER WAS IN MY HOUSE AND IT WAS AWESOME. And that memory would be forever (God and health willing)

    So basically yeah. In the money going direct to you, somehow it feels different. Like the CD. But bigger and better and… yeah. I hope this made sense.

    So uh. I live in London. And Paris. I would have offered my flat to youse last year when you were in Paris but it was a tiny shoebox on the end of a metro line and it was just never going to be ideal. HOWEVER I have moved. And am moving again to somewhere better so… ANYWAY. Hopefully you’ll be in one of those two places soon. Even if it’s not in my house, I would just really love to see you ~somewhere. One day…


  • Cass Dalgleish

    This post kind of makes me want to cry. I’m not sure why. Probably because I’m incredibly sleep-deprived and emotional (yuck).
    But anyway. I LOVE the idea of these private gigs – travelling and getting the chance to meet fans and all sounds exciting. It also makes me feel panicky. It’s stupid of me, I know. But it’s like, what if you decided you liked THIS way best of all, and only if we could gather the people and the money and the backyard and someone who’s brave enough to ask you to come visit would we see you? It suddenly becomes those who are in the right areas and have the money and the facilities are the ones who have the advantage of seeing you live. Which, when I think about it, is true now so I don’t know what I’m panicking about.
    The other side of it is also, I LOVED seeing you with 50 people at Tasmania, and I loved the intimacy of the environment, and when you did your Q&A several times I had to stop myself from interrupting or joining in. This sort of gig would (I’d imagine) provide the opportunity to actually CONTINUE these Q&As and actually turn them into a proper discussion, a conversation. Chatting, which then blurs the lines between fan and artist and makes us all just people interested in talking (providing the topic is good enough of course =) ). And THAT would be fantastic.
    The OTHER side of it, again, is, the big shows are fucking worth it too. I saw you at Forum last year (and discovered the Jane Austen Argument, so cheers for that!), and when you’re crowded in a room, covered in other people’s sweat and pushing the girl at your left’s dreadlocks away from your mouth and there’s someone behind you pushing you and your neck’s on a 90 degree angle looking upward because you’re at the front and want to see properly and a constant loud is buzzing in your ears and all you want to do is cry because it’s the happiest you’ve ever fucking felt, caught up as one person with the hundreds in the room… fuck. Nothing tops that. Nothing I’ve had, anyway.

    This comment is basically ramble. Sorry. Love that you’re having a rad time in Aus. Can’t wait for Melbourne =)

    And love Judy’s quote.

    Much love. XXX

  • Cass Dalgleish

    Alice – I agree with all of this. I’m Australian and the postage makes it so hard. If I buy a $200-bundle, it can go up to $300, etc. It’s ridiculous.
    But so worth it. Because I’m supporting someone I KNOW will appreciate it =)
    And anyone who can earn our trust like that deserves our money =)

    PS: I completely loved the interpretive dance comment. I once gave a friend a birthday card in interpretive dance. It was interesting, because it was quite a long card. She loved it. (Unfortunately this was in a legals studies class at the time. The teacher, surprisingly, was amused… my classmates did not understand so well though).

  • Kate F

    I would have been at both had we not headed out of the city for the weekend.

    That aside – ninja gigs could well be a profitable way of the future. Pass a hat around at the end – much like the ‘pay what you will’ for the album download – do a ‘pay what you will’ for the ninja gig.

    Honestly, I’d go to those over a show at the Opera House any day. The opera house is great and all, but there is nothing like the vibe at a ninja gig, or even just a smaller, less ‘stuffy’ venue. I’d throw $50 in the bucket for a show like that, rather than $80 for one at the opera house, of which I’m sure you don’t see even half of the money.

    Some people may give $5, some $10, $20, and so on. But it’s still a ninja gig, and if they aren’t financial enough to give $$ at the time, then they don’t need to. They can give hugs instead.

    I think you’ll find you’d earn some decent money working that way.

    • insignifikunt

      wish you’d have been able to have made it!

  • northforwinter
  • Historytells

    Yes, but do you think it would have been weird if I’d bought the gig and invited no-one?

  • Dan

    Simon Joyner, a great singer/songwriter from Omaha (and on of Bright Eyes’ early inspirations) did a tour like this all around the states recently. He just put a list of dates on his website, said that there needed to be capacity for k people and the organiser had to guarantee a certain amount of money (whether paid by the organiser, or by people with tickets didn’t matter). From all accounts it went extremely well.

