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obamanda fucking palmer

still home in boston, feeling more and more human every day.
i’ve done lots of very practical things, like laundry, and getting my shoes fixed, and cleaning my sink, and eating chocolates, and getting a hepatitis vaccine (one nasty shot in each arm) so i can tour in places like mexico and eastern europe and not get infected. and listening to nouvelle vague and gary numan on repeat. and trying not to make plans. my feelings still aren’t very audible.

………………………………..

i love this. a lovely lady named elizabeth cavallon just sent it.

apparently there’s a site called obamicon.me where you can obama yourself, your cat, your first vibrator, whatever you fancy:

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awesome.

…………………………

ASK AFP (i’m really enjoying this, btw):

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distsergirl wrote:
1. how many times, if any, has an obsessive compulsive fan scared the shit out of you?
2. is there anyone that you get all fangirly about, and if so, who?

afp answers:
1. never. it’s really hard to scare the shit out of me. and my fans are really nice. sometimes they CREEP ME OUT, but that’s different.
2. i have yet to meet morrissey and robert smith. i had the chance to meet the mozzer, and i said no. too risky. because what if he sucked? robert….i have no words. i’d freak.
and i also have harboured a life-long emo crush on conor oberst.

………………………………

the songmeaning debate continues…this is interesting.

gmarie wrote:
No. We can be wrong about the meaning of songs. And books and poems and pictures and all sorts of art. If I listen to Tori Amos and then state that her song (pick one) is all about celebrating rape and that men have the right to rape and women should just shut up and enjoy it, I’m wrong. I don’t care what personal frame I’m bringing or what my personal experience or philosophy is or any of that bullshit. I’m just wrong and will always be wrong and no amount of feel-good individual ego stroking by others will ever make me be anything but wrong. Now most of the time, most of us aren’t that extremely whacked about the meaning of art. But stating that we can’t be wrong is ridiculous. And selfish.
&
mika wrote:
To be a pedant — because I, unlike “nell,” am actually paid to be one — I find her egregious complaint that “technically someone cannot be wrong when talking about a songs meaning” (sic) and your agreeable response to it (“you are 100% correct”!!!!!) an affront not only to pedants everywhere but also to simple truth and justice. OF COURSE YOU CAN BE WRONG! AND YOU CAN BE A COMPLETE BLOCKHEAD! people do it every day, in every corner of life, all over the world. indeed, among the population of song interpreters who publish their views on the Web, spectacular blockheads are wildly over-represented.
While there is no question that when we examine a work or art (or a math equation or a piece of dog poop), we take our own lives, what we have learnt, what’s happening to us then and what has happened, and use that to help us understand the piece.
It does not, though, in any way follow logically from our doing so, thank goodness, that anything our personal experience leads us to believe about the art, math, dog poop, is true, valid, or even worth rendering in words. “Pale Fire,” by Nabokov, conveys perhaps the world’s most delicious instance of a reader who uses his life, what he has learned, and what has happened to him to deeply, utterly, profoundly, and hilariously misconstrue a work of literature. Pace “nell,” the only reasonable thing one can mean when one says “this song (or film or book or poem) means x” is “PUTTING ASIDE MY OWN PERSONAL HISTORY AND IDIOSYNCRASIES I believe there is enough evidence within the work (or, perhaps, outside the work, in the record of the creator’s personal life) to support the view that this song (or film or book or poem) means what I argue it does, and reasonable people who weigh and judge the evidence fairly will tend to agree with me.” Anyone who takes the view that the work of art means whatever she happens on the basis of her personal experiences to feel it means today may receive no more significant punishment in this life than flunking college English courses, but that at least is something. And she will be shamed and ridiculed by true, honest-to-goodness pedants everywhere.

afp writes:
this is an impossible debate, because it’s just semantics. in a way.
yes, of course people can be technically “wrong” if they think “coin-operated boy” was written about a dildo, or think “leeds united” is about supporting a british soccer team, or think “guitar hero” was written about my fondness for nikki sixx (but dude, i totally analyzed the lyrics!). they would only be “wrong” in the sense that *I* wasn’t thinking about dildos or nikki sixx. there are lots of people who interpret “have to drive” in ways that i never would have thought, but when i hear their interpretations it’s as if their thoughts and emotions have actually extended the song beyond itself. so where is the line drawn? i still stand by my original assertion that once the song is out there, it’s all you guys. there can be my original intention, for sure, and you can see that as the “correct” meaning of the song, but it’s just not that easy. not to mention that i often deliberately write things to be widely interpretable, and sometimes even purposefully tricky.  and if we were not at personal liberty to attach our own meanings to songs, paintings, films, rainbows of gasoline in puddles of rain, however random and bizarre those meanings might be, art would lose one of it’s most powerful and profound qualities: to be personal to each and every beholder.

…………………………………………………………..

Lady Ginger wrote:
I absolutely love the costumes you wear on stage — particularly the corsets and the long skirts. I’m a burlesque dancer and would love to know where you get them from/who makes them.

afp answers:
all of the costumes on this last tour were done by skin.graft in LA…..they have a great website (skingraftdesigns.com)….

002
(AFP & the danger ensemble and lyndon chester behind the theater of living arts in philly, photo by kyle)

….and if you wait a couple months you can actually order a skingraft skirt much like the one i wore on the true colors tour at postwartrade.com, they made them exclusively for us.
i think they’re backordered right now, but drop a line and we’ll get you hooked up. they run about $100. i’ll let you know when we get more back in stock, we sold out of the first 50 almost instantly.

003

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Alison writes:
on whokilledamandapalmer.com there is a photo on page 4 of you at a bar and it looks like you’ve got a cigarette in your hand. :( Say it isn’t so! Are you a full time smoker? I hope not. It would be a shame to ruin that beautiful voice of yours.

afp answers:
i smoked for ten years, but never heavily…only about 5-10 a day, and often way less.
i quit when i went in to record the first dolls record and i’m really glad i did.
however, when i drink heavily, which isn’t TOO often, i crave cigarettes like a total addict. so if you see me drunk, and you smoke, run away before i attack you.
especially if you’ve got nat shermans or cloves.

