why i am not afraid to take your money, by amanda fucking palmer

aie!

i had two conversations within the last 24 hours which made me feel like blogging about this.

one was with jason webley, who i’ve been living with for the past week in the Middle of Nowhere.

i was writing a press release and in it disclosed how much money i made from the recent london webcast (about 10k).
i gave a copy of the text to jason to proofread over a cup of tea (that’s what rock stars do for each other nowadays instead of leaving lines of blow on the backs of bathroom toilets).
he suggested taking the money part out. he gently advised; he’s heard people gossiping about me and my shameless revelations about my webcast/twitter income etc.

right around the same time i got an email from beth, regarding the future of my webcasting.
she suggested we do something totally free and not ask people for any money.
she’s been picking up on heat from people that the ask-the-fans-for-money thing has gotten out of control.

listen.

artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.

artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.

artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.
please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.

unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely noticed that artists ALL over the place are reaching out directly to their fans for money.
how you do it is a different matter.
maybe i should be more tasteful.
maybe i should not stop my concerts and auction off art.
i do not claim to have figured out the perfect system, not by a long shot.

BUT … i’d rather get the system right gradually and learn from the mistakes and break new ground (with the help of an incredibly responsive and positive fanbase) for other artists who i assume are going to cautiously follow in our footsteps. we are creating the protocol, people, right here and now.

i don’t care if we fuck up. i care THAT we’re doing it.

in fact, i ENJOY being the slightly crass, outspoken, crazy-(naked?)-chick-on-a-soapbox holding out a ukulele case of crumpled dollars asking for your money so that someone else a few steps behind me, perhaps some artist of shy and understated temperament, can feel better and maybe a little less nervous when they quietly step up and hold out their hat, fully clothed.

i am shameless, and fearless, when it comes to money and art.

i can’t help it: i come from a street performance background.
i stood almost motionless on a box in harvard square, painted white, relinquishing my fate and income to the goodwill and honor of the passers-by.

i spent years gradually building up a tolerance to the inbuilt shame that society puts on laying your hat/tipjar on the ground and asking the public to support your art.

i was harassed, jeered at, mocked, ignored, insulted, spit at, hated.
i was also applauded, appreciated, protected, loved….all by strangers passing me in the street.
people threw shit at me.
people also came up to me and told me that i’d changed their lives, brightened their day, made them cry.

some people used to yell “GET A FUCKING JOB” from their cars when they drove by me.
i, of course, could not yell back. i was a fucking statue, statues do not yell.

i did this for 5 years, and i made a living that way.
dollar by dollar.
hour by hour.
it was hard fucking work.

and for the last 10 years, i have been working my ass off in a different way: tirelessly making music, traveling the world, connecting with people, trying to keep my balance, almost never taking a break and, frankly, not making a fortune doing it. i still struggle to pay my rent sometimes. i’m still more or less in debt from my last record. i’ll lay it all out for you in another blog. it’s just math.

if you think i’m going to pass up a chance to put my hat back down in front of the collected audience on my virtual sidewalk and ask them to give their hard-earned money directly to me instead of to roadrunner records, warner music group, ticketmaster, and everyone else out there who’s been shamelessly raping both fan and artist for years, you’re crazy.

it’s also not a matter of whether an artist is starving or cruising on a yacht.
i would hate to see my fans turn on me once i actually have money in the bank with a “well, i would support you if you were starving, but now that you’re eating, no way.”
fuck that.
accept a new system.
feel ok about giving your money directly to paul mccartney. he may be rich, but he still rocks. show you care.
feel ok about giving it to fucking lady gaga if you’ve been guiltily downloading her dance tracks for free.
rejoice in the fact that you are directly responsible for several threads in her new spandex spacesuit.
it shouldn’t matter.
it’s about empowerment and it’s about SIMPLICITY: fan loves art, artist needs money, fan gives artist money, artist says thank you.

the critics are welcome to criticize.
they do not have to attend the party.
and even if they attend the party with rolling eyes, they will not be charged.
they will be hugged, they will be accepted and entertained, and they will not be given the hairy eyeball if they leave the room without tipping.
chances are they’ll tell a friend about the next party, and their friend will probably leave a dollar. and tell someone else.

taking my stand as a virtual street performer is the best thing that’s happened to my career and i revel in it.
and i love bringing people along for the ride.

i believe in the future of cheap art, creative enterprise, and an honorable public who will put their money where there mouth is, or rather, their spare change where their heart is.

can i get a fucking amen?

LOVE

afp

(update: lots of people have been commenting asking if they can donate money directly to me now. hell yes you can. click HERE.)

http://twitter.com/amandapalmer
http://twitter.com/afpwire
http://twitter.com/postwartrade
(and yes, even http://twitter.com/dresdendolls though it’s still embryonic)

afp crossing the alps

amanda fucking palmer crossing the alps, by @madainn

p.s. happy that guys are into the idea of marathon webcast experimenting.
it’s obviously an artform waiting to be more art-formed.

………………………………………

Name commented:

Hi! An AFP webcast sounds great. FYI, there was a story recently on NPR about a geek performing weekly webcasts to reach fans & grow VIPs.

http://tinyurl.com/mknbsb

………………………………………

thank you for sending…..fantastic article about this fellow Matthew Ebel. crazy, he’s from my neck of the woods. i’ll research him further. it’s great that he’s found his audience online.

i was happy to see that my old boston friend, david wildman, was consulted as a pundit. …i liked this quote:

“I don’t know, it freaks me out,” he says with a laugh. Wildman likens Ebel to a talented street performer on the information super highway. “That’s the scary thing about this is, you know, are we devaluing human contact? I don’t know. But he’s found his audience and that’s really all that any musician can hope for.”

yes…it’s fucking scary to imagine a future of pod-people connecting virtually.

i never want the idea of live performance and connection to be swallowed by the internet. if anything, the idea of webcasting ups the ante for live performers…you CANNOT just gaze at your shoes and wank on your guitar and hide away onstage anymore. nobody will care. you need to actually feed your audience, give them THAT THING that they CANNOT get from the internet. the feeling of being real, vital, in a room with people, alive, connected. i think it’s important to make sure a young generation being brought up on the net understands the fundamental difference between chatting online/watching a webcast and going out and having genuine face-to-face human relations with people. brain to brain is fine. sometimes it’s all you have. sometimes you live in kansas, life blows. but it does terrify me to think that humanity will give up on the real, sweaty, complicated part in favor for the easy, digital, clean part. eek.

………………………………………

Robbo commented:

Has Amanda really prostituted her boyfriends daughter? For her own profit?

Oh well. She has done worse things im sure :D

(AFP: this is, if you’re late to the party, regarding the fact that i auctioned off two dates with neil’s daughter, holly, who’s in her mid-twenties. they went for $740 each.)

………………………………………

i have done some terrible things in my life, for sure, but i don’t think this is one of them.
holly loved the idea and we had a great time with it. we split the take 50/50, and holly, who’s not rolling in cash and was about to take roadtrip after finishing her dissertation, was psyched.
is something like this of questionable morality?
well morality is by nature objective. it isn’t to immoral to me, or to her, or to the people who joined in the auction.
holly also decided to throw some of her money back into the karma loop and donated half of it to a womens’ organization she used to volunteer for*.
so in my mind, everybody won.

* from holly’s twitter: I donated 1/2 my goat date money to the U Turn Project [if you’re interested in donating, you can HERE] – which I also raised money for by producing The Vagina Mons.

Back to Blog
  • Meewunk

    Amen! :D

    I don’t have much to say, except that you’re awesome and keep on doing what you’re doing.

  • http://www.csdaley.com csdaley

    A-fucking-men.
    I have written several blogs about my feelings at becoming an art patron. I would rather give my money straight to the artist than to some crappy ass label or middle man company.

    My Two blogs: My Eyes Bleed Words http://tinyurl.com/mvrte2 & Support Your Local Artist http://tinyurl.com/yjzfhqx

  • http://blog.shaundavidhutchinson.com/ Shaun Hutchinson

    A-fucking-men!

  • http://www.overlyobsessedwithminutiae.blogspot.com/ Miss B

    A-fucking-men!!!

    (that is three exclamation points of Amen, which is the most punctuated form of it I have to give — that was an open-armed emphatic Amen!)

    You are precious, you.

  • lolunix

    amen

  • brittany

    a-fucking-men dude!

  • http://www.savetheartsnow.org/ Aerinity Ser

    Sounds pretty win-win to me the holly date.

    And also, record labels, advertisers other mother fuckers need to be cut the fuck out. Or changed like crazy whoa. While I don’t know if I could ever follow in your footsteps, I certainly respect them.

    Amen.

  • Kris Grochowski

    I’m completely on your side Amanda! I’m happy to shell out money to see you perform and will continue to do so forev! Please tour with Brian again soon though, K? Love all that you do!

    Kris – Auburn, NH.

  • midnight_faerie

    People always criticize what they don’t understand. A lot of people don’t realize that not everyone that gets signed to a label turns into a mega fucking star making millions of dollars. I, personally, would rather buy something directly from the artist to ensure that they receive the money for their hard work. For some of us, music is a lifeline, something that has saved us from bad relationships, pain and ourselves. I love your webcasts, and believe me, if I had the money to bid on things during the auctions, I would.
    I think there’s people that hate on the idea because they didn’t think of it first. At least when people buy things directly from you, they see that their money is going to make sure you keep a roof over your head or to help you go on tour. To all the haters, I say, find something real to bitch about. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and they have nothing better to do than to complain about a wonderful artist and an amazing human being who happens to just try to make a living.
    I love you, Amanda, and I’ll support you in any way I possibly can.

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      /For some of us, music is a lifeline, something that has saved us from bad relationships, pain and ourselves./

      This. Yes.

  • kracklebeest

    ummmm ive always thought that the webcasts for money thing was cute and fun, my only complaint was that im in the hole myself and i could never help you, your music has done so much for your fans, that i think it only appropriate to ask for help with your life, so what if its not “tasteful” if it was hoity toity and shit it wouldnt be AFP! people need to loosen the FUCK up and learn that people do things in different ways and those ways work too.

  • http://maxmillermakesmusic.com/ Max Miller

    You should get in touch with Tom Green and stop by his show. He’s taking web broadcasting to the next level, and he’s also trying to figure out new ways to benefit from it monetarily. If you haven’t heard, he built a TV Studio in his living room, full setup, and invites guests up talk-show style to hang out and talk. They take calls on Skype also, so fans can have the chance to talk face to face to the people they look up to!

    Anyway, I dig the blog post. I’m also a musician trying to figure out how to make money in these craaaazy times.

    for now I’m giving out my album for free as a download (maxmiller.bandcamp.com) but selling different physical versions.

    Good luck to you and all independent music!

  • sarah_baker

    Amen!
    Keep sticking up for yourself!
    Much love to all,
    ~Sarah

  • mjvansteenberg

    A very cool friend of mine once said that paying money for something is a way of saying “Do it again.” That’s how I feel when I support artists, whether it be online or on the street. Do it again, Amanda. I’ll keep sending the message on the greenbacks.

  • muselady11

    Amen, indeed. I have two artist kids, and money for art is a perfectly appropriate energy exchange. In the world of folk/Americana/roots music that I was volunteering in, we had the same issues about how much to charge for house concerts and such. But this is the wave of the future, small-scale venues in the real world, and virtual performances like yours. Audiences need to appreciate the sacrifices the artists make to be accessible, up-close and personal. It’s an experience I’m willing to pay for. You’re doin’ great, Ms. Palmer.

    • ChuckEye

      Money for art is great. Money for props & nicknacks is, well, kind of an insult. I think it’s cool that AFP has people willing to throw money at her in exchange for worthless shit, but worthless shit isn’t AFP’s creative output, so it really shouldn’t be what she’s selling.

      • Arkham

        Then don’t buy it. You aren’t being required to. But don’t try telling me that I cannot buy any of her ‘worthless shit’ just because you don’t see any value in it.

        One woman’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  • Kris Grochowski

    Amen, Amanda! I’m willing to pay whatever to see you peform because it’s completely worth it! You’re amazing and can’t wait to see you again soon.

    Kris
    Auburn, NH

  • ikle_pattikins

    I would rather buy something from you than going to the store and buying it. That’s why if a new cd/shirt/bracelet comes out I would rather buy it from them when I go to see them play than to go to a store and buy it. I feel if you buy it directly from the artist then you know where the money is going opposed if you buy if from a store. Plus if you didn’t do your lovely webcasts people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to buy the pregnancy test from Oasis (pee optional). So I say keep doing it.

  • Kyra

    Dear Amanda,

    I have wanted for years to be able to donate to artists. I love the idea of being able to thank with money the artist who brings me joy. Lots of joy. Unfortunately, it is rare for me to be able to put money in your actual hat, and in that case, a virtual one will have to do.

    Thank you for making such wonderful music and such wonderful art and for sharing your life with your audience.

    Love,
    Kyra.

  • LMS

    Amen! I’ll happily throw a dollar in the tip jar anytime you play the LA area.

  • http://www.jesleephotos.com Jes Lee

    Amen!! Things need to change in the art world with how artists make money and where the art patron’s money goes. It is not just in the performance art world, it is in the visual art world as well. It is starting to change, you can see it, but it needs to go farther. Thank you for working so hard at what you do, and standing up for the ways that work!

  • Tom_Brown

    fucking AMEN! <3

  • lisalovesrhps

    You are truly amazing.

  • Kiwi

    Fuckin’ amen. I love you and what you do and will happily throw money at you to keep you doing the things I love whenever I have the chance. You are an inspiration, Amanda, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything. Thank you, sincerely, for what you do. <3

  • Kaye

    Amanda,

    I am a college student studying music. I have very limited funds and I want to go to grad school. I almost never buy CDs anymore. But I bought yours.

    And when you make another one, I’ll buy that one too. I will be at your shows, and I will bring cash.

    If you hold out the hat, I will always find something to put in it. Not because I love your music, but because after three internships in the music industry and countless discussions in class about how to fix this broken system, you are the only person I can think of who is actually DOING something. And that deserves my donation every time.

  • http://twitter.com/AlanDistro AlanDistro

    Amen.

  • slavitch

    Awesome post.

    This shit is hard work, and a gig is a gig. Keep up the good work.

  • franbetlyon

    Yes. Amen, Amanda! I admire your balls, your creativity, and your vision. Art IS worth money. And artists deserve to be rewarded for thier work. You are paving the way for a music world that is about the music – and it takes money. You inspire me as an artist and I continually look to you as an example of someone who refuses to sell out and will always stick to their values as an artist – never afraid to shake things up, piss people off, and god forbid, GET PAID. I applaud you and pretty much think you kick fucking ass.

  • ZohoGorganzola

    I wholeheartedly agree that the direct payment of artists probably will (and should) be the future, but you mention ticketmaster as one of the greedy middlemen. I’m not taking issue with that. They are, in fact, greedy middle men. But how do I avoid paying them? I want to see artists like you and others live, but all of the venues in my city (Philadelphia) are associated with one of the big ticket companies in some way or another. I already purchased tickets for your philly show, but in the future, whenever you come back to town, is there any way I can just send you money and get tickets for a show? Or are you bound by whatever agreement you have to make with the venues?

  • thenoiboi

    amen, indeed.

    why people are so willing to give their money to hot topic for a t shirt, then so bitchy about artists charging for things directly is beyond me. i commend you for your honesty on the subject, as i always expect from you.

  • rubyverbena

    Dear Amanda,

    I don’t always agree with the things you do, but I LOVE YOU for doing them. I love you for being brave in a way I never was. For going full frontal in every aspect of your life, in particular when it comes to your art. For being great at self-promotion. For DOING IT and not apologizing for it. For writing and performing and being and loving and creating. Thanks. From the shy and understated artist over in the corner,

    Much love and many thanks to you,

  • Joshi

    Let’s see, I spent 20 bucks on the ticket to your VA show, about 60 in gas, another 60 for a hotel, and I’m sure I’ll still spend crazy ridiculous money on merchandise at the show. It’s all about the love and the fact that you’re putting yourself out there for us. It’s a JOB, except you’re doing what you love. We all have bills that need paid, and we all have different ways of doing so. Keep on bringing it. You’re doing fucking awesome.

  • jillestabrooks

    AMEN…..I don’t know why people seem to think money *cheapens* art. Would they go work for corporate America for free? Really, I see nothing wrong with your approach. Go for it.

    And on another topic … When I saw the photo of you on the beach as a kid, your spirit shinning through reminded me of my youngest daughter, Ana. If she grows up to be as free spirited and creative as you I will think my job was well done.

  • http://twitter.com/demeterschild Michelle

    A fucking Amen.

    Don’t let dissenters get you down. I really believe that you are at the front of a wave of new thinking and new knowledge about how performing artists connect with their audience. I don’t think there’s any reason to fear that people will stop valuing for human contact. The fact that we are worried about stands as testimony to the fact that we don’t have to worry about it. Also, as someone who wishes she had the guts to busk by herself, thanks and you’re awesome.

  • Xjaeva

    Fucking amen!

  • Nezhead

    I dont understand why people would find such an issue with this. Would this still be an issue if you did this IRL as opposed to over a web cam? What’s the difference? If anything you are more accessible to the fans who can watch/partake in the event who otherwise might not…..

    Preaching to the choir I know….Keep rocking AFP! You are my hero.

  • jennamcwilliams

    amen.

  • http://sammeeeees.com/ labfly

    amen. amen. amen. i go to your shows, listen to your cd’s and watch your webcasts (when i can) and i’m thrilled to see you receive pay for your work. funny that anyone would feel anything other than RAH! when they hear you raised 10k. you deserve it, Amanda Palmer. you freakin’ work hard and you’re talented. i’m always taken aback by how artists are expected to create for free. nobody else works for free. and your approach is fine. you own it. you don’t pretend to be doing anything else. here it is. you can’t do better than that.

    cheers :)

  • KinkyTurtle

    Fuck the gossips. I don’t see how you asking your fans for money (which they love, especially if they get to buy shit from you) is any worse than, say, some really worldwide famous band charging 60 or more dollars for a ticket to their show. Because there’s a middleman involved? Fuck that shit; the fact that you have given us all this art and music and are practically in debt from it yet STILL your shows are reasonably priced (seriously, I paid twenty bucks for my ticket, disregarding online charges) and you give us all these amazing ways to connect with you, of which the webcasts are one, is fucking beautiful. People must not understand WHY we want to give you money and make sure it gets to you and doesn’t get sucked up in the black hole that is RR; because your art fucking moves us. How many of us downloaded the leaked version of WKAP and then still went and bought the album anyway? It’s because your art is important to us and we want to see more of it, we want to enable you to continue doing all the beautiful things you do.

    Keep doing what you do. And we will keep loving you for doing it.

  • http://www.thelittlefluffycat.com/ thelittlefluffycat

    Amen, for sure! I love that we’ve gone forward by going backward – that we now exchange value for value, that we support the people who support our hearts and our brains directly, from our hands to theirs. I love the honesty of it, and I love the honesty of you.

  • http://twitter.com/petulancy John

    You’re encountering the influence of the pseudo-intellectual, pretentious art-types that pervade modern society. They think that, in order to be an “artist”, you have to abandon any sense of pragmatism, which includes making a living. The funny thing is that most of these people have contributed nothing artistic in their entire lives, and simply comment on what should and shouldn’t be from the sidelines.

    Ignore them. You know what it’s like to struggle financially and otherwise in many ways that your critics likely do not. “Be yourself” sounds like something out of a Disney/Pixar film, but honestly, be yourself. Do what you want to do, and what you feel is right and good for yourself(And those you care for/love, if you so choose.).

    Fuck everyone else.

  • Mike P

    i really get where you’re coming from and i’m all for paying for art, for music, for performance. but to be completely honest, it seems really insensitive to not acknowledge in the current economy how many of your fans are in far worse debt, have much less $$$ and could never even come close to affording the travel and lifestyle you enjoy. and i know you work very hard for it, but recently it sometimes seems like you feel entitled to a nonstop flow of $$$ for your fans simply for being Amanda Fucking Palmer. for example, the last webcast i watched felt like it had little to nothing to do with art or connecting with the fans – it was all about collecting the $$$, selling stuff like those leftover photos that felt very much like an afterthought. so all i’m suggesting is that you try to keep in mind how many of us are also struggling to pay our own rent and realize that there are limitations to how much we can give financially on a regular basis.

    • Idril

      I second that.
      The concept is good, but careful about remembering to give us something too. I know so many people who can’t pay their rents, and i don’t have that much money to give either, so all in all, the concept of every economy becomes “who should get which part of the cake”. Building your own legitimacy toward getting money is a tedious job, careful not jeopardizing it by taking it for granted. But no need to become your fans’ slave either.

      • insignifikunt

        She doesn’t charge people to watch webcasts, only when people bid on things which is totally reasonable. Do you work or give your stuff away for free? So what are you saying remember to give us something too? Are you serious?

        She has given enough don’t you think… Music is pricelss as far as I see it. It’s one of the only things on this planet I think is honestly worth working for.

        • Idril

          There are things I do for free sometimes, yes. And she does too, which I’m grateful of. And yes, she’s human and she makes mistakes. But I do think that, as some I think well pointed out, that not listening to criticism and being slightly arrogant about it all is maybe not the way to go.

          Yes, there is a cliche of the artist having to be humble and begging for the crumbs of society that is destructive, and i can salute her for standing her ground, but I have to say I have observed this blog for a while and the more it goes, the less i hear about art, life and music, the more i hear about money, spending and earning. On the one hand I’m starting to slowly fall out of love with what was offered originally, and on the other hand I feel I’m asked a lot in return.

          Ok, she defends the status of artists, BUT she is also in direct competition with them, and the substantial amount of money i spent in her advantage were not spent toward perhaps other artists who have more debts, more needs, who can’t even tour abroad…

          Ok, it’s all optional, BUT she keeps on going about how it makes rent – and 1) building guilt might not be the intent but it does exist 2) I know so many people who will buy her stuff in the secret desire of being somehow a bit of her friend – a feeling which is then betrayed by being just a mass valued for its monetary suppport. 3) Some buy because they want a piece of her, with the principle of the idol (if touched, becomes holy), but when the idol itself starts only talking about money, it starts being shallow, and like a hall of mirrors, only reflects the weird commerce that is being made – until the person asks themselves : “why am i buying it really?”

          I’m still an AFP follower. I’ll still go to concerts, and probably tip, and offer to help, and maybe buy some things if i can afford it and if i like it. But I’m starting to detach myself from the whole twitter blog, concentrating only on an occasional listen of the music because, as simply can be put : i still love the music, and yes, it has carried me through many things, and for this i’ll always be grateful, but the character and the stance, I’m not always as sure.

          • insignifikunt

            I do agree with a lot of what you say, other stuff I can’t criticisise because it’s just how you feel and it’s not up to me to tell you how to or not to feel.

            The bit about the blog being more and more about money and less about art, I have noticed that to, but instead of getting annoyed I got excited because it appears as though so is she. She has found something that just may sustain her career so she can continue to create the art…

            You can’t blame her for you not supporting other poorer artists… That was your decision to make, maybe her music is more appealing to you and therefore more deserving of your money. Maybe your dollar went to her, but because of this blog someone else who is more well off than you will give to that band struggling even more than Amanda as well as to her.

            I know everyone buys shit from her for their own reasons… Again that is their decision to make. She isn’t holding a gun to anyones head demanding they pay her. She isn’t claiming she’ll be their best friend if you buy her glass dildo. People read into things what they will and she can’t control that.

            I bet if everyone stopped buying her music, merch, gig tickets and she was forced to get a day job, she’d still create in her spare time and share it for free. I can’t say that would happen for sure because I don’t know her, but I think she is upfront about why she is doing this. She needs the money.

            EVERYONE is struggling right now. She ISN’T entitled to money any more than you are UNLESS you are taking something from her. No one is entitled to be paid for a job they didn’t do, but she’s done a fuck load and hasn’t been paid for it.

            By supporting her in the way you have, you have contributed to her career. It sucks that people feel betrayed when they realise they aren’t buying her friendship, that it’s on a mass scale, BUT everyone’s contributions do count and are important. Every dollar that goes into that tip jar is one dollar closer to hearing a new song, or seeing a new video, or some sort of creation. If the art stops then I will be fucked off big time if she keeps asking for money, but it never stops. She is always working on something.

            I do wish there were more blogs not centered about money, I guess it’s just such a major issue right now that she is a little preoccupied with it. Hopefully she’ll be in a better position soon where she doesn’t need to worry as much about it…

      • http://smileyfish.livejournal.com/ Toni

        I also think it’s very important to make sure that what you’re selling is yours to sell. Profiting of other people’s art and creativity (ideas, fan art, etc), given to you for free, leaves a sour taste in some mouths.

        Asking for other peoples art for free (photos, etc) then devalues the work of that artist. How can you expect to earn money off your work when someone else is known to be getting it for free?

        Yes, have the fans directly support the artist, but provide your own creativity in return.

        Also, beware the self-repeating echo chamber that such a devoted fandom provides.

    • Josh

      Mike, if their situation is “Pay for it now, or not eat, not make rent…” then (a) She’s not set it up so you have to pay for everything upfront w/ a really high bar fee.

      Tip. When you can. When you can tip big, then do so.

      No one should miss food or get into trouble with their rent, and there’s no way in hell that’s what she’s asking anyone to do. What, people tip, lose their place, then they go to some not for profit that she has to do a benefit for, because that’s how she’s built? Please.
      Here’s the deal. She’s out there, she has a limited amount of time and your attention, on stage, on a webcast, as we pass by her website. So, expect that she’s gonna ask. Is she asking you? Do you have it? No? Then no.

      But there’s 10 people who’re seeing her for the first time and they need to be asked, they need to get it, because if they don’t, and you can’t, then she’s broke and we don’t get to see her so much any more.

      I would love it, if every musician had a public P.O. Box or better an online tip jar, if their publicist had a book keeper to handle the checks, and then for all the music I like, all the youtube videos I like, I could send along some cash. Maybe just 5 bucks. Because Warner bros. gives them 22 cents, and puts them into debt and obnoxious contracts. So, my 5 bucks, that gets to the artist is 20 or so times what they used to make, and then I could tip a lot more artists and when I get a head, I can gleefully go back and tip them even further, see their shows. Because they’ll still be around, and they won’t have been ripped off.
      But until there’s a sea change and probably even still, artists will have to solicit.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaraLogs Clara

    Amen, of course, A-fucking-men!

    There will always be those who’ll criticize anything, but your work for artists (and as an artist) is so important and so appreciated. Thanks for being our fearless leader!

    (And I can’t believe there are people out there who would tell a street performer to “Get a fucking job.” Sad.)

  • http://revolvingdoorcommune.wordpress.com Teresa Jusino

    Amen! :)

    I always marvel at how you’ve been working the internet thing, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to make it work for me as a writer. (Publishing is just as murky a world as the music industry, I think) I believe artists should be paid directly, and should not be ashamed of doing it. I’ve purchased music and merch from you already. I plan on purchasing the DVD as soon as it’s back in stock. :) I’ve seen you in concert live. I’ve purchased the book. As long as you continue to share your creativity with the world, I will continue to buy some of it from you. I’ll spread the word so others will do the same.

    That’s really the other part of the equation. Not only putting one’s own art out into the world and expecting compensation, but letting people know about other people’s art. Everyone who loves art, whatever form it takes, should be a patron. Should showcase, promote, show off artists they know and encourage others toward them. Should help create a world in which introducing others to art in this way is important. Oprah shouldn’t be the only one with an influential book club. Neil shouldn’t be the only cause of overburdened bandwidth on burgeoning artist websites. :) We should live our lives based on personal recommendations, not just on the art mass media tells us is important.

    And by the way, people do bachelor/bachelorette auctions all the time! Hell, I’d let you auction off dates with ME if I thought you’d see any money and if I wouldn’t be embarrassed by the horribly low starting bids. :)

  • hectual

    Don’t listen to them. I love that you access your fans personally all the time, that is what sets you apart from most other music artists… you care for your fans enough to reach out to them without the barrier of record labels. You ALWAYS sign and talk to people after shows. You always post pictures for us on twitter. You write blogs pretty regularly. You put out new items to hold us over until the next album. You even told me after a show to rip your CD and give it out free to my friends. It’s not like you’re greedy. You give back enough to your fans to make a legitimate request for moolah to pay your bills and I will finance you making new art for life if I continue to have money.

    I’m coming to see you again in Knoxville and I am specifically saving money so I can support you personally. It makes me happy!

  • fangxianfu

    I’ve not heard a great deal of your music or attended any of your shows, but there’s nothing about this blog post that I don’t like. Self-publishing (@wilw) and web-publishing (@feliciaday); creative commons licenses (@doctorow, @brandonsandrson)… these things are becoming more common and business models are changing, and it’s important that we understand that. I’ve got nothing but respect for people who’ll stand up for their convictions like you have here, Amanda, and I hope this message gets out to as many people as possible so that they can get out and make art too.

    In short… amen!

  • craigsteffen

    I think auctioning off dates with Holly is hilarious. There’s no harm as long as everyone involved understands what’s promised and what isn’t. She presumably volunteered/agreed as a way to get some cash and have some fun and meet new people. As long as no one thinks that anything beyond the one date is promised, there’s no harm. Hell, if I were in the UK I would have been tempted to bid (although as delightful as it would be to chat and commiserate with Ms. Gaiman about dissertation writing, $740 is a little rich for me; sorry!).

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think that putting out your hat for donations is crass or abnormal. To pick a random example, when Neil goes on a signing tour he’s putting his physical presence out in the public eye to help coax people to buy his books. He’s not dealing directly with the money part; the publisher does that, and passes on like 2% of the cost of the book and keeps the rest.

    You, Amanda, are trying to do what lots of other artists are doing in the age corporate conglomeration but also the age where distribution of media is suddenly free: you’re cutting out the middle-man(corporation). Nine-Inch-Nails sold a record in the last year or two where they had a super-special super-limited edition of the album ON VINYL signed by the authors and stuff; I think they sold 75 of them for like $300 each.