  • angelica

    love the photos! and the outfit with stripes! gosh, really pretty!

  • Aimee H

    The whole imtimate house show thing can definitely done sustainably, especially with the uke. It’s one of the reasons there’s been such a fucking plethora of folk punk bands in the past decade (I love them all, I am not complaining). The social music revolution will not be amplified!

  • Gaba

    Jane Siberry toured people’s living rooms throughout last year (or was it 2009?). What you’re describing sounds very close to what she did. :) GOOD LUCK!

  • Ian Ronald

    The last few days have felt like a whirlwind for me and I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m awake. I was so lucky to have been at all three of the Sydney gigs (Opera House, Ninja gig and Karina’s freaking backyard!) and all three were amazing performances – for different reasons. The Opera House gig was amazing and spectacular and theatrical. The Ninja gig felt like a gift you gave to us as your fans – just for being your fans. But the backyard gig is the one I think I will remember the longest and the most vividly.

    The amazing intimacy of that setting, the incredible sense of friendship and camaraderie, the stories, the involvement with the audience. It really felt like you were playing to us as a group of friends more than a group of fans. I would happily pay the extra to see you perform in that kind of setting over the Opera House any day (if I had to choose – if you do both, I’ll do both…). More than anything, I loved the fact that you wanted to sit down and talk with us all. WITH, not just AT. You wanted to listen to us and get to know us. I keep looking at the photos of you and I chatting about ukuleles and it makes me smile. The photo of you looking at my new ampersand tattoo just makes me grin from ear to fucking ear (ears with or without feet…)

    Thanks for all of that, and everything else…

    • Ian Ronald

      And I forgot to mention – the thought of the money never even crossed my mind…

  • Chewbacca

    Egads, Amanda… How was I away from your blog for so long? You make days that many artists would surmise in single long paragraphs into flows of delicious ebbs and flows of life and energy… It’s like drinking Redbull with my eyes.

    Just remember while you’re down in the Holy Land of Oz… No Worries, mate. ;)

  • Jasmyne Middleton

    The minute I saw the $5000 gig option I asked my fiance for the cash. He, not liking any music that doesn’t resemble Godsmack or Machine Head, replied “NO SHE IS NOT PLAYING OUR WEDDING”. Huh. He knows me too well.
    Not that I would have expected THAT (although it will be awesome, we’re planning on getting married at Mt. Kiera under this big old tree that’s twisted itself around to look like an altar, and corsets and top-hats will abound). Maybe I can take out a personal loan. Hm.
    And, I AM Australian, but my mum’s Maori, so – Aroha Tino Nui, mate.

    • Fiona

      I might actually get married if Amanda would play at it. hmmm…

      I’d bring my ninjas?

  • Aimee

    i just got home from the Newcastle gig and read this… and wanted to say THANKYOU again. i got to while you signed my WKAP book. but i don’t think we can say it enough. you do so much more for your fans than any other artist i’ve had to pleasure to see – and INFINITLY more then any I’ve met. you can come back to Australia every year – summer holiday away from 3 feet of snow – and hang out in our pubs and backyards, and we will always be there with you and for you.

  • deeza13666

    I think what you are doing is a wonderful way to interact with your fans and give them something special that they can treasure forever. If I was in a position to purchase one of your packages I would. However, as with everything there is a down side! I am sure that you are well aware of all the sick, twisted fucks out there that can take advantage. I am positive that you will check on people properly, especially taking something like this worldwide. Sorry maybe I read too many strange books. Australia is still a relatively trustworthy place and usually genuine honest people live here. although that has certainly changed in the last 20 years. Please take care, the world would be a much sadder place without you. By the way thankyou for your awesome show at Newcastle tonight.

  • Dmitry

    My friend Ruth Gerson has been making a living playing house concerts for years. I hosted one at my house a couple of years ago and it was a blast. She addresses some of the money and mindset issues that you raise in this article on Huffington Post:

  • Nikki

    things to buy if i ever somehow come upon a financial windfall:

    1. trip to the moon
    2. AFP gig

    possibly not in that order. one might also be a little more expensive than the other, but still.

    • Kambriel

      I’d recommend saving money by combining the two and having the AFP gig in the shuttle, or on the surface of the moon itself once you get there. Amanda can even bring a new flag to plant on the surface there ;)

      • Nikki

        the first Amanda Fucking Palmer show on the moon!
        AFP, any interest in some intergalactic ninja gigs?