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sundry:

there’s an awesome interview with me, talking about “art”, up at myartsapce……
http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/01/art-space-talk-amanda-palmer.html

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bed time.

x
afp
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  • Jen

    Hi Amanda,
    Not a particularly interesting comment to add to discussions and whatever but I just wanted to say…. I fucking LOVE your new album. It’s really amazing…. one of my favorite albums ever. Just… wow. I relate so much to Astronaut. It’s such a powerful song.
    Sorry I sound like a bit of a twat but yeah. Just wanted to say. It’s awesome. And I’m coming to see you and the Danger Ensemble! London behbeh!!!!! :D Oh, and I really love reading your blog.
    So yeah. Just wanted to say.
    Free hug. xoxo
    P.S.
    First, bitches.
    Or are you only supposed to do that on Perez?

  • http://wasteofpaint.tumblr.com/ awasteofpaint

    I’ve never understood the whole… “first comment thing”… It doesn’t really matter unless you’re trying to compete with the fact that you commented… first? But that’s cool if you find it fun! :} More power to you getting that comment!

    Amanda,
    I love all the designs you wear on stage! They are all beautifully crafted. I am going to school for fashion design so if in two years( when I graduate) you need anything, let me know. It would be awesome to see what we can come up with. What do you say? Hear, hear?!
    -Nicole

  • http://kertenleda.blogspot.com Kera Leda

    speaking of eastern europe, how far east will you go? are you planning on coming to turkey? come to turkey!!!

    PS. i usually have cloves.

  • amelie

    I love Ask Amanda time.

    so I’ll put it to good use

    1) What is your relationship to your body and to beauty and its representations, and how has it evolved in time ? I’m asking because of all the belly talk, what you said one day about your wrinkled digging in, the tit talk last time, or even the way you can dress up or be extremely casual, wear corsets or grungy tshirts on stage. Sounds playful and unordinary enough to ask

    2) So, what DOES creep you out in fans ?

    3) Any advice for people who love music, play it, but can never ever finish writing a song ?

    4) Any general advice on life ?

    5) A favourite yoga pose ?

    And that’s all, folk

  • Kabouterprinses

    I love it that you take the answer to answer your fans’ questions..

    Today i started drawing you, it’s the first drawing i made of you that actually LOOKED like you.. so i started painting it, and now i’m kind of proud of myself for doing it, ’cause it’s starting to look pretty nice. It makes me happy. I like happy.

    Love,
    Anne

  • Muertecaramelo

    Hello Amanda. Im taking advantage of you recent Ask AFP fascination but first, some comments:

    This paragraph made me scream for several reasons:
    “…getting a hepatitis vaccine (one nasty shot in each arm) so i can tour in places like mexico and eastern europe and not get infected”:

    Yay! for getting a vaccine
    Yay! for considering touring Mexico!!
    Huh? for the part of getting infected…

    I dont know; I never think of my country as one scary dirty place where people get infected all the time of strange diseases but… I’ll go ask the doctor… we never know… Mexico is kind of big and wild so… well… anyways…Im missing the point…

    Questions now:
    Is there any serious plan of touring Mexico?
    Wouldnt you be TOTALLY excited to come here?! (…)
    About your eyebrows, this might be dumb but… well, what’s up with them? Tatoos? is your natural eyebrow hair forever gone? I think they are a very important part on you personal aesthetic and will love to know more about them and why you decided to design them…

    I think that’s all. Lots of love from down here, he.

  • ZenJenn

    Hii Amanda!! ^__^ XD So here’s MY question to you.

    You’ve mentioned that your parents have been to your shows and what-not… What I really want to know is…

    How did they react to the song “Runs In The Family”? I just really can’t imagine any parent listening to their child singing a song like that and not raise questions or concerns. (‘Specially about the whole “open my legs up to anyone who’ll have me” line) XD Soo yeah, I really wanna know how they reacted…XD Thank youuu~!

  • http://brassycassy.deviantart.com BrassyCassy

    Aww, that last link didn’t work for me … :(

    I totally agree, though, with what you said about song meanings, Amanda.
    … And also about Conor Oberst … ;)

    & <3

  • kuri

    so…
    you actually have plans of coming to mexico?
    OMFG! you’d make me so fucking happy….
    i’ve been waiting for years to see you….. well, if you read the e-mail i sent maybe you’ll notice…hahahaha
    i love ya!!!!!

  • amythecat

    alright here is my ask AFP? i am a total theatre nerd and not ashamed, so what are some of your favorite plays or (dare i say it) musicals?

  • http://maartendas.blogspot.com feeblemind

    Practical things are great, getting your act together and making life livable in the first place. Feelings need a home to pop their heads into before they actually do.

    I’m listening to Bob Dylan and reading the song meaning debate at the same time. How postmodern/confusing is that? :)
    My two cents on the discussion: sometimes when I write a poem, I only subconsciously know what it’s “about”. Thouugh maybe some images or lines do actually have a specific reference, they are often made obscure, not for obscurity’s sake, but because it felt right in the process of writing and it suited the atmosphere of the poem as a whole. It CAN bugger me when people read something in it that I never intended, but then again, I respect their choice because apparently what I wrote DID strike a chord somewhere inside of them and that can serve as an entrance into more of what I, or anyone else, wrote. It is like a small breath into some glowing embers, kindling the flame of artistic sensitivity.

  • Grace

    Usually I comment as Edie but I am tired of forgetting what my name is when I introduce myself to people so it’s back to Grace.

    Several things:

    My brother got me WKAP for Christmas and I am obsessively listening to it over and over and I love it.

    For some reason “The Point of it All” makes me think about my horse, who I had to put into retirement and miss terribly. I couldn’t tell you why, because it doesn’t make much sense with the lyrics; I guess it’s just the feel of the song.

    In “Ampersand” I finally found a way to put words to my anger and hurt and bitterness that I still carry about my first girlfriend. THANK YOU.

    And two questions:

    1) If you’ve been reading the Boston Globe, the weird little ‘g’ section, you may have noticed that in today’s paper you have been mentioned. Under ‘Where the Streets Have These Names’, page 30 of the booklet thing. Here’s the excerpt: “To help the city, we’ve come up with some suggestions [for streets named for local artists]…. COIN-OPERATED BOY WALK. For the Dresden Dolls – In Harvard Square where Amanda Palmer used to transform herself into the 8-foot-bride statue.”
    Thoughts on that? Have you seen it? It made me crack up.