    I assume you’ve seen people’s posts on the “1000 true fans” ideas? I don’t know where the idea came from, but here’s a quick link that google came up with that talks about the idea:
    http://boingboing.net/2008/03/04/howto-earn-an-artist.html

    Lots of us understand and support what you’re doing. I’m not going to be one of your 1000 true fans, yet at least. I would buy the WKAP book, but I really don’t want to have a coffee-table book with dead people on it. I’m seriously considering buying a ticket to the Knoxville concert. I may well buy one of your CDs because after reading the explanation of the making of the WKAP album, I’m terribly curious about the songs that you talk about. And I think it’s a great idea to have a phone-in webcast thingy with a tip jar. If I listen to a bunch and it’s fun, I’ll probably throw some money in.

    There’s a quiet, slow revolution building to challenge the Neilson-based, cable-TV based idea that you have to buy your entertainment in giant monolithic blocks because that’s what (sort-of) made economic sense in 1950 when TV stations were catering to audiences od hundreds of thousands. The day is coming soon when there won’t be a sweeps week, that people will pay individually to watch shows because they’re good/funny/interesting/informative enough to micro-pay for. Shows that suck will very rapidly disappear because no-one will pay for them.

    And we will pay for your stuff, music and books and other things because if nothing else, you’re real and genuine and weird and you’re the kind of person who tweets desperately looking for an emergency keyboard for a concert and those of us on other continents feel bad because we can’t provide one.

    Keep it up. We’re on for the ride.

    Craig Steffen

  • damned_ragdoll

    Yup, i’m fully behind you on this, money is such a touchy subject and apparently it’s vulgar to discuss it, hell we all need it, you’re earning it, you arnt forcing people to give you anything, we the fans are more than happy to contribute towards you and the amazing music/art you produce and provide us with.
    you make us that little bit happier in our lives and that is commendable, if someone can making me smile when i’m feel blue that is a damn miracle and i for one think you’re worth every penny.
    We are showing you our appreciation and if we can get out own little AFP memento out of doing so we are going to be happier than a bunny in a barrell of carrots, i would rather buy something from you and know you are getting the money than to find something on ebay and give my money to some grubby little greedy shit.
    We all love you so we will all support you, <3.

  • songofmars

    Amen, lady. Minstrels used to wander around getting food and a place to rest in exchange for a song and story. I don’t see how your directly getting money from the people who enjoy your work the most is any different. It’s a healthy process, and you give so much of yourself to your fans.

    Besides, you have so many fans that even if every one of them only gave you a buck a year, you’d be rolling in it. A dollar a year for fantastic music and a pioneer spirit isn’t so much to ask. If anything, we’re getting you for cheap!

  • v-daddy

    Amen…And in fact, I’d encourage you to go ahead and put out a permanent cyber tip-jar on your site. Some of us would throw you some currency-love even without you having to stand like a statue for 9 hours straight or toss us signed swag. Granted, I always appreciate a little Amanda goodness in my mailbox, but I am more than willing to play the role of benefactor every once in awhile (a rare while, given the economics of the moment, but you get the idea).

    Love the Tip-Jar!

  • http://sophielynette.wordpress.com/ Sophie

    I hate how people seem to think that creative people — artists, authors, musicians — should create for free because it’s something they enjoy, because it’s something they have to do. That because it’s enjoyable, it’s not work. That the enjoyment should be payment enough. That to ask for payment would be to somehow sully the art. That’s not how it works. Enjoyment doesn’t pay the bills. Praise doesn’t put food on the table.

  • dsolla

    I could not agree more. You must make a living to continue. I just bought tickets to the show at the Bijou theatre and in a few years when I am making the big bucks I will gladly spend more money on things like pregnancy test from Amanda’s videos.

  • http://oneworkingmusician.com/ Jason Parker

    Fucking amen!!

    Thank you for laying it out so clearly. As artists we should be thankful that the middlemen have been taken out of the game. And our fans should be too, because now they can actually give US less money than was demanded by the middlemen and we’ll still make MORE. How’s that for a win/win.

    Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’. And say hey to Jason from another Jason from Seattle. We actually shared a bill at the Redmond Firehouse years ago when I was playing with Heather Duby.

  • drowningdolly

    The internet has made it such that just about anything is available for download, free of charge. For years I’ve been torn with the feeling that downloading is immoral. I take what I want, I enjoy what I take, and I give nothing back. Credit should be given where credit is due. Listening to your music, reading your words, gazing at your face, these are all things that I derive pleasure from and as such, should be justly rewarded. The guilt is easier to swallow when you feel that disconnect with the artist…. Middlemen such as the record company, the chain CD store, ticketmaster, etc enable that disconnect. You convince yourself that you’re screwing THEM over and what’s it matter when they’re already filthy rich? I think when an artist takes to their fans the way that you have, you make it personal… more intimate, more real. Yes, you deserve to be compensated for your art and no, there shouldn’t be any shame in sticking your hand out. It’s like any sector in business… You provide a product, you expect payment in return. The internet has been an invaluable resource for artists but it has also brought in a new era of thinking and the way that artists should be compensated for their art. I support where you’re going on this… As you said, paving the way for those behind you… Sure there will be mistakes made along the way but there is no guide book out there…. Feel it out, do what works for you and what puts the most money directly in YOUR pocket because it is your art, afterall. Cheers!

  • http://thisoldhauntnovel.blogspot.com/ Jean

    Amen.

    I took heat recently during a month when I was struggling to make ends meet just for putting a Paypal donation button on my serialized novella’s web site, and asking my blog readers to take a moment to peruse my Etsy and eBay listings. I was told to go get a job at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s if things were so bad. The fact that there are people in the world who think creative people would contribute more to society by slinging fries for minimum wage than by actually creating things depresses the crap out of me. I totally appreciate the ground you’re breaking, and when I get into some positive cash flow I’ll support you in ways other than just telling people how brilliant you are.

  • @ChrisLikesPie

    I love your music and hope you got a least a few pennies from the label for my CD purchases. Also love the webcasts (although timed for west coast after work hours or weekends would be great). I don’t have a lot of money and I definitely don’t need more stuff (even if it has AFP nom), but I enjoy and value your entertainment and would definitely put a tip in the jar when I have extra cash.
    Make the tip jar permanent, keep on doing what you’re doing and thanks for the beautiful music.

  • xxdeathdollyxx

    You never fail to amaze me Amanda, and i’m glad that you’re doing what you’re doing to make a better change.

    and don’t let people misinterpret things you do to make a living, at least you’re one of the many who are trying to make money…shiit i think you’re a fucking genius for making that much from a date with someone…more power to you! =]

  • Totz the Plaid

    I feel pretty bad that I’m a broke college student and can’t help you out. I’m glad that more artists are getting rid of the fucking middleman, though. I tried buying a $12 ticket to guarantee I’d have one to a show I wanted to see last year, and ended up having to pay $30 due to fucking Ticketmaster and Live Nation and their gratuity charges and all that fucking bullshit. Later it turned out I could’ve still bought a ticket at the door for just the $12, and I’d’ve known that it was actually getting to the band, so we the fans, and they your fellow artists need more people like you who will force a long overdue change.

    A-fucking-men!

    ‘z’

    P.S. Totally off-topic, but what’s your favorite Beatles song?

  • Kymberley

    I admire what you have done. I wish I had half the amount of your bravery and passion for people and art. You have been a major inspiration in my life for 6 years now. Every time I have met you, you have been nothing but kind to me (that is saying something, because the 2nd time I met you, you were sick and miserable).
    If it’s a bad thing to believe in a little reciprocation from the people that you break your back for…then I guess I’m a bad person. Fuck it, I believe in you, and I will support you however I can.

  • blipblipblam

    This is all so valid. I date a sequential artist. The major comic publishing companies, and now newer ones like Tokyopop, are taking advantage of young, unestablished artists all the time with iffy contracts and low pay.

    And still, so many artists in the field are afraid to break out on their own and make their own way. There are still so many needless taboos about artists -actually- making money. It’s becoming easier with things like Deviantart and Etsy, but just hearing about this blog put a smile on my girlfriend’s face. You tend to have that effect in our household. :)

  • http://scarygirl.tumblr.com/ scarygirl

    A-FUCKING-MEN

  • http://carnivaloftherandom.blogspot.com Kristen McHugh

    It’s a brave new world. Someone has to be the first to look at the map of the world we know and say, “Fuck this. This is not gonna take me anywhere productive or interesting,” and walk right of the edge. It seems to be you. Do I wish I was less broke and could personally enjoy more of the auctioning? Yes. Will I buy a ticket/CD/Poster/Book if there’s a show in my area? Hell, yes. Criticism? Nope. Not only do I deplore the way labels treat artists, I think they treat the audience like simpletons and I’m tired of it. I have friends who are releasing their new album on USB drives, I have friends who’ve done the indie label deal, I have friends who’ve given up because breaking into, “the business,” is too hard and soul-sucking. Anyone who can survive as a working artist in any medium deserves respect. That you’re making the audience part of the process in an active way, may take getting used to for some people. They will get used to it, though. Good on ya, (and Beth, Kayla, Sean, etc.)

  • shinyspecialone

    AFP, thank you for this! I’m a second year law student doing a seminar paper discussing just this: how artists are utilizing the internet to cut out the middlemen, retaining exclusive control of their copyrighted works, and the financial highs and lows of that decision. You’re a great example for other artists looking for creative ways to truly and shamelessly make a living doing exactly what you love.

  • nailmusic

    Just wanted to say – this may sound strange, but – I have no idea who the hell you are. I’ve never heard of you. Living under a rock? Possibly. Frighteningly engaged in trying to support myself with only my original instrumental music? Totally. But I have one thing to say:
    AMEN!
    Fer sure. What I just read rocks, big time.
    all the best,
    the NAIL

  • jasin

    these people have not seen you do ‘runs in the family’ live. just thinking about it i feel i need to send you ten bucks.

  • Shanneeen

    AMEN. you’re so honest about why you do what you do. this makes you my hero.. you have no shame in telling the truth. thank you. fuck the critics that don’t see what you’re doing for artists. i love that you stand up for whats right and you don’t have your fans follow you blindly. i love you and what you’re doing for artists.

  • MissMaeve

    Being a street performer is beautiful and wonderful. I do my best work in Providence, RI, a very artsy city where you’re much more likely to be appreciated than spat at. I understand the shame that society presses upon you when you put your hat/guitar case/gargoyle out there for generous donations. Thank you, you appreciate me, and you’re helping me be able to continue living. If you don’t appreciate me, keep fucking walking. You’re taking valuable sidewalk space away from people who do. Now that everything is going virtual, it only makes sense to do the same.

    My friends stopped reading my blog and visiting my performance website when I put ads on it – why do they have such a problem with me making a buck? And I wasn’t even asking anyone to directly donate. People should just shove it.

    Also, when your album first came out I pirated it off the internet. I gave the files to my friends. And then I sent you an envelope with money in it. I sure as hell hope you received it; it was my way of damning the man and saving a performer that I adore and admire.

    I hope that people stop being so uptight and start getting with it. Radiohead released their last album for “donations” online. Pay what you think this album is worth. And they made a shitton of money. Why shouldn’t everyone? The only argument against this is that the record companies won’t make any money. I for one don’t see any problem with that.

  • Shakti

    AMEN!

  • mundens

    Amen!

    There’s also a much better feel about paying directly to the artist, and receiving from them directly.

    One of my favourites CD’s is New Model Army’s “High”, not because it contains my favourite songs (although I do like most of them), but because it reminds me of where and when I bought it, along with a t-shirt, directly from a member of the “family” at a party/concert in their home town that was the best concert I’d ever been to, where I danced with a huge (and in other circumstances, potentially scary) gay punk and a tiny burner at the same time.

    I regret not having had enough cash to do the same the one time I saw you, but you certainly worked hard for your income, first all the pre-performance tweets and messages, writing a special song for the location, the performance itself, dealing with poor sound gear and a piano that didn’t look that sturdy, and then afterwards, hugging and signing for people for some time afterwards.

  • lynette

    amen!

  • Darkmage32

    I totaly agree AFP! We pay to go to the show, we pay for al this, but the money never goes to you, or any artist! I’d rather MUCH rather see it go to you so you can get things you need to continue the art! Don’t feel shame for you are totally correct in the statement that you afre making, we need to deal with the change! Fu**k the critics and the nay-sayers, for they are the ones that don’t want to see the artist grow, or survive for that matter, they are the same fat cats that are charging us the sur-charges and fees, and such. I salute you for actually making a change for the artist! And yeah, I was one of those people that tipped you as a statue, and still think to this day that that is truely awesome.

  • Brianna Day

    A-fucking-men

    Not sure why people are hatin’. Seems pretty legit to me. I think it’s awesome the ideas you come up with to make money, and I think you’re fans equally love giving you the money when you make it so much more unique and personal.

  • bloodlesscoup

    Amanda, you’re right, and you’re amazing. I didn’t think the mention of money was tacky at all. You work hard, you deserve to be paid, and you’re not going to pull the veil over anyone’s eyes. The industry needs more transparency, so we can be pissed when record companies take advantage of artists, and also so we can applaud the artists who remove the intermediaries and go straight to their fans.

    Also, this would be a great time to mention, you are fucking fabulous, AFP.

  • Lane

    amen! nicely said!

  • Mafu

    YES! AMEN SISTER! This is exactly how it should work and is exactly the reason the labels/recording associations/assorted middlemen are bitching and moaning – there’s a new business model that doesn’t include them and they don’t want to|can’t compete. Tough.

  • Guest

    I think, like you said, the big problem is people don’t realize how they’re getting “raped” by the record company. Buying a god damn postcard that you wrote my name on and mailed to me went directly to YOU, the one that makes the amazing music and does other amazing shit which I love. I don’t want to “support” you through fucking iTunes or whatever because that’s not actually supporting you. That’s supporting people who I don’t give a shit about and don’t give a shit about you. If it means you can keep making your music, sending Twitpics, and buying makeup to draw your eyebrows with, then I am more than willing to give money to you. Thanks for being so incredible.

  • Darian Zam

    Yes you may get a fucking amen. I cop abuse all the time. I am working on a public social history project and was asked by three people “whom I would be giving the profits to”. The hide! I explained slowly and carefully that it was hundreds of hours of work, and thousands of dollars out of my own pocket (not to mention, point in case, the grief I get) – so essentially, there wouldn’t BE any “profits”. Am I not entitled to reimbursement for my expenditure at least? And if I DO have a hit on my hands after 20 years of free work, am I not entitled to a break??? I can’t fucking believe these people, who are always the first to grab at anything that’s free.

  • http://www.ariven.com/ Ariven

    Amen!

    I have NO problem with people making a profit.. I encourage it. I expect to pay for my entertainment because it has value for me… and the people who produce it have value for me, so I dont mind that they make money off of me. :)

  • http://www.joliebonnette.com/ Jolie B.

    AMEN!! I found your blog via Neil Gaiman on Twitter. I say “Rock ON!!!!” I’m a visual artist and I absolutely cannot stand it when people think I should give my art away instead of getting paid for my work like everyone else.

  • RocknJosie

    Amen!

    I’d agree that there’s a stigma to the pass the hat system, to a point. It’s not okay to put the hat out in front of you on the street, but it is okay to pass the hat in a theater watching a play. It’s all a matter of tricking your audience. If you ask them to pay, after giving them free admission to something they’re used to paying for, they are more likely to fork over a few bucks than if you’re on the street. Of course one requires a significant amount more start-up money than the other.

    The internet is still a medium wherein, people don’t expect to pay for things. Much like people see street performers the same way they see trees, people see music on the internet the same way they see text on the internet. So what you’re beating at is a change in the way people view the individuals putting art online. I don’t think we’re there yet, as a whole, obviously you’ve got people who get it ™ but as long as some people are willing to do a ton of work for free, it’s gonna be hard for people like you who realize the obvious flaws of the system.

  • Name

    AMEN!

  • http://twitter.com/blacksteve27 Stephen Kearse

    Keepin’ it real is always applauded. Good job!

  • Name

    AMEN! I wholeheartedly agree with you and I admire the heck out of you for standing up for what you believe and living your life to the fullest. You are awesome.

  • elliterate

    I love you being crass about it.

    Who are these people talking? Let them talk.

    Just do exactly what you do, because that’s why we love you.

  • Buzzum

    AMEN. Only a true artist would have the guts to say this.

  • Xenjn

    A-FUCKING-MEN. I don’t mind if you shamelessly ask me for money(nakedoptional…thoughpreferredXD) I will respond by shamelessly pulling out my wallet and gladly handing over every last dollar I have(Naked,ifyoupreferLOL)The way I see it? Every dollar I earn belongs to you. Why? Because you inspire me to move, to continue on with my life. I want to be a writer, I want it so bad it hurts. I never would’ve discovered that had it not been for you and your lyrics. So, DAMN STRAIGHT. I don’t mind giving you every dollar in my wallet. Because for every worthless, meaningless piece of paper I lose, I am payed back, with INTREST, by your wonderful music. And anyone who glares at me, and calls me stupid for it can suck my imaginary balls and piss off. They don’t understand. And no, I’m not kissing ass. XD It sounds like it, but I’m not! Really!;__; I love you, Amanda. …LOL~Xenjn

  • georgepanayotou

    My name is George Panayotou. Amanda, I nearly wept when I read this. Partly from shame at what I believe is a drive that pales in comparison to what I’ve read here. I’ve not been spit at or ridiculed (much) or hated on straight to my face; mainly because I haven’t put my face, both my actual and my figurative (as represented through my work) out there. I haven’t risked it. I suppose people think that if you have your own website or have cut a few albums (and snagged Neil Gaiman, no less) that life has just sort of handed these things to you without paying a price in blood or without at least some effort on the part of the artist to MAKE things move in their life by an almost superhuman surplus of energy, and (dare I say it?) faith. But those ‘closet artists’ are just closet believers, afraid to proselytize their good word to all who would hear. Is there not a kingdom or a king that rewards the faithful who are spit on, hated and who stand statuesque against the tides of scorn, eyes open and staring past the glint of passing cars filled with jeering faces, locked on the summit of one’s efforts? The only kingdom that has the power or authority to reward that I know of is the work itself. It’s not a noble statement, it’s an unjust thing, because at the end of the day, we have to eat and there we bring in money, which seems to turn everything around and upside down. But what can we do. Keep working at the job that is thankless, judged by great and small and disproportionate at best in its rewards. But let me coin a saying here: what is rewarded should be hoarded. That is, kept close to the heart and cherished and given back in kind when the chest is ready to burst at its throbbing seams. And whoever is lucky enough to hold one of those heated jewels might remember what it is like to receive when it is time for them to give back. Good luck. I’m but a poor knave but would like your friendship and a spare word on my own work if you can oblige me at: http://www.myspace.com/rolandseyre
    We support each other after all, no? I think after this, I’ll be more public and statuesque; thanks Amanda.

  • Mer

    (Sorry if my english sucks…)

    I honestly don’t see what’s the problem here, why would people critize what you’re doing. I’m a fan of yours, and I happily pay for your records, dvds and concerts… And I would also pay for a dress, of a prop from one of your videos, or whatever (you know, if I had the money :P). It makes me feel good that I know the money goes directly to you, because you’ve earned it!

    You sell, we buy. I don’t see anyone complaining about any other type of seller selling things to make money! You are an artist, of course, but you are making a living out of it… And it makes the fans happy, it makes you earn money… What’s the fucking problem?

    I don’t know what the hell it has to do with morals. I guess I just don’t get it XD

  • georgepanayotou

    My name is George Panayotou. Amanda, I nearly wept when I read this. Partly from shame at what I believe is a drive that pales in comparison to what I’ve read here. I’ve not been spit at or ridiculed (much) or hated on straight to my face; mainly because I haven’t put my face, both my actual and my figurative (as represented through my work) out there. I haven’t risked it. I suppose people think that if you have your own website or have cut a few albums (and snagged Neil Gaiman, no less) that life has just sort of handed these things to you without paying a price in blood or without at least some effort on the part of the artist to MAKE things move in their life by an almost superhuman surplus of energy, and (dare I say it?) faith. But those ‘closet artists’ are just closet believers, afraid to proselytize their good word to all who would hear. Is there not a kingdom or a king that rewards the faithful who are spit on, hated and who stand statuesque against the tides of scorn, eyes open and staring past the glint of passing cars filled with jeering faces, locked on the summit of one’s efforts? The only kingdom that has the power or authority to reward that I know of is the work itself. It’s not a noble statement, it’s an unjust thing, because at the end of the day, we have to eat and there we bring in money, which seems to turn everything around and upside down. But what can we do. Keep working at the job that is thankless, judged by great and small and disproportionate at best in its rewards. But let me coin a saying here: what is rewarded should be hoarded. That is, kept close to the heart and cherished and given back in kind when the chest is ready to burst at its throbbing seams. And whoever is lucky enough to hold one of those heated jewels might remember what it is like to receive when it is time for them to give back. Good luck. I’m but a poor knave but would like your friendship and a spare word on my own work if you can oblige me at: http://www.myspace.com/rolandseyre
    We support each other after all, no? I think after this, I’ll be more public and statuesque; thanks Amanda.

  • http://www.marquiadora.com/ John Tooker

    AAAAAAAAAmmmeeeeennnnn!!!

  • defiantlime

    you are an inspiration.
    i don’t understand why people get so angry about patronage. that’s what was going down in the renaissance. someone needs to bring that back.

    the music industry is a nightmare. it’s not about music anymore. it’s about image, what sells, and it is completely soulless.

    i am a college student/musician/artist, but i will always buy your music/sheet music/merch because you make great music. more importantly, your music has substance. i’ve seen you live twice and been blown away both times. also, you are doing something that needs to be done. it’s not going to be perfect, but mistakes are a part of progress.

  • Valarie

    AMEN!!!

  • theansweris42

    Goddamnit Amanda, I JUST…. FUCKING LOVE YOU.

    This is exactly my manifesto on art and music and money and FUCK, I wish I’d said it first, or as boldly as you have. Thanks. Blows my mind. I can’t wait for the whole industry to follow.

  • Evelyn

    A: Proud, strong, keen, unflappable, original, shrewd, bright, warm, loving, creative. And, my hero.
    Q: Who is Amanda Palmer?

  • http://baratunde.com baratunde

    amen

  • http://playfullibrarian.blogspot.com/ Librarian@Play

    Read Lewis Hyde’s book The Gift, if you haven’t already. It takes your argument to the Nth degree.

  • Name

    A-FUCKIN-MEN sister! I don’t think it’s shameful to hold out your hat at all. I agree very much that the middle man needs to be taken from the system. You are indeed paving the road, and I hope to pave the same into the animation “industry”. Your a true inspiration!

  • Ilan

    Yes, totally Amen. A lot is bandied about re: Street Performer Protocol when it comes to digital media, since the “product” is no longer held hostage until the money is paid: the performance, media, “content” is out there, and there is an implicit or explicit “ask” from the artist for compensation.

    I have been to your concerts. You’re god damned right it’s worth it.

  • chaynicole

    AMEN!!!

    i am a broke college student but i bought the LOFNOTC t-shirt, i bought the dvd, i have been (and will always come) to your shows, and i have bought countless other merch items.
    you are doing something amazing, amanda. it makes my heart sick to think that there are so many people who do not agree. you’re an inspiration, i think, to not only other artists out there, but to humanity as a whole – just by choosing to say “fuck this” and doing it your own way instead of following society’s “accepted” methods.

    good for you!!

    don’t stop. we will always be right behind you, supporting you every step of the way. we love you and your music and everything that you stand for.

    – Chay <3

  • http://www.twitter.com/ucsbrandon Brandon Fox

    Very well said, A. As a finance/Econ guy I love the direct exchange of music/art/etc for $$$. I love how technology seems to have us heading towards eliminating the useless, zero value added middle man. The useless intermediary that not only siphons off the profits going to the artist, but often diluted the quality/message/meaning of the art coming back at us that. (Often distorted by them to produce a product which they feel is more commercially viable.) I think this direct connection is the best for the artist and us as well.
    P.S. The finance part of me also says I’d keep specific dollar amounts on the DL. As this technology is evolving to artists, consumers, etc Uncle Sam is trying to figure out the evolution as well. They want to make sure they get theirs and keep everyone in line. I’m sure making an example of a high profile artists would help their cause. I’m sure we’d get some killer bluesy songs from you in the slammer, but Neil would miss you terribly! :)

  • robot_makes_music

    a-mucking-fen

  • berthablue

    Amanda, I totally agree! Thank you SO much for the webcasts, and I for one am glad to hear that you do well at them. I’m a grad student now and have negative money (aka massive debt), but after getting this damn degree I hope I can start giving back to awesome artists like you! (maybe in the not-so-far-off-future webcast) For now, I’m saving up in hopes of flying/hitchhiking/begging my way from Denver to the east coast to catch a few of your tour dates! You inspire me and bring me hope!

  • http://www.glassofwin.com/ Rachael

    I love this post! I am officially a fan now <3 Artists directly connecting with the fans by asking for their support and being upfront about their role in how money is earned & asked for is honest and refreshing. Take out the middlemen where you can do without! Awesome post.

  • PsychopathBunny

    You know what? I definitely agree with you in the new model for approaching the fans, to be able to make a living out of art withouth having to sell your soul to a record label, and despite it’s true that not everyone can do this; you rule for being able to do so!

  • jayded1

    I love you to death but I will play devil’s advocate on this. Most of your fans are in the position you use to be in. To us you making 10k for a webcast is ludicrous. Now after after making 10k from us you think your hard life before (which we still live) has somehow entitled you to now be greedy and expect more more more. No one expects you to work for free but throwing a small bone back now and then shows you appreciate your fans as much as they appreciate you.

    • insignifikunt

      Amanda throws bones back all the time. She meets EVERYONE after gigs that wait to meet her, allows them to take a photo and gives autographs. Amanda replies to fans on twitter and through other means unlike many other “famous” people out there and gives them that moment of feeling special.

      10k is a lot of money for doing very little, but Amanda paid a fuck load for WKAP and make no money from the sale of the album. Yes she made money through touring but very little when you compare her ticket prices to most touring artists these day…

      I get where you are coming from with the woe is me, I’m poor because I’m in the same position, but when I do have money and want to spend it on music, I’d prefer it to go straight the the artist. Plus I just dont agree with your claim that Amanda is just taking and not giving back because she does. Everytime you listen to her music or read her blog or watch her webcast you are looking for an emotional response and she is giving it to her. Why should that be free? 9 times out of 10 it is free! She does free uke gigs all the time for fuck sake and you don’t have to pay to watch a webcast, only if you buy something. Why should she give you a free dvd or free picture???

      • casket4mytears

        I know plenty of artists bigger and smaller than Amanda that go above and beyond with fans, who have no label/have been screwed by labels, who do not constantly blog about travelling here there and everywhere and then beg for money for leftover posters to make rent.

        The first auction I was down with; that was when the true scope of Roadrunner’s assinine behaviour was revealed and I firmly believe in supporting artists and doing so as directly as possible. I threw in $10 I NEEDED to eat for the Danger Ensemble. I went without food to show appreciation for what they gave. I fully appreciate Amanda’s level of interaction.

        That said, the multiple auctions scattered between accounts of travel and fun and retreats that I and many of her fans could never afford, especially if our rent was going unpaid as a result, only to run more auctions as ‘necessary’… Well, frankly, what is she doing in Europe if her rent’s not paid? You follow me?

        I think the idea of paying artists directly is key to the future of this business. I think selling off costumes from video shoots for cash is fine (if you’re going to handle the auctions properly – things are STILL really haphazard and “um er uh I guess it’s closed”). I actually suggested AGES ago that to save costs on travel and venues that, say, once a month, Amanda host paid webcam concerts. I for one would happily Paypal $15 to watch Amanda play an hour set. What would that cost her? It could be epic.

        It’s the attitude that is making me unfollow Amanda. It’s the entitlement to us throwing more and more cash just because that is leaving a sour taste in people’s mouths. Amanda USED to seem gracious. Not so much now. So many fans got screwed by the presale for WKAP. The BPAL thing just went to shit. The last straw for me is this post beginning with two dear friends of Amanda raising the thought that “Hey, Amanda, you know, people are starting to talk…” and rather than approach the subject here with, “You know, I can see why you may see it that way, BUT lemme break it down”, she gets on a soapbox and insists it’s fear.

        Please. I’ve preordered indie CDs to finance their pressing. I am a huge supporter of War Child Canada’s Busking For Change event and Toronto’s annual Buskerfest. I have no fear in supporting an artist directly; I think Amanda fucked up large even signing to a label at all TBH (did she even READ Confessions of a Record Producer?).
        It’s not fear; it’s nausea at the sheer gall of ignoring people like Beth and being stubborn and entitled.

        So no, I won’t RT. I won’t even follow anymore. As with Howie Day, who lost my respect after shitting on fans in several ways, I will withdraw now. This post is the sort of ego trip that Amanda used to rail against.

        • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

          “Well, frankly, what is she doing in Europe if her rent’s not paid?”

          Performing, making money, and trying to pay her rent. (Actually, as far as I can tell, trying to dig herself out of the hole that making WKAP threw her in.) But if part of being in Europe and performing means taking a few days out for fun here and there, more power to her. If I was in Europe, I’d do it too, and I don’t know anyone who /wouldn’t/. I know people who /say/ they wouldn’t, because it’s incredibly easy to have a more-ethical-than-thou stance when you’re not faced with the circumstances, but seriously- if an opportunity like that happens, who wouldn’t jump on it?

          What /else/ would she be doing in Europe if her rent’s not paid? She has fans there, too, willing to come to concerts and contribute directly to her. What do you feel she /should/ be doing? Touring, performing, getting out of the studio and interacting with the people that love or even just like her music is all part of being a successful musician, and that’s where it seems she’s headed. Would you prefer she quit all of this, go find a receptionist’s job until she’s managed to pay herself out of debt, and then try to force her way back into a field that’ll have forgotten about her by then? It’ll never happen. She’ll never make the money, in the current day-to-day workforce, to do that.

          So yes: signing with a label was probably a mistake, but it was and is ‘the way things are done’ and in an initial struggle for legitimacy as an artist, I imagine it’s what most people strive for, just because that’s the case. So it was a mistake. She’s figured that out and is trying to resolve it and move on.