  • Ayala

    I love you.
    Wish I had a way of organizing Israeli fans and come up with such money..

  • Akane McCann

    When I saw the 500 dollar Skype call I instantly started saving the money, but I cant get the thought of actually meeting you out of my head. I made myself a jar with “TALK TO AMANDA” on it to make sure im reminded to put money into it every day. I really hope you make the amanda comes to your house offer for all over the world! I would work very hard to have money to get you over here in Japan! I don’t have 50 friends here because I recently moved here from Maui. Speaking of that you rocking an Uke is amazing! In hawaii its a part of every day life. You cant walk down the street without seeing someone playing one. So being so far out of my element over here, listening to your music just makes me feel at home. I hope you dont mind playing for an audience of one if I you make the offer worldwide! I promice good food, drinks, laughs and a a pillow with your crotch on it to sleep on! It will be sure to be the most amazing day of my life if i get to watch you play live! If you ever venture out to Japan for a show you always have a place to stay! Your incredible Amanda and I cant wait to get buy the skype call! You have been a inspiration and a life saver for me ever since middle school. I cant thank you enough for the pleasure of listening to your music. It changed my life in a very big way.

    Talk to you soon! (i hope >_<)

  • insignifikunt

    yes that photo was taken by my brother, his name is todd.

    i have also started writing a blog about the whole experience. i’d love for you to read it when i finish it???

    my opinion on the whole private gig thing… i love it, it worked for me and the people that came.

    they all paid significantly more than the opera house gig, and i don’t want to even acknowledge to myself let alone anyone else how much i ended up paying to cover what i couldn’t raise in time, (mostly because i think paypal took a shit load which pisses me off because the whole point was that it’d go to you) but i’d do it again in a heartbeat, and to be honest, that night was PRICELESS so in the end who gives a fuck about the money!

    (before anyone says it’s easy for me to say that, well it’s not because i actually have very little money due to working an unpaid internship at the moment!!!)

    it was a truly amazing experience, not just because you & kim were there but the majority of the people who attended were strangers when they set foot into my house, but we’ve been talking through facebook and twitter ever since and seeing everyone there so happy and excited…. well that is what my blog is about so i wont go into it here…. but i definitely think the private gigs are something you should keep doing, i’ll put my hand up and say i’d be more than happy to organise one again in the future, but please, next time give me more than 3 days to do it! haha

    i dont think you should ever stop doing the larger gigs though because as other people have mentioned, there is also a certain atmosphere you can only get through them, like tonight in newcastle. each gig i’ve been to of yours has been different and i think it’s largely due to the crowd and i love experiencing that.

    if you want to stop the money going through middle men, i know you have many fans who work in the music industry all over the world who’d put up their hand to help organise gigs. i would do it in an instant. it could still mean less money for you though.

    once again though a massive THANK YOU for offering the bundle and then making it happen. you made a lot of people very happy that night.

    with SO.MUCH.THANKS,

  • insignifikunt

    oh and i should also mention that the majority of people i found to come to the gathering were from twitter! most likely when your retweeted my call for anyone interested!

    • Ian Ronald

      Just more proof that following Amanda on twitter is a Very Good Thing…

  • Veronica

    Girl, I’m amazed. Who the fuck does this things that you do? 5000 $ and Amanda Palmer breaks into MY HOUSE??? Too good to be true! But wait, it IS true.
    Well then, I’ll earn the money. I swear to you I will. You won’t get rid of me so easily.

    And yeah, amen Judy.

  • Laura

    That would be amazing if you could travel with just yourself, your crew, and 1 or 2 event planners! I feel like you wouldn’t even need the things that traditional venues usually use as leverage- a guarantee of promotion you don’t seem to need because your fanbase is amazing, a guarantee of working equipment might be a different matter but one piano is rather doable!! I would love to see you if you could find a similar space in Toronto (as I love seeing you any time you come here!!)

  • Esmertina Bicklesnit

    This makes me think many things at once, that all contradict each other, and makes my brain go ouch.

    First is the awesomeness. It’s not just because of the ukelele that most artists can’t do this and you can. Part of your whole schtick is the connection you have with your fans. And, as discussed in the last blog comments, your ability to tap into that and improvise something spectacular and unique every time you perform.