    2) Do you have a lot of people who come to shows with their parents (or kids)? I know the last time I went, to the Onion Cellar, there was an entire family sitting next to my girlfriend and I, and they all stood up and sang during ‘Sing’. Do you find that intergenerational appeal a lot? I know my mum likes your music and it gives us something to chat about.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/glasser/ dave glasser

    Here’s a fixed link to the myartspace interview (it was missing the L at the end): http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/01/art-space-talk-amanda-palmer.html

  • Fundamentally Judgmental

    I so TOTALLY obamaed myslef lol.
    awsomeness.
    and the boots. omg THE boots.
    sometimes I regeret being a guy.. well I CAN PEE STADNIG so you can just have your lousy boots XD
    This is a totally random and personal question:
    http://www.last.fm/user/InfatuationR
    Do you like any artists in my top30? do you have a last.fm account or did you ever consider having one?

    you’re a cuite! ^^ * stalker* *thou shalt now be creeped out*
    :P

  • http://emokideeyore.livejournal.com emoeeyore

    An ask AFP question.

    I’m sure this is documented somewhere (I’m just terrified to google ‘Amanda Palmer eyebrow’) but why do you draw your eyebrows on as you do? Are they gone? Do you just prefer the expressiveness of drawing them on? I know, I get curious about the oddest shit.

  • http://maartendas.blogspot.com feeblemind

    The ‘Sing’ video (featured in the Myartspace interview) reminded me of ‘Beautiful people’ by Melanie :)

    [Edit: I just came up with an ask afp question: if you were to start your own magazine, what would it be like? And would you ever consider doing so for real? I’m asking this because in the past months I’ve been following classes in making magazines for my journalism bachelor’s, and it’s rekindled a kind of creativity I had as a kid, and suddenly I wondered why you haven’t done anything in that form (yet) – unless I totally missed out ofcourse…:)]

  • crazyasuka

    Hey Amanda, if you do go to Mexico, why not go down a little further and come to Colombia! (No, I will never get tired of inviting you here).

    I know people think that if you come here you immediately get shot or get your pockets full of drugs, but… it’s NOT like that.

    I admire you for taking the time to reply to the questions people ask you, or even read them! I am just one girl in the world and I still get behind on my friends correspondence. – _ –

  • JQ__1

    AFP,
    My band and I came to your Seminar in Birmingham, England. We really wanted to say we appreciated all the helpful advice and comments you gave us, you are totally right about music needing to be a community. We just wanted to say thanks, here’s to you being a beacon of help in a dark world, share the love, share the knowledge, share the music.

  • Ana

    ooooh, you should go to Romania. this summer. so i could come to another concert AND go back to visit my whole family all in one go.

    also, i second that question about what fans have done that’s been really creepy. it seems like you put a lot of trust in us, letting us feed you and house you and whatnot, and i’m wondering if anyone’s ever betrayed that trust or made you question letting us so deeply into your personal life. on neil gaiman’s blog a while ago he mentioned people pretending to be him, or his friends or even family members. i thought that was pretty unnerving. what is the creepiest experience you’ve ever had with a fan?

  • Laurie Outlaw

    Dear Sweet Amanda: This has been on my mind for along time and I have to ask you; you speak often about making good art, as if doing so makes one a better or maybe even a superior person. Is the ability to make good art something that sets some people above others? If I or someone else does not have the ability to make good art mean that I (we) are not in the club of cool people? I have lived quite a few years and have been in the company of varied people and it seems to me that there is a very divided sect of humanity; people who are clever, talented, pretty, arty, intelligent,and sophisticated. And then there are the others: simple, uncomplicated, down to earth, plain, earnest, and humble. I guess what I am asking is: what is the worth of a life? I have known people who would by all definition be classified as genius, whatever field they may excel in, music, poetry, computers, whatever. And then I have known people who have never really done a “creative” thing , EVER; yet: I find that those who are the creative ones, the clever, intelligent, important ones, could not be bothered to cross the street and piss on me if I were on fire, but the simple, plain everyday people would, if I said I would die tomorrow if I didn’t get a kidney, take up a dull bread knife and unthinkingly slice open a side and extract one for me. I guess what I am asking is: what is the worth of a life? Is it who you are or what you do? If you’re simple and untalented are you not worth as much? If you’re clever and beautiful are you worth more? Who decides?

  • monique

    hi amanda,

    I’m writing thi quickliy before my girlfriend comes back ibn the eroom coz she thinks I’m obsessed with you! shit she’s back

  • http://wolven.livejournal.com Wolven

    Music, magic, synchronicity, names, places, the echo of a time when you knew someone, and then, bam, they call. Concentrating your will to create something, in the world, that was never there, before. Action at a distance, with a word, a stance, a gesture.

    Magic. Invisible Labyrinths. Mythology and the Occult. Abracadabra. Yes, no, or what’s the grey area?

  • Justine

    Shermans are great! :)
    that’s it.

  • Shayla

    Amanda,

    I have to ask, because I’ve been wondering this since your first album… are you wearing shorts underneath all those skirts or are they just really fancy looking underwear. I only ask because sometimes they flat out look like ruffly undies and others they kinda look like girly shorty shorts.

    Why I sit around wondering about your underwear is lost to me. But it’d be helpful for when I finally decide to dress up like you for my friends videos.

  • Shiny

    hi amanda, a question for you;
    Why/ how long ago did you start shaving your eyebrows and drawing them on?
    Also, what did your eyebrows lopk like?
    (sorty for mistakes, stupid Iphone. Won’t let me backspace)

  • Michael

    …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. The band that turned me on to you. I had the same shirt.

  • Lovia

    Hey there, Miss AFP. When’s the next time you’ll be performing in Boston? Well, I know you live here, but I assume you’re recuperating and readying yourself to go international again. Anyways, love the music, love the you!

    – Livia

  • Amonod

    do you ever take other musicians chord progression and way of singing and almost so close it seems it was copied from that musician?