          It’ll take a lot of money to do that. She has a significant fan base willing to help her achieve this goal. Her methods aren’t always demure and understated, but that’s not in any way, shape or form who Amanda is or how she interacts with people. Nor should she.

          Not everyone places value on what she offers. Not everyone agrees with how she offers it. That’s fine: they’re not required to cough up, or even RT or follow.

          This is not the usual model. It’s not a /music/ model, which is I think where the friction emerges. It’s a model taken, as she said in her blog post, directly from street theater and performance art, applied to an industry that has atrophied on its current methods.

          She admitted she’s making mistakes with it. There will be growing pains. The model will change and adapt to both Amanda’s needs and her fans’ reactions. The cognitive dissonance between the expected ideal of shelling out for a CD from a label/tickets-and-merch from Ticketmaster and third-party merchandisers and paying a performer directly for not just music and concerts but closer interaction- that’ll fade as the idea catches on. And I think it /will/ catch on, Amanda’s occasionally-abrasive tone notwithstanding.

        • insignifikunt

          You think Amanda is travelling here there and everywhere for a holiday? I doubt it. She works wherever she goes and a lot of the time FOR FREE! The day after she flew into Oz in Feb when she was meant to be having a few days break to recover from jet lag, she held a FREE slumber party. During the day in various places that only had 18+ gigs she did FREE uke gatherings. Yes she asked for donations but she didn’t demand them.

          Her job REQUIRES travel and travel is NOT CHEAP! You are criticsising her for blogging about her travels as though she is boasting, but really isn’t she just trying to keep in touch with fans the way she always has by blogging. The only time I know of that she actually did holiday was for like a week with Neil and his daughter a couple of months ago.

          Do you think when she was in scotland she was just hanging out? Again I think work was at the core of why she was there! Even if she was just hanging out why shouldn’t she every now and then. Unlike most people she doesn’t work a 5 day week and have a weekend off, so getting a couple of days off here and there is essential. How else can creativity flourish?

          “What is she doing in europe if her rent is unpaid…?”

          WORKING to pay her rent. Do you have any idea how much it cost to make an album? Amanda paid for a lot of it and RR didn’t promote it. The albums that actually were sold Amanda made $0 on so she auctions shit off to supplement her income which unless she is CONSTANTLY gigging is not solid! I don’t hear ANY DD songs or AFP songs in TV, movies ads etc so she isn’t making much on publishing. ALL her income is live shows and buying from her webstore so why are you so pissed that she is trying to make a little more to pay her debt back?

          In regards to the auctions, Amanda has admitted that they haven’t quite mastered it yet, that it’s all an experiment so so fucking what if they say well erm I guess that’s closed! Why be so formal about it? It’s Amanda fucking Palmer for fuck sake in random peoples apartments, not a professional auction house!

          I agree that she should do web cast gigs and charge $15 but then you’ll have another load of whingers complaining that they can’t afford it. At least you can watch the webcast auctions for free now and only donate or bid IF YOU WANT TO!

          I don’t think Amanda is asking people to throw more and mroe money in. I think she is grateful to those who have and is trying to encourage those who haven’t to support her. If they take from her, they should give something back.

          That is so fucking slack to go on aobut the presale and BPAL shit. The presale was not their fault and the BPAL shit was also sorted. Beth etc put in HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS trying to fix that presale crap. You I think are the one with entitlement issues.

          I also don’t think it’s amanda getting on her soap box, I think it’s Amanda sticking up for what she believes in, maybe Jason and Beth don’t share her views but so what, this is Amanda’s blog, not theirs.

          If Amanda was a millionaire living it up in some fancy mansion some where then maybe I’d agree with you, but for the amount of work she puts into her career and what little return she has gotten, I think she still deserves some support.

          Oh and what performer out there doesn’t have ego? Its essential for that sort of career!

      • Shaunx

        HAHAHAHAHA. Oh she ‘gives back’ by making people feel special with her presence? Talk about the royalty kick she’s been on since splitting up with Brian. She stands around and signs things for hours because all of that attention makes HER feel special. It’s great that those of us in line get something out of it too, but don’t pretend like her motives don’t have anything to do with getting her own attention-high. She’s the queen. We’re the peasants. And we’re supposed to send her our hard earned money for the privilege of having her lick a postcard. Give me a break. Make some more music and I’ll buy that. Without the music she’s just a self-obsessed famewhore – a paris hilton with less shame, because at least paris doesn’t pretend to be a struggling artist and play off the sympathy of fans.

        How much are you getting paid by the way? In the interest of full disclosure, you should really state your own financial stake in this discussion instead of posing like you’re just one of us, an interested fan with no financial interest in selling these begathons to the Dolls fanbase. Right. ::rolls eyes emoticon::

        • Guest

          God, you sound like such an indie kid.

      • Guest

        Not true. She recently had a troupe of burlesque dancers open for her, for FREE. All they asked was to meet the band after. Guess what? Band couldn’t be bothered.

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      Amanda made 10k on a webcast. So what? She made that in reasonable, small, /voluntarily given/ amounts from fans who felt that what they gave was appropriate to what they received.

      Amanda passes the hat at performances. So what? She’s /performing/. Yes, fans pay to get into the venue to see her, but a solid chunk of that goes to the venue, reducing her income (reasonably, to be sure, because the venue has expenses to meet as well, but the point remains that way less than the $20 someone pays to see her perform actually goes into her pocket). Beyond that, Amanda’s performances are incredibly warm, interactive experiences, in which not only does she get appreciation from the fans but the fans get significant appreciation from her. That’s a hell of a bone, right there.

      I don’t think any of this means she’s greedy. I think it means she’s making a living off her skills and talents via a method that, far from being new, is really far older than the current model incorporating several levels of middle-men. Artists receiving patronage directly from those who appreciate their art is basic. The romantic ideal of the /starving/ artist is just stupid.

      • insignifikunt

        I whole heartedly agree Miiru! ;-)

        • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

          Glad to hear it. :)

  • http://naturallydotty.wordpress.com Dragonsally

    Amen a million times. I LOVE that I can interact directly with you, and buy things directly from you and that you come from a street performance background, and all that means. Don’t change -its what makes you vibrant and amazing.

  • Name

    Amen.

  • http://strawberriesandink.blogspot.com/ jessirwin

    a-fucking-men sister.

    i first heard you in a dresden dolls vid on a tiny tv in a tiny restaurant in pisa, italy. (which was a weird, wierd happenstance cause i live in minnesota.) i promptly stole every track on the album, but when i had money i bought it. and all your other cds. and then i bought them for friends. and then i bought concert tickets. i made a point to support you because i wanted more, and i wish more people felt that way. we need you to keep experimenting, to break new ground and find new paths. i don’t agree with everything you say, and you piss me off sometimes. but i love what you’re trying to do, and i will continue to follow your career and support you. art dies without experimentation.

    rock on. we love you. :)

  • srsmith

    Amen! The sense of entitlement coming from the non-contributing masses lately is grating on my nerves. Everyone seems to want everything for nothing, and they raise bloody hell whenever anyone producing anything of value asks for any small amount of compensation in return. Quite often these are the same people who don’t think twice about spending $5 for a cup of coffee every day, but balk at spending $10 on an album they’ll listen to for years.

  • zoembie

    Amen. There should be no shame in asking money for what you do. And there is no shame in paying for it. When the man with the flute in the train station makes the end of my long evening commute better, I give him a dollar. When I find something that soothes my soul or incites me, it’s worth my money. And it *doesn’t matter* how much money has already been paid, given, collected. ‘cos that isn’t my business.

    Business is business, and business runs in the family, because it feeds the art. Thanks for writing this – it makes me feel better about the “selling out” aspect of selling art.

  • dietmar

    Hey, I like what you do …. so I am willing to pay you for doing it rather directly then through any bloodsucking middlemen. One day I might no longer like what you are doing, so I will stop paying for it …. that’s choice, that’s freedom !! Keep on doing it …. you are doing great !!!

  • sabineheusler

    yes Amanda amen fuckin’ AMEN!!!!! Im so tired of people still being under the impression that music and art is not ‘work’…. I left my corporate ‘job’ a year ago to pursue music and art to make my living and actually live a life and not use up all my energy simply making money to survive but actually ‘live’ and I’ve worked harder at this than anything I’ve ever done! being an indie artist means we need to figure out new and creative ways to make a living… and I too am not ashamed to take money for giving something beautiful to someone who walks away with a tear or a smile because they were moved by my creativity! and I also as an indie musician artist watch you Amanda Palmer and watch what you do, how you do it and you inspire me to keep going, to keep being independent and real and honest about what I do… so thank you AND fucking AMEN!!! :) mucho love always! sabine (ArtemesiaBlack) xxx

  • songbeach

    Artists need money. There is no doubt about that. I am majoring in the music business. I understand that. I download music, yes. If I like the cd, i will buy it. If not, I delete it. I travel across the country for bands, since bands ignore Memphis and go to Nashville. I’d rather go to the show directly and pay the artist and see them perform live. I love music. I don’t want it to see it going to messed up record companies who could care less about the artists, that is why I am majoring in the music business, to stop that. I am coming to see you in Knoxville, Amanda, and can’t wait until the show!Keep up the good work!

  • Ryan_Anas

    Amen! A million times amen. You should never be ashamed to ask for money directly from the fans of your art, nor should you be ashamed to tell people how supportive your fans have been. I can understand where the heat about money is coming from. Money is a terrible thing. People who don’t have it feel left out of the world, and of course this is going to translate to their favorite artists. All of this is new, and you are trying to spread the word about what is being accomplished here in terms of the new system of fan to artist support. Critics are probably confusing your excitement and desire to share what you have learned with arrogance or pride.

    You have never charged a “ticket fee” to your webcasts, and are sensitive to the cans and cannots of your fan base. You praise fans for supporting you in other ways besides direct funding (artwork, food, lodging) and the door is always open. You provide your fans with more entertainment and going ons off the bill than one can keep up with. Honestly, being a fan of yours is like a year around Christmas. I know this is a result of the efforts of many beautiful people, and it’s a sin that the conventional systems in place are not willing to support them as well. But the bottom line remains that i you have the means, and the art is improving your life, cough it up!

    I think as long as you continue to make it clear that any level of support matters, even if you cannot afford to donate money, as long as it comes from the heart and really reflects what you are willing to sacrifice to the lifetime of devotion this individual has placed into the art that you are looking to touch your soul. It’s a drop or two of wax to keep that candle burning for the next person coming along who desperately needs some light.

    Just thinking of the existence of someone like you in this world brings me joy. And from you, I have found so many other artists and beautiful minds that create this joy in me as well. This life is a root infested, rocky soil, which we must churn everyday without rest. But artists are flowers. If we take th time to water them, care for them, and let their roots take hold, life is a beautiful garden. If we cut a flower from a tree, stick it in a vase, well, it’ll look nice for a few days, I guess. But it wont be a part of your life. It wont touch you on the same level. And hell, if supporting a force that strong in this world is shameful, slap a fucking dunce cap on my head and sit me in the corner.

    Hearts and Goats for you!

  • Samantha

    “Arrogance: overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors”

    The only problem I have with this whole debacle is the arrogance you show your fans about the money that you are making. I’ve been a fan of you and the Dresden Dolls for years now (and have contributed my fair share of money to your cause), and recently I feel like all that matters to you is money, and how much money you can get people to give you. While this is all fine and dandy, I fear that the your artistry is being lost behind all the talk of money, not to mention that, at times, you seem to guilt your fans into throwing money your direction.

    At first, I loved this idea that I, personally, could make a difference in your life, and at the same time screw the music industry (because we all know that they are Only in it for the money). Now, I still love the original idea, but the practice put forth by you, Amanda, I don’t love quite so much. I realize that as a fan, I’m probably in the minority, but I just wanted these thoughts to be out there as you seem open to criticism and ideas.

    I understand that you are proud of your work and achievements, but all of this constant bragging and carrying on about how you are having your fans support you makes you seem like a princess and the fans are your common peasants that are required to pay taxes in your kingdom. You are beginning to make me feel inferior, like a mere commoner, when at first I became a fan, you made me feel like royalty.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate to criticize you, and I think it’s wonderful that you are making a living doing what you love, but it feels wrong to me, a fan, that at the end of the day, I feel guilty for not just handing over my hard earned money. Where has the art gone? It almost seems to me as if you no longer feel you truly have to make art, because you have become the art.

    There are no hard feelings intended with this, I just felt the need to add my two cents after reading this blog entry.

    Thank you, Amanda. I hope this adds a new perspective to the system.

    Good luck.

    • supertabi

      I believe that’s why most artists use the middle man, so they can innocently pretend all they care about is the art, while someone else does the bussiness. It makes them look good in their fans eyes. Amanda is taking a risk here because this is a tricky issue. The concept of managing your own money and putting out the hat sounds absolutely amazing to me intellectually, but at the same time I can’t help but relating to what you said in your comment. No matter how much I love her music, no matter how much I do think she deserves what she earns, something changes emotionally. It makes me feel like something is interfering. Like if I go to see one of her shows I won’t be able to relax as much because I’ll look at her and feel guilty, even if I contribute. I wish I didn’t feel like this. I’m with Amanda on this, and I really hope things work out. I admire her for trying something nobody has done in a big scale, and for always being honest. I hope that is never lost.

    • insignifikunt

      If you’ve ever spent money on amanda you have no reason to feel guilty and she has said that a million times. Why the fuck do you think she has said many times at gigs and shit to download her album for free so you can have her music, but at least pay to see a live show or buy merch. not once has amanda said you MUST give me your money, she just says she’s not afraid to ask for it.

  • Trina

    Afuckinmen. Seriously. If it helps keep the music coming, if it helps you to keep going, it’s what matters. People take it for granted, they think musicians who get a little notoriety are making big money, but it’s not necessarily true. And even if they are why shouldn’t we want to support them to the best of our abilities? If we were in their shoes wouldn’t we want them to know we care enough to keep supporting them?

    Ask all you’d like. Your music is more meaningful than anyone’s has ever been to me. Every word holds meaning, you can tell you put your heart into it and you deserve every cent you get.

  • http://elsiejean.com/ Elsie

    Amen!!! :D

  • Jamie

    Keep doing what you do, Amanda! I am happy to give money in the name of art or a good cause, and I think that buying your record and book fall under BOTH categories. :)

  • http://www.suedemonkey.blogspot.com/ suede

    you have simplified the whole equation! amen to that!

  • madove

    Since I’ve started listening to music as a teenager and painfully trying to get together the money to buy a new CD/artwork, I have craved to give this precious money to the person who touched my heart (the musician, writer, sometimes the cover designer, too). And for how much I understand that the record business and manager system has its use and sense sometimes, I’ve always hated the idea that something that I could easily copy gratis from a friend or download from dark corners of the internet, but that I buy because I want to SUPPORT THE ARTIST will give the artist 50ct while 15$ will get lost on the way. I just LOVE to give you my money directly for all the fun, feelings, tears and joy you are giving me, and I am grateful that you find ways to come and ask it. This is the future.
    And if you manage to get really rich that way: A lot of people are getting rich with very very dirty hands or by funny tricks on marketing and clever contracts. If I see one day my AFP on her own yacht with a cocktail in her hand, earned by giving your art and so much of yourself to the world, it will just feel right.

  • Mandaz087

    “i ENJOY being the slightly crass, outspoken, crazy-(naked?)-chick-on-a-soapbox holding out a ukulele case of crumpled dollars asking for your money so that someone else a few steps behind me, perhaps some artist of shy and understated temperament, can feel better and maybe a little less nervous when they quietly step up and hold out their hat, fully clothed.”

    its funny because i know that you meant for this to be solely related to the music industry and all that jazz, but it really applies to every aspect of what you’ve done for so many people from my point of view. by just being the completely awesome person that you are, you have opened so many people’s eyes to see that being yourself (no matter how inherently fucked up that self IS) is okay and even maybe a good thing.

    and i want to thank you for that. it sounds kind of lame to say it like this, as a blog comment, but you really have saved me, and inspired me.

    and i know that it has to get old to have people constantly harass you with their issues (similar to the scene from jesus christ superstar when he gets bombarded by a mob of lepers…not to be offensive but i often see you this way…as a person who people flock to and maybe you just think sometimes, ‘shit maybe there’s too little of me to go around…’) so thank you for being the kind of person that i can relate to.

    thank you for being the type of person that i can respect and look up to.

    thank you for digging deep into yourself even when things dont make sense and for still reaching out.

    and i know that you hear this all of the time…but i think that its really important to tell people when theyve made a drastic impact on your life, and youve done that for me. so thank you.

    in all of the chaos of the world at hand it is crucial to recognize heroes and hold on to them, especially because they seem to be so few and far between.

    so even though i am small and insignificant, i just want to add my thanks to the pile that is growing on your desktop. especially if today proves to be one of the times that maybe you need to hear it. xx.

  • http://trixiedarko.weebly.com/ trixie

    another A-FUCKING-MEN to that!!!!

  • eric

    You write with a switchblade.

    Do your fingers bleed?

  • Kristen

    Many many kudos, Ms. Palmer! I love seeing this from a musician’s perspective, because as an illustration student, I’ve come across the same issue. Often, people don’t seem to view art as something worth paying for– but they want it anyway. I don’t get the logic: you wouldn’t ask a plumber to fix your sink for free, right? I fail to understand how a career in rote paper-shuffling, say, is perceived as somehow more worthy of income than the career of someone who dedicates their entire life to a creative process that may or may not ever pay the bills. Nobody begrudges a office worker or bus driver or teacher their income, hopefully. So why shouldn’t artists, visual or performing or musical, be paid fairly for their work? Just because you’re actually pursuing something you love doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to make a living off it. Why is it okay for us to talk about how much money athletes and actors make, but not musicians?

    I think more artists should be this up front about money– with times as they are and people pinching pennies, it’s important for people to know just what they’re supporting and how their dollar does make a difference. It encourages me to see you and Patrick Wolf becoming quite vocal about this– I do think it will pave the way for other artists in the future. We are all each other’s best patrons; after all, when you go to a show or buy a CD or a painting, it doesn’t only benefit you and the artist, it benefits everyone else who loves the artist’s work. Let’s keep each other afloat, yeah? ;)

  • Name

    Two weeks ago, I went to see a band I really, really like. It was a club show, so $24.00 for the ticket. I was ok with that. By the time Ticketmaster and AEG finished raping me with fees, the ticket was $40+. Oh, and parking. Another $13 for the parking. Would I have gladly handed you $24 if you were the one I was seeing onstage? No. I would have been honored, thrilled and pleased to hand you all freaking $53 because all of it would have gone to you, the artist. Not Ticketmaster, not AEG. Not Parking Lots R Us.

    Yes, things need to change.

    So be it.

    Kind regards.

  • calaverajoe

    a-fucking-men sister

    And I’ll admit it. My ass torrents music (I have a very skilled ass). The key is that the stuff I /keep/ I go buy, whether pressed in plastic or digitally though legit means. The stuff that I don’t like? I delete. I think that’s the rub. I’ve gone to a couple “free” shows to. If I stay, I make sure to pass along some nickels for the trouble. If I don’t dig it enough to cough up a few bucks? I leave. If I still stay, I at least buy a few drinks so the house will be willing to have the performer back again, cause hey, the house sold a buncha drinks.

    This isn’t that hard of a concept, is it?

  • Andrew S. Balfour

    Hear, hear.

  • Karen Stone

    Amen you good woman! I work as a healer and get this sort of shit all the time. Oh you shouldn’t charge for this, reiki should be free, you can’t ask for money for that. well here’s the news flash, I work hard, I do a good job and I had to pay to learn this stuff. If you want free healing on someone’s sofa in the lounge room, go for it! If you want to come to my place of work and participate in what I do for a living then yes you will have to pay.
    What you say about breaking ground for others is so true as well. You are a heroine! If we have gifts we should be able to use them and make a living from them, end of story.
    phew I feel better now! BTW to all those healing should be free types, by tithing my own income (and holding out my grubby little hands for more), I raised enough money to build a small hospital for the nomads in the Kokonor region of Tibet.

    big love
    Karen

  • http://blog.kittiekat.org MistrsEvilKitten

    I am very surprised that people would be complaining about your requests for money going to you. I was more than happy to help support you, and that is why I didn’t just buy your DVD from your site for myself, but I bought 3 more for my friends. Also, I recently went into a music store and checked out the WKAP music book… It was beautiful and I wanted it BAD… but I didn’t buy it. You know why? I wanted to buy it from your site so that the money would go to you. I love supporting you because I know you will NOT disappoint. What you put out is of the utmost quality and I am thrilled every time. I am not one to be swayed into liking something just because I already like the artist… I can honestly say your music, DVD, WKAP book, videos, music books, etc. are all extremely impressive and worth supporting in the best way possible! And there is no reason that YOU, a chill-inducingly amazing artist, should be struggling when the Hannah Montanas, Katy Perrys, and the like are living it up. They should rot!

  • http://aviewbeyondwords.blogspot.com/ Karin

    AMEN!! Love your straight forward and direct approach to this subject! As artists, we have to be our own advocates, and there should be no no shame in demanding what we are worth. The ‘starving artist’ archetype is a cliché – if we believe in ourselves and what we are doing, then we ought to believe it is of value in the way this society reflects value – $$!!

  • Timbo

    Wait wait wait… you guys were auctioning dates with holly and I didn’t know? Damnit.

  • Timbo

    Oh and as for paying an artist directly I don’t understand how people can’t be for it. There is a huge benefit to the fans that perhaps is being over looked. Artists will actually have perform well!! Amanda is awesome, it’s more then just music with her but sometimes I’ve gone to see a band and walked away disapointed. People can say that smaller a smaller audience helps but I’ve been to plenty of festivals where bands have come out onto the main stage and still connected with the audience. It’s the band or artist not the size of the audience in my opinion. If that audience is paying the band then it follows that their “paycheck” will be relative to their performance. Yay for enjoying every gig I go to!

  • Heather

    AFP, you provide me with so much more than music. You provide inspiration, joy, adrenaline, balls, and sometimes just the thing I need to keep on chugging away at this thing called life. How could anyone go to an AFP concert/event/ninja gathering and not put a few dollars in your jar? It is my way of saying thank you.

  • hepkitten

    A-FUCKING-men. In no other line of work is it considered okay for people to debate the philosophical merits of you getting paid. Gah.

    One thing that might help people wrap their heads around this is a breakdown of just how much it costs to be a working artist and get your stuff out there. (For instance, I remember reading that WKAP put you deep in the hole financially–which is fucking insane, especially for that masterwork–but others might not realize the severity of the situation.) I’m not saying that you have to justify yourself to these people in ANY way, but the creative lifestyle is so far out of the paradigm of many that a little clarification would allow them to get why fan-based support is more and more necessary these days.

    Regardless, keep on doing what you do. (Oh, yeah, and come to Ohio sometime so I can put money in your tip jar in person!)

  • thejeefish

    Amanda…as a fellow musician who is lost, confused, completely fucked over, and overall mopey…this totally made my day. I may never be as awesome sauce as you are. But at least I know this is still the right thing to do.

  • CocoMach

    Amen.

  • welshboy69

    As far as I can see Amanda, it stems from fear. You are chartering uncharted territories, you’re pioneering and the nay-sayers don’t understand.

    A true fan, and you seem to have many, are more than happy to support the artist direct as they know that the artist is the main beneficiary. And this is were the problems most likely starts.

    Under the normal ‘rules of purchase’ we don’t see the production process, we don’t see the middle-man etc… with you, we see everything. Hmmmm… let me try and explain that more clearly. I’ve just purchased the new Newton Faulkner from HMV. I went into the shop, handed over my card and walked away with a shiny CD. I didn’t see Newton writing the songs, fine-tuning the songs, making a video, I didn’t know about the time lines and the CD production process and the artwork discussions for the sleeve, I didn’t see the CD being shipped from the manufacturer to the warehouse and then onto HMV. I had no connection.

    With you Amanda, I do. I knew a DVD was coming. I even knew when two young ladies (can’t remember their names, sorry) dropped the DVDs around to the flat you were staying in Camden. I got to witness more.

    As I’ve witnessed more, I have more of an emotional commitment – it is this that scares people. People aren’t used to ‘sellers’ having an emotional connection to their ‘buyers’. We’re used to an unemotional purchase. There are of course exceptions to this.

    Please don’t stop innovating.

  • Dave Mac

    AMEN!

    And excuse me for missing something during the last auction, was Holly really offering THAT on the dates, no, I didn’t think so! Gotta love people and their hyperbole-for-effect!

    Let me know when your next in Florida, would love to attempt to tip your hat to the positive!

    ^.^

  • Ryan

    Money made off of true uncompromised creative vision, or in the pursuit of furthering and funding that vision, is money honestly earned. Money made off of the creation of a product, designed to be sold and consumed for a profit, is sickening. Personally I think your efforts fall into the former category, and I think that you attempts to branch out, experiment with your medium and connect with your audience are commendable.
    Whenever I do something creative, I like to think of what Genesis P-Orridge said about marketing “You should always aim to be as skillful as the most professional of government agencies. The way you live, structure, conceive and market what you do should be as well thought out as a government coup. It’s a campaign, it has nothing to do with art.” Somewhat ironically, TG made selling themselves without selling out an art form. If you are searching for ideas about how to remain autonomous as a creative force and still make money, look no further then what TG did with Industrial Records. They got too successful. Best wishes in your future endeavors.

  • Dave Mac

    PS – It’s been an absolute joy following your exploits on twitterYouTube/MySpace/blog.amandapalmer.net! I’m waiting patiently for the next installment, oh, I hear a bird tweeting, could it be?… ^.^

  • http://janlindgren.se/ Janne

    Amen

  • Traveler64

    Well said. Indeed. There’s no free lunch.

  • Shiny

    afp…

    i think you are definately entitled to ask for money.

    i will continue to be inspired by your music, and when i buy from post war trade, and the webstore, it makes me happy that you will recieve profit because of it. :)

  • Cosh

    I don’t know what the big deal is. You’re not forcing anyone to pay money. It’s everyone’s choice. All artists depend on their fans for income. Maybe people should learn to… ya know… calm down.

  • http://metromani.blogg.se/ felis

    a to the men. the same people who are bitching now are the same ones that bitch about the middlemen. the thing they don’t want to admit is that they don’t care about the relationship between the artist and the audience – they just want shit for free. i was gonna say that you shouldn’t care about them but you know that already. just keep doing what you’re doing. crass is the new black.

    and i love you for thinking about those next in line. kudos for being fucking awesome.

  • Name

    Gosh $740 for a date with Holly was a bargain!

  • Kiki

    Fuckin’ amen and then some

  • Andy

    The artist doesn’t say ‘Thank You’ in any meaningful way.
    The money given to the artist is the fan saying ‘Thank You’ to the artist. The artist just has to require them to do so. Like a parent temporarily refusing to hand over an ice-cream to the child… “What do you say..?”

  • kandigurl

    You are my hero.

  • tristanbethe

    The irony is that your “leave a tip” link does not work for me in firefox. Perhaps the default popup blocker? I rather have you making new albums than standing very very still, that’s not very particle ;)

  • mrchainsaw

    =)

  • insignifikunt

    Amen

    Question though, how can anyone bitch about you holding a webcast??? It’s free to watch and only costs if you busy something… Complete tossers if you ask me…

  • A Six-foot Pole

    Amen Amanda.
    What the fuck is these people’s problem? It’s not like a performer asking for money is sticking a knife to their audience throats. I don’t want a photo or can’t afford a date with Holly – I don’t pay. It’s as simple as that.
    Now, one could probably be a little (or maybe very) unhappy if a show they paid for (to a middleman, so what?) turned into a fulltime sale, but as long as you do it with style you’ll have your fans money, and it’s Good.

    [on a not-totally-unrelated note, DVD shipping to Europe costing twice as much as the disk itself? meh]

  • jimgoldstein

    Fucking Amen! I’ve passed this on to my Twitter followers who are photographers. Thanks for saying what needs to be said.

    Jim (@jimgoldstein)

  • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

    “you need to actually feed your audience, give them THAT THING that they CANNOT get from the internet. the feeling of being real, vital, in a room with people, alive, connected.”

    I was at the last concert in Carrboro, NC, and that’s /exactly/ what I got that night. It was electrifying. I wasn’t sitting in a chair watching someone perform as though there was a glass wall between us; I felt part of something bigger, something inclusive that meant that I got to give something to the show as well as receive. That’s important. I got to sing along, not just like you do in the car where nobody can hear you, but /really sing along/, feeling as though my voice was part of the performance. I got to talk and throw out ideas, and everyone around me did the same thing, and it was gorgeous. It was organic and a little messy and vibrantly alive, and it is, to date, my favourite concert, ever.

    That’s important. And if having that experience means showing my appreciation directly in the form of cash handed out, then I’ll do it. It’s more than a fair trade.

  • Casey

    A-fucking-men! I’d much rather give my money to you – who created the art – than the money hungry corporations who bring no joy whatsoever into the world!!

  • rhyskka

    I love it that you are honest.
    By the way, I don’t seem to understand the system in whole yet. Where do the money one paid for a wkap cd at the gig go? To you or to your label?

  • cesy_dw

    Yes.

  • http://www.itisacircle.com/ Bryn Colvin

    Here’s to honourable relationship and the breaking of inherently wrong systems. Holding out the hat is terrifying, and wonderful, and powerful in so many ways. I have no objection to giving stuff away, and not giving stuff away – should be for the artist to decide what makes sense in the context of what they want/need to achieve.

  • http://spydon.wordpress.com/ Lukas

    Finnaly someone that has thought about this!
    Awesome post.

  • dawn

    I have no idea what the problem could possibly be? It’s your work, sell it. Everyone in this world has different talents, and they use them to make money, why should you be different? You clearly have an artistic talent, as well as pragmatic skills – bravo! I’m not familiar with your work, but I keep stumbling upon you via following Neil Gaiman on Twitter, I saw the webcast, and although not knowing you I wasn’t in a position to buy anything, I was still a little bit tempted. It was a fun and engaging experience, as a music fan in general, if I was able to engage with my favourite artists in such a way, I would definitely take part. It was fun and upfront, and I don’t see how there can be anything wrong with that. It seems quite funny to see that most people on here are students, or people that don’t have much money, maybe the only the people who have a problem with it are the big rich guns who feel threatened. AMEN!