    I would dearly love to be at one of these events, and thank you thank you to the peeps at Karina’s bbq who put vids up on Youtube :) Of course, I would have to remind myself that even in my friend’s back yard, you are working, and as powerful as the connection was, you are NOT my new best friend … I have no idea how you manage that sticky situation, you must run into it a lot?

    On the other hand, there is a sort of “we play weddings and bar mitzvahs” vibe to it, which is kind of eww. There’s a kind of progression to the last few blogs — from Random Journalist saying that you are slipping as an artist by taking the easy way out … to you giving yourself grief over the Opera House gig … to this. You’ve been so nonstop the past year or so, going straight from EE to Cabaret to the Dresden Dolls tour to Down Under, slipping in the Radiohead covers just in case anyone was going to accuse you of being a slouch. When in that hectic, eclectic schedule do you get time to give serious expression to new music, on a WKAP level? (Or is WKAP necessarily on a different level than EE, radiohead and down under? I don’t know.) You can get by being paid directly by adoring fans (and we DO adore the living crap out of you, and will, no matter what you do), showing up at their house with your ukelele … but will you continue to grow as an artist that way? And is that even an important consideration?

    Of course it’s not either/or … I just thought I would share some of my brain-hurty thoughts.

    • insignifikunt

      to be fair most of us were strangers at that bbq so we were all meeting each other as amanda met us. i do get your point about her still working and that she is not our best friend, but i don’t think anyone at that bbq came away with the impression that she is! Maybe all the people who actually came are far more sane than some of her other fans?

      • Ian Ronald

        I agree – as much as it was an incredibly friendly experience, I definitely didn’t walk away thinking I had a new BFF in Amanda, and as much as I would love it if she saw us as friends, I’m sure we’re still on the “fans” list. I think she’s a lot closer to her fans than most artists though, which is nice…

      • Esmertina Bicklesnit

        OK, I admit I was doing the sanity equivalent of sniffing my armpits (am I crazy? does it show?) but then I read the blog of the fella who drove Amanda and Eric to Newcastle, and saw:

        “As crazy as it sounds, I actually felt as though I had made two new friends in the past three hours. Some very real and all too interesting friends. Although I’m almost certain that I am just another person that was graced with their presence in a constant whirlwind of touring. One can only hope that I was able to make as much of an impact on them as they did on me.”

        That’s all I meant, really. I don’t think I would go all Single White Female on Amanda, or anything. It’s just … when you meet someone you admire, you hope you stand out, I guess. With all the people who have brought her food or had her at their house or driven her places or shown up at her hotel room in Paris to bring her wine or taken her to soak in hot springs in Iceland … even with the best of intentions she can’t possibly keep track of these people. I just wonder how many times people ask Amanda, “Hey! Do you remember me?” … and if it ever gets awkward, that’s all :)

        The blog is a fun read if you haven’t seen it yet:

        • Amanda Palmer

          this is a problem in my life, constantly. i am fantastic at loving people and terrible at remembering names and situations. i’ve come to forgive myself, i think one brain can only hold so many things. this is worth it’s own blog at some point….

          • Esmertina Bicklesnit

            That would make a great blog! And next time I see you, I promise not to say “It’s me, Esmertina! Remember you replied to my post that time?” and then gaze at you with an expression of expectation and hope :)

          • Esmertina Bicklesnit

            (Four months later) I will never get over the fact, Amanda, that You Did Remember Me when I got my poster signed at the Brooklyn show.  Ye gods, girl!  And then of course, on cue, I dissolved into a pink, stammery wad of goo sputtering generic fancrap.  Way to Dork, Es!  But thanks for that amazing moment Amanda, and thanks for having a forum where people like me who express ourselves way better via a keyboard than in person can connect with you :)

        • insignifikunt

          i did read that blog & the fact it says “i actually FELT like i had made two new friends…” makes me believe that he knows they aren’t his “friends”… well maybe they were his friends for those 3 hours, its not like he wrote he has made a some new life long friends…

          yes amanda probably will forget his name and eventually his face, but it doesn’t make that experience any less real & it doesn’t mean that connection wasn’t made even if it’s lost as time progresses. he felt special for being given that opportunity & he’ll probably keep feeling that way for quite some time and i dont see anything wrong with that.

          i’m sure he does hope he stood out, i’m not afraid to admit i wish i stood out considering amanda came and played at my house, and everyone at that bbq probably do as well, but i am realistic enough to know that amanda couldn’t possibly remember us if we were to run into her again in a years time. & it’s not like my house was the first fans house she has ever visited. i know i couldn’t keep up with all the names and faces that she comes across in a single day, let alone a year.

          i do agree that there probably are people out there who would expect her to remember them, but i think the majority of people would be realistic. at least i hope so.