  • http://www.myspace.com/panparalospobres Carlos

    “and getting a hepatitis vaccine (one nasty shot in each arm) so i can tour in places like mexico and eastern europe and not get infected”
    DOES THIS MEANS YOU ARE PLANING TO GET A TOUR DATE IN MEXICO????? because it would be the first good thing that happens to me in a long time
    (Mexico City please! please please please!!!)

  • Natalierose

    Ugh, this IS an impossible debate. Ok, I definitely see Mika’s point. Any higher art or literature student has to be pedantic when analyzing a piece. Here’s my question, though, are we having this discussion under psychoanalytic criticism, where the author’s biography and intent are paramount, or the The New Criticism, where nothing external such as the author’s intention or the audience’s responses are taken into account? And do we care about larger historical context?

    As far as I see it, if we’re being relatively modern about it and we decide to throw out the author’s intention, the audience’s response, the author’s personal history and the larger history context, and we’re carefully analyzing only what the work itself presents, then of course one can be wrong. But, as in any criticism, anyone can be right if they have enough evidence to back up their argument.

    But, personally, I don’t think most art is meant to be taken so grossly out of context. After all, we can’t remove ourselves from our own context. And even if you’re attempting to throw out external elements when examining a work, you won’t get very far without considering the culture in which (from which?) the work was produced. It’s just too relevant.

    Now, even taking into consideration context and intention, etc., I personally don’t believe that something is true “art” if it’s not made with room for the audience’s personal experience. Art is about expression, and it’s about communicating. A friend of mine once said there’s no such thing as bad art, only art that fails to communicate. I’m going to take it a step further and say there’s art that fails to CONNECT, and really, then, what’s the point?

    I also think certain genres leave more room for interpretation than others. Long works of prose, like a novel, have plenty of space to hash out deeper meanings and intentions, leaving less room for interpretation on the part of the reader. A poem, however, is usually so short, concise and ambiguous, that there’s plenty of room for interpretation. Songs, for me, fall into the same categories as poems. But, because a song is essentially a poem accompanied by music, the music serves to both explain the work and open it up further for interpretation.

    I wish I could explain why “Another Year” makes me weep, but all I can tell you it has to do with the music, not the words.

    So, in short, I agree that successful art, art that connects, must extend past the work itself and into the personal realm of the viewer/listener/etc.

    For Ask Amanda:

    What/where is your favorite place in Boston and why?

  • Belle

    Hello Amanda,
    I flew into New York from Texas to see you on New Years. I really love you and I’m sorry my brother, also with me, was drunk and a douche (and I apologize to those standing near us). I am really sorry about your broken relationship. The song I keep thinking of is “The Last” by The Replacements.
    Ask Amanda:
    I’m pretty sure I just totally failed to get into art college. What are your thoughts on Art School (or college, if you will)? I’ve never thought I really needed or wanted to go to school to be an artist, but at the same time, the last thing I want to do is be bad at what I love. In your experience, do people respect a degree? Even a MFA? And do you have any business or creative advice for a baby (particularly one who almost certainly just blew her only chance at going to school)?

  • http://fish-kid.livejournal.com/profile Elijah

    yay cloves!

    also.. Speaking of Obamaness.. My girlfriend made this http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w5/ElijahNathaniel/obama.jpg in her art class. It’s in pieces and it’s pretty cool.

  • CherriSpryte

    You seem to have invited a deluge of questions – but I’m adding mine: I was at the NYE show at the Bowery, and it was such a profound experience – way more than any other concert I’ve been to. I was wondering if you were planning on blogging about it? Also, thanks for playing a fucking amazing show, it was the best possible start to the new year. :)

  • Meagan

    I hope this question isn’t too personal, I don’t mean to creep you out or anything, but whats the strangest thing you’ve ever shoved up your vagina?

  • L

    There is what a piece means to the artist, then there is what the piece means to others.

    No More. No Less.

    • Natalierose

      What about what the piece means in a historical context? What about what the piece means in a culture context? What about what a piece means within the personal biography of the artist? What about the reactions to a piece?

      • http://www.myspace.com/living_out_a_sacrifice Amy

        But cultural context tends to echo the artist’s intention in most cases, no?

  • lentower

    awesome t-shirt

  • Nathan

    What parts of your live career stick out most to you? Would it be things like playing with the Boston Pops, and the sold-out run of The Onion Cellar? Or maybe on-the-road and backstage antics and even hijinks with the danger ensemble and other touring bands? Or maybe the lighter, more innocuous moments whilst crowd-wandering, signing after the shows, or Brian coming on stage in roller skates, a dress, and a paper bag? When you look back and reflect a bit, which seem most “important?”

  • Rebekah

    yay question time!

    When did you decide to shave your eyebrows off and put those awesome designs on instead? Was it just something you felt like doing, or was there a particular reason behind it? Also, does it take forever to draw the lines on like you do? They are amazing btw!!

  • http://www.veniastravels.com Setsuled

    I’ve heard Morrissey has a lot of enemies–I kind of get the impression he loves taking the piss out of people and a lot of people don’t get it when they meet him. I suspect if I met him, he could be a total jerk to me and I’d still love his music, at least if I can cling to that theory of mine.

  • http://ladyjazzkiller.deviantart.com Emily

    How do some fans creep you out? I don’t want to creep you out by accident if I see you another time (I hope I hope I hope), so…tell me/us!

  • http://ladyjazzkiller.deviantart.com Emily

    Also, the link didn’t work for me. :( Sorry if it’s been said already.

  • http://www.unwin-dunraven.org Garett Strickland

    Dear Amanda,

    To what extent does alchemy plays a conscious role in your work? Which is to say – how much *intention* is involved?

    Love,
    – Garett Strickland

    PS – I. I feel. feel like. I am. in a burning building. And I’ve gotta go.

  • http://www.myriadlights.com/ waltiger

    mika’s awfully proud of Her pedantry for a person who doesn’t know that

    “While there is no question that when we examine a work or art (or a math equation or a piece of dog poop), we take our own lives, what we have learnt, what’s happening to us then and what has happened, and use that to help us understand the piece.”

    is not a complete sentence.