  • Ellie

    Go Amanda. Eff the haters.

    I like the idea of directly giving you my money. I would directly give you my money if…well, I actually had any money (not poor student, or poor artist, just poor). I did buy a signed copy of your CD while you were performing at the Big Red Door in Edinburgh (I was the one telling my friend off for yelling at you that your crap while getting bad looks from everyone else for also hugging his arm), but I don’t know if that went to you or a record company and I also realised after I probably paid less for it there than I would have done had I wandered to HMV the day later and paid for it unsigned.

    And, to be honest, you’re giving people something for their money and making them feel part of it. Laying down art in front of them and telling them they can take a piece home.

    One thing I hate about other performers is when they’re performing they have to put on some 2D persona of themselves and you don’t do that, you’re yourself and beautifully unafraid of that. You actually stand there feeling like your getting to know someone.

  • Noodles

    Amen!

    That is all.

  • jastith

    This is just my opinion and we all know that opinions are like toilet paper. Still, I read this and wanted to respond.

    There is nothing quite as awesome as being able to participate in the creation of something larger than ourselves, and I nearly always get that moment at a show. I buy CDs at shows, both because I prefer physical formats and because I know that artists get more from those sales than the ones in Walmart. (Or perhaps, artists get the same amount but I’m still paying slightly less and Walmart isn’t getting anything.) If I could give the $10, $15, $20 etc. that I pay now to see a show directly to those artists, I don’t mind doing that. Heck, I spend more than that now and they see far less because of ticketmaster. I bought a ticket to a show last week. I paid 60% of the ticket price to Ticketmaster in taxes and fees. I can’t be the only person who thinks that’s ridiculous. Good on you Amanda, and, if you ever manage to wander by my neck of the woods, I’d be happy to toss that money into your uke case. :D

  • http://www.drw-images.co.uk drwimages

    to quote Mr X.. “By Any Means Necessary” do what you need to so you can keep Living and Loving your music for every one person who moans there will be 100 who will support you
    and at the end of the day you closer to your fans than any of the bigger artists( coldplay u2 and all the others)
    and they have to live with the lack of respect from there fans .. you don’t your true fans will back you 100% 100% of the time!

  • andrewjack

    Amen.

    There seems to a weird perception about art, that somehow the world could do without it and that artists are just playing around. I don;t think people realise just how grim a world without art, music and literature would be. Artists deseve more that we can give them, so throwing someone a couple of bucks for making my world a brighter place doesn;t seem like such a stretch.

  • Kae

    See, I don’t see it as crass, but that might be because I am similarly from a street performance background. Not nearly so long as you did, but I used to busk in Central Park, singing songs from various musicals and by various broadway artists to supplement my crappy income. There was a period of about four months when I was living entirely on the money I scrimped up from busking. I would stand in my spot in the park and sing until my voice gave out or I got too cold to hold a note, and I’d proudly lay my hat out in front of me.

    The only difference with this is that you’re the busker everyone knows, who doesn’t have to stand on the street corner anymore because there are enough people that she doesn’t have to be constantly trying to goad passing tourists into handing over a couple dollars to the curiosity that is you. In the end, though, every single artist out there – musician, painter, writer, actor, whatever – has a hat out in front of them. The only difference between you and them is that they have someone else passing the hat around for them and you’ve decided to do it yourself.

    There are not words for how much I admire you for that. For how thankful I am that you’re doing it. Because you’re right – you standing naked on your soapbox with your bullhorn and hat makes it easier for me to step forward and shyly ask if maybe I might be worthy of a bit of spare change as well.

    Not to mention – it’s working for you, clearly, whatever the critics may say. You’re managing to live off your art, and you should be fucking proud of however you manage to do that.

  • lesley

    Fucking Amen!!

  • http://www.itsnotabox.com/ Brian H.

    Fucking amen.

  • Nadia

    Do you make enough money per cd for it to make it worth fans buying them? I am all for giving money to artists, but I don’t really care about record labels.

    If there was something wrong with what you were doing, it wouldn’t be working.

  • tatianafreesia

    fucking amen!!!!!

  • tatianafreesia

    fucking amen!!!!

  • gurdonark

    I’m one of many folks who shares music for free under Creative Commons licenses. I think this kind of sharing creates new community among listeners and among creators. Yet I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with an artist seeking the payment of money as part of distributing music and earning a living. If we are going to see the music business transform in the ways we all hope, musicians must function as small businesses. It’s true that some artists will be more crass, and some artists will be more subtle. The consumer “market” will decide which style it prefers, and reward its preference with purchases. The street busker point you make is part of the solution–and the rest is that there is no reason a music-maker can’t do business just like everyone else–and every reason why music-makers must do so.

  • Darcy

    Thanks for much for being brave enough to tell the unknowing public about the state of the music industry and the art scene as a whole. If people were more informed on the most direct way to have their money hit an artist’s pocket, and that musicians with even some form of airplay are in no way rich, I think we’d see more people supporting the art that inspires them on a daily basis. But you’re right about not stopping when someone becomes financially successful. As long as they’re inspiring you, continue to support them.

  • karohemd

    Awesome! I’m a lot happier to pay an artist directly than shoving money down record or ticket companies.
    Die Einstürzenden Neubauten have produced albums that were financed by fans. Basically, you subsribe to their club and the collected fees are used to produce the album and the members of the club get exclusive first dibs on the album, some are even club exclusives.

  • brogen

    Amanda, I cannot believe that people are begrudging you this. For me, your amazing webcasts are an opportunity to see you as you are, without the false front that record labels et al put on their artists. I get to see the woman I admire being herself and enjoying it. I only more artists thought to/were allowed to use the internet in such a giving way. You are giving us yourself and we are grateful for it. I feel connected with you, and that makes all the difference.

    As for the auctions… People do not have to buy if they do not want to. If they *do* buy, like me, it is a chance for them/us to get hold of stuff that cannot be bought in shops etc… and know that we are directly supporting you in your quest to make great music.

    Do not feel that you have to explain yourself, I think you have got the right idea. If only more people thought your way.

    Thank you for taking the time to be amazing to your fans. I am grateful and will continue to support you in any way I can.

    Much love…

    -Brogen (Ireland)

  • winkingjesus

    A-Fucking-MEN!
    You are like Jesus, in that you don’t shun, or turn away the people who don’t give money, or who send hate mail. You “hug” them and let them have their opinion, and you continue on “your” journey. I love that…it is no longer WWJD, it is now WWAFPD!

  • RosieQ

    Amen. A-fucking-men. People should be cheering out loud that you can do this, I LOVE that you get good results from passing hats or selling pretty 20 year olds (and people need to get over that too – it’s a DATE, not a wedding. Grow up people!) – I love knowing that unzipping my wallet and tipping it upside down into the collections helped you that little bit to do that beautiful thing you do.

    I like that your friends are honest with you and tell you whats being said too.

  • @Cheshire_Jen

    Amen.

  • leighwoosey

    “morality is by nature objective”
    You sure on that one?
    “can i get a fucking amen?”
    No, of course not. If you really believe in what you’re doing you shouldn’t need one.

  • http://www.mrsmicah.com/ Mrs. Micah

    So true. I’m hoping to come to the Falls Church show and I plan to buy merch while I’m there. And I’m excited about it, not put off–excited to have it and to pass the money straight to the AFP bandwagon rather than through a label.

    And if people accuse you of prostituting Holly again, here are two words for them “box social.” Have ‘em watch Oklahoma. Shoot, my grandparents’ first date was a box social. She was dating another guy, my grandfather wanted to date her, outbid the other guy, and voila.

    • http://www.mrsmicah.com/ Mrs. Micah

      I meant to add, plus you have so much free stuff that your fans can enjoy. I listened to WKAP online before I bought it, I listened to a number of your other songs too on the Dolls site. I love that you make it free for fans so that those with less money can still enjoy it and those who have some can tip. :)

  • Ronald van Loon

    10k is a meaningless number. Is it pure profit? Presumably not. Also, what do you use the money for? Investment? Parties ? Drugs? I would put this in the ‘it’s not how much money you have but what you do with it’ category, to paraphrase a well-known male memberism. I’d prefer openness in these matters anyway – so just keep up the good work…

  • http://www.eclectica.info/ Scott Andrews

    Amen!
    “No woman but a blockhead ever performed, except for money.”
    (With apologies to Samuel Johnson)

  • Charles Sangnoir

    A-FUCKING-MEN!

  • lillerina

    AFP, you have given me much more than just music and I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I give back more than just a vague ‘Oh, yeah, she’s pretty good’. I’ll happily put my money where your mouth is because you’ve earned it.

  • Margaret

    AMEN.

  • http://soundcloud.com/elvisofdallas/3souls#play Elvis of Dallas

    How could you be more awesome? Or is that even possible?

    The “producers” really produce very little. The record companies are middle men, stealing the earned income of the artists and paying technicians a tiny drop of the huge profits they reap.

  • Guest

    Amen, sistah! I strongly agree with everything you’re doing to raise funds. I recently saw a video on YouTube of you performing with the Danger Ensemble, in which you were passing the hat (or boot) around the audience with the explanation that the danger ensemble had come along with you on your tour for NO MONEY. To me that speaks volumes. This is art/music striving to thrive. You also deserve every penny you get from your auctions and appearances. What’s different about you Amanda is that you ENGAGE with your fan base. You talk back, you answer your tweets, you keep us in the loop, you stick around at your shows to sign bellies and omm nomm things…rather than sneaking out of a back door and into a limousine!!! I think what you are doing can be summed up as TAKING THE POWER BACK…and I love you for that.

  • http://brassycassy.deviantart.com BrassyCassy

    AMEN!!!!!!

  • cycholibrarian

    Amen sister and again I say amen! This is totally the future of music and probably all art. Maybe it won’t be the multi-billion dollar industry it used to be, but at least the only people getting the money will be the ones who deserve it: the artists.

  • Name

    I wouldn’t buy a CD;
    I would send money to an artist I consider to be shit-kicking awesome.

    You’re doing it right.

  • http://www.webinknow.com/ David Meerman Scott

    Nice. You give away tons of stuff Amanda (this blog for example or the YouTube videos). People have a choice of how much (or how little) to engage.

    Keep up the good work.

  • liamjhayter

    AMEN!

    It’s the struggle in a world that changes faster than the Record Labels, Broadcasters, Publishers yada yada can keep up with. How do the artists keep afloat?

    We’re shifting back to the artist selling direct, just how it started… why? because a corporation can’t turn on a tuppence (or a dime) and many have refused to embrace any methodology than “the way we’ve always done things”.

    So ditch the rule book and start again, “Rip, Remix and Burn”

    Keep it going, make mistakes, shift with the rest… and eventually we’ll all have a new model for making things… thanks for helping lead the pack!

    A-F***ING-MEN! :D

  • Misc

    I originally found your music (DD & subsequently AFP) thanks to torrents, and after reading about your Roadrunner troubles, have just ordered $170 worth of CDs, books and DVDs, direct from your web store. I was also fortunate enough to go to your 11/9 gig at the Union Chapel.

    I enjoy your music. You get my money. The more directly the better.

    I can’t wait for future webcasts and will gladly donate. It’s also good from a fan’s perspective to feel like your purchases/donations are making a difference to artist herself, rather than just feeding a corporate machine and its ever ‘hungry’ shareholders.

  • Rhianon Jameson

    There are 194 comments already, and, judging by a pretty large sample, they all are supporting your point of view, so perhaps you don’t need number 195, but here goes anyway: you’re absolutely right. It’s not crass to ask for money for services in any other industry – if you wrote computer code, you’d insist on payment; if you were a staff doctor, you’d insist on a paycheck. Artists need to eat, too, or there won’t be any more art where that came from.

    So when is the next AFP record coming out so we can send money your way? :)

  • shesaidzed

    Some people are so 20th century. You, clearly, get it. And for that reason, I choose to support you as an artist–in whatever form that takes. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns and NOT letting ANYONE walk all over you. Amanda, you are an inspiration

  • Marcel Souza

    Amanda, probably you can’t consider myself as your fan, since I’ve never listened to any of your songs, and I am reading this directed through Neil’s twitter. But I think you’re absolutely right! I’d rather give my money directly for the artist that I love and care than to the filth record companies! And if people continue to dowload music/movies/books for free, it’s only the right thing that they give some money back.

  • Tara

    I think your honesty is very appealing,i don’t have a problem with how you make money. Hope it cut’s out the middle men for artist such as yourself, good luck to you.

  • TomRoyce

    “feel ok about giving it to fucking lady gaga if you’ve been guiltily downloading her dance tracks for free.”

    I love the idea of a tip jar for those artists who have had there music downloaded. It would absolve some guilt and provide extra income for the artists. Every website for musicians should have one in my humble opinion.

  • Betty Phillips

    Amanda, your work is inspiration to so many. Fuck those who don’t get it. I LOVED being able to tell everyone that I spent my night with a bottle of wine, my son Jareth, AMANDA FUCKING PALMER and BETH. AND since it was free- I was able to purchase a DVD for my son and I to enjoy, donate to a worthy cause, and have a great night doing it. Keep on doing what you do. I have no problem with you taking my money…better you than a record co. that squeezes the artistic blood out of everyone, screaming…SELL OUT!!!

  • rebunting

    Afuckingmen. I will gladly give you money for years and years, even if it means I’m paying your ridiculous mortgage on a mansion.

  • http://www.twitter.com/roswellite13 Roswellite13

    A big AMEN for AFP. I’ve always been a supporter of artists the direct way. I’ve known for a very long time that by purchasing a record for $10 or whatever, the artist gets maybe (and that’s a BIG maybe) 1$. I would much rather give the artist $5 personally knowing that they get every bit of the $5 and not some small percentage. If more people had this same attitude, I think it would be much better for the artist. And even though I’ve never paid to see you in concert or bought one of your CDs, I would gladly support you should you ever come to New Mexico. Blaze the trail AFP. Someone has to.

  • http://www.echristopherclark.com/ E. Christopher Clark

    FUCKING AMEN!!!!

  • PM Russell (author)

    My whole family is a bunch of artists…writer, sculptor, musician, etc. Why is it that its OK to take money from THE MAN (ie Corporate entities) but not OK to take it from individuals? Follow your passion and the money will follow. Money is not a bad thing. Those who criticize have no problem cashing their own paychecks. I can tell you one thing for sure, the artists are more honest and above board than those sleazy corporations who pay people to do their bidding and keep quiet about it. The artists provide a beautiful respite away from THE MAN who put the stress in your life to begin with. The artists deserve the money way more than the politician who takes kickbacks from the lobbyists, etc. Thanks for speaking out for the starving, creative and hopefully successful artists out there!

  • ochanilele

    Amen, sister!

    I have a few acquaintances and one good friend in the music business. The genre: raggaeton. You would not believe how many headliners are absolutely, positively broke and in debt to their labels. They make a CD, get an advance, and owe against that advance until at least their junior release.

    Art, music, and writing might be beautiful, but definitely, they are not free. Beauty might look easy, but it’s hard work, and I know that I, myself, as a writer put far more hours into my work than I get paid for.

    Keep doing what you do — and keep letting people know how it is! You’re incredible!

    Ochani Lele

  • http://locchipinti.com/ Lisa

    AMEN!!!!!!!

  • Name

    What’s all that fuss about?! People who seriously think they need to criticise what you or any other artist are doing to make money probably haven’t got anything more important to think about. Sad.
    And finally, every single person who decides to buy something from you – whether that’s a date, a goat, a CD or a used Q-tip – they all do it out of their own free will.

  • david

    It will be great if those who like your work contribute to keep it alive – it won’t work as the only means. (ask NPR and most charitable organizations) That is why you will have to continue to also play the system of labels, Ticketmaster, etc. I am looking forward, to you, a creative person, using the system creatively. Effective fund raising or ‘monetizing’ is not easy but you have to pay to do what you want to do.

  • http://www.dynamanga.net/ Dirk I. Tiede

    Amen to all that. I can say as a working online artist, I really appreciate all that you’ve written and spoken out about doing the business of art. It’s very hard work, and artists need to understand that it’s up us to make our own success these days. Thanks for speaking for us!

  • Name

    Fucking AMEN. That is all. Will be glad to give you money in Knoxville, in November! (Well, ok, I’ve also bought BPAL, the DVD, a poster, a CD, a postcard…anyway.) :) So more money. I will give you MORE money. I agree with you, and always would rather have given my money directly to the artist.
    Melodyg

  • Sarah

    Totally agree with what you’re saying – surely if you’re a fan of someone you shouldn’t mind paying for their work. You wouldn’t go into your favourite restaurant and expect a free meal just like you shouldn’t expect your favourite musician to provide you with their work for free or your favourite author to send you free copies of their books.

    Personally I love your music, I love you and I would never argue about paying for the privilege to hear your work.

    xx

  • Name

    In the 80s, I stopped performing and went into A&R. The music industry had turned into a business beast by that point and my heart wasn’t into it any longer neither as a performer or as a rep. (I’m no longer the least involved with music) Today, the business model reigns supreme at the cost of artistic sacrifices. I tire of “fans” lamenting how much or in what way an artist (of any media) earns money. If they don’t like or approve of the method, it’s simple – don’t spend. There will always be those who are against what you and others try to do. Nothing will change that, it’s human nature for there to be naysayers regarding anything. I admire what you are doing and continue to do. This is your life, your career, to hell with those who don’t care or even try to understand. You do not owe them explanations. Let them grumble. Society has a distorted view of the life and bank accounts of many artists. They “assume” because one is out there, they must be wealthy. The current state of economic affairs does bring a new layer to this entire issue as so many are struggling, just as you are. I can and do understand those who are attacking you but I also understand your perspective. Do what you have to do in order to take care of you. For every “one” who backs you, there will always be “two” who don’t. Don’t let them get under your skin. You will never make everyone happy. Don’t let them drain your spirit, fire, or energy. Some fans will always “grumble” with their distorted sense of entitlement. Then again, there are those who live for nothing more than to belittle and rage against someone “famous.” It’s your life, live it as you wish.

  • sleepleverdave

    Even down here at the very bottom end folks make you feel weird about not utilising a middle man to inflate the price of our shows, music and merch. I am happy to be the “bard in the corner of the pub that gets shouted a beer occasionaly inbetween having empty stubbies thrown at my head”, but in the meantime, attempting to write great stuff takes every waking minute I am not at work or asleep, and frankly I would like to be able to work less than full time plus as I do. I could re-invest that time into improving and fleshing out my songs. It’s a reasonably simple equation. No money extrapolates to rubbish content.

  • http://www.jodigreen.ca/ jodilicious

    Amanda, yes yes YES! As someone who stopped buying music for a number of years as protest against record companies’ decision to no longer publish vinyl in North America, I’m eager for new ways to support the artists I love directly. Of course people are going to shit on you when you’re breaking new ground, but other young artists will follow your lead and someday your methods won’t be so out of the ordinary.

    Yesterday a colleague forwarded me an e-mail from a woman who had seen one of my woodcut prints at an event and couldn’t get it out of her mind. The woman practically gushed out her whole life story as she rhapsodized about what the print meant to her and how much she must buy it and blah blah blah. So I wrote her a nice note, telling her a little more about the piece and the series of work it came from and letting her know exactly how she could acquire it or see other similar pieces in the series. When she found out the (very reasonable) price, she shut right up. A lot of people don’t have a clue just how hard it is to make a living as an artist when even the people who lovelovelove your work won’t pay you a fair price for it (and have the option of consuming it for free).

  • Katsim

    Just agreeing with basically what everyone appears to have said in response to this. In fact , I have been championing you and the way you perform/give/sell your art as ‘the way to go’ to all my friends who are in bands. One example to them was your use of webcast to sell items – I think it’s brilliant and fans always want something special (i.e. signed, something that was used in a video etc.). I’d pay well over the odds to own a unique item and would prefer to do that than buy a standard issue cd in a shop.

    Ignore the heat from people, they didn’t really deserve this blog from you, but the rest of us all appreciate it just as an insight into how you think.

    I’m somewhat ashamed of the fact that the copy of your album I’ve been listening to was given to me (probably an illegal download) but once I get back to a stable address I will be ordering the cd and dvd. I don’t have the right to take for free from my friends, my family, my neighbour or the artists whose work I like. And in every case, I think it is at least partly my responsibility to support those people to the best of my ability.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughe/ HughePaul

    Sometimes it’s hard to recommend you to someone when, to them, you first appear a little money grabbing.
    That said, I totally agree. I’ve bought 5 show tickets over the past couple of months, but only managed to use 2 of them (and got into one for free). Wish I could have got to the underworld gig. I fell asleep in camden at 11pm with the tickets in my hand.

  • http://groovehouse.org/ groovehouse

    If you’re not worried about asking us for money, then put a paypal or some other web revenue link at the end of your blog post. Since this post is spreading like wildfire on Twitter, you should capitalize on it!

  • Alex

    Money is such a dirty word nowadays. My husband is a fairly popular writer/blogger on the net, and has heard it all – that his making money means he’s “sold out”, that his work has somehow changed now that money is in the equation, that the website he writes for has “lost something” since it became lucrative, everything. Nobody seems to stop and think what would happen if their bosses approached them with the same tired bullshit: “Well, John, your work has been great, but we feel that if we actually PAY you a comfortable sum of money, it will suffer. We want to be sure you’re not doing it JUST for the money, you understand.” People would be livid. All I hear about sometimes is how workers should be valued more, how they should be paid more. But somehow, when it’s art, the same rules don’t apply.

    I’m sorry, but you can’t eat handshakes, and hugs, and accolades (I guess you could eat the former, you’d just need to have a fantastic story for the investigator). You can’t pay your rent with whistles and cheers. I don’t know why that’s so difficult for people to understand.

  • Ndrw

    you’re damn right.

    The industry is changing, Trent knows it, Radiohead know it, you know it.

    not only that, but the way you’re approaching it is ultimately the fairest way of all.

    The truth is that now music is free, whether we like it or not. once something is released, ANYONE can have it, if they so wish, without paying a penny. Finding other ways of offering something of real unique value is all any artist can do (or has ever done.)

    You put an official cubic fuck-tonne of effort into pleasing your fans. you deserve reward for that.

    And however in debt you may be (like the rest of us struggling artists) you’re incredibly rich in not just fans, but friends. and its obvious from this thread that they’ve all got your back.

    • Just saying

      If she was putting a cubic tonne into pleasing fans, it wouldn’t have taken a year+ to deliver orders of the deluxe package and she would have learned from that presale before the latest disaster with the BPAL.

      • Ndrw

        so between the blogs, the tweets, the donation gigs, the webcasts, and all the other stuff shes been doing, you dont think shes doing enough to justify your precious attention?

        then why the fuck are you here?

  • Nic

    I’m really curious about a technical aspect of this. I’ve been mulling this over for while since I read this blog, and I really wanted to know. Is there sun screen built into that paint you would wear? Cause I know that I would be burnt to a crisp after one day, yet alone 5 years.

  • missymoshpit

    AMEN. This is reason #5688934029 why I love you, your mind, your spirit and those of every other artist out there that’s anything like you.

    Keep passing that hat, ukulele case, jar, wtfever love. I’ll always drop something in and I personally know at least 50 people that would do the same.

    Creation and innovation are two of the greatest powers in this world.

  • Guest

    As someone who’s worked in marketing and professional arts/industry associations, I can tell you that in general, relying on people’s good will to keep the money flowing is never a good idea, even if what you have to offer makes the world a better place, etc.

    Amanda, you offer something of great value to your fans, but as you know the music industry, independent or mainstream is a fickle bitch, people’s tastes can change and you will find yourself with fewer fans than before (‘cept for me – I’d never leave you!). But is the solution to constantly change your image to compete with changing trends? Do you market yourself in the traditional industry manner where you essentially *tell* people to listen to your music, buy albums, attend shows, etc.? Frankly, I love the fact that you haven’t, but I worry that someday, your earnest independent method of promoting yourself and your work might hurt you as well…

    … But I think you’re right in trying out different methods to see what works best for you. Finding a good middle ground is always hard.

  • Delirium

    What lies! Obviously you’re on a cruise ship right now, surrounded by stack of cash and laughing maniacally; its not like you spend hours signing stuff for free at the back of cold dark churches in London or anything. I mean, what sort of artist would do that?

    (A fucking great one, the complaining people are insane. They can’t expect you to produce art if you can’t fund it, or indeed your own existence.)

    xo

  • Tippy

    often a pleasure and always interesting to hear your thoughts. nodding along with most. It is my personal theory that many are jealous of “artists” because they don’t get a real job and live miserable like everybody else … perhaps jealous that an artist is living on another plane … or just think artists should be locked up, I’m not entirely sure ;)

    regarding webcast: I would like to say thank you, from the bottom of my born in the Rural Mid-west heart that you would make such things available. While living in a pod is a frightening possibility, it is incredibly liberating to have even virtual contact with someone that you in no way could have possibly met and/or interacted with otherwise.

  • Debra deNoyelles

    amen and the multiple retweets.

  • Kirby

    I remember when Courtney Love broke up with her record label, she wrote a press release (pre-blog times! oh god!) about how she considered herself in the service industry, and like any server, she figured she was better off providing her service (her albums) and that some people would tip her well, and some people would screw her over, and it’d pretty well balance out. She said she preferred being occasionally screwed over by a fan taking her music without paying to being consistently screwed by her label.

  • daftkitty

    As long as I have money in my pocket, a good percentage of it will go to the artists and musicians who bring beauty and hope into my world. With, or without asking!

  • http://@leah_v leah_v

    fuckin amen. i’m really baffled by the fact that some people are pissed about giving you money. would they rather give their money to the fucking recordlable middleman who will just screw you over? NO. frankly, i feel HONORED to be able to show my support to an awesome ass artist. it’s an honor that i can help pay your rent because honestly, your music is beyond worth it.

  • angelahunt

    *throws horns*

    Amen!!! Preach it, sister!

  • Your Mother

    How come you got half the money for a date you didn’t attend?

  • BrightBetty

    Makes me think of the song Everything Is Free Now and the lines “If there’s something that you want to hear, you sing it yourself”. Sometimes I feel like telling people who say my work is too expensive that fine, they can draw it themselves. We do it because we love it, and we want to make a living from it. Isn’t that every one’s ultimate goal? To make a living doing something you love?

  • Dougie

    Some of us have long been used to being hit up for cash when listening to NPR or watching PBS. I would much rather give directly to the source of my artistic inspiration so that is goes right to rent/food/gas/strings/whatever the artist chooses! Cut out the middle man, that is what the direct connections afforded by the internet has enabled. It is wonderful that you are able to connect more directly with your fans (and their money). The freedom it provides betters your art!

  • Marcos

    From a guy who always tips to street performers: AMEM.

  • Kayla

    Amen!

    By the way, the picture is so fitting. AFP leading the way in the artists’ revolution!

  • christinewithanx

    Amanda, artists all over the country have been working on new models in the arts for a bunch of years, as well, especially in the not-for-profit arts, who are imprisoned by the 501(c)(3) IRS tax codes. Maybe I’m just pollyanna, but I see the economic downturn over the past couple of years as a real chance for a rebirth of creative fund raising. What do we all have to lose? Individual contributions are the future of all the arts, as corporate social responsibility is dead, so time to look for new ways to hook people.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. There will always be a disconnect between people exchanging money for an experience. It’s what you signed up for when you decided not to be…almost anything else. Swimming against the current isn’t easy. Figuring out the value of what art is worth is a well-worn issue, but worth fighting for, in order to keep our culture moving ahead.

    As someone who writes a lot of press releases, I’d keep the money part in; the press eats that stuff up. Just surround the information with innovation, so it’s not idle boasting, but instead praising your own creativity in fund raising.

    I feel like you would really enjoy Elizabeth Streb’s ideas and principles, along with her amazing work. Come visit next time you’re in Brooklyn. (I don’t work for or promote Streb, just a fan who sees you both in a similar light.)
    http://www.streb.org
    Her new rules of conduct at her performance space:
    http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/new-rules-of-conduct.php

  • krisjay

    First and formost, someone is going to bitch no matter what you do Amanda, it’s just the way it is. Do I think you are going to worry about it? I hope not and don’t think so. Carry on sweet child, carry on. See you in Portland, oh and a great cover for you to try would be Polly from Nirvana.

    • laurieanne

      OMG you are so right! Polly is my fave Nirvana song. I told her she should do “Dream A Little Dream” on her ukulele.

      • krisjay

        I agree, I just thought that she could do an an amazing job on this song, “make it her own”. Are you going to any of the east coast shows?

        • laurieanne

          I would love to go to the NYC one but I have to pay my rent this week and I
          bet by the time I have the money it will be sold out Poverty sucks.

  • laurieanne

    Holy Fuck! When I saw 239 comments I thought, Well you sure don’t need any more, but, fuck it: Everybody sells, dude. We are all of us, every day, selling our hearts out. I would gladly give my money DIRECTLY to ANY artist because if you are making art then you and ONLY you should be collecting the money. Why the fuck should record companies, art galleries, clubs, etc. be making money off of other people’s talent and creativity and hard work? It’s bullshit. I work in a crappy retail job and all I hear from the owners is SELL! SELL! SELL! But when I do I don’t see shit in my paycheck for the effort. THEY take it all and go on vacations to Aruba while I have to practically suck the electric company’s cock to not shut me off every other month because I am so fucking poor. I wish I had a talent that would support me but I don’t, so I’m stuck with my shitty life. If you’re someone who has a talent that stirs people’s emotions and makes them think or laugh or cry then by God you should be rolling in money. What is more important than that? (Besides like surgeons and shit). I would love to fucking mail Neil $40 to read his book, or mail Amanda $30 for her CD than pay some middleman to get it. That’s how it should be.

  • Ron Meyer

    Does this imply that you plan to break ties with the aforementioned companies and do everything either on your own or with some sort of performer’s collective? Or will you continue to do business with said rapists AND ask fans for extra support?

    Good Luck. I hope you make enough money today to consider the former.

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      Her label won’t let her out of her contract. She’s been trying for a while now.

  • http://johnhartness.com/ John Hartness

    Fucking Amen

  • jeffyablon

    Amanda, I’m a fan of your music (old, corporate guy listening to DD . . . yikes!), and that’s what drew me to reading your post.