    • Randomgit

      AFP does not do ‘schtick’. I do not see all she does as a show she puts on. She puts on herself and it becomes a show. WHich is probably why she feels it is all an ad-hoc cheat, but it isn’t.

      If you know/of AFP and appreciate that, she is your friend. That she is doing a paid show doesn’t diminish that.

      • Randomgit

        Or should I say, -shouldn’t- diminish that. I feel sorry for you if it does.

        • Esmertina Bicklesnit

          Oh calm yourself man. Is ‘schtick’ pejorative? As a Yiddish word, it just means, like, a signature part of the act. And as an artist, she is a performer who includes her audience in her art … I don’t think that dismisses what she does at all. I certainly was not maligning the Amanda. Oi gevalt!

          • Randomgit

            I apologize. I find a lot of reductive speech thrown around about the AFP body of work and it pisses me off. But that’s a fan thing I guess. Long term exposure lets you spot the inconsistencies that others would make up on the fly. There aren’t any here.

            I do find Schtick perojative. It implies mere novelty.

            And you did say you weren’t sure of what you were thinking and I COMPLETELY failed to discuss and just belligerated myself all over the place.

            But the point is made in the end. Hugs!

          • Esmertina Bicklesnit

            Hugs! Unfortunate word choice, it is actually helpful to know when things are read as I didn’t intend. All is forgiven, I have belligerated, myself, once or twice :)

  • Melinda

    my fiancee and i are planning to have our wedding at house of blues and contimplating the possibility of tempting you to play at our wedding with ponies vegan food and the possible kidnapping of neil, but only in the most extreme. This offer would allow us to have a reception that we want and give back to the AFP fans by giving some free tix or pay what they want first come first served so that money would go directly to you and that way we’re not monopolizing your time here in Houston. If at all possible we’ll pay an extra 5k for brian and or neil if at all possible. i love you and will support any decison made.

    much love,

  • Addie

    Canberra tomorrow!!!! I have tickets and am extremely excited :D

  • John

    Amanda: I’m a longtime fan, but am annoyed. I ordered a shirt from PostWar Trade in December. Never arrived, so I’ve requested a refund several times. Lots of long apologetic emails from Rachel, but no refund. It’s $30. Not enough to make or break anybody, but enough to be annoying and make me feel like a sucker and less of a fan. Anything you can do to help?
    Thanks much,
    John Cully

  • Kambriel

    Keep forging new paths Amanda… if things at times feel awkward or surreal, it’s because you’re walking somewhere new, rather than taking the well-paved (yet often pothole-ridden) road.

    And of course I just happen to feel a stripey bustle jacket ( ~ if anyone’s interested!) is perfect wardrobe for the adventure ;)

    Keep striking that balance of wisdom and inspiration found between love and space…

  • EnidColeslaw

    Wish you could come back to Los Angeles in the near future!

  • drivelbaby

    Me & my fiancee have already asked on twitter if you’d play at our big gay wedding and apart from working out where the hell we’d find the money we’d be totally up for it if you were. We mentioned it to eachother as a joke initially then thought about how awesome it would actually be. We’re both massive fans & so are most of our friends so it’d be fucking amazing for us, we want our day to be all about the things we love rather than fitting other people’s ideas about what a wedding ‘should’ be. When we first got engaged we made the mistake of buying bridal magazines because we had no idea where to start…they were totally aimed at straight people and have horrible ideas about how a wedding is supposed to be, so we chucked them away and thought fuck it, what would WE like to do to express our love for eachother in front of our loved ones. So if you ever fancy a trip to the Isle of Wight let us know :p
    Laura & Samantha :)

    • Leishkin

      have you looked on they have lots of beautiful gay/straight/everything weddings. It’s my heavvveennn.

      • drivelbaby

        Thank you very much for that link, we’re having a good look through it all now!!

        • Ruthcoustick

          Heehee. I spend far too much time on offbeat bride. It makes me want to have a wedding my way in the sun with picnics and crazy wonderness.