    ;)

    PS – yay, Laurie Anderson!

  • Gil

    My somewhat lame “Ask AFP” question:

    Dear A,

    I was just watching the karaoke moment from Aspen on youtube and I was wondering if perhaps you would consider doing something like that again with, say, some kick-ass Depeche Mode songs(Like Strangelove?? In my dreams, maybe…)?

    <3

  • Andy

    This is kind of random, but for some reason I’m really curious…
    You’re clearly a fan of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. What’s your favorite scene or song from it?

    Love your music~ :D

  • Nik

    In regards to your Obama picture:
    My friend and I found some parodies of the famous Obama “Hope” poster on capnwacky.com and decided to make a shirt out of our favorite one, which of couse involves Moz.

    http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v371/34/30/1473330172/n1473330172_30048675_547.jpg

    I thought you’d enjoy it!

    I just played my first ever live show tonight, and I was wondering if you might share with us how your first live show was. Were you very nervous? Did you forget parts of the songs? I know I did.

  • Set

    Wish you would release “I Google You” as a single MP3 download, I love you but I am not buying your album TWICE! Downloaded mine from Amazon not knowing that you had the two bonus tracks on your site. Grr.

  • orion_black

    Make those nasty shots worth it (and make my day) by touring in Mexico :- ) .

  • eye roller

    Ever get tired of people worshiping your every move?

  • Scarlet

    “if we were not at personal liberty to attach our own meanings to songs, paintings, films, rainbows of gasoline in puddles of rain, however random and bizarre those meanings might be, art would lose one of it’s most powerful and profound qualities: to be personal to each and every beholder.”

    see, I’m not so sure that knowing and recognizing the actual, original meaning of a song necessarily takes anything away from that, simply because we are able to identify with other people and different experiences as well. For example, the meaning of Eleanor Rigby is very very clear, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Sure, the fact that it’s so clear means not everyone will be able to see themselves in Eleanor Rigby, but that doesn’t stop us from being extremely affected by such a tragic story, and maybe even identifying with it for the short space of the song, just as we do with books or movies. Sometimes songs may not be about us in particular, but they’re still about human nature at large, and that is just as important and beautiful and moving.

    Also, from a more academic point of view, we’ve got to keep in mind that identifying with art on a personal level is not the only thing there is to art. One of the purposes of art is to extend our perceptive process in general. That is, while in everyday life we “automatize” most of our actions and let them slip into our unconscious, art focuses on things as if it were the first time they happened to us, or as if it were the first time we saw them, so that we re-evaluate them and notice things we wouldn’t normally do, or express uncnscious processes that we wouldn’t be able to articulate ourselves. the poetic description of a beautiful landscape or of a gown – or whatever – is art, even if it doesn’t allow to personally identify with…the gown or the landscape :P

  • Genevieve

    Hi Amanda!

    I was reading an online comic I love called Unshelved about life in a library and the current storyline made me think of you.

    http://www.unshelved.com/archive.aspx?strip=20090110

  • Ella

    “robert….i have no words. i’d freak.”

    Ditto.

    Though, to be fair, I freaked ever so slightly when Neil appeared onstage. And I’d like to pretend I have a very good excuse for that, but I don’t… does liking reading count as a good reason? It probably should. Reading should explain everything.

    I personally think you can only interpret a song “wrong” if you listen to it and find something hurtful and harmful in lyrics intended to be in some way comforting or uplifting etc (or something that you think vindicates you in harming another person). That is possibly the only thing that would upset me, and I’ve been accused of some really dumb things… writing songs advocating paedophilia for one. Which, considering I’m a teaching assistant and I work my head inside out to help children, is kind of ridiculous.

    I have a question… it’s more of an offer really. A friend of mine is a feminist artist and though she doesn’t listen to your music much, she has “a lot of respect for what you’re doing” which I think is nice of her. She’d like to know if you’d be interested in some kind of PP bikini/thing (Pussy Power… http://www.pussypower.me.uk) and has been pestering me to ask. So, I’m asking. (I also just lied, it’s not a friend of mine, it’s my… mother, and looking through her stuff I’ve come to the conclusion that she is really rather unique.)

    Mucho love,

    E xx

    • Natalierose

      It’s only for women who love men (in the biblical sense, I assume)? …Why?

  • http://armyoflarry.com armyoflarry

    Ah yes, the old “wrong about a song” debate.

    The Tori example is a bit exaggerated to be taken too seriously. If someone is keen enough to know one of her songs are about rape, I think they would have to be keen enough to figure out what side of the fence she was on. Most of her lyrics don’t come right out and say anything, though “Me and a Gun” does spell it out in spades.

    I’m more interested in misinterpretations that have really happened like “Sex Type Thing” by STP where Scott wrote from the viewpoint of the rapist. I think only a fool would find that STP were really trying to write a pro-rape song. Though I’d love to know what the real motivation of taking that role was, and what they were trying to say? Not a fan of that song for that reason alone. I think it was just young white boys trying to be all dark and scary because they had nothing real to say yet. Thankfully, they remedied that later on.

    Or there is the old “Born in the U.S.A.” debacle. The lyrics are quite clear in their intent, but Bruce does not seem to get that he was asking for trouble with that one. You make a huge anthemesque song with “U.S.A.” in the chorus, a big flag and blue jeans filled by a white American ass on the cover, and you really believe that Republicans are not going to ignore the verses and try to co-opt? All they heard was “AMERICAH, FUK YEAH!” I’m not really sold that Bruce didn’t want some of that confusion to fuel record sales. Maybe I’d buy that he wanted to subvert a little, but come on now? He made no secret that he wanted a big hit with that album.

    Pete Townshend maintains to this day that “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is not an anti-establishment anthem, but written as an ode to those hippies back in the day who thought they were going to take over the system and change it for the better. He said the point of the song is that we will find a way to survive, even though the anti-establishment is doomed to become the establishment. It would be nice to see Obama prove him wrong, but I think at best we have “Meet the new boss, can speak better and has at least some clue more than the old boss”

    But I don’t know? I can’t be in their heads. I can only be in mine and try to communicate how I feel. So my answer is having an opinion on what a song means can never be wrong. Stating that a song means something as a matter of fact is wrong as wrong can be. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but not knowing is the reason I love art in the first fucking place.