    And now I’m a fan of your thought process, too. ABSOLUTELY it’s OK to put out the tip jar. Of course, it has to be OK for people to bypass the jar, too.

    Keep writing . . . everything.

    And now, MY tip jar . . .
    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO
    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP Computer Support, Business Coaching and Virtual Assistant Services

  • mako

    Hey nothing wrong with that!!Amen Darlin!

  • AngieFM

    Incredible serendipity–I was mentally composing a rant on this very topic this morning. Artists make all our lives better, and it’s hard work, and they could be doing something else, something easier. something that doesn’t require them to be so vulnerable/tired/poor. We totally accept that we have to pay for just about everything else, but somehow when it comes to music or theatre or dance or some other artform, the consumer imagines that the artist is getting enough out of it just to be doing it, and to ask for a living wage in addition is just greedy. Well, no. In fact, hell no. Thanks for this post.

  • http://my168project.com/ Matches Malone

    Amen. And to that end, if you’d tweet the following, I’d appreciate it :) 1. Draw a bible verse from a hat. 2. Write a film script. 3. Shoot, edit & deliver in 168 hours. http://is.gd/gZYg

  • http://twitter.com/youve_lost Jen

    Amen. I think you may have inspired me to quit my job and be a living statue during college. Thank you! When you visit Providence, you have a place to crash in my dorm (just no liquor and not on a school night.. We’re a dry campus and we cant have anyone past 11 on school nights! They dont care that I’m 21!). <3

  • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

    Amanda-Thanks for the mention! If you listen to the WBUR segment or watch the video, you’ll notice that Andrea cuts immediately from Wildman’s quote about “devaluing human contact” to the VIP barbecue at my place… you know, actually interacting with my biggest fans face-to-face. If Wildman had hit me on http://youtube.com/matthewebel he’d have noticed that not only are the majority of those videos from live performances, they were posted by fans- not by me.Believe me, I’d love to be playing for live audiences rather than a camera in my studio. I refuse, however, to play 3 hours of Bon Jovi covers just for the sake of seeing warm bodies. My fans are spread across the globe and aren’t yet concentrated enough to support touring. Hopefully someday that will change, but I’ve found success (i.e. I’m feeding myself) at this stage via internet concerts.Success, as I mentioned on my blog right here, comes in stages. You’re quite a bit further along than I, but I’m sure you weren’t always filling huge venues. Your stages look different from mine, but it’s always one little victory after another.I really appreciate your insight and feedback! Please let me know what you think, either by Twitter, blog comment, or you can contact me at http://matthewebel.com/main/contact/contact-form/Pax,Matthewhttp://matthewebel.comhttp://matthewebel.net

    • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

      AFP-

      I spent the past week ruminating on your dilemma as it’s something I face with my own fans- how up-front and open can you be without ruining the appeal of the artwork? Two of my most marketing-savvy friends and I talked about this on our 7-hour drive to PodCamp Philly this weekend too.

      One of the conclusions we reached is that there’s a threshold where talking about money becomes offensive… and it’s impossible to really gauge that threshold until you’ve crossed it. Our best guess is that once your revenue begins to seriously overshadow that of your fans, it may seem more like bragging than being honest and open.

      My own conclusion is that it’s a matter of selecting the right channel- if your goal is to act as a beacon for other musicians (like me), save the raw numbers and “business” end of the art for the musician-oriented channels. When the CD Baby DIY podcast interviews you, talk about raising $10,000 from a webcast, but when you’re targeting the music fans directly (via your blog, Rolling Stone, etc.), be less specific and focus on the art or the process.

      I just picked up WKAP via iTunes for two reasons: I love Ben Folds’ production talents and I wanted to hear what another piano player in Boston is doing that’s so hot. Because I know you’re riding the cutting edge of the music industry (like me), I wanted to support your efforts even though I’d never heard your music before.

      I’d love to talk to you about the subscription thing I’m doing (that got the attention of WBUR), feel free to hit me up on twitter or http://matthewebel.com/main/contact/contact-form/

      Thanks!

      Pax,
      Matthew

      http://matthewebel.com
      http://matthewebel.net

  • http://catzilla.deviantart.com/ Cat Craig

    Fantastic post! I’m a Mass Art grad who has been working at Sbux for 5 years. I want to get out but I can’t seem to. I would love to do what you’re doing, supporting yourself doing what you love, but it’s not easy at all. I’ve been really lucky though and have been doing commissions for my fans on Deviantart, a handful have commissioned me a couple of times and even pay the higher prices. It’s really a blessing to have them help me! I used to charge next to nothing for 8-12 hours of work spent on one piece of art, but finally got the courage to raise my prices.

    Thank you again for posting it, people who don’t make art need to be aware of all of these details! And keep on keepin’ on!

    p.s. I love the statue performers I see in Harvard sq.. There was a beautiful marionette girl the other day but I couldn’t afford to give her anything. Kudos for doing that for so long.

  • Tennyson

    This is a great post, Amanda!

    Ask anyone who’s ever directed theater to set up a non-profit, and it’ll get done inside of a week. Ask anyone in film to set up an LLC, and they’ll tell you they’re an artist.

    Anyone who hopes to own their future in the arts needs to own their money, know where it comes from, and decide for themselves where it’s flowing to. Why do you guys think every filmmaker who’s making an impact owns their own production company?

    Media is entrepreneurial. In fact, it’s opening up to new talent. The tradeoff is that nobody owes anybody a damn thing – least of all a break. Film, music, and art in general has become about breaking out, instead of breaking in.

    Thank you for being a voice of reason. Of course, that voice would come from Beantown!

  • http://dmackinnon.com/ D’ MacKinnon

    Here here.
    Art through it various forms is being devalued by the disposable nature of today’s society.
    It’s simple people, if you don’t pay for the good things all you will have left is crap. Stop complaining and support the artists that you love if you want them to continue to create. We’re going back to a patronage model that musicians used to exist under in the past. The difference it will be many smaller patrons contributing instead of one very wealthy one.

  • Mocksoup

    AMEN! I fully support this economic model.

  • http://www.littlefiddlybits.blogspot.com/ Heather

    What people forget is that everyone who has a “real job” is putting their hat out there and asking ONE person, ONE department, ONE corporate entity, “please like me enough to give me money so I can eat.” An artist with a middleman/agent/company rep/whatever they’re called is in fact chained down; the rep/agent/person goes out there and thumps people on the head until they pay attention, and then asks them for money, supposedly on behalf of the artist, but the artist then only gets a percentage of that (’cause, to be fair, thumping people on the head is work, and they need to eat too). But if I as a fan am willing to pay $xyz for music, painting, performance, sculpture, whatever, why wouldn’t I want the entirety of that money to go to the artist, rather than some to the artist and some to the head-thumper guy?

  • millytrockparty

    AMEN. there is nothing shameful about being honest.

    on an unrelated note, i was behind an Australian Federal Police car the other day and it reminded me of you. it was a very amusing moment.
    (here’s an example of an AFP vehicle: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3493/3749269446_4686a86292.jpg)

  • jadesylvan

    A-fucking-men.

  • rathentides

    I was at a show for an unknown artist last night, which was free. They passed around a tip jar for the musicians, and I put some money in because I was enjoying the music. It’s a living, they’re fully entitled to ask, and we’re fully entitled to give if we want to. It’s not really right to get a hate-on because of it.

  • tattyfraney

    A-fucking-men!
    I am a struggling performer (of the “worst” kind, as i am a dancer :O) and i’m learning now to pass the hat. LOVE your work!

  • baerlach

    Amen (mostly). This model works for you as a solo artist and leading lady, and maybe for a small group like the Dresden Dolls. You’re properly claiming your reward for years of hard work and efforts to build and connect with fans. But, I wonder, what happens to the second violinist in the orchestra, or the lighting technician in the theatrical company? Who ponies up on webcasts for their ponies — not to mention, their rent and health insurance? Not your problem personally, of course, but if you’re attempting to create a universal theory of financial support for artists, it needs to be robust enough to handle their needs too.

    I think the answer is for each person to work the system and be pragmatic rather than ideological about it. Sign with the label or don’t, but be aware what you’re doing and what you’re giving up. Your great service to your fellow performers is to experiment with and to illuminate the dark corners of the industry so they can proceed in their business dealings with full awareness. To that end, see also Zoe Keating’s Q&A on some of the same topics: http://www.zoekeating.com/blog/2009/09/deep-thoughts-on-my-music-career.html .

  • EscapeArtist

    Fuck, I was worried that reading this blog was going to make me feel EVEN more guilty about buying all your CDs so far off amazon, or would prove my friend right who was telling me today that she is “starting to see more faults in you”. But it didn’t, I am in fucking tears from the honesty of this post.

    I don’t feel bad about the CDs anymore, i just know that I am going to buy direct whenever I have the opportuninty (oh and i’m sorry)

    And I know that my friend was talking bullshit…the reason you are so awesome (for so many fans) is that you are a person, not some distant rock-goddess or a pin-up girl or just a name and an image. Sometimes people may see you as “shameless” or whatever but for god’s sake…since when does becoming successful artistically make anyone perfect!

    For teenagers like me, who dream of being able to make a living through whatever art form, it is so important to know this stuff, and not to think that it’s easy.

    I’ll shut up now before this turns into an essay but I’m so sorry for not supporting you and your art as much as I could and thank you, Amanda. You’re the biggest fucking inspiration I’ve ever known.
    (oh my god, that was horribly gushy)

  • http://poetryreclamation.wordpress.com/ Laura Gail Grohe

    AMEN SISTER!

  • Name

    Great blog…and it should be followed up with a “Donate via Paypal” link.

  • mankoeponymous

    Fucking A-men. Thanks for helping re-educate our audience/consumers – the new boss is NOT the same as the old boss, and the new rules are different – and BETTER, or at least they will be once we’ve re-trained the people. The future belongs not to the corporate dinosaurs, but to the bards with their hats out in the center square of the global village. Charge!

  • Ingy666

    Amanda, great post. You should post more pictures of your feet, and describe how ticklish they are. I would suck your toes and lick your feet anytime, and pay you for the honor to do so.

  • Amanda McCoy

    Your ideas are simple and perfect. Artists should be paid directly for what they do and how much people want and love it. I appreciate your honesty in your art form and the need for recompense. Maybe if more artists did this, we could stomp out the nasty middle men companies and artists could truly thrive again.
    Much love,
    A.

  • Kai

    Amen! <3!

    P.S: Some of the stuff you were saying made me have a revelation about something totally unrelated.
    "BUT … i’d rather get the system right gradually and learn from the mistakes and break new ground…"
    "i don’t care if we fuck up. i care THAT we’re doing it."
    …Those quotes pretty much just changed my life and relationship with my boyfriend. Thank you, Miss AFP.

  • Xander in MN

    Amanda: Fuck yea. I dropped a 5-spot in your hat for recognizing how the world works and telling it like it is. I haven’t made unauthorized copies of your work, and I haven’t bought it either. Direct donation is the best way. That is all.

  • dennisstacey

    I like you Amanda Fucking Palmer – whoever you are!

  • dennisstacey

    I like you Amanda Fucking Palmer – whoever you are…

  • Richard

    Amanda – it’s nice to see somebody with the brass face to tell it like it is, and it’s no surprise whatever to see you being that body… you’ve got bigger balls than most of the men I know.

    And that’s a compliment. :-)

    By the way – there are a lot of people over here in the United Kingdom who’d love to see you live over here… (hint)

  • Name

    You go, girl. Don’t let them silence you.

  • dr.spiny

    fucking-a-fucking-men! It galls me as a fan that the way that I’m expected to show my appreciation is to buy some overpriced bit of plastic and hope that some infinitesimal fraction of my money will eventually filter down to the artist after first passing through the hands of scores of completely useless middlemen (and women, although most of them are indeed men.) I don’t like to see myself as a cow on a revenue farm based on exploiting an artist’s past work, I’d rather see myself as a patron who is funding the work that hasn’t been made yet. and I always put money in the hat of any street performer that I actually enjoy…

    • ocker3

      Maybe that’s how we should start to think of ourselves as, like Patrons of old, who gave artists money and supported their endeavours directly in return for command performances. We don’t need no stinking CDs to get our music, we have direct links to our artists and fat pipes to get our music and video back through, power to the new Patrons!

  • Russ

    Just FYI, I cannot get the tip link at the top of the post to work in Firefox.

  • Detriech

    You are brilliantly blunt, which is why I love you! Excellent blog. And AMEN!

  • Serena Culfeather

    AMEN from this corner most definitely. Everybody in their own way takes money as wages/thanks/gift from strangers and friends alike and if they didn’t, no one would be eating!

    I love the directness of your webcasts – we’re spending time with you and if there are those who don’t wish to donate to the tip hat, then they have the choice not to. Don’t ever stop, this is a great way to move art into everyone’s lives.

    P.S. Met Holly and was lucky enough to spend a lite bit of time with her. She’s fabulous, totally agreed.

  • themusicelitist

    Right on. I am much more willing to throw money at artists when I know there is no middle man taking anything from them.

  • hellskiss

    i totally agree with this system, but with that said, is there any way NOT to have to buy tickets through ticketmaster?

  • tomatoes_and_radiowire

    but i like standing in a corner staring at my shoes.

    what of the people who just don’t have the courage? isn’t it asking a little more of them to pretend to be confident in themselves and put on a stage persona just to encourage people to pay them and gain attention?

    this reminds me of an ongoing dispute with my mother about what’s more important in music. “even artists have to eat sometime” she’s upset that I quit a band I was in that had an opportunity to make bank. but I quit for good heartfelt reasons.

    I don’t know, I can’t help but to resist this new system somewhat. I enjoy the part about cutting out the wankers who like money. but it’s pretty difficult to ask for something and look like an ass, when the next stage over is someone who doesn’t ask for a thing and has a short fat bald man taking all the heat.

  • http://www.thegreatandsmall.com/ tyson schroeder

    i don’t think its the asking for the money, or the putting the hat out there while performing that is questionable. its the reporting of the amounts. for some of us seeing what you made in a 48hr period through donations, auctions, or whatever and having that amount more than what we (i) make from art in a year is a little repugnant. i applaud you that you’re able to make ends meet this way and are free from having to work in a factory to pay rent/house payment as i do. its awesome! i wish i could make such things work for me and my family. fact of the matter is that it just isn’t happening just yet, and when i see 10k made from a twitter auction i get that bit of jealous bile boiling up and spewing out “fucker.”
    -muffinhead

  • http://blog.fayeandco.com/ Diane

    Amen.

    Though I don’t know if I fully agree with you on everything, I like that you’re outspoken. And the fact that you openly curse is a bonus.

    You have a new fan.

    Diane

  • CSG

    Interesting read, but I disagree.

    I think the era of the “career artist” is coming to an end; make art for love, not money.

    I’ve written and recorded 5 albums this year while working a full time job. I give my music away for free, because I only want it to be heard, money be damned.

    I work a job to support my art, and make my art because my heart tells me to.

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      Which is awesome, but shouldn’t preclude someone who wants to make their music their job from doing so, you know? :)

    • BovineBlue

      Interesting that an artist should do it for the love and not the money. Does this apply to other careers too? Should a nurse go to hospital and work a long difficult shift for love rather than money?

    • http://amyontour.blogspot.com/ Amy

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making art your career and making money from it.

      I’ve been making art my entire life because I love it, but let me tell you that working full time while making my art was not cool. The commute, the hours dedicated to just my job wore me out. Fuck that. So I stopped (the job, that is- but imagine how many people stopped the art instead).

      And I think it’s fair to say that Amanda has been making her art for love for the longest fucking time. If she can make money, too, let her. It doesn’t make her art less from the heart or less valid.

      But if you changed the meaning of “career artist” as a person who allows outside economic forces affect the direction of their art so they lose their personal vision, I would agree that it should be phased out. But I don’t think Amanda is that, either, because the last time I saw her, she still didn’t look like a Spears or Aguilera (thank god!).

      So I say work on your art because your heart tells you to and make your art your work so you can make even more of it.

      You should read David Mack’s The Alchemy. I think you’d like it.

    • Corey

      reading this only tells me that your music is probably not very good and you havnt been aproached with any lucrative deals. money does buy happiness and everyone can be bought.

  • Name

    Awesome, it’s not fair that musicians shouldn’t able able to ask for money, when financial consultants, psychotherapists and lawyers all can charge huge hourly fees. It’s screwed that musicians have to some how be expected to be poor.

  • drwex

    I’m supremely sympathetic to your main point, and certainly in favor of direct support of artists as one possible model. I’ve blogged on these topics for years (see http://copyfight.corante.com). I would, however, like to request that you not lightly use the word “raping” to mean “ripping off.” It’s an unnecessary dilution of a serious term. The way that the Cartel abuses creative artists and steals from the people who make the whole industry possible deserve a more direct discussion, not overbroad labeling.

  • druidbros

    You go girl. The music industry has a bad business model because they have refused to change the way they do business and the world has changed – a lot. They will eventually fail because they refuse to acknowledge the significant change the internet has made in this world. They deserve to fail. You are pointing the way to a new business model.

  • Joey

    AMEN.

  • trodgers

    AMEN. And nothing beats the “real, sweaty, complicated part.” I feel like this just brings more of us together to enjoy it. Keep on keeping on. xo

  • Inyalin

    Amen. This gives me hope, for sure. Seventeen years old, feel super stuck in my life, not sure what to do with it/where to go/whether I’m making the right choices … but I know I want to entertain, and I want to make people feel what life is really like, and I want to have an outlet for all the craziness my head comes up with – whether I end up singing, or playing piano, or making jewelry, or acting, or WHATEVER, I want it to mean something.

    and I’ve always struggled a bit with the fear that I won’t be able to live off it. That I won’t feel I can support a family on it if I want to have one (which I do somewhere down the line). That it isn’t ‘respectable’ or ‘right’ and I should get a ‘real job’. well screw that. I want to do what I want to do and you make me feel like maybe I can.

    thanks Amanda. thank you so much.

  • whittles

    Reposted this on Facebook and Twitter. Already I’m getting flood of AMEN and THANK YOU from other local smaller performers.
    Thanks for spelling this out. More people need to hear this!

  • http://fullgastronomictilt.com/ LK

    On art and artists and needing to live – I think that it is incredible and revolutionary what you have done, Amanda. In a very short time, you turned a bad and unfair situation around into something that is participatory and real, both for you and your fans. You are living your art and sharing your light with the world. You inspire me on a regular basis and I feel like you live your life grounded in reality. My only criticism is that you come across as a touch selfish – but for god’s sake, you’re a fucking artist. Besides, that’s not necessarily a dig – artists create of and through themselves.

    From where I sit, – a touch removed, one of the commoners – I can see where the haters get their vitriol. You are beautiful, talented, creative and dating one of the most brilliant writers of our time. While I admit to feeling a twinge of jealousy at the fruits of your labor, you mostly inspire me to work that much harder. My unsolicited advice is to stay real. Once your sort your own shit out and extract yourself from that horrible record deal (and, let there be no doubt, you will), please think about giving to those who are where you once were.

    Luck and love.

  • Name

    Amen, sister!

  • merethom

    a-fucking-men.
    the naysayers just haven’t realized this is how it’s going to work from now on. i’ve been to about 10 concerts in the past 6 months, and every artist (with the exception of ones on independent labels) has said: don’t buy our new album, we don’t see a dime from album sales. instead, download our album and buy our concert tickets/merchandise/etc. because that’s where we actually make money. and i lovingly oblige.

    i love the idea of using twitter/webcasting as a venue. it allows people who really want to support an artist to fund them sans middle-person. i couldn’t wait for my #lofnotc t-shirt (or my WKAP book) to show up in the mail!

    i say: keep doing what you’re doing! it’s been working so far, and who is anyone to take that from you.

  • rrp

    A-fucking-men!

  • http://www.badenoughdudes.com BadDudeShane

    Joining in the chorus of ‘A-fucking-men’!

    We’re all trying to figure out what the new relationship between performer and consumer means, but I feel a lot happier about giving my $10 straight to the artist than some suit who’s trying to focus group his way into millions.

    Everyone is standing on a different kind of street corner with their hat out; what makes us all unique is how we entice you to put something into that hat. Some do it by being a diligent cubicle worker, some do it by spinning around naked on a pole. Neither is better or worse, just different.

  • http://www.gregorymatthew.com gregory_matthew

    I know I’d rather throw money at you than at the cogs of an industry that is now falling apart because it had gotten far too comfortable leeching off the talent.

    I’m seeing some comments which are saying you are undeserving of our support because of your lifestyle- traveling the world and whatnot. The fact that you have been working the entire time seems to have been lost on these people. So are the finer points of the creative process, you cannot possibly be expected to create decent art if you are mentally drained. All this aside, I don’t think you- or I- need to justify your desire to be compensated for your work. No one is forcing anyone to involve themselves in this act of tipping.

    I will say this, though: Amanda FUCKING Palmer is one of the most gracious & giving artists I’ve met, and she makes it a pleasure to be a fan. Think of all the free shit she does for us before you start bitching that she’s some sort of whorebeast for wanting to get PAID for her JOB. Being an artist does not always result in creating a tangible product, and as fans we are buying into a concept, the funding allows for the creation of more art. Think of yourself as a patron if you really need a reason to do it.

  • pdxgene

    A-freaking-men

  • Zay Weaver

    Why I’m not afraid to give you money.

    AMEN, Amanda. This post is my shining beacon right now. I’m a street performer; not a street person. This weekend I was shut down by ignorant mgmt at a festival that hired me as entertainment. In a most publicly humiliating and insulting way I was yelled at and scolded in front of my audience while performing (insert immediate relevance here) human statue, calling what I did “begging.” I’m not a beggar. I’m a performance artist. I make my living. I pay my mortgage. I’m a professional. And I’m good. And in order to stay a professional, in order to continue my craft, money goes in my hat. It is for appreciation of art and skill, not for pity. But if you feel guilted into stooping to drop a fiver, I won’t stop you.

    Thank you once again, for providing me with indignant courage. In my world, shit is about to hit the fan. And I’m throwing fastballs… and half a Benjamin. Money well earned, princess.

  • thegoodatheist

    Hey Amanda,

    Couldn’t agree with you more about that. In fact, if you watch my presentation on Freemium, I argue the same thing! http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2009/09/what-we-was-up-to-this-weekend/

  • Bess

    Yes, my lovely Amanda, you can get a fucking AMEN.

    I’m toddling off to the DD tip jar right now. Thank you for pointing it out, I had no idea it was there! And tomorrow I go down to London’s South Bank and I will put some real-life money in some real-life hats of real-life living statues. I promise.

  • duckypoison

    THANKYOU Amanda!

    This is what I give money for. This is what I believe in. You’re doing what’s needed; artist like you, I don’t want to buy your albums. I want to send you the cost of the album doubled directly to you. And when you live normally or live poorly or live rich forever, it’ll be because of you, and because of us. Thanks xxx

  • http://about.me/markmarshall Mark Marshall

    AAAAAAAAAaaaaaamen. :) (you’re an inspiration, btw.)

  • me

    Amanda is incredibly accessible, which is one of the great things about her, the feeling of connection and participation. After a while I guess people get used to that (in my view, phenomenal) level of intimacy; start expecting it. For free. Forgetting that it doesn’t work like that.

    However, if I was a hardcore, longterm fan (I’ve only been really into Dresden Dolls/afp for a few months), and every single thing I looked at to do with Amanda- whether art or not- came with an ask….well, I think after a while I’d start to get irritated. Kinda like burnout. Perhaps actually what’s needed is more explanation of where the money goes. On the other hand, what a person does with their money is their business.

    In short, I don’t know what I’m saying. :P

    Personally I think Amanda gives a hell of a lot and so I’m happy to give back to support it. However, I’m not sure how many other artists would be as giving as she is. She works damn hard for it.

  • lcp

    i think that by telling the world who put in what amount of money, and for what, or how you earn your money (by selling records and pictures and clothing and other stuff) shows way more appreciation for the fans that give you the money than if you would just gather the money as if it was a crime or as if you would be ashamed of taking it and hush it all up.

    if you give money to a person, what reaction would make you feel better? “thank you very much, the money really helps me” or “….”? see? it’s that easy.

  • Name

    Hi. I’ve never heard of you. My first contact was here:

    http://forum.cubase.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=124160

    What I do know is your attitude as stated here in your blog.
    My angle is that big companies dissed all downloaders .. as being freeloaders.
    Some downloaders were being civilly disobedient. Some were leeches.
    You are sorting the wheat from the chaff. You will get opposed not only by leeches but also by company shills, because success in nurturing the new paradigm beyond teething stage will re-empower the artists beyond what the bigger companies can tolerate. I fight the same battle in my own arenas, throw you a salute and get back to my work.

  • jenny

    Amanda- i wish people weren’t so critical. how many of the fans forget that your improve troupe has been traveling with you for FREE and you pay them out of the cash you make… oh wait, and the expensive tour bus… we love you in Boston and we’re proud to say, “Hey, Amanda FUCKING Palmer lives here!”

  • http://penguinsites.com/ Skip

    I didn’t even bother reading the rest of that post. Of course you should make money! You’re the most awesome singer/performer/song writer, what’cha’ma’callit thingy chick I have heard in years! If you ever stopped producing your art because you couldn’t afford to I would cry for days and probably kill a few puppies to boot. And if you end up making a gazillion dollars more power to you. Look at all the talentless twits showing off their ill-gotten gains in the most shallow and garish ways. Amanda Fucking Palmer is the best! Keep doing what your doing!

  • Name

    you are a piece of shit.

    • lcp

      what a clever comment. congratulations.

  • Nina

    You fucking rock. You are rock. Keep rocking.

  • ella144

    We all have the right to be paid for our time, talents, and work. I would rather pay an artist directly so they receive the maximum benefit for their effort. I admire your courage for standing up for what you believe in and your willingness to put yourself in the spotlight about this issue. You are breaking new ground, and there are always dissenters when change happens.

    Both the music industry (and the publishing industry with which I’m more familiar) need more transparency about their practices. A few months ago, Lynn Viehl posted a royalty statement for her best seller and received both flak and kudos for it. http://www.genreality.net/the-reality-of-a-times-bestseller People, especially those who are considering joining the industry, need to understand how it works and what to expect. (Most people forget that artists, aside from eating and paying rent, pay taxes as well.)

    Having said that, two of your closest friends and supporters brought up the same issue with you. You said in your post that you will make mistakes and you were right. You don’t have all the answers, and you will need to adjust your methods as you go. Maybe this is one of those times. Don’t dismiss the criticism and gossip as simple responses bred from fear (though some of them are). You might be able to use them for something positive, as a way to improve what you are doing.

    P.S. It’s lovely that you told the people to lay off Beth for your actions/decisions. Your courage, bravery, and loyalty never cease to amaze me.

    • ocker3

      I would suggest that this post is her response to people’s concerns about the pay-per-performance thing, explaining Why she asks for money, telling us that she Does need the money (and it’s not for another gold-plated drum set/mechanical boyfriend [coin-operated boy?]). Weird Al isn’t hurting for cash, I recently bought his music vid DVD to show my support, is there somewhere I can buy a collection of Amanda/Dresden Dolls videos in Australia?

      • ella144

        Yes, I understand that she is explaining why she still passes the hat, and I don’t mind tossing in a few bucks because her music is amazing and I think she is an amazing person. I want to support her, her art, and the concept of directly supporting an artist.

        My point (which I guess wasn’t clear) was that she should take all feedback into consideration, positive or negative, especially when it comes from close, trusted friends. Gossip and hurtful criticism are negative and discouraging forces in a person’s life, but she might be able to turn all that negative into something positive for herself and for her fans.

  • shelbyamber

    Amanda, I find you to be an amazing individual. I believe in you. I believe in your music. I believe in what you are doing through your music. I’ve been a long time fan, and I absolutely love you. And you are absolutely right. Its a new age, and we need to embrace it. Not turn our backs. I do have one question, however. How did you gain the idea to become a living statue? I mean, I’ve known this about you for some time, and I’ve always been quite curious as to what the thought process was there. Its a very unique thing.

    All my Love,
    -Shelby

  • Name

    Shut the fuck up, get a real job.

    Its people like you that have attempted to legitimize a now even more corrupt “industry” you’ve advanced no further then trolls on the BBS’s in the late 80s. Who ever showed you what a computer is need to be shot, burned at the stake and QUARTERED.

    I hope you die in a fire and everyone forgets who you are.

    • Felizita

      bitch she has a job, several you know nothing of her work so you cant judge her, how about you get a life and stop hating over the interweb!

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      /Classy/.

    • spikesgrl


      Ok, if you hate her so much, why are you reading her blog? And what kind of job would you prefer she have? She has a hard time making fucking RENT, and she works her ass off to make that. Why should she have to be ashamed of the fact that this is how she makes money? Music is her job, and she deserves to be paid for it.

      On another note, it’d be kinda hard to quarter someone after they’ve been burned at the stake, but it’s unlikely you actually know what quartering is, so its a moot point.

  • amy

    amen sister!

  • kali_licious

    Artists deserve to be paid. Period. Legitimacy does NOT mean suffering and being broke. And the mention of money doesn’t somehow “soil” the artist. It’s just honest. It’s important to break down this myth that once you have a contract/are signed/gain mass exposure for your art that you are somehow then “rich” and people don’t need to pay for your art.

  • bowerbird

    artists can change this corrupt world, transforming it
    to a society based around the idea of _gift-exchange_.

    it is up to us artists to _initiate_ the exchange of gifts,
    by putting out our art free for the taking, and then for
    appreciative fans to reciprocate with gifts of their own,
    which might — or might not — be monetary in nature.

    i think you’ve got much of this equation down, amanda,
    and i congratulate you for articulating it so eloquently…

    i do think imposing a sense of _obligation_ on fans might
    be a bit unwise. if we’re truly giving them a _gift_, then
    we need to face the fact that some will not gift back, and
    prepare ourselves to be cool with that… (of course, as a
    former street performer, you know that many do decline;
    but it’s important to separate them from your actual fans.)

    but the people who do “pay artists back”, with gifts of cash,
    will help us overcome the greed that’s so prevalent today,
    and together we will all create a better world.