  • Matty Perron

    God I love you Amanda, if I ever have the money I would totally love to buy you.

  • Dave

    I love that Backstage photo. Such a lonely scene. Bet it’d be great in Black and White too!

  • Lindsay

    Thank you for sharing Judy Collins’ insight. My husband is a working musician and he plays a lot of unpaid gigs. we just wish it didn’t cost us for him to play unpaid gigs. we’re always trying to figure out an algorithm for what it actually costs for a musician to play a gig, to put it in specific, factual, concrete terms that non-musicians can understand.
    It’s true that an enthusiastic audience is the best reward, but if you’re going home to a cold apartment and leftover pizza… well, I’m preaching to the choir here.

  • John_A_James

    You know, Canadian singer song-writer, Jane Sibery, has been doing these fan-paid gigs for a few years now…it’s an interesting model…she calls them “Salons”…

    You should send her a note and get her impressions of how they work…

  • Adrian Ogden

    Robert Fripp said much the same thing as Judy Collins. IIRC his phrasing was something like “You never have to pay me to play. You have to pay me for all the inconveniences that make playing possible.”

  • Ilyana

    Heh, I was just about to send one of those emails about whether the BBQ thing could happen in the US. Missed your concert in Houston due to crazy health things…had this silly idea of wondering if you’d play for a BBQ at an art center. Money’s not even figured out yet, but you know…

  • guest

    if I ever have a a wedding, your hired!

  • Randomgit

    . i feel so incredibly lucky to always work on the assumption that my audience will be made up of people that are interesting, people i want to actually talk to.

    Giving up your dreams to work a regular job with good salary like everyone tells you and it took me 15 years to find ONE person like that.

    He doesn’t want to do this either.

    You are making all the right choices. And people, your friends and fans, are agreeing in every way possible, even the groceries and rent kind of way.

    And you attracted the planet’s Alpha-Geek for keeps.

    Just keep doing what you are doing. I selfishly need more role models for my daughter.

    PS. Enjoy the Rat bikes in Canberra you lucky duck!

  • Mirima

    I think space is always a necessary thing. Probably why I don’t find myself in many serious relationships.

  • Leishkin

    Oh Amanda.

    It was worth every damn penny.

    On Monday I got online and printed off our flight itinerary to fly to Sydney from melbourne for the OzDay show on Tuesday only to find I had not booked 2 tickets, I’d booked 1. I did this back in November When they were at a lovely low price and had somehow epically fucked up – I then had to change one flight for me and buy my fiance new flights – this cost a sum total of $480.
    We were already planning to go to Karina’s on the Friday night but this huge unexpected expense made me have second thoughts. Did I mention we have to pay for a wedding this year?

    In the end we decided fuck it, if we’re going to do this expensive friggen holiday, we may as well do it in style – and I’m SO glad we did – it was the best gig/party/shindig/picnic I’ve ever been to – and I’ve seen many bands and paid through the teeth for a much (MUCH) less personal experience and left disappointed.

    I would pay it again in a heartbeat, and I would have a gig in my backyard out in the sticks and cook everyone dinner in a heartbeat too. The thought that almost all of the money goes directly to you is the best thing of all – because it means that you’re getting to do what you love AND getting the payment you deserve for giving us all such joy and bringing us all together.

    Our first thought after the gig also was ‘can we have an AFP 50 person Wedding gig?!’ and that so many other people have said the same thing is wonderful. Maybe Jason could officiate, now that he’s licensed to do so ;)

    As soon as we got back to a Computer after the show, we looked up to see if there was a date available in Melbourne and were sad to see there is not, as god damn it we would’ve tried to find 48 other people to come, especially as we have to miss the forum/Evelyn Evelyn gigs due to being interstate :(

    It was glorious and beautiful, and I’m now friends with almost everyone that was there on Facebook/twitter and we’re all sharing our photos and videos and have forged bonds over this amazingly intimate experience. I only wish we could’ve stayed longer.

    Thanks to Karina for organising, too. You my dear, are wonderful :)

    • insignifikunt

      you are also wonderful!

      karina x

  • Cybercutealicious

    falling madly in fan with amanda palmer….

  • Miss Di

    Had a great time last night, hope you will come to Newy again!

    Came as a fan of Neil, left as a fan of you. Thanks again for a great evening.