  • Stephanie

    Amanda,
    Just wanted to tell you that you have honestly changed my life, you have changed me. For the past two New Years when the clock hit 12, I thought about you. I love you and you are so prominent in my life. How does that make you feel?
    Love, Stephanie

  • amandamarie

    i made afp/dolls/LOLDOLZ obamicons out of boredness haha :)

    http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/profiles/manniequin

  • MamaLlama

    Ask AFP…
    Did you announce the winner of that in home concert?

    I vaguely remember reading it was going to be filmed, if that IS the case, what avenue of release were/are you planning?

    Hugs,

  • http://www.mirandahumberto.blogspot.com Humberto

    Great Amanda: You are Awesome and your last album is fucking incredible! I hope and dream to see you one day on a live show. Kisses and congratulations from Argentina ( a cool place with really big a loud fans) Keep playing, girl!!!

  • http://www.bigsisterband.com Westy

    As a fellow singer, I also know smoking is an especially heinous habit. I kicked it back in my freshman year of college when I started singing with my band. But to this day alcohol + Nat Shermans (especially if they’re of the mint variety)… I can rarely help myself. I feel your pain, my sister!

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

    If I ever start to creep you out, you can just tell me to fuck off. Plain and simple.

    I usually end up coming off as an asshole, sometimes, when I first meet people. It sucks. It’s also become like my pick-up line; ‘Hi, we’ve met before, but I made a bit of an ass of myself last time. Sorry about that…’

    Stupid social awkwardness.

    Apologies if my Ask Amanda question was a bit too private. I don’t know where the line is and how to cross it. It’s like that Bjork song, kinda. Not that I want to add to the whole ‘right or wrong’ song debate. That could go on ’til The Rapture. Just like Janet v. Madonna.

    By the way, is your allegiance only with Madge, or can there be some props to Miss Jackson? “If” is the shit.

    Shermans and Cloves are all good, but I prefer the Sweet Dreams myself. Chocolate mocha blend, if you really want to get into it.
    http://campussqueeze.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/dreams_mocha.jpg

    But I’m fixing to eliminate a lot of my smoking habits. Sooner rather than later, probably. But…that’s what they always say. But I’m going to do something, damnit.

  • http://fearoffood.blogspot.com/ Jodie

    Oh, oh, pick me, pick me!

    I has a questionnn.

    There’s this ongoing debate (as you mentioned above) concerning song meanings, lyric interpretation, language choice, yadda, yadda, and it’s always very interesting to read other opinions… but what I’m wondering is, is any of it deliberate?

    I know when I write scripts, fiction and stuff, I make links to things I’m not actively thinking of… I’ll end up with my political opinions shoved into metaphor, or imagery that reflects things that happened to me as a kid… stuff I’m not aware I’m putting in until I read back with an analytical eye, or someone points it out.

    You ever get that? Ever read your songs and think, ‘man, I totally didn’t mean to make that connection’… even if it’s a connection listeners haven’t made? Sometimes I think artists can be blind to the imagery they use, ya know… It’s a great thing.

    peace

    • Natalierose

      It’s like my friend and his painting… He painted some random splotches in one area, and months later another friend made the discovery that some of the random splotches looked like a smiley with a goatee (the painter himself had a goatee as well). From that day forward, any of us who looked at the painting saw the mini version of the author therein, smiling.

  • Neil

    So we can have academic view points that are usually very well thought out and are attempting to be totally objective (something that is very hard, which is why we dont all have PHD’s etc (i dont mean to say you have to have a PHD to be academic or write from such a view point, its just an example)). When these are expressed i guess you are wrong if you do bring your own life into it as that is not what is looked for in these situations. From that angle i see your point mika.
    Maybe i should have said a personal opinion of art cannot be wrong, it can be totally crazy and even maybe offensive as a few have pointed out but who are any of us to tell someone “hey you’re totally wrong,”. To me that seems offensive, like telling them they are stupid and shouldnt have opinions. Yes we maybe should try and find out why someone thinks an artists songs all declare rape to be ok because in that case we would want the person to change what seems to be their view on rape (which we can all agree is wrong).

    So maybe academic can be wrong because it attempts to base its explanation on just facts, but personal opinion cannot be wrong as it is based on emotion, or something along those lines. Both view points can be valid if we believe art is about both a message and striking an emotional chord.
    But then there is the idea that if an artist doesnt succeed in getting their message across maybe their piece has failed, but we are not all the same so that would be impossible wouldnt it? But we share generally charectoristics (sp?) so sometimes maybe it isnt so art can fail? But is it a success still if ther person is helped by what they believe it say because of the way they view it, even if most of the population wouldnt see the piece that way?
    Sorry i am hitting (and begining to ramble badly, you should see what i deleted) a wall in trying to express myself as well as others have managed too. But its a really interesting discussion and i am glad i made my first comment, i never thought it could start something like this (but then ive never commented here before).
    Thank you, its not often i get into a situation where i can push my head like this, so i really do mean thank you for chalenging me and doing so politely.

    Neil

  • alexi1310

    First off, it would sound great if you did a cover of Nick Drake’s Place to Be. really great. all calm.
    And I wanted to thank you. The painting of mine that you signed at toads looks totally awesome. it’s just what I wanted. Toads was my tenth show of yours, the first in ct, where I am from. Most of the shows I’ve been to, except for some of the first few ones, I have brought pieces of my work to nervously show you. you always say something kind, and something exactly true. like what I am doing is right. thanks.

  • Jaime

    I love the obamicon site! I’m officially addicted! Thanks ;-)

  • Luis

    I feel silly asking this but…
    Please try to get a gig in Portugal! You’re even going to Spain so it’s just one or two steps away :P

    • Kev H.

      I live in Boston and I’m just craving to see you live sometime soon. Give your hometown some love Amanda. :p No demands just subtle suggestion.

      I guess the big question on my mind is, where/when do you do your living statue thing in Harvard Square? I’m always passing through on my way to here and there and I never see anyone doing it. :(

      • Stephanie

        I don’t think she has done the living statues in YEARS, but I could be wrong. I really don’t think she still is, though.