    -bowerbird

  • http://www.amberjean.com/ Amber Jean

    Giant heartfelt “amen” from my cabin at the end of the road near the top of a mountain in Montana! I’ll back that amen with some cash too ya gusty trail blazer!!!

  • Tripper

    And to those that think artists should give away their work, go to your employer tomorrow and tell them that you’ll work for the next month for free. They’ll either shake your hand or show you the door because they think you’re crazy. Altruism has it’s place in the world today, but the RIAA has proven time and time again that they will not publish and promote good music and they will sue their customers for not paying for their crap. Their business model is busted and it’s past time for them to come up with something new. What’s wrong with contracting directly with the supplier?

    Ms. Palmer, may I call you Amanda? Fucking I think is a little too personal. Amanda, I would like to contract you to produce a fine musical product that (one day soon) I can purchase and enjoy.

    Sincerely,

    Roger Benson

  • purgel

    Amen from a Dutch fan who bought your album about six times to give away to friends, and who travelled to Edinburgh and London last month to see you perform – spending about 1000 euro. And it was more than worth it… So please feel free to do whatever you want and please feel free to ask money for it. Like Bono said: rich people have feelings too ;-)
    x

  • m_pony

    My dear lady, thank you so much for helping me validate the position I’ve been espousing to so many people recently. Artists need to be paid, and they need to be paid -directly- by fans who give a shit about them, who enjoy their work and want more of it. This really -is- the new way.

    Indebted,
    M_Pony

  • Sandslippers

    Fucking Amen!

  • http://www.edenfantasys.com/ PeterTork

    Who is Amanda Palmer? Never heard of her.

    • John B

      A-fucking-men.

  • stabmaster arson
  • Ihategroupies

    Hey Amanda, this is A. your biggest fan from Switzerland. I love you, you and your art, your music, your writing keep me going on and stay, try to stay, happy in this shit, mad, mean, rushed, dull, supersticious, demanding, sexist, rascist, homophobic world…THANK YOU for your hard work, for speaking up for love, respect, honesty and FUN!!!

    it’s not YOU who invented the “no money = no chance to live”-system that we encounter (momentarily…) …so nobody has the right to blame you for asking for pay…

  • Ihategroupies

    Hey Amanda, this is A. your biggest fan from Switzerland. I love you, you and your art, your music, your writing keep me going on and stay, try to stay, happy in this shit, mad, mean, rushed, dull, supersticious, demanding, sexist, rascist, homophobic world…THANK YOU for your hard work, for speaking up for love, respect, honesty and FUN!!!

    it’s not YOU who invented the “no money = no chance to live”-system that we encounter (momentarily…) …so nobody has the right to blame you for asking for pay…

  • Felicia

    WOW AMANDA! You’re my fuckin hero. I’m not sure if you read Lily Allen’s Blog it’s not alright, but it sucked. I don’t think she convinced anyone to stop downloading music for free. What you just wrote was amazing. Keep it up girl

  • Kate

    Amanda, you get a big “Amen” from me. Those who are pulling out their own “holier than thou” soapbox, climbing up on it, and spouting off about your “audacity” forget one very important thing: people CHOOSE to give you money, because you entertain them. You’re absolutely right — the middleman in this context, so the artists don’t get their hands “dirty”, is very much a thing of the past. You’re gutsy, you’re talented, and you’re entertaining, and those who complain the loudest, well…they likely aren’t any of those things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/musicdancelearnlive?ref=profile Greta

    Fucking Amen*nod*I see no problem with you asking for money, you have none to spare and it’s quite honestly just… who you are. Starving artist type (in a good way, not the usual starving artist… which is not bad but I don’t think you can really fit it….). You’re Amanda Fucking Palmer and that’s all that we need to know. If you weren’t fearless and original in everything that you did, I wouldn’t like you. Simple as that. You are you and I/we love you for who and what you are. So while maybe showing a little discretion like you are advised by your friends and coworkers could be prudent, I don’t know, it’s up to you. I am happy to give money to you when I can, and it lets people know about your predicament. “i, of course, could not yell back. i was a fucking statue, statues do not yell.”^– My AFP quote of the week along with what you wrote on my DVD (which I am utterly in love with, thank you so much for doing this personalization and well EVERYTHING for us! We love you :])Warmest Wishes-Greta

  • Shriek

    I must say that I agree with you on this. I always admired your direct aproach, and as a future starving artist, I greatly appreciate you paving the way for the (mostly likely fully clothed in my case) artisits of the future. What you do makes you seem more real and more aproachable than any other artist I have ever admired, listened to, or seen. I don’t know where it was written that you had to send your money thorugh several other hands before it got to you, the artist, but it needs to be erased.

  • djunabaya

    AMEN!

  • Shayla

    Amen.

    What I really don’t get is why people care so much about how you get your money. You have to practice/play/write and learn songs all the time. You put more unpaid hours into your work than anyone else. I don’t sit at home going over how sandwiches are made, or the prices for different combination of food after you add in tax, I leave work in the work place, but your job is your life. It goes with you everywhere. Even if you aren’t practicing, or performing, or writing, if a fan saw you in the street you’d still greet them. You’d sign something for them, maybe chat a little.

    As long as fans are willing to give, people should let them without a word. It’s not like your holding a gun to the piano and saying “give me money or the music gets it.”

    In a way, you’re a friend, you need cash, and we loan it to you knowing that you may never give us the cash back, but you’ll return the favor somehow. You give us inspiring music, a tweet to smile about, a blog to read, and change our lives in so many ways. Why wouldn’t we want to spare you a few bucks? Or any artist for that matter.

  • http://kristanhoffman.com/ Kristan

    I don’t know you, but I totally love you right now.

    Signed,
    A fellow starving artist who only barely has the guts to ask for money sometimes…

  • Troy Baker

    So why not get a job that pays better? You don’t have to make a living the way you currently are. I work very hard too, but I don’t go around asking people to support me. If you’re passionate about your “art”, then you should be willing to sacrifice for it. The largest reward for artistic expression should be the art itself, not monetary compensation. To expect us to subsidize your artistic endeavors just seems crass and lazy to me.

    • http://strangeandsavage.wordpress.com Miiru

      “If you’re passionate about your “art”, then you should be willing to sacrifice for it. ”

      She did. She coughed up a significant chunk of her own money to get her last album out, and now she’s asking the people that enjoyed it and enjoy her performances to help her recoup that loss.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say ‘if you like it, give a little’, and I’d like to reiterate: the romantic ideal of the starving artist is a stupid and anachronistic concept.

    • insignifikunt

      since the very beginning of the music industry it’s fans who have fed artists. Yes record labels give them money if they are lucky enough, but they’ll only do so if an artist has fans and a label believes they can recoup that money. Amanda asking for money directly, rather than going through a record label is no different to you buying a CD off the shelf, except that she makes more money on HER art rather than the label.

      Besides, she’s asking for small change, not hundreds of dollars.

  • http://www.vampirefreaks.com/felizita Felizita

    well i say

    MAKE YO PAPER BOO BOO

    its a hard knot life
    and you r VERY talented, its y i purchased your album, i love you and brian and i hope you do have a memphis show one day

  • http://kendraroberts.com/ Kendra Roberts

    Amen sister, amen.

  • withdirecteyes

    I can’t really believe some of the fan comments on here. I fully believe in their right to their opinion, but to begrudge you for asking for money for something that you created? That is akin to judging a baker for selling his surplus loaves instead of giving them away for free. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is run by money. In order for you to make the music and art that all of your fans love, you forgo the chance for a “normal” 9-5 job. Us paying for your work is our way of ensuring that there is still art and beauty that resonates with us in the world.

    And to the fans that are complaining about the economy: yes, everyone’s in the financial shitter right now. I’m a college student, I know what it is like to have to choose between food and art. I shelled out the 25 bucks for a ticket to Amanda’s show because I would rather have to eat rice, again, than miss out on a opportunity to gather with thousands of like-minded people and enjoy art together. But to judge Amanda because she has found a job that works for her is insane. You are letting your jealousy, not her “greed”, taint the art.

    Amanda, you have been an inspiration to me for well over 5 years. I would much rather give you, my money, see exactly where my money is going, than give it to some middleman.

    And when I go to your show in November, yes, I will buy a shirt and yes I will buy a book, and I will wait in the cold for an autograph because that’s what concerts should be about. Not shelling out 400 bucks for a ticket for an impersonal experience.

  • Fan

    Amen!

    Artists should be paid for their work. Artists should be able to eat. Artists should not feel shame asking to be compensated for bringing joy, heartache and entertaiment to the world.

    Amanda was a great statue in Harvard Sq.

  • site critic

    Cam across this page. Love the thoughts. Hate the site. The colours andfont combinations mean that I have to zoom in like crazy.

  • Lucy

    i think paying straight to the artist makes more sense than having a middle-man.
    i want to be just like amanda when i grow up.
    :}

  • patrickcronin

    My God Woman,

    you’re a gigantic meathead.

    Did you get the marking pen graffiti off your face yet?

    What does your Mom think of the “F” in AFP?

    grow up- hope you drown in your tea

  • sean revoltah

    amen

  • femmefrets

    Paying an artist for something of value that you enjoy or at least use for your soul’s pleasure isn’t charity, and it doesn’t have to be justified. It’s an exchange of energy, and everybody gets what they deserve.

  • Mickie Rat

    Thanks for addressing the elephant in the room. I’m sick of feeling shitty for wanting just enough to get to the next town on tour and having to take their shitty excuses for why they can pay everyone but me. The only real money i’ve ever made as a musician is the money people have have handed me directly for my music. That’s the only honest way it’s really ever going to work well. You rule.

  • http://www.revhq.com/ mike

    I find it sick that people are dying in Africa and India and dont even have the opportunity to get a job at mcdonalds or cutting grass but yet you who are fully able to get a job at mcdonalds or any landscapping job gets on here and asks for donating money because you are an artist and need to eat to keep making music.. I am on a personal journey to stop any donations to you.
    Its sick kids, poor people with mental health problems in 3rd world countries dont even have the opportunity to eat once a day or work yet our money should be sent to you..

    • insignifikunt

      Are you insane? She is asking for money only for services rendered, or for what people take from her, whether it be an experience of her live show, her music, or buying something at an auction. She isn’t asking people to give her money for no fucking reason.

      If you want to say Amanda isn’t deserving of being paid for her work, then neither are you for whatever the fuck it is you do. If that’s how you see life you should be asking your employer to send your pay cheques to the starving people of the world. Being a musician is her job, she deserves to be paid for it, all she is asking for with this blog is that fans pay herdirectly rather than through record labels etc

    • HunterLionheart

      So should all art be sacrificed to throw money at charity?

  • mynameissamenjoytheshow

    No more middle man= better for everyone.

    Sanks.

  • Eric

    It’s simple.. Ask for what you want. Do what feel’s good and keep doing that.

    :)

    *waves hi from the US*

    E.

  • Kitty

    Excellent blog, Miss Amanda Fucking Palmer! I fully support the starving artist (I wish to be one one day, for the simple pleasure of saying I was. What can I say? RENT glamourized it) and the not-so-starving artists who love what they do (the ones who have sold their souls and their sound to Satan don’t get my money, though). I’m currently a broke college student, but I managed to scrounge up the money for your last Seattle concert and it was worth every penny. You love your fans, and we love you. There are some artists I would never spend a dime on, but to you I feel no guilt at the thought of giving every penny I have. And I would if the college didn’t already have it.
    Stay awesome, stay true.
    Amanda Palmer, we love you.

  • Cecile Veillard

    Damn RIGHT you have a right to be paid for the work you do, and no you do NOT have to apologize about it?

    Who’s asking Jay Z, P Diddy, U2, and other MEN to apologize for the money THEY make? And they make a HELLUVA lot more per pop than Amanda Palmer does.

    People who say you don’t have a right to expect pay (and blast it if you want to) for the work you do are sexist.

  • Cecile Veillard

    Sorry–what I meant was DAMN RIGHT, exclamation point. Not question mark.

  • MysteryGuy09

    I found this link from another website and I honestly have never heard of Amanda (sorry, been living in a cave). But she seems like she has her perspective on an even keel, and by all means, if an artist entertains/stimulates you, then show your apprecieation via a few bucks to THE ARTIST and not a bunch of suits in the middle (yeah, don’t forget the sound man, lighting technician, although I’m sure an honest artist takes care of them out of his/her payday). Some here feel that, although they’re fans of Amanda, they feel put upon to put something in the hat when it’s passed. Guess I’ve never had that type of guilt. I’d just say, “great show, sorry, I’m a little broke this week and can’t contribute but hope to in the future”. Or if I wasn’t entertained/stimulated/whatever, I’d just say “pass”. I only pay for stuff with value. But that’s just me. Having said that, I should probably check out AFP and see why she has such devoted fans. She sounds cool.

  • http://www.picturedistrict.de/ Sabine Kocem

    Art is worth to pay for ! Sabine

  • J

    1. the artist is more important, valuable and talented than the corporation and therefore deserves the right to directly gain from their own abilities.

    2. People are not being forced to give money. Those who value artist accessibility are being provided the chance to buy into it.

    Amen!

  • Name

    As a poor teenager, I rarely buy music or actually support the artist in some way (I /never/ downloaded songs illegally though, that just always feels wrong to me). I know that I should, but I just don’t really have the ability to do that at this point in my life.

    I do plan (and things like this from you and LOTS of webcomic artists solidify this plan) to definitely give pretty good amounts of money either through product purchase or even direct donation once I do have the money. I am not a person who likes to buy things (giant tvs, useless trinkets, etc.), but I do like to appreciate work that has been done that I have enjoyed.

  • sonialastrega

    I was in Boston last week (from Australia) watching the human statues in Harvard Square and thinking of you as I put money in their hats. Being a street performer is fucking hard work, not the least because there is no buffer between you and your audience. You’ve chosen to live without that buffer and that’s not an easy way to live.

    The nature of art and the way we connect to art is changing. You’re at the forefront of that and for that you should be proud.

  • 2sidedcoin

    I understand and support the premise here, but one of the issues is that while we’re happy to support Amanda directly for the amazing artist she is, at the moment we’re still having to support the indirect, corporate side of it as well – by paying the bumped-up Ticketmaster prices to see her in the first place, and for the label-owned albums to hear her music… all that she doesn’t get a good return on. We have to think of our own finances as well as Amanda’s, and can’t afford to pay for things twice! Maybe when the label finally releases her, this system will be a whole lot fairer to all.

  • http://hellhound.net/ Herms

    Too right this is how things are going to work in the future. And why not? Let’s cut out the middlemen; what’s shameful about giving money to the people who make music, not to people who make money off other people’s music?

  • ocker3

    I love music, I love music videos, and I love your work. I don’t have a huge amount of cash, but I’m happy to send a little of what I have to worthy artists, I Need to hear more of your sounds and see more of your performances. I get paid next week, I’ll drop myself a link to remind myself to send you a few dollars, too much of my next paycheck is already spoken for *mourns for his recently deceased home pc*

  • http://www.junkyardchoir.com/ Woods

    a fucking men!

  • Fernando

    I think most of the people who view artists that ask for money as evil, are just upper middle class kids who have had everything handed to them since day one while avoiding any hard work. Those who work and EARN their money know how valuable and hard it is to earn and don’t mind paying an artist for their WORK. Imagine that, paying someone for their work.

    Amanda, I recommend you read this. It’s about the morality of money. http://www.quantumlounge.com/data/money.htm

  • insignifikunt

    The most important line of the blog…

    “i believe in the future of cheap art, creative enterprise, and an honorable public who will put their money where there mouth is, or rather, their spare change where their heart is.”

  • toddburge

    Amen!

  • Ken

    Writing for my college paper, I met many artists on tour and learned quite a bit about the way the music industry works, and how even if a band/artist has a video on MTV, they may still owe the record company for an advance to go on tour, produce an album, or some other incurred debt that has them driving in a van doing live shows and budgeting themselves accordingly on the road. Degrees of money and success vary depending on the popularity of an artist, but few people know the finances of an artist on the rise or how much popularity transitions to being well off or even flush with cash, or for how long that will last. Writing a novel or screenplay is another aspect of this – people just don’t appreciate the transition from being a struggling artist to fabulously successful isn’t a miraculous occurrence as the media portrays, but one where there are still bills to pay and the figuring out how to maintain an income based on the vagaries of performance and popularity in a market where there are always new artists emerging to draw from the same well as them.

  • http://painsthee.tumblr.com painsthee

    You know what? I would rather support your art–which brings me joy and solace and makes the world a more beautiful place–in a direct manner that I know you reap the benefits of than give my hard-earned cash to the machinery of the record industry. It’s simple, in my eyes–you create the art, you should get the money. I applaud your willingness to look out for yourself, because nobody else will, so bravo to you for being a realist and not backing away from the fact you do in fact need money to live. That’s what I find so incredible about communities like Etsy, where the money goes directly from the patron (aka customer) to the artist. It’s an incredible system, and I am damn glad to be able to participate in it.

  • Jillian

    What about those of us who have no money? (Or at least not enough money to spend on art?) Tickets to shows aren’t something I can just buy on a whim anymore. $30 is a lot of money to some people. And the average person can’t afford to buy things for $100’s at an auction.

  • xjaeva

    in response to this:
    mike (unregistered) wrote: I find it sick that people are dying in Africa and India and dont even have the opportunity to get a job at mcdonalds or cutting grass but yet you who are fully able to get a job at mcdonalds or any landscapping job gets on here and asks for donating money because you are an artist and need to eat to keep making music.. I am on a personal journey to stop any donations to you. Its sick kids, poor people with mental health problems in 3rd world countries dont even have the opportunity to eat once a day or work yet our money should be sent to you..
    ////

    How about, instead of using your energy on stopping donations to Amanda, you maybe put all that energy into directly helping those people you are so concerned about?
    You should really start a campaign to start feeding these people and giving them oppurtunities to grow. You need to rise up and shout from virtual rooftops how your heart is sooo big for these people you want nothing more than to see them fed and to live a hearty life.
    If you care SO MUCH for third world countries you’d stop at this blog and use your energy to type up your thoughts you must have SO MUCH love to give to our third world friends. So…instead of espousing your drivel, go do something to directly help them to make up for the funds being lost to support a loved artist.

  • http://www.nimbit.com/ patrick faucher

    Amen Amanda,
    Thanks for getting this out there. The patronage model IS the new model for this business. What’s funny is it was the ORIGINAL way things happened for artists and fans for hundreds of years and it never went away, just ended up with a lot of other middlemen in the mix, many of whom did the whole art form a huge disservice.

    I’ve spent the last 7 years of my life educating artists about going direct-to-fan and giving them tools to build a sustainable career doing it. It’s been an uphill battle, but the light is now breaking through and it’s the fearlessness of people like you that will move the industry forward.

    Patrick Faucher
    CEO, Nimbit

  • samuelbarker

    I’m sure this will not be read this late in the game, but honestly, I see a reoccurring sentiment here that I’ve experienced myself. Money is becoming the focus. Every avenue of the Amanda Palmer media assault these days is about making money, how much money has been made and how much money is needed. This is the illustrator of what went wrong with the industry and how it will go to hell in the hands of the artists. Money is like a drug, even when you get enough, you will keep spending so you need more. “Getting by” is never enough, so we get more and more extravagant with our desires.

    I was a devoted reader of the blog for more years than I’m willing to admit. I’ve watched great ideas come and great ideas go. I’ve seen many ideas come crashing down due to irresponsibility. The first Dresden Dolls companion was overdue, can’t remember on the second one, but the WKAP pre-sale was a disaster and various other things. If more time was spent fulfilling obligation instead of coming up with more plans, people would be happier with this. When you’re waiting for something you’ve already paid for to be delivered late and in an inferior state that what you ordered, you tend to be upset when another scam is up to make money.

    The ideas are GREAT, the follow through is weak. Anyone who disagrees with this statement is someone you need to add to the top of your buddy list because they’ll give everything. Think of it as a litmus test of sorts.

    I think it is WONDERFUL that you are taking an initiative to battle against Roadrunner and correct the bad decisions Past Amanda made signing with them. It’s important to keep everyone on the up and up. However, the constant updates on how much money you made from each idea and then following it up with an apology on why the last idea isn’t working out is a bit ridiculous to the logical mind.

    You have some of the most wonderful people in the world around you. People like Jason, Beth and other are folks that know what is good for you. They’re not afraid, they’re making sure you don’t go to the well so often that it prematurely dries up. Those who enjoy your music will continue to buy albums. I honestly disliked half of the WKAP album, but I will still buy your next release due to the track record of old.

    Live simple for a while and build it up. Work on new material and ask people to help the album get made. Asking people to finance your rent, trips abroad and various other schemes is not appropriate, honestly. If you want people to pay the artist, then people need to get art in return.

    • casket4mytears

      I couldn’t agree more with this.

    • ominouslurker

      I totally disagree with this post. I am a hater of corporations. I always have been a hater of corporations but I find it hard to feel sorry for someone who claims they cannot ” Pay the rent” when they not only have a home, have employees, are constantly traveling ( THAT COSTS MONEY AND MONEY I DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE I TRULY AM POOR ) to me it is whining, not legit. It is not like she is homeless, she is living with other people when she travels around and is dating uh someone famous. TO ME , it sounds like someone who is complaining that they do not have enough and is ungrateful for what they DO HAVE. Also, in mentioning Lady Gaga. Hello, she wears designer clothing. She doesn’t deserve any more money when her clothing could pay the rent of a homeless person. I guess kudos to anyone who is indie because that less traveled road is kind of hard for many many people all over the place. On the other hand, she isn’t exactly gutter punking it so that is kinda self centered. Also. Vegetarians do not eat any meat at all, really. So I find that hypocritical. Again, this is not a shredding someone apart, I respect anyone who is an individual who lives true to themself. I have nothing to say about that.On the other hand, people are PAYING for you to exploit your alcohol fueled coutry hopping and gluttony so it would be nice to see a little more appreciation and to see people keepin’ it real. This was not meant to be all derogatory. There are a lot of unemployed people and thee economy sucks. The only think I AGREE with is that corporations SUCK. I am not a follower. I would hate to be a FAN. FAns are for waving and cooling down when it is just a little too warm. It is ungrateful to bitch about money when you OBVIOUSLY DO HAVE IT . Some people do not get to go anywhere.So, yeah.I am sure ya do not care what I the anonoymous think and I meant NOTHING harmful. Just kinda saying, is all.I wish someone would pay me to drink vodka all day instead of trying to have a JOB . I would be having a LOT MORE FUN THAN I AM .TRUST ME .I mean, I would rather have FUN anyday than have to work a job. The inundation of famous people who are addicted to twitter is pretty vainglorious and self obsessed just a LITTLE BIT.I mean how would you survive without twitter? It is completely ludicrous. I am not a hater. I just think it is hypocritical to be asking or complaining about money when a person kinda sorta just parties all the time .

  • rickgoetz

    I see no crime in making a living from art. No crime in figuring out new ways to have people support you in being an inspiration to them (especially since most people sure as hell aren’t buying music). In days past royalty would keep the most gifted entertainers and performers in their inner circle – like the fool in 12th night.

    People are weird about money whether they have some or they don’t…it’s a powerful thing, it is universal reinforcement and the subject of twelve step groups… I think most people are more twisted about money than they are about sex and that’s saying something.

    You are a talented musician and probably more important for making a living in this day and age, a talented entertainer. I do hope you take some time out of your day to be grateful (In saying this I’m not suggesting that you do not) No one deserves anything in entertainment anymore…it’s all earned.

    Safe travels,

    R

  • http://www.fattyacidmusic.com/ Jon

    yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

    the best irony in this situation is when you have bands who complain all the time about no one buying their records, and being in debt because of it, and then they go home and pirate an entire bands catalog. i live with some guys like this. we’re all musicians. and if you believe in free art, don’t complain when no ones volunteers to pay for it. but, if you accept the fact that art has value, and that by supporting artists you enable them to increase their artistic output, drop a dollar in the hat! karma has a funny way of returning the favor.

    -jon
    fatty acid
    http://www.fattyacid.bandcamp.com

  • http://themercyblog.blogspot.com/ MikeF

    You go, girl! No, you won’t always get it right, none of us will, but someone has to try these things out to see how they’ll work in practice. No, we probably don’t need artists with football salaries any more, but heck, artists need to be able to eat, pay rent etc., and above all they need to fund their art. If that art happens to involve music and electricity, that gets expensive, choose how.

    Congratulations on sticking your neck out where someone’s neck needs to be stuck!

  • http://www.electrickiwi.co.uk Ross Barber

    you are a complete inspiration. fucking love you, miss palmer!!

  • emotionalsquid

    A-motherfucking-men!

    This country places such a low value on art (in all it’s forms)- it’s sad. When I tell people that I’m majoring in studio art, the first question I’m usually asked is “Well, how are you going to make a living?” When I tell them that I intend on making my art my career, they tell me how no one pays for art, it’s a luxury, not a necessity, etc. So are a lot of things, but we buy them, use them, do them anyway. I don’t understand why success is synonymous with “sell out” in so many people’s minds. You can make a living without compromising the integrity of your art- just look at history. I do believe that the fundamental aspect of art is and should always be about reaching out to people, communicating, making a statement. But no where is it written that to do that effectively, one must be poor. Artists take no vow of poverty. True, I do feel that artists must never lose their connection with the people for whom they create, and money can do that. But so can fame, love, loss, frustration, anger, poverty, desperation, and the rest of the spectrum of millions of emotions and situations and experiences. A few years ago, around the time I realized that art was what I really wanted to do with my life, I began making a conscious effort to support artists directly. Actually, the last three things I’ve bought were a poster from your webcast, something from Kim Boekbinder’s Twitter yard sale, and Zoe Boekbinder’s new CD. I’m going to one of Zoe’s concerts next week, and I know I’ll be getting something from the merch table there, because I like her music and want her to be able to continue making it. To me it’s a very simple thing, and a very necessary one. I believe firmly in the concept of “pay it forward”, and I can only hope that when I’m out there trying to make a living doing what I love, someone will do the same for me.

  • http://www.knitgrrl.com knitgrrl

    Amen, halleluia and all of that. In my business (knit design) we get a lot of “why should I PAY for a pattern when there are so many available for free?” — because unlike a lot of other people, I do this for a living, I pay tech editors and other assistants to put out the best possible product I can, and because it is the right thing to do if you like my work. It’s not rocket surgery, so good on you for this post!

  • theloveartist

    you can get an amen: amen amen amen amen hallelujah love love love love

  • jasonkadlec

    Amen!! One of the best put explanations of the great street performance in cyberspace! I only performed 2 months as a busker but it was the best things I ever did. It also made me a believer in everything you’ve said here. So many ofthe same things that worked in street performance apply to virtual busking.

    That includes not being afraid to put out the hat.

  • CeciTart

    You know I think the only thing that bothers me about any of the money stuff is not being able to participate more in the auctions or to just chip in some extra bucks, just because. I mean I have three kids and am desperately trying to get my ass producing art that is worth selling myself. But I sometimes feel guilty that I can’t send money your way. Then wonder am I bad fan for not being able to. It’s weird. I don’t think you are in anyway wrong for doing it the way you do. And I think you are absolutely right about the stigma needing to go the fuck away.

  • Justin

    A-Fucking-Men!
    Ignore the bullshit. Labels, ticketmaster et al haven’t added value in years. You’re at the fore, driving the necessary change in the industry. Like it or not – downloading is the future (whether for free or for a v nominal fee) and you gots to make money somehow. You’re fortunate enough to have a loyal fan base who also get it for the most part, which is how you’ve been able to pull it off. Hang in there!

  • Dana

    A very strong AMEN! People also should not feel that they are giving a loan, or handout to the artist. A person likes such and such an artist paintings, books, music so they should give the artist who made it. It is not a handout or loan, an exchange has been made. That simple! Why should any artist be expected to give any of their work away for free?? And if they do it should definitely be their choice. No one expects plumbers, secretaries, or anyone else to give away their work for free! I mean really! We should start showing more respect for the arts, that includes quit expecting freebies and pay for what you get.

  • lovehound

    the age of global patronage for artists is here; musicians are no longer tied to a single patron, but instead rely on a worldwide network of patrons for financial and material support. it worked in the past, no reason why it shouldn’t work now. the only things that have changed, really, are the technologies by which music is made and disseminated, and the means by which the artist is compensated. you still sing for your supper, when all’s said and done, and anyone who wishes to pay for your supper does. that you’re out there doing it and being HONEST about it just makes me respect you and your work more.

  • nonnymorgan

    From one artist to another:

    A-FUCKING-MEN.

  • ardna55ac

    I have no qualms with supporting your music. I want to hear more of it, and would like to see you again live. I feel that most people who may be upset by this, did not feel inclined to buy anything during the auction webcast. Believe me, I did want to—it was just a bit (ha) out of what my finances allow. I feel that no one twists anyone’s arms to donate/buy anything. You have people supporting you in several ways, and it’s great that they can. I bought a couple shirts(I wanted them-no arm twisting), The book, posters, seen a couple shows, a play, and I am so glad that I have. I would be more inclined to spend a couple hundred on some merch, cds, and shows, than on one item. As cool as all of that stuff was, I felt it would just be something I’d own, have it sit in my house collecting dust with no real meaning.

    Fans will support their favorite artists if they want to. I appreciate the forthrightness of how much money she’s making…Not like any of us actually need to know, but she’s showing how her fans directly support her. I suppose if she didn’t tell us how much money she is making off us, you would feel as if you’re getting shafted by not being entitled to that information. Don’t cry that you’re being being taken advantage of. If you want to be supportive, do so. And if you’re not being supportive, kindly shut your mouth because it’s not your money. As long as I know that my purchases are helping to bring another album or show my way, I’m cool. If I see that my(and others) support does not help promote more music/art goodness, then I guess it’s time to jump ship. I don’t mean that to sound like a big jerk. It’s a cycle. Art begets money(sometimes), and money begets more art(sad but true). When the latter no longer applies, I feel as if my part is not important anymore. I feel like this blog could have been addressed differently, but that’s just my opinion. It comes across as a little harsh. As someone who doesn’t show their support in large monetary ways, it makes me feel a little bad(maybe it’s not meant to). I just feel like anyone who is directly supporting through auctions/tshirts/shows/donations, should not act so offended. You were a willing participant. You can’t cry ‘rape’ when you supply the rose petals and handcuffs.