  • squiggle

    Been reading your blog for ages and never posted, but I have to say that ninja gig in Sydney ROCKED. I brought a friend who’d never been to an Amanda Palmer gig and she was so impressed you played for three hours for free. Three glorious hours! It was awesome. The Opera House gig was good but the ninja gig slayed.
    I feel like you give out so much to your fans, and every one of us knows this, that no one would hesitate to pay for a private gig. You give us so much back all the time! Free ninja gigs, love, music, fun and brilliance… You’re just so many kinds of creative awesome.
    Also… the ‘In My Mind’ song is perfection. Somehow it makes me want to be a better person, but feel happy with who I am too. It blows me away every time I hear it.

  • Asha Sanaker

    This post made me dizzy with excitement. I thought and schemed all day (I had a 7 hour drive to accomplish so I had some time). Living in a kind of random place it’s hard to know if I’ll ever get to see you, but now it might be possible. I sent my scheme to your booking email.

  • Solange

    Amanda you are an amazing artist performer and such a generous and loving person, it’s no surprise to see you giving and giving so much of yourself. Thank you for your music and thank you for being You!

    I am beside myself excited about seeing you tonight :) and I just wanted to let you know that Canberra is also known as ‘The Bush Capital’ and will let you speculate on exactly how it earned that moniker ;)

    lots of love

    Solange xxx

  • Mike

    looking forward to catching up with you when you’re in wellington :)

  • CeciTart

    “musicians get paid for the long flights,
    the shitty hotels,
    the delays,
    the crap food
    and the lonely nights
    …the music is free.”

    I think that might be one of the most beautiful things I have heard in a long time.

  • Guest

    I think the whole ‘cutting out the middle man’ is great. I also feel that for fans to get to meet you and chat with you is also great.
    I agree with many of the sentiments expressed in these comments. There is a little bit of me that is worried however. Worried that it becomes almost more capitalist than having a record company in a way. Just that the fan with lots of money can have you play at their bbq or skype them or write a haiku. I know Neil did a post along similar lines discussing the ‘pay to have tea with Neil’ charity auction. However that was for charity. I also understand the point he was making, that the people doing these things are not necessarily upper class and as it has been pointed out -plenty of strangers got the benefit of the bbq too.

    I just hope there will still be many things for those of us without hundreds or thousands of spare cash to enjoy. :)

    I’m sorry if it sounds jealous or gripy to post this.

    • insignifikunt

      amanda played a FREE ninja gig the next day … no one missed out.

      I am definitely not a fan with lots of money and I am far from upper class, in fact I’m broke and work an UNPAID internship. I have car payments, mortgage payments, board payments etc that I need to pay with what little money I do get. I just know how to organise shit & people quickly and how to get things done and i know how to save what little money i do get.

      so it’s not just the well off fans that get to do this sort of stuff, it’s the people who are willing to put in the effort. I got into Amanda’s butterfly club slumber party (which was FREE for 50 people) a few years ago because i did street team work. I hung up at least 50 A3 posters around sydney and i handed out something like 200 flyers at a music festival, on the street AND at the triple j hottest 100 party.

      amanda is very good to her fans as far as i see it and I don’t think she’ll ever be capitalistic about it. maybe there could be some truth to what you say in regards to the skype call or haiku but again it isn’t like she doesn’t have many other options available to fans who can’t afford that, and it isn’t like she doesn’t stay back after every gig to meet her fans and sign shit.

  • Tab

    you just need to touch base with that girl who did busk, for she took money, right?

    it’s all relative

    my fave folk group, Common Rotation, has done many living room shows, and always for donations. best shows, ever. and i happily hand over money for gas and the good value of such a fantastic show.

  • Roggesound

    Hey Amanda. As a guy who works in a venue (several actually, as a sound guy) I just wanted to tell you that there are probably people working at every venue who are very excited to see you, but can’t find a way to let you know while still maintaining professionalism in the workplace. At least, that’s how I feel frequently when I meet people who are amazing. Mostly I just have to ask them about the mic they’d like, or how much reverb they want, and hope that I don’t make a total ass of myself. It’s worked out so far. I know there are also a lot of people at venues who don’t care, but don’t worry about them. If they can’t enjoy their jobs, then they can’t enjoy anything else.

    And I’m all for the backyard venue thing.

  • Punky

    not the best, but a merkin shot none the less

  • Michellekasparian

    Hey I was at the gig at Katrina’s, please add me on Facebook: Michael Kasparian (shared account with little brother:P)

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