        • http://www.myspace.com/living_out_a_sacrifice Amy

          I believe she said that now she only likes to do it at totally random times.

  • emily

    Heyyy Amanda ! Saw you last night and World Inferno FS. Sooo much fun, love you and your new album, which ze bomb

    xxxxxxx Emily

  • http://www.lisatagliaferri.com Lisa

    Thank you to you and Brian for the beautiful signed Virginia Companion (artist copy) book, I really appreciate your including my work in the book and the very nice copy, I did not expect it to be signed! I love the inclusive artist community you are a part of. All the best.

  • SA

    I wish Skin Graft would make some fucking clothes for us bigger girls. Their shit stops at a smallish size 8 or 10. They depress me. And every time I go into Five and Diamond I say “how about some bigger sizes?” and they say “well we ask for them…” and designers like Skin Graft say “woe is us, we drafted our patterns on a size 4 and scaling them up to a 16 or 18 or 22 would be just Too Much Work.” And then I want to punch everyone in the face, because I know that in part, some designers just don’t want to see their work on us fabulous fatties.

    Designers with body hate suck goat turds.

  • laurie outlaw

    ignore the stupid comment i made yesterday i really need to stay away from the computer when i’ve been drinking my boyfriend drunk-dials; i post idiotic shit on websites sometimes i’m such an asshole

    • Ana

      Actually I liked the comment you made yesterday, and I was really looking forward to seeing it answered.. not that my opinion matters that much but you know. I just wanted to tell you.
      Your question is definitely one that I have asked myself, in the sense of hearing Amanda talking about all these awesome artistic people and thinking “yes, but are they only awesome because they are artistic? if you aren’t an ‘artist’ can you still be awesome? and what about those who just haven’t emerged from their shell yet and started doing creative work?” and the most important question of all, the one all these musings really come back to is “would she still think *I* am awesome, even if i don’t paint or write or sing (yet) like these other folks/fans. do i still have something awesome to contribute to the world”?
      through some soul-searching of my own, i’ve personally decided that yes, i do have something to contribute. and that amanda could do nothing but agree.
      but it would be nice to hear that question actually answered out loud by her.

      Anyway, sorry to put all this baggage on your comment, maybe this isn’t at all what you were/are thinking of. but this is the way that it resonated with me.

  • Natalierose

    Ask Amanda (WKAP edition):

    What’s the Use of Wond’rin’?

    Here’s what I know about this song: It’s from “Carousel” and though I have not seen the show, my understanding is that domestic violence is one of the themes in the show, and in that respect you’ve kept the theme consistent. My questions about your songs are rarely, if ever, what they’re about , but rather why you chose them. Why use this song in WKAP? And why not write your own song on the theme, why use something from “Carousel”? Do you have a special connection with the show? And why did you choose to have someone else sing it with you (if it is a duet in the show, I just am unaware of that)?

    I’d guess this is a very personal choice, and if you feel uncomfortable talking about it, I certainly understand. This song just struck me as a “one of these things is not like the other” on the album.

    • http://www.myspace.com/living_out_a_sacrifice Amy

      Isn’t “June is Busting Out All Over” a response to “Carousel,” and isn’t that the first song Amanda ever played live?

      Do I know too much about you, AFP?

  • Arran

    Totally sympathise on the ‘heavy drinking leading to chain smoking’ thing (I try not to cop out by calling myself a ‘social smoker’)

    Some of my friends (who are also fans) discuss this when we get all self-depreciatory (in a “i’m so dull, I wish I had something resembling a life people would like to give a shit about” kinda way)
    So I was wondering, is there anything you’ve ever wanted to know about your fans?

  • http://www.bubblefishblog.net Erika Ostroski

    If you ever meet Robert Smith, please tell me how truly amazing he is.

  • Natalierose

    Ok, I probably need a life. Check.

    That aside, I stumbled across this and thought it might amuse you, considering the whole Coin-Operated Boy/Dildo debacle: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1885440

  • kpcs

    The big move to Cambridge happens now. I’m spending my first night in Boston at a hotel with my mom since none of my furniture is here yet. Maybe I’ll see you on the T someday.

  • Isi

    Amanda: I’m so excited!!! You said Mexico and I almost cried!! I know it dosen’t always work like that, I mean, Radiohead coming to Chile in a South American tour, that happens to star in Mexico, is just a nice coincidence.
    But please, ¡Please! If you go there, please consider jumping down, into these small countries but fully heart beating for you.

    I have a question.
    What do you do when, after spending so much time working on materializing an idea, -making art- you get so tired that aren’t able to fully apreciate your work (you just want to open your eyes and find out that everything fits in it’s right place and its beautiful, but you end up completly blocked) and want to destroy it in a thousand fucking pieces?
    I mean, I’m writing a novel. It’s almost 150 pages now, but I’m so tired. So so tired. But at the same time im anxious to see it happening, to tell this story, tha I’m not been able to rest. I even dream about my characters.
    Does this happens to you too or I’m just a weird writer?

  • http://theharringtonfiles.blogspot.com/ Anika

    In response to the art debate:
    If there was no continuum of right and wrong, somewhere between your own personal explanation and that of what you believe the artist’s to be (or what the artist his/herself believes); then there would be no interpretations. We would not seek to know the meaning behind the art or the artist, and we would make no emotional connection to it – that is not to say that all interpretations of artwork are judgments, but in seeking to understand we make an evaluation. And if there were no interpretations, then there would be no debate; such as what we are having now. And if there was no debate – there would be no art. There would be no point in the artists trying to communicate a message or a point if we all looked at it the same way (or indeed if there was only one way of looking at it), and there would be no fun in discussing it either.
    So big love to all the fantastic people out there who have made art, and this debate, what it is.