    I also feel like sometimes the least supportive fans come across as the most needy. She doesn’t owe you anything. She’s an artist, it’s her job. She also happens to take time for her fans(awesome). Some seem quite insatiable. If she spent every waking moment with her fans, she would have no personal life, and no more music for us to listen to. I would never expect a musician to spend as much time on their fans as much as Amanda does. God forbid she make some money. She could just stop making music, and do something that pays much better and not have to be told she’s not kissing enough ass for her salary.

    • casket4mytears

      I think that’s the point a lot of us are making though: if she can’t even pay her rent, then maybe she should try what most starving artists do and get a second job? Travel less? My friend taught vocal, piano and guitar to pad her meager income as a singer.

      • ardna55ac

        “She could just stop making music, and do something that pays much better and not have to be told she’s not kissing enough ass for her salary”

        ^^^this was meant to be sarcastic.

        The point was that she could stop spending her time making music, doing what she loves, and what we love, but she doesn’t. She doesn’t owe her fans anything, but she spends a lot of time trying to keep them happy. If someone became a fan because of the music, then shouldn’t the music be enough? It seems like everyone wants more. Why this artist? Why Amanda Palmer? I feel it is because she gives back to her fans in many different ways. Not because she has to. Emails for threesomes, some girl getting pissy about amanda not ‘following’ her. Geez. Why do certain people expect SO much? She’s a musician, she’s an artist. She is not your booty call, she is not your best friend. She is an artist that takes time to connect with the people that support her. That’s so awesome. Amanda Palmer is not here to validate your existence, stroke your ego, kiss your ass, be your bitch, follow you, or sleep with you and your significant other. She makes art for christ’s sake. Last time I checked, we all buy cd’s, tshirts, memorabilia, and posters of bands/artists we like. No one has a problem spending $25 on a Metallica tshirt. Why not? You probably don’t think “I’m supporting the band.” Instead you are “sporting the band.” AFP merch is the only stuff I have bought, that I actually feel goes to the artist(And I get a cool shirt, and stuff). She puts herself out there, and she gives you a face/person to put with the name. She would make a lot more if she got paid a salary for the PR she does.

        I’m just not sure that a second job would be so practical. It seems if she’s not touring, she’s practicing, writing, making a book, putting out an album, making music videos, keeping us all in ‘the know’, also webcasts, auctions, merchandise. So taking into account, what is probably a very hectic schedule, a second job would most likely not be as profitable as working on endeavors related to her music career. I feel as a musician, it’s much like owning a business, but the product you are selling is yourself. “You have to spend money, to make money.” Traveling helps to reach out to her fans (and prospective new fans), in areas that aren’t in close proximity to Boston. I have to say that all of the work she’s doing, is in her best interest. $10,000 during a webcast auction of absolutely willing participants is less time consuming than trying to pick up another job, and still stay faithful to her passion for music, and ‘obligations’ to fans. A non-Amanda Palmer career for Amanda Palmer, means less Amanda Palmer music/tour for the rest of us. It seems like the general consensus is that there’s a pretty loyal fanbase, with no qualms being supportive, and helping to fund future productivity. I think it’s that a lot of effort/funds is needed to take everything to the next level. I don’t think anyone can disagree that she puts a lot of work and dedication into everything she’s done/is doing.

        ^^^all disorganized and stuff.

  • http://www.AbneyPark.com/ Captain Robert

    Amen.

  • weldergirllc

    FUCKING AMEN!!!!

  • weldergirllc

    FUCKING AMEN!!!

  • http://davidlevine.wordpress.com David_Levine

    AMEN!! That 8 foot bride was pure genius and incredible courage. And you keep on giving! Thank you AFP! I will always buy your stuff direct from you. Promise.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thedollyrots Kelly O

    Amen and THANK YOU! For lots of things. You rule.

  • http://www.italianbred.blogspot.com/ Recks

    Music is one of the few buisness’ where you work you ass off and if you don’t make the “big time”, you will die poor. Musicians have been there own worst enemy. On the local level you find bands ( mostly those who are supported by their parents), happy to play for free, cutting the throats of those who need to paid in order to sustain their art. I remember when you could scratch out a living simply performing 4-6 days a week. Venues would pay bands. None of this pass the hat or play for the door, or sell ticket shit. Chump change is going to cut it. Musicans are expolited and allowing themselves to be exploited. Local music scenes suffer, they become mediocre, the pros end up either going on the road, or teaching or altogether quit. Most bands don’t even make enough to pay for the own equipment. Being a musical artist was always rough, but today it’s ridiculously tough. There is some type of self defeting attitude with a lot of bands. It is bullshit to think you ought to give your art away. How would you be able to sustain it. Thanks to the pukes and blow hard club owners exploit and musicians who are willing to play for a few beers or pass a hat to end up with a measily $30-40 bucks, ruins it for other serious musical initiatives. Passing the tin cup might keep you alive, but is it a living? The record industry has also fucked us over for years with composers getting the least cut. I’m not sure what the answer is, but musicians, especially those who are serious, need to start showing some self respect. Does a lawyer or a doctor or a frigin Mayor work for free or by passing a hat for change? Why should those incrediably talented artist who enrich the lives of those who listen have to beg?

  • J

    I personally don’t care about what you do with your money. As long as you’re providing a quality product or service(which you abso-fucking-lutely are) than you deserve the money.

    I think the problem is who you are. You are very open and will say things without thinking. You have very little shame. You’re not super friendly or super nice. I had been a fan for years, but the first time I actually met you I felt like a burden on your life. I was so jaded that I mostly ignored anything AFP for a year. One day I realized that it was just who you are. Should I really have expected AFP to be someone that would shake my hand after a concert and thank me for buying her products and attending her concert? Should I really have expected AFP to even have the smallest exchange of words with me? Should I really have had any expectations of her? No, I shouldn’t have. I expected someone that wasn’t who AFP was. I was expecting someone that didn’t make the fabulous type of music that AFP makes. I realized that I still love your music. The world would be missing out if I stopped listening and contributing to make that music possible. I will keep on supporting you as long as you keep on doing the amazing shit that you do.

    • casket4mytears

      The sad part is, she USED to be the person who would chat with you graciously and shake your hand. I’ve noticed a change, too.

  • RCP

    First, a little bio: I have been living the DIY punk lifestyle since my mid-teens. My band and I sleep on floors of punk houses or in cheap motels when we’re on tour, which is almost constantly. We always pack places with great, enthusiastic crowds (not only in the U.S., before you turn up your nose), so we can often get the venues we play to spot us for a hotel room (on top of pay, and usually a dinner and drinks on the house). We sell the CDs & merch that we produce ourselves, “overcharging” just enough so that we can pay for food and gas (you know, survival). Every tour and record release, we will just barely make back the money we put out to begin with and be able to pay our rent at home and support our families (for those of us who have spouses and kids). Sometimes our fans throw us money “just because,” but we never ask for donations. They are poor kids too. We are supported by a network of fans and bands and cool venue owners. It’s mutual respect. We use the Internet for promotion, sales, fan outreach, networking, etc. We have tried every money-saving trick in the book. It’s hard, but I don’t ever feel guilty at the end of the day, I’m never met with those sour shame glares, and I never have to wonder to myself if I just might be taking advantage of the people who care about me and my art. In that sense, it’s easy. I sleep very, very well.

    Being part of the DIY scene, I’ve seen all kinds of musician survival techniques. What you’re doing is nothing “new.” You’re not blazing any trails or helping to develop a new system of any kind. Why does using the Internet make people suddenly think they are revolutionary? You are not revolutionary. You are just tacky and narcissistic. SO narcissistic, in fact, that you didn’t even notice the entire subculture VISIBLY doing what you seem to believe you’re doing before you so arrogantly insisted that you’re breaking ground for the scared, shy, helpless up-and-comers who desperately need your enlightened, “fearless artist” attitude to kick in the door to this brave new world. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Who the fuck do you think you are? Honestly. This is so insulting to artists who have been surviving directly through their fans for decades. This is insulting to the REAL brave artists, who didn’t even need a label to get dropped from to begin with. You think you learned some hard truth since you got dropped? And now you’re, what, generously passing this lesson onto the rest of us?

    The extent to which you don’t get it is astounding to me.

    The fact that you would boast about being fearless is ironic.

    I have enjoyed your music since 2002. Amanda, that’s a really long time. I was irked slightly by your constant begging but reading this long-winded, pompous justification for your behavior is the first time I’ve ever been really disgusted by you. It’s the epitome of pretentious. It’s selfish. And you make it worse by trying to pass it off as some noble “favor” you’re doing for future contenders with the industry.

    And I think you meant to say “subjective.” Morality is subjective.
    And it’s not really as “subjective” as much as it is “relative.” But that’s for another day.

    Trust me: Lose the divatude, or risk losing those fans you so depend on.

    Oh, and P.S. It’s even more disgusting that you have to post a blog like this in some sort transparent validation-seeking gesture (perhaps to try to relieve some guilt?), knowing that most of your fans will just kiss your ass indiscriminately. Sick of it.

    • rachellie242

      Ouch. People just let it fly when it’s on the Internet, don’t they. Meanie means.

      Personally- I think money is a touchy “taboo” subject and better dealt w/ mysteriously, humbly, ask but don’t ask.

      I’m raising money for a friend right now, who just lost his boyfriend to cancer & there are gobloads of medical expenses/cremation/lost wages, etc. Even for this, I have to tread lightly. Times is tough. Peoples is callous.

      You kind of have to ask, but then quietly look away. Don’t stomp.

      • RCP

        Please don’t condescend to me with that stuff about “letting it fly on the Internet.” These are all things I would gladly say to Amanda’s face. This is just more convenient.

        I think you may have missed the point I was trying to make–It’s not the asking for money bit that really bothers me. I think it can be fine to ask for money. Artists do it all the time. It’s especially fine if it’s associated with medical or funerary expenses or other tragedy-esque things. Sure, it can come off as tacky when people choose to interpret it that way, but as I well know… people gotta eat.

        What bothers me about this post is the sweeping claim Amanda makes about being some sort of front-runner of the label-less. Her self-important attitude is outrageous to me, and comes off as really ignorant. She neglects the masses of artists and musicians who have come before her doing things on their own, supporting themselves directly through transactions with their fans, inventing new and creative ways of surviving on their art alone. Just because it’s new to her, doesn’t mean it’s new to everyone else or that others haven’t refined these survival techniques well before she even had to employ them. She’s making a claims about being a pioneer of a world long occupied by others.

        She can ask for money all she wants, but it’s another thing altogether when she acts as if she deserves a pat on the back for being “fearless” and “groundbreaking.”

        Let me put it this way:
        Amanda says she is not afraid “break new ground… for other artists who i assume are going to cautiously follow in our footsteps. we are creating the protocol, people, right here and now.”

        Now, if you were an artist who has been supporting yourself like this for year (among a subculture/community of artists doing the very same thing), would you not be offended by some dropped-from-her-label newcomer to DIY scene acting as if she’s inventing the lifestyle? Like, hi, don’t we exist? Yeah, congratulations on being so very fearless. We owe you one.

        And, um, didn’t her ex-label help her to cultivate the fanbase she’s now conducting her little indie-survival experiments on? Something to consider. It sort of facilitates the process and/or cushions the blow of suddenly having to go it alone.

        I’m saying: Yes, it’s an ideal system. The fan pays the artist directly. Great. I love it. I live it. She didn’t invent it. She just joined up with the rest of us. It’s painful to me to see these artists I so respect being marginalized and forgotten.

        • Nicolette

          Reading this blog post I actually didn’t get the impression that Amanda was claiming that she invented this system of paying an artist directly. This system of paying middlemen is actually a new thing, but it’s so pervasive that many new artists artists (not only musicans, but artists of other types as well) think that that’s the way it’s supposed to be done and that the idea of asking fans and customers for money directly seems kind of strange and…”wrong” somehow. I know plenty of artists that get agents and other middlemen simply *because* they don’t want to deal with the money issue. Or they underprice and undervalue themselves or just simply don’t *ask* because they are ashamed or too timid to. I believe that these are the ones that Amanda were addressing.

          However from your replies, you also get money directly from your fans and work your tail off and are fearless enough to do so. Bravo. You obviously don’t need Amanda’s advice…and neither do the throngs of other artists you know that do the same thing.

          But there are others’ that aren’t as fearless as you guys and I think it’s nice for someone to remind them that there is another way and to encourage them to think that they and their art is worth it. And it’s also a great thing to remind folks that enjoy your art that they need to put their money where their mouth is.

    • Joshua

      THIS deserves an A-FUCKING-MEN

      • http://affiloblueprint.org affiloblueprint

        agreed

    • casket4mytears

      I couldn’t agree more; I have an indie friend who’s done this since 1998. Hardly original at all.

    • Guest

      Co-opting the punk scene and the actions of independent artists for one’s own financial gain isn’t a new trick in the book, sadly.

    • AAA

      Absolutely agree, RCP. Very well said.

      Here’s one part that I truly had a problem with:
      “this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.”
      Excuse me? Who are you to tell us how this is going to work? To be entirely honest, you depend on us. Without us, you can’t make your art. Or your living. So, with all dear respect, don’t tell me “this is the way shit is going to work”. Because, if that’s the way you see it, pretty soon your fans are going to tell you how it’s actually going to work and not pay you anything.

    • Avalonspawn

      AFP has always had the in-your-face attitude you are not fond of, which also comes through her art and makes it what it has become… how dare you tell her to “Lose
      the divatude”.  Why don’t you just go ahead and ask the Mona Lisa to
      lose her overly cheerful disposition?  It’s not going to happen dude, and if you don’t like her then that’s just
      fine and dandy… drop YOUR “divatude” and move on.  Besides, have you even looked at how much the artists make after all of the cuts?  It is sickening. 

    • Vnbarnes

       It is funny to see punk rockers try to “out punk” rock each other.  This sounds like a kick off for a pissing contest over “whose more hard core”.  SHUT UP!!

  • Brad

    Cheap/affordable art? Fucking AMEN. Not only does it give audiences a better chance of accessing work they’d otherwise believe (usually rightly so) that they can’t afford, but it gives the artist control/responsibility over how said work is accessed/promoted etc etc – an art in itself, i’m sure you’ll agree.

    And come on, people – name me one artist you respect that isn’t capable of working in multiple media? I was, personally, shocked that my university didn’t consider business management an essential part of the course I took – especially given the political/financial climate of the time here, and even more so now.

    Sorry if this has all been said before – am too tired right now to read 415 comments. Damn glad to see there’s a huge response here, though, and can’t wait to read through when I’ve got m’brain back

  • Madove

    Since I’ve started listening to music as a teenager and painfully trying to get together the money to buy a new CD/artwork, I have craved to give this precious money to the person who touched my heart (the musician, writer, sometimes the cover designer, too). And for how much I understand that the record business and manager system has its use and sense sometimes, I’ve always hated the idea that something that I could easily copy gratis from a friend or download from dark corners of the internet, but that I buy because I want to SUPPORT THE ARTIST will give the artist 50ct while 15$ will get lost on the way. I just LOVE to give you my money directly for all the fun, feelings, tears and joy you are giving me, and I am grateful that you find ways to come and ask it. This is the future.
    And if you manage to get really rich that way: A lot of people are getting rich with very very dirty hands or by funny tricks on marketing and clever contracts. If I see one day my AFP on her own yacht with a cocktail in her hand, earned by giving your art and so much of yourself to the world, it will just feel right.

  • Jack

    go beg mommy in lexington for more cash. she’s always believed in your “art”

  • jamesaguilar

    I love giving money to artists who produce art I like. It’s an honor to help you guys (as a group) make the wonderful things you make. Keep on keeping on.

  • http://initialdraft.blogspot.com/ Todd Newton

    A-fucking-men.

  • luci_fer

    “well morality is by nature objective.”

    did you typo that and mean subjective? Given the context that it wasn’t immoral to you or to Holly? (which, frankly, is all that matters)

    Personally…

    I don’t have a problem at all with you asking for money. If it gets a bit like demanding it, then perhaps. But, as well as the practical terms of needing to support yourself in order to produce the art we all love as a result, I (think?) you’re also doing this because you want to change the way things are done currently and would prefer a system where the money goes straight to the artist, skipping the middle men.

    I very much like this idea.

    And not just for music, either.

    And the interwebs is a brave new medium for that kind of stuff to work, in terms of direct distribution etc etc…and the way you’ve been doing your webcast auctions and using twitter to form impromptu concerns and so on…

    I think you’re doing the right thing, with all that stuff. and as you say, not just for you (though that’s certainly a part of it) but for the people who’ll come after you. It may not turn everything on it’s head, but it’s a start, and shows there are alternative ways of going about things. This is a positive thing.

    And there’s always going to be haters with anything new or different…(well, there’s always going to be haters.)

  • Russ

    Yaaaa! Amanda!

  • RussellInDen

    Finally…finally the love (in the form of money) is going where it is supposed to – no grey areas.

  • Paint it Gauche

    you’ve just lost one, (relatively) pretty big, fan. there are words to be said, paragraphs to be read, but you have already made up your mind, so this is brief. This is your new life. One day you’ll be old, people will have forgotten you. Your hat will still be on the proverbial street. Your tongue will be gray and feathered. The guilt will remain. a smaller heart, now cooling, once longed for fullness now crushed with what-ifs and imaginings. Steal the kids’ money and they roll, they all roll over and over again.

    I guess the money feeds you. Feeds the need to be wanted and appreciated and loved. Those who can effect change, do, those who can’t, paint themselves white and call it art.

    peace,
    the former

    • RCP

      That’s poetic.

  • hannahoreilly

    Amen indeed! Amanda, you are an inspiration to the rest of us starving musicians out there. I have been on the ‘get paid for your art’ campaign trail here in Edinburgh for 6 years now, but it doesn’t always make sense to the artists themselves, let alone the fans or venues! But, every little bit helps!

    I’ve re-tweeted this blog, listed it on my own blog – http://www.hannahoreilly.com/?page_id=9
    and also on my useful tips blog on my Collectives website – http://www.audreymusicgroup.com

    Rock on, fabulous woman!
    x Hannah O’Reilly
    singer/songwriter/rock chick

  • Bill Jones

    You’re totally right on about trying to work out a new system where artists make money directly, and I love your music, but not capitalizing anything is just fucking annoying. It makes it hard to read.

    • the gaffer

      I suggest this is kindred to the WINGMEN film/media/arts movement around ARTEMIS ETERNAL – everyone sync up and make some story change we can believe in, woot!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBXOwWC48PM&fmt=22 < audience sticking up for artist, a video to get you pumped

  • Michael

    Hey Amanda,

    Just wanted to say that I loved your post. I think I was one of the people who was going down the route of “my god she’s begging for money AGAIN… that’s getting old” and your post completely made me do a 180.
    Your friend Jason would have been right in pacifying me had you agreed with him to not post dollar amounts made on your last webcast, but you posting your last blog helped educate me to the real life facts of the working musician.
    I believe you are right in trying to change the way the music industry is run, and though the road may be rocky, you have converted me into believing it is the right path to be on.
    I wish you love and success in all your endeavors, and I’ll be buying your CD’s directly from your website from now on. :)

    Also… COME TO VANCOUVER, CANADA!!! :D I want to see a show but you’re only doing East Coast stuff. :p

    Forever a fan,
    Michael

  • Your Bleeding Heart

    “and for the last 10 years, i have been working my ass off in a different way: tirelessly making music, traveling the world, connecting with people, trying to keep my balance, almost never taking a break and, frankly, not making a fortune doing it.”

    wow! boo-fucking hoo. i’ll cry a rainbow of butterflies for your violin life.

    • RCP

      :)

  • Mia

    Thanks for addressing this. I’m starting out and when it comes down to it, I’m going to have to ask people for money. The hat will be on the ground next to where I’m preforming. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you are doing, you can’t do what you are doing without money. And some people are going to complain about it no matter what.

  • Mike

    A Massive AMEN

  • Kater

    Art isn’t about making money. Yes, you need to make rent and buy food, but I think art seriously suffers when artists start thinking of themselves as celebrities.

    • RCP

      Well put.

  • http://www.facebook.com/musicdancelearnlive?ref=profile Greta

    Hi sweetie-I know I already commented and you may not read this, but if you do– I want you to know how far this blog post has spread. I was sitting out at a dinner/party for my best friend and “older sister’s” going away/PhD earning. It was basically just our close-knit group from our bellydance community, but within the eight of us present, we had insane diversity. From me, the youngest, who adores your music to grad students and chemistry teachers to professional photographers. I was listening to the other half of the table’s conversation (I’m not sure if we were still talking about strip clubs or if we had moved on to chocolate…) when I heard one of my friends say “I think her name was Amanda Palmer?” I turned quickly and asked her “Wait… AFP? What about Amanda?” She said that this woman had posted a blog recently about artists needing to make money, but that this woman “Amanda FUCKING Palmer” (the middle name spoken with obvious derision) had made some very VERY good points. It wasn’t written, as she pointed out, with the greatest attention to detail, and it was commonly broken up by a curse word or several, but she thought that it was a good essay overall. That was the starving dance teacher and college tutor. Then the photographer chimed in, “Yes, it was a very interesting article that I certainly agreed with. A lot of the points were very meaningful, which was WHY I REPOSTED IT A FEW TIMES.” There was a bit of conversation about your lack of care in capitalizing your Is and about the swearing, but I quickly pointed out that this is simply who you are…. it is filled with your distinct voice which is conveyed by each little thing in your diction and syntax. The point of the matter is:We all came from different walks of life but the article impacted us each in our own ways, and led to some of us reposting it. Also that if bellydancers from a small town in the Midwest are hearing about you and your blog… you made a REALLY fucking good point and so it got out. Good luck. I hope this continues to spread :]

  • http://www.knittingismyboyfriend.com/ Em

    You are awesome. I would MUCH rather give money directly to you at any show or website than hand it to the middlemen who will take half of it. This IS the new system, and feel proud that you’re a pioneer, no matter how difficult it may be! I have never felt as connected to an artist as I do to you, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence!

  • brennabrenna

    I like the new layout thing you got kickin’, yo.

    Also, Amanda, us fans are always gonna be there for you. :D
    Please, by all means, hold out your hat AND your uke case,
    and I’ll put whatever I can afford into both. You’re marking
    your place in a musical revolution! A renaissance, if I may,
    by ostracizing the capitalist middlemen. Keep it up. :D

  • http://blog.themerchgirl.net Creatrix Tiara

    whee! Interesting post, especially after the Lily Allen-sparked flurry of getting compensated for file-sharing.

    I’ve just started in performance art, and I’ve found that there are a few major factors that lead to this situation we have now of artists not being able to afford what they’re doing:

    1. Society doesn’t value art as something that requires compensation – “if you love it you should do it for free”
    2. Accepted means of getting compensation – “get a job” – take away valuable time and energy which could have been channeled towards the art; this time & energy makes the difference between “good” and “great”
    3. Other means of funding, such as grants, are often arcane and attempt to put bureaucracy on something as free-form as art
    4. The things that would greatly improve your art and the chances of supporting yourself on it cost money. But you need them so that you can earn more money to support yourself!
    5. Many artists, frustrated at the system, lash out at the fans – “why do you download our MP3s illegally?!” – and call for a return to the “old days”
    6. The fans revolt from people assuming the worst about them
    7. People fail to acknowledge their privilege – if you can go online and listen to music, you are tons more privileged than most of the world – as well as things like how US dollars go a lot further then Malaysian ringgit, thereby assuming that the only good fans are privileged ones

    Instead of lashing out at the fans (you’re doing a good job of NOT doing this, but I was so disappointed with Darren Hayes when he wrote some blog posts alluding to it), recognise that you’re both on the same side of the dilemma; you want to support the creation of art, but find it hard to be sustainable within current society. Collaborate with your fans! Find creative ways of getting their support. Make it EASIER for people to support you – no need for hoops! Work together, find solutions, not problems.

    Best of luck :)

  • Robert

    Double fucking amen!

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much… For this blog entry and also simply for existing as Amanda Fucking Palmer.

    I love giving the artists I love my money, but there’s something especially satisfying about giving money to you.

  • Polly

    amanda, if more people were as honest but loving as you were- maybe the world wouldnt be this fucked up

    and thankyou for making me a stronger person:)

    (i just ordered the wkap book + im so very excited eeee)

  • joe10

    So, this is coing more than slightly from a devil’s advocate place, but, I think the direction may have some merit.

    Needless to say, artists of all types have gotten the shaft since time immemorial. I draw a line of corelation to the amount of equipment you bring to the table – the singer get’s it hard, cause all they bring is their vocal chords… and let’s face it, Bill Wyman never would have been a Rolling Stone if he hadn’t had a PA in the early days… If you happen to have a Panovision camera, I promise you’ll stay busy and well fed.

    So, to make a sophisticated piece of music and get it to the public takes a fair bit of kit – of course this was more true in the past. It’s obviously more realistic to get off the ground with a laptop and a few bits of semi-portable gear then it used to be.

    I’m not sure where the slice divides, cause I’m not there – but maybe weigh in that some of the best (and, by best, I mean “Timeless”) music ever made, from Johnny Cash (and, others at Sun) through Motown, The Rolling Stones, etc., ws made under the studio model.

    And the oldies (like Mozart and his band) we’re also heavily subsidized, and probably didn’t have to do too much of their own PR. On the other side, Brian Eno’s done his own thing, with his own gear, and seems to have done OK. But, what will history say of him? Will my kids listen to him in 20 years?

    So, the (ok, “a” – one among many) question is, though the Cover Charge and various other economic instruments have always filled the change purses of the working musicians, is the comparative luxury to create while the Suits worry about tour logistics, PR and merchandising leave the artist with more time to do what the fan really wants them to do – create music?

  • neobes

    You have to check this sing out. It will make you feel giddy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GbDa2UnAO4

  • ade1

    Hi Amanda,
    Have you have seen what Kristin Hersh is doing to make her situation sustainable? If not http://kristinhersh.cashmusic.org/
    KH drops a song every month for free and people voluntarily give a donation. There’s a few other bits to the “business plan” such as sponsorship etc, but it seems to work for her… it is difficult being altruistic and sustainable !
    Ta Ade.

  • http://technorati.com/account/claims/ William

    A-PEOPLE (as opposed to “men”), Way to fucking go. Yeah, sure, why not? Who wants to walk the sidewalk or stand in the rain all day for the rest of their lives doing things other people want you to do with a smile on your face not allowing you to say or do any thing that might offend? Heck yeah, if only we can get people to buy our stuff, yeah, then we can “quit” our “day” jobs, eh?

    http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?search_forum=-1&search_cat=2&show_results=topics&return_chars=200&search_keywords=&keys=&header_search=true&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=&fSearch=Rats+WIth+Wings&fSearchFamily=0

  • ade1

    Hi Amanda,
    Have you have seen what Kristin Hersh is doing to make her situation sustainable? If not http://kristinhersh.cashmusic.org/
    KH drops a song every month for free and people voluntarily give a donation. There’s a few other bits to the “business plan” such as sponsorship etc, but it seems to work for her… it is difficult being altruistic and sustainable !
    Ta Ade.

  • John Reskusich

    I do not follow your work. I love your opinion on this matter. I agree wholeheartedly and applaud you for your clarity of vision and boldness. I think yours is the way of the future and I am glad artists like you are out there giving hope to us trailing behind you. Best wishes. (I am going to check out your work now.)

  • John Reskusich

    I do not follow your work. I love your opinion on this matter. I agree wholeheartedly and applaud you for your clarity of vision and boldness. I think yours is the way of the future and I am glad artists like you are out there giving hope to us trailing behind you. Best wishes. (I am going to check out your work now.)

  • http://cuddlingchaos.blogspot.com/ Janelle

    AFP: I also never purchase art. Ever. I have no money. I’m broke as hell.

    But I purchase your art. Because its worth it.

  • http://www.getreoproperty.com Reo Homes

    Its shouldn’t be done in Free of Cost. Thanks! Loved this article!

  • chelseatalkssmack

    UM I so needed to read this- i just lost SO much money touring to make music and take my band on the road….I am a writer, musician and traveler and it can be fucking tough but worth it. i could relate to this post more.

  • http://myspace.com/eleanor_music Ryan of Eleanor

    Hell yeah. I needed to read this. Thank you@!!!!

  • http://pattykeough.com/ Patty Keough

    Yes sister.

    People don’t understand. They don’t care about shelling out 20 plus dollars for the pabulum that the big companies regurgitate every year but they balk when shown a hat to put a self-monitored donation into – that goes straight to the artists – that they are looking at and who are really sounding like that.

    How do you know – cause they’re standing right there making the music/art. You can HEAR them, you can SEE them. HELLO? This is what used to be called a “Performance” and it’s done all the time by great people with amazing talent.

    People let’s not wait to be given permission to enjoy something. It’s not up to djs, vjs, companies, or even your friends, to decide what you like. What moves you. What you enjoy. It’s up to you. And if some art is moving you then give what you can to the artist so they can keep on doing what they’re doing.

    Amen indeed Amanda.

  • http://electricspec.com/ betsy dornbusch

    Well said, Ms. Palmer. I’d like to link to this from an article I’m planning to write for my magazine, Electric Spec.

  • Kara

    My mom knows Matthew Ebel. Or did, as it were. I think she still has some of his original raw tunes on her computer back when they chatted via Mucks. God that was a long time ago…

    And don’t worry about offering your hat out. Most of the people who would complain about the money you made don’t realize most of that goes right back into your music.

    Every time we give a dollar, we’re giving another happy memory to you.

    • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

      I know your mom? Or, rather, your mom knows me? Small world indeed! I’d ask “who’s your mama”, but I don’t know if you want to share that in a public forum like this. At the very least, say hello for me. :)

      Pax,
      Matthew

      http://matthewebel.com
      http://matthewebel.net

  • Kathrin deBoer

    Lead the way Amanda..

  • samrosenthal

    A-men, Amanda! I’ve been posting on the topic of illegal downloads – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1020542228&v=feed&story_fbid=176788297541 – with some “fans” telling me that music is an “outmoded” commodity so they have the right to steal. When more fans hear that us artists need their love, support — and especially their $$$$ — hopefully they will get with the new system. I am glad to see you out there pushing ahead of the crowd. Thanks.