  • http://incessant-mind.blogspot.com/ Barle

    Hi, Amanda… I’m from Chile (South-america) so my principal language is Spanish… i can read in English, and i can do things like understand your music lyrics and your blog, but i’m not so good talking and writing in english. But, i will try, so, i’m sorry if i seem like a five years old kid:

    You’ll see, i’m following your work since six or seven years ago, when nobody knows you in my country. One day I found you and i wanted to make it a secret, cause you make me feel soo identified and i knew that i’ll not be the only one who thinks that, but i knew that someday, eventually, everybody will knows your music. And that day is getting closer:
    you’re everyday most popullar and less ‘underground’ here! you have many fans now in Chile. Maybe they don’t know all your discography nor projects, but they’re listening you. I’m surprised. Suddenly i’m not the only “AFP” fan in Chile!
    When i saw this, i wonder…

    do u think that’s possible that someday, when you’re music gets in south-america like it did in Mexico and Spain, we can see you playing in Chile, Brazil, Argentina? or definitely isn’t in your professional plains?

    Really, i would LOVE to be in one of your concerts, the little ones, the greatest ones…
    and i hate to think that may it be that the day that i’ll have the money to travel to USA to see you in concert, your career can be finished! maybe i’ll never be in one of your concerts (so i’ll have to Import your Live DVDs from USA to Chile, lol)

    Your music teachs me all this years, teachs me about the life and obviously teachs me about the piano! (i’m a music too) and i know… i’m surely not the first one who thinks that, but sometimes i think that maybe isn’t so impossible that a person in Boston thinks in the same way that a person in Santiago de Chile. However, i don’t want to be another crazy and obsessed fangirl fuckin’ your life and your time, i just want to express you my admiration to your work, not as a fan, but as a simple real person with a real life where your art has been very important, far away from your country feeling a little connection with your life (and i always thought that believing that an artist may be close to you is pathetic… lol, i’m really serious: i’m not a crazy obsessed fangirl!)

    Well Amanda, i hope that you answer my question if you can (and if you understand my poor english redaction)…
    With appreciation, Barle (Bárbara), from Chile.

  • SpookySpiderChandelierOMDD

    Yello Amanda!

    You seem to have quite a bit of comments after the ask AFP thing, so I don’t want to take advantage of it, but I have multiple questions.

    My family is so conservative. I don’t know what to do, I’m at my fucking wits end. I can’t dye my hair pink, I can’t go to certain concerts, I can’t (at the risk of sounding stupid) EXPRESS myself.
    If I bang on the piano, I’m told to stop. Which leads me to banging on the piano more, while crying. I don’t want to go to a shrink, because of my anger. But, it’s always right above the surface, ready to bubble up & I just feel sick to my stomach. Any ideas of how to deal with this AT ALL? You’ve succeeded in making more lives than you know better, any advice from you is good advice.

    One last question, I’m planning on shaving my eyebrows off, & my parents would bitch, so how long does it take for them to grow back?

    I love you lots and lots, and your music gives me strength!

  • http://www.myspace.com/living_out_a_sacrifice Amy

    Amanda, I would like to ask you a very broad question.

    How the hell do you make a living as an artist? Where the hell do you even start? I know you lived in very artistic communities, but I…don’t. I don’t even know how to find an audience. I thought college would be the place, but that isn’t working out as planned. It seems like everyone I meet is living in these societal constraints.

    Should I just suck it up and take the job at Hot Topic?

  • jcorvidae

    For the “song meaning” debate…

    Since you’re a youtube junkie: Here’s an amazing 5 minute film that I saw at the (fabulous) Ann Arbor Film Festival opening night last winter. It’s worth the animation alone – it’s a crazy little informal interview with John Lennon that a fanboy did in a hotel room. But you don’t have to be a Lennon fanboy to enjoy this interview, and the accompanying animation is incredible.

    At one point he specifically comments on this issue, (around 3:45 in the film) and I thought it might sync nicely with some of your thoughts on song meanings and on the yoga of art.

    I Met the Walrus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmR0V6s3NKk

    And as long as I’m tossing out a youtube references with amazing animation, this is a lovely video for the song Clementine by Washington: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmEwHQpcSnA

    Loved the show in Detroit! And while the breakfast place you went is fun, there are lots of other great places that I suspect you’d love. Next time around…

  • MissusO

    FINALLY felt like I had something decent to say. Sing is my favorite some on “Yes Virginia…”, Its really beautiful, like a mantra of some sort. I have lots of gushy things to say but to the point, I have questions.

    1.”Sing” inspired me to design a tattoo- a sunflower with the first refrain of the song spiraling around the center. Would you like to see the design? I would love it if you told me what you thought.

    2.How do you take your coffee/ what is your favorite coffee drink?

    3.What eyeshadow & lipstick brand do you use?

    4. What is your favorite album from the Cure?

    3.

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    I love all the designs you wear on stage! They are all beautifully crafted

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  • Adam Bartlett

    AFP replies to Mika & Gmaria (I think I spelled all that right, I hope I did)…

    In AFP’s reply, she speaks of how people interpret her music, & while I know I’ve been wrong countless times… I tend not to hear lyrics correctly… But that’s why I like to look up lyrics & artists opinions before I to to understand but even then, I’ve totally missed an artists intent…

    She mentioned how people often misinterpreted “Have to Drive”… but I’ve got to say that’s probably one of her easiest to figure out what it’s about… It’s also an incredibly powerful songs.

    Whenever I am struggling with humanity’s insistence on tolerating the indefensible & as a result I watching innocent creatures being wantonly destroyed, I play this song… It’s a balm on those wounds that ought never have occurred…

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve been able to figure out the solution to (among other things) the countless animals dying on our roads & infrastructure…

    Sadly, in most cases, we knew long ago what we needed to do but for reasons of greed, incompetence, corruption, mediocrity, laziness, etc…

    They just never did what they all knew they should do, they make excuses like we can’t afford it but really over 90% of the solutions are far, far cheaper & even profitable!

    Reality is that if you added all the costs up, it ends up being a tiny fraction of what we already pay for broken corrupted systems that fail us all!

    If you are interested, check me out on YouTube in the comment sections, I even spoke a bit about this subject in the comments of a video entitled “7/17 Amanda Palmer explains “Have to Drive” at the National, Richmond, VA 4/05/15″…

    I will try to check back for any replies…

    Adam Bartlett

    BTW- For the record, I’m not joking, trolling, lying, scamming, crazy, etc… I am 100% dead serious!

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