    Sam

  • Name

    If you want to make money, you really may want to look into making sure YOU have the copyrights to your own stuff, not some record company. The Monty Python people did that and financailly it made all the difference.

    check out this article on how they still make tons from royalties of their shows, 40 years later.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aqe18z3MrBPU

  • http://www.ukgameplayers.com/ Phil Beasley

    You’ve definately got an Amen from me.
    I think record companies take the piss these days, they take money for doing nothing but making an artist sound shit, look at The Killers, awesome first album, got the grip of the record company round them and then the second album was dreadfull. Whereas with the Dreden Dolls and AFP I havent listened to a single song you’ve created and thought “ewww thats shit” infact I fucking love every song you guys make. I think the main reason is you don’t have a record company telling you what to do so you make music you like, not necessarily what the listeners will like, and I respect that alot, it takes balls.
    I wish I could have donated more but I have dropped $30 into your hat and gave you a wave as you are rocking out being a statue, a robot or playing the ukelale on your e-soapbox on the super sonic sounds of the internet.
    Keep up the great work, it’s a shame your not doing a Massachusettes gig when im over at the end of November, would have been wicked rocking out in your home state.

    Over and Out From Fraggle

  • Mr_Smith

    Amanda I completely agree with you. Amen. I mean really when you think about it, this is the essence of democracy, eliminate the middleman and each person stands soley on the shoulders of his or her own achievements. I’ve never understood why the industry got so involved in the first place, although I have some ideas why, but nowadays they simply are not needed… so all the more reason the fans should be paying directly to the performer. Hell I wish my dollars went directly to my favorite performers.. it makes for better artists because their customer/benefactor is the public and not some media conglomerate who tell the performer what he or she will do..

    That kind of old way of doing business only propagates the same crap over and over. It denies the public access to the true artist, and it denies the artist the ability to create a pure thing.

    Anyways, just my two cents. I doubt you remember, but back in oh say 2003/04 I was at one of your concerts in Providence in which you were selling and autographing your CD’s.. I was so excited I left my credit card with you!!! I did manage to get it the next day from the bar, but I really appreciated that kind of interaction. I know the audience has gotten so much bigger, but your determination to involve the audience and create those intimate moments (ninja beach for example) really amaze me.. and THAT is why I would rather give my money direct.. it just makes for better people on both sides.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Falls Church!

    Gabriel

  • http://theartsyfartsychick.wordpress.com/ Adriane

    You’ve got it… fucking Amen…

  • http://www.gardenofeyes.com/ Levi van Huygevoort

    hey amanda!
    it’s been a busy day and i just noticed you wrote a blog on such an interesting subject.
    i’ve just made a print of this story so i can read it at home tonight in some peace and quiet.

    i’m a live art performer myself and i’ve got a strong feeling you’re about to inspire me again.

    i’ll let you know.

    all the best from tilburg, nl

    P.S.
    I’m very interested in joining you concerning side acts, i read somewhere you were looking for live art performers ?? I can definitely add something great to that but I’d like to ask you.. do you think it is worth it for me replying to that subject when I’m living in Tilburg, Netherlands and I don’t have any money to book flight tickets ??? It sounds so out of reach but at the same time it sounds like the place to be…… I hope you can answer me. Thanks for taking so many great initiatives…. you keep killing my artistic insecurities with the only thing remaining; working hard and just fucking doing it out there and creating entertainment and giving it to demn people ! thanks. Levi

  • Mrs Craddock

    At the end of the day, everyone can choose to either ‘Buy Stuff’ or ‘Not Buy Stuff’.

    Personally, I have loved the opportunity to buy mechandise, souviners, props and costumes that would othewise have just been shelved away somewhere, out of reach of my grubby little hands.

    I’d love the opportunity to buy more Random Crap from artists I like!

    (Is Neil planning to do a webcast auction, by any chance……??? Please????)

  • tielaterror

    this post makes me inexplicably happy :)
    amen to you miss palmer, a-fuckin-men

  • Zabet

    I might be a bit late to this party, but if you’ve got your virtual hat at the top of the page there, Amanda, why not allow us to “subscribe”? I’ve supported several of my favorite webcomics with an automatically deducted monthly donation just as I’ve supported some of my favorite charities. I like this method because it means that even though I can’t give much, I can give SOME, and I don’t have to wait for you to beg to remind me. $5 a month to this, $2 a month to that, $10 a month over there, easy peasy. Heck, throw an exclusive mp3 my way a couple times a year or send a postcard and I’m not only happy to “subscribe” to my fave artist, but I’m downright over the moon about it. Whatcha think?

  • http://www.whatdoesnotkillme.wordpress.com/ Richard

    AMEN, sister. I couldn’t say it better myself. I totally agree 100%. Keep at it.

    Peace,
    Richard FUCKING Thomas
    Neo-noir fiction
    http://www.whatdoesnotkillme.wordpress.com

  • susan

    I go to work, i get paid. I take that money and if I want something I use it to pay for something. If paying AFP or DD for music means I get more music then AMEN to paying the artist for the work they do

  • Paul C

    I agree with the sentiments of Amanda’s blog, BUT have to take issue with the undertow of making this an anti-record label thing. Artists have middle-people, and the bigger they get, the more they logistically need. Amanda, I’m sure, still has plenty of middle-people helping her – voluntary or otherwise. A record label simply is (or should be) a formation of capable middle-people. If a label rips off an artist, it’s no different to anyone else in that intermediary role ripping off an artist. Some bad apples doesn’t mean all apples are bad.

    There’s criticism of Roadrunner, and them not promoting the WKAP album. I don’t know the details of her experiences with them, but promotion via marketing & advertising is BY FAR the greatest expense in the process of releasing records. Contracting (usually external) PR people and buying advertising space in magazines, etc usually costs many, many times more than the costs of recording the music, pressing the CD, etc. Irrespective of who makes the decision – whether it’s the artists themselves or a label – a call has to be made as to when that huge spend on promotion becomes a negative outlay – ie, you’re spending more on it than realistically you’ll see back as additional sales. Usually a label will (or should) shoulder a loss to promote a new artist into public awareness, and hope subsequent releases will need less promotional outlay once a fanbase is established. In Amanda’s case (and I repeat – *I don’t know*) maybe a heavy promotional spend wasn’t deemed efficient due to the existing strong fanbase? If it returned a loss, that’s then less money to Amanda to do what she does, and that’s what we’re talking about here, right?

    The DIY thing has been going since the orig punk days, and getting fans & friends to help do things at grass-roots helps massively, and DEFINITELY the way forwards. But advertising & marketing is usually where you find you can’t call in favours or mates-rates, and you do have to start throwing rocketing amounts of cash around. When Amanda releases her first independent album, that’s going to hit her, and I hope she has experienced people who can do projections, accounting, offset Distribution fees, etc. I didn’t. I ran a label between 2001 and 2007 – the artists did the music and I did the cheque-writing, and we all slept in a van after gigs rather than put a hat around for hotels or whatever. Even so, I’m likely to still be paying off the (mortgaged) debts it ran up 20 years from now. I hope Amanda doesn’t “live beyond her means” artistically, as we did, and she can carry on making her wonderful music for decades to come.

    Just thought it worth putting across the other side. :)

  • http://www.kittenkaboom.wordpress.com/ Kitten Kaboom

    “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. ” A. Warhol

  • Marissa

    So, I love that Napoleon Bonaparte is this recognizable historical figure whose legacy mostly has to do with him being a megalomaniac who /thought/ he was some kind of pioneer.

  • bonniehendersonwinnie

    A friend forwarded the link to this blogpost to me the other day, and in concert with an experiment I’ve been doing for the past 6 months, I’ve posted the following to my lj blog & FB account:

    http://gloriamundi010.livejournal.com/170364.html

    Thank you for writing this, and for doing what you do!
    B

  • http://jennylens.com/ Jenny Lens

    Amanda Palmer: You fucking rock! I’ve experienced incredible backlash about my classic punk rock photos. Been told I’m so rich and famous, that I shouldn’t charge so much (while galleries insisted for years they could not show me cos my prices were far too low), received tons of fan letters, some horrible online backlash and yet, never made a fucking cent.

    It’s gotten to the point I’m selling off what I can and doing something else. Whatever I do with my photos and stories, I will do for me. But right now, I rather eat raw food, walk, yoga, read and another business. Thanks for all the lip service, thanks to all of you gushing how much my photos have meant to you but you couldn’t fucking lift a finger to help keep my archive alive and in circulation. Fuck you to most of my “fans” who do nothing but give me lip service, use MY photos for your Myspace ID, bootlegs, whatev and think it’s fine that I live in dire poverty for my photos.

    OR because so many steal my pix or just as bad, NEVER credit photographers (that is addressed to MAJOR book and mag publishers, who think a photo credit “ruins” the layout, when OUR photos are THE highlight of their publication, take forever to pay or don’t pay at all, thanks to all of you, I don’t have the time and money to share more photos and stories. Whether fans or so-called print of film professionals are self-destructive. Oh the stories, oh the photos, what peeps are missing cos they are so selfish, greedy, and lazy.

    I’m blessed a few peeps have helped me, but it’s fucking embarrassing to beg for money when I’m the most published LA punk rock photographer, 1976-80. Or peeps who have used MY photos for free who argue with me that I’m stuck up.

    PRAISE YOU AMANDA PALMER. Oh yeah, I love Dresden Dolls, have your CDs, and saw you at Music Box in LA. You rock and don’t back down. Artists deserve far more money than they get, esp when OTHERS make more money from OUR art than we do. Wow, do I know that well!

    Am I bitter? No! I photographed some of the MOST awesome rock shows of all time, had a blast, lived a wild, wild life, with more memories than I’ll ever have time to share, plus the greatest time of my life. I don’t owe nothin’ to no one. I wanted to created an archive to keep those memories alive and to share with others. What I didn’t count on were all the fan emails with blind eyes to my archive and life.

    Hooray for art and artists like yourself. WE deserve every fucking penny we can get! I too want a coin-operated boy. Thanks for the memories! Jenny Lens, “the girl with the camera eye” (annointed by Patti Smith, but don’t get me started on her, oh wow, talk about lip service!)

  • http://www.myspace.com/wispygypsy Sara

    FUCKING AMEN.

  • Christine

    I appreciate the sentiment, but here’s the problem I have with this argument: AFP is still charging for shows, and still charging for her music. Why not go the Radiohead route and let the fans decide how much to pay for the album, even if it’s nothing? Not charging people for shows and music is the ONLY way to screw over roadrunner – but I’m not sure what is in AFP’s contract or if she HAS to charge for that stuff. But, she says right in this blog, concerning the critiques – “and even if they attend the party with rolling eyes, they will not be charged.” But, last time I checked the ticket prices, EVERYONE IS BEING CHARGED.
    I’m not going to get back on AFP’s side until she puts her money where her mouth is and gives the music and shows away for free. Until then, this just comes off as greedy and arrogant. As a musician myself, I would never charge anyone to download my music.

    • Unsupervised Thinking

      I think this is key. I’m happy to buy CDs and books, pay for admission, and pay for webcasts. But I’m not happy to pay for those things twice! Just charge to cover costs and say so. It’s perfectly fair. Or maybe set up some kind of inclusive subscription, including the next [whatever number] of CDs, certain gigs, a webcast or two. But passing the hat to people who’ve already paid just seems like bad manners.

      I also agree that this is nothing new. It seems like too much fuss for me; a link at the top, saying ‘why donate/subscribe’ seems better.

      And I also think it might be best if online things were free, as in promotional. I like to know what something’s like before I buy it. I’ll buy CDs of very few artists unless I’ve heard part of that CD first and know that I like it enough. This is where the nets help the artist: you may not get the radio play, but you can greatly extend the old word of mouth effect.

      IMHO, anyway. We’re all in the dark a bit here, during the welcome downfall of the middle men.

      • mattehdeh

        I’m pretty sure you can hear stuff off the internet, and the
        radio, and the television for free, and thats how you hear chunks of a cd. The
        problem with that model is that the tv’s a re usually flooded with mainstream
        drollop, the radio’s have their own agenda too. And all that corporate system
        is controlled by, well, the corporations. If you want to listen to something of
        a new artist, or an artist you like who doesnty have airtime, you go online.
        And there’s heaps of free shit online. That’s one reason why everyone kicked up
        a stink about SOPA.

        I don’t see it as bad manners to pass the hat around, and if someone has
        already paid for a concert ticket, or bought an album, then they aren’t being
        told to contriubute a compulsory 10% of their earnings to further their
        favourite artists career. This isn’t a bloody church for christ’s sake. I don’t
        think its rude to ask, I think it’s rude to ask in a rude way.

        And it’s fine to say “charge me to cover your costs to create the product
        I enjoy” but what if the creator is relying on your money to pay rent and
        buy food? That’s the big debate here. Okay, charge an extra dollar on top of
        your production costs. Call it – I dunno, due proceeds to the creative mind behind
        the project. Now, if that product reaches ten people. 10 bucks goes to whoever
        decided to create the product, after they cover the production costs for that
        one product. But what if they made 100 units? That’s still 90% of the
        production costs that haven’t been accounted for. Okay, so they don’t make a
        unit until they have demand. What if they suddenly get hit with a massive
        demand? They end up with a waiting list of six months, and people start asking
        for their money back because we live in a culture of “I paid for it, I want it
        now”. What if they sell the 100 units? They cover their production costs and
        have 100 dollars in their pockets. Woohoo! Oh hang on… Rent, food, (and
        distribution costs if they weren’t factored in to the production costs).

        This model sounds great if you have another job while you ‘create
        art on the side’. But unfortunately it’s just not viable as a business. And
        unfortunately in this society, if you want to make art your business, you have
        to treat it like a business and sacrifice some of your ‘art for free’ ideas.

        I do agree with your last bit, though. Welcome downfall indeed. A new system
        needs to be the norm in order for the soul to return to the music, film and art
        industries. The middleman fucked everyone over.

    • Gumi

      “As a musician myself, I would never charge anyone to download my music.”

      Yeah, but there is a difference between a crappy wannabe-saint musician (who gives for free), and a professional who sells good music.

      I don’t know where do you get money. Maybe you were born millionaire or you just pick it from the street. So you can give away your music for free. But most of the artists arent millionaires and the dont pick money from street like you.

      They actually try to live from art. Treasure them, ffs. And stop saying this free-of-charge crap.

  • http://www.cd22.net/ marcus

    amen

  • Entangled Web Always Weaving.

    1) It isn’t very original to be nude, people have been born nude since oh the beginning of birth happening, and secondly I am sure many a titted woman has untilized nudity to get where they are today. Not surprising or shocking anymore, really. Everybody has parts.Even amputees.
    2) You are balling a well known author. Uh, kinda sad, ya prolly balled a lot of other people as well, but we all have to get somewhere somehow, don’t we , honey?
    3) Ummmm, yeah….. poor you, poor you…… SO MUCH ART GOING ON….um why does a so-called artist have to be so narcissitic as to ONLY post artwork from people of THEMSELF…. it is kinda of a look at me , look at me gallery…..
    4) Not every glorified club kid who drinks too much is an artist.
    5) You come in contact with um cool people….. but where is the art happening with them?It is like a social extravaganza,more than an artistic endeavor.
    6) So you meet your fans personally. Um A LOT OF PEOPLE DO THAT, then they move on to the next town, you are not special, maybe in your head you are special but what, you see the FANS one time and they are your best friend? WHAT IS ORIGINAL ABOUT THAT? PLENTY of NORMAL everyday people have driven some rockstar or celebrity around when they came to their town, uh does it ever happen again, much?
    7) When is the last time YOU DROVE a regular person around??? Why do you expect theM to get everything for you ???????????????????????
    8) People in general, no matter who you are in EVERYDAY life are willing ot be personable and friendly if YOU ASK THEM. If you work public jobs, you can talk to anyone anytime of the day.
    9) Personally, wonder why it is some novel concept to take your clothes off ?? kinda trite, really.What comes out of your brain should be more important.
    10) FIELD TRIPS TO GOOGLE OFFICES ARE LAME.WHy must you bother people doing actual wokr because you think you are a persona?
    11) WHY ON EARTH DO YOU MAKE AN ASS OUT OF NEIL GAIMAN???WHY? yOU EVEN SAID THINGS TO TOTALLY DIS THE COUNTRY HE IS FROM. REAL SWANK OF YOU.
    12) Twitter is not magic, it is the internet. Stop trying tot make people be your personal bitches oh come bring me this , I need that.
    13) ANYONE IF YOU ARE NICE will tell you their life story. It happens to me all the friggin time. MOST PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TIME to play let’s party and think everyone is our friend, they have responsibilities.
    14) I have known people who truly are barely getting by.A lot of people who ask for money already have more than they need.
    15) Playing the chick card may seem like fun , but substance is kinda nice once in a while.
    16) If you want to see a bunch of imperfect belly’s, visit Milwaukee sometime. Yeah, real glamorous.
    17) From grade school, on folks been taking crap, if you have ever been a freak like MY SISTER WHO IS A REAL VEGETARIAN, not a fake one……and uh was kinda rather uber goth-ish in her time .. yeah, she has taken crap too……but most people do for some reason or another due to the misery of other people. Nothing gives you a thicker skin than every having had that glory title to your name.
    18) Most of what you think is so original, has already been done. It doesn’t make you a pioneer to be asking for money, look at half hte damn goths online selling and pimping their wares.
    19) Slumming for cred points sucks ass.
    20) Why on earth if your fans are your friends are you FOLLOWING WAY LESS PEOPLE ON TWITTER THAN YOU HAVE ADDED? One would venture to guess you choose to follow the people who GET YOU SOMEWHERE IN LIFE.
    21) IF ya ever want to talk to someone down to earth in life, you should talk to my sister because she is way freaking cool……
    22) People who are poor cannot buy things, bet they are not yer friend.

  • irishkate

    Amen

    if the great Shakespeare could have a patron why can’t you? Just because you give the chance to your fans to be your patron?
    It’s not like you are reaching your hand into their/our pocket and stealing – they/we choose to give it to you in exchange for you being free to write and play the music they/we like

  • http://youtube.com/peter Peter Coffin

    Amen!

  • Alexander

    This link might be of interest. It is an article discussing the value of openness in an attention economy: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1334/1254

  • mikeslow

    HOW TO TURN SIX DOLLARS INTO SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS: I found this on a bulletin board and decided to try it. A little while back I was browsing 
through newsgroups just like you are now and came across an article similar to this that 
said you could make thousands of dollars within weeks with only an initial investment of
$6.00! So I thought “Yeah right this must be a scam” but like most of us I was curious 
so I kept reading. Anyway it said that you send $1.00 to each of the 6 names and 
address stated in the article. You then place your own name and address in the bottom of
the list at #6 and post the article in at least 200 newsgroups. (There are thousands) No 
catch that was it. So after thinking it over and talking to a few people first I thought 
about trying it. I figured: “what have I got to lose except 6 stamps and $6.00 right?” 
Then I invested the measly $6.00. Well GUESS WHAT!?… within 7 days I started getting 
money in the mail! I was shocked! I figured it would end soon but the money just kept 
coming in. In my first week I made about $25.00. By the end of the second week I had
made a total of over $1000.00! In the third week I had over $10000.00 and it’s still 
growing. This is now my fourth week and I have made a total of just over $42000.00 and 
it’s still coming in rapidly. It’s certainly worth $6.00 and 6 stamps I have spent more
than that on the lottery!! Let me tell you how this works and most importantly WHY it 
works… Also make sure you print a copy of this article NOW so you can get the 
information off of it as you need it. I promise you that if you follow the directions exactly 
that you will start making more money than you thought possible by doing something so 
easy! 
Suggestion: Read this entire message carefully! (print it out or download it.) Follow the 
simple directions and watch the money come in! 
It’s easy. It’s legal. And your investment is only $6.00 (Plus postage) 
IMPORTANT: This is not a rip-off; it is not indecent; it is not illegal; and it is 99% no risk – 
it really works! 
If all of the following instructions are adhered to you will receive extraordinary dividends. 
PLEASE NOTE:
Please follow these directions EXACTLY and $50000 or more can be yours in 20 to 60 
days. This program remains successful because of the honesty and integrity of the 
participants. Please continue its success by carefully adhering to the instructions. 
You will now become part of the Mail Order business. In this business your product is not 
solid and tangible it’s a service. You are in the business of developing Mailing Lists. Many 
large corporations are happy to pay big bucks for quality lists. However the money made
from the mailing lists is secondary to the income which is made from people like you and 
me asking to be included in that list. 
Here are the 4 easy steps to success: 
STEP 1: Get 6 separate pieces of paper and write the following on each piece of paper 
”PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR MAILING LIST.” Now get 6 US $1.00 bills and place ONE
inside 
EACH of the 6 pieces of paper so the bill will not be seen through the envelope (to prevent 
thievery). Next place one paper in each of the 6 envelopes and seal them. You should 
now have 6 sealed envelopes each with a piece of paper stating the above phrase your 
name and address and a $1.00 bill. What you are doing is creating a service. THIS IS 
ABSOLUTELY LEGAL! You are requesting a legitimate service and you are paying for
it! Like most of us I was a little skeptical and a little worried about the legal aspects of it 
all. So I checked it out with the U.S. Post Office (1-800-725-2161) and they confirmed 
that it is indeed legal. Mail the 6 envelopes to the following addresses: #1) John Miller
P.O. Box 121052
 Nashville, TN 37212 #2) J. Linley
4324 Beechgrove Dr.
 Grove City, OH 43123 #3) J McClintock
80 Lenard LN
 Northglenn, CO 80233 #4) R McRae
3125 Sebring Dr.
 Plano, TX 75023 #5)Shane Lechette 2900 green street, Claymont De, 19703 #6) STEP 2: Now take the #1 name off the list that you see above move the other names up 
(6 becomes 5 5 becomes 4 etc…) and add YOUR Name as number 6 on the list. 
STEP 3: Change anything you need to but try to keep this article as close to original as 
possible. Now post your amended article to at least 200 newsgroups. (I think there are 
close to 24000 groups) All you need is 200 but remember the more you post the more 
money you make! You won’t get very much unless you post like crazy. 
This is perfectly legal! If you have any doubts refer to Title 18 Sec. 1302 & 1341 of the 
Postal lottery laws. Keep a copy of these steps for yourself and whenever you need 
money you can use it again and again. 
PLEASE REMEMBER that this program remains successful because of the honesty and 
integrity of the participants and by their carefully adhering to the directions. Look at it this 
way. If you are of integrity the program will continue and the money that so many others 
have received will come your way. 
NOTE: You may want to retain every name and address sent to you either on a computer 
or hard copy and keep the notes people send you. This VERIFIES that you are truly 
providing a service. (Also it might be a good idea to wrap the $1 bill in dark paper to 
reduce the risk of mail theft.) 
So as each post is downloaded and the directions carefully followed six members will be 
reimbursed for their participation as a List Developer with one dollar each. Your name will 
move up the list geometrically so that when your name reaches the #1 position you will
be receiving thousands of dollars in CASH!!! What an opportunity for only $6.00 ($1.00 for 
each of the first six people listed above) Send it now add your own name to the list and 
you’re in business! 
—DIRECTIONS —– FOR HOW TO POST TO NEWSGROUPS———— 
Step 1) You do not need to re-type this entire letter to do your own posting. Simply put 
your cursor at the beginning of this letter and drag your cursor to the bottom of this 
document and select ‘copy’ from the edit menu. This will copy the entire letter into the
computer’s memory.
Step 2) Open a blank ‘notepad’ file and place your cursor at the top of the blank page. 
From the ‘edit’ menu select ‘paste’. This will paste a copy of the letter into notepad so 
that you can add your name to the list.
Step 3) Save your new notepad file as a .txt file. If you want to do your postings in 
different settings you’ll always have this file to go back to.
Step 4) Use Netscape or Internet explorer and try searching for various newsgroups 
(on-line forums message boards chat sites discussions.)
Step 5) Visit these message boards and post this article as a new message by highlighting 
the text of this letter and selecting paste from the edit menu. Fill in the Subject this will 
be the header that everyone sees as they scroll through the list of postings in a
particular group click the post message button. You’re done with your first one! 
Congratulations…THAT’S IT! All you have to do is jump to different newsgroups and post 
away after you get the hang of it it will take about 30 seconds for each newsgroup! 
**REMEMBER THE MORE NEWSGROUPS YOU POST IN THE MORE MONEY YOU
WILL MAKE! 
BUT :
YOU HAVE TO POST A MINIMUM OF 200** That’s it! You will begin receiving money from 
around the world within days! You may eventually want to rent a P.O.Box due to the large 
amount of mail you will receive. If you wish to stay anonymous you can invent a name to 
use as long as the postman will deliver it. **JUST MAKE SURE ALL THE ADDRESSES ARE
CORRECT.** 
Now each of the 5 persons who just sent me $1.00 make the MINIMUM 200 postings 
each with my name at #5 and only 5 persons respond to each of the original 5 that is 
another $25.00 for me now those 25 each make 200 MINIMUM posts with my name at #4 
and only 5 replies each I will bring in an additional $125.00! Now those 125 persons turn
around and post the MINIMUM 200 with my name at #3 and only receive 5 replies each I 
will make an additional $625.00! OK now here is the fun part each of those 625 persons 
post a MINIMUM 200 letters with my name at #2 and they each only receive 5 replies 
that just made me $3125.00!!! Those 3125 persons will all deliver this message to 200
newsgroups with my name at #1 and if still 5 persons per 200 newsgroups react I will 
receive $1562500! With an original investment of only $6.00! AMAZING! When your name 
is no longer on the list you just take the latest posting in the newsgroups and send out 
another $6.00 to names on the list putting your name at number 6 again. And start 
posting again. The thing to remember is: do you realize that thousands of people all over 
the world are joining the internet and reading these articles everyday? JUST LIKE YOU are 
now!! So can you afford $6.00 and see if it really works?? I think so… People have said 
”what if the plan is played out and no one sends you the money? So what! What are the 
chances of that happening when there are tons of new honest users and new honest
people who are joining the internet and newsgroups everyday and are willing to give it a 
try? Estimates are at 20000 to 50000 new users every day with thousands of those 
joining the actual internet. Remember play FAIRLY and HONESTLY and this will really work! Youll Be Glad You Made The Effort !
thanks

  • Laura M.

    Heard about this on KCRW yesterday and AMEN!! As someone who has just launched a nonprofit that assists low income artists and their pets I have been shocked by people suggesting that artists don’t need money (because true artists create only for arts sake), they already make a lot of money (because they all live like P Diddy), or if they don’t have money than they shouldn’t own pets. Well, based on the logic of that last statement- there are a lot of people who shouldn’t be having children because they can’t afford them. Most people would not go to their job everyday if they didn’t get paid and how we as a society feel we can ask artists to do so is totally illogical.

  • moffittmusic

    Just heard your conversation on 820 AM here (sat. uh, morning) in nyc, and am compelled to offer thanks, and affirm your spirit. The freedom from industry is breathtaking. All I need to do is make Music more possible. Over to you!–PM

  • http://www.kallmaker.com Karin Kallmaker

    Amanda – I just wanted to let you know that I linked to this blog as part of mine on the inference that asking to be a guaranteed paid participant of other people’s money-making schemes that involve my books was not lacking in generosity and graciousness. I hope you don’t mind the affiliation.

    http://kallmaker.blogspot.com/2009/10/lacking-in-graciousness-and-generosity.html

  • http://www.maroonedcomic.com/ Tom Dell’Aringa

    Thanks for posting this Amanda. As a webcartoonist, it’s something I and my compadres struggle mightily with. You’ve given me a lot to think about. As a group we are literally almost afraid to ask for money, yet we give away our wares on a daily basis. Looks like your results speak for themselves.

  • A guest

    “artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.”

    Once again I ask:
    Then why are you NOT paying the artists who are doing the art for your tarot deck?

    Are they not as “artist” as you? Are they not allowed to ask to be paid?
    They can’t eat a free deck of cards.

  • periculum

    Amen. What people aren’t realizing is that the system is indeed broken, and beating around the bush and trying not to hurt feelings is not going to fix it. I hate Ticketmaster in particular for this. I pay a ridiculous amount of money to see a show, and I know that hardly any of it goes to the actual band who’s doing all the work. It’s bullshit. I’d love for all the money I spend on music and music-related things to actually go to the musicians.

    I’m glad you’re doing this, Amanda, because if there’s one thing I want it’s for you to keep making music. You enrich my life, it’s the least I can do to buy your music and your merch and tickets to your shows to help pay your rent.

  • Marcela Carvalho

    Please come to Brazil! We love you here! We need to see you!

  • shithitsfan

    You can whine all you want, if some musician would interrupt his show to start selling shit which by the touch of the artist magically becomes art (i could use quotation marks everywhere in this sentence….), I would hope to find something which I can throw and then leave. sounds to me like you are turning a concert into some kind of outcast-infomercial: Noone leaves before we have not made ten grands tonight…

    and they already gave you their money at the entrance…

    buy buy…

  • mitchmurray

    A., I agree almost totally. I’m a ‘first-generation U.S. punk musician, and I’ve put up 10 songs and a few videos on myspace (FREE DOWNLOADS, EVERYONE!). I considered going the ‘selling’ route as my friends have, but this stuff is from 1978-1986 (a few later collaborations). I was never in it for the money, fame, or any of that bullshit. I just loved playing, creating, and getting it out there to the crowds in little (very cool) dive bars. Now that time has passed, folks are gathering up all the songs from the bands from the ‘scene’ and trying to make a buck off it. I still have no problem with that, as long as my band’s music gets out there.
    I posted 10 0f my original tunes on myspace…..(myspace.com/bucketofpoi), and never thought twice about sharing instead of asking for donations or payment for downloads. There’s some awesome punk, outre, and even mellow ballad shit up there for free.
    Why not?
    I ain’t starving yet, and 99 cents here or there isn’t gonna put food on my table.
    What it does is give people who I’ve contacted and announced the offerings to a chance to network and share my ‘art’ with others.
    I hope everyone checks it out and at least listens to “Gladiator” (way before the Russell Crowe blockbuster).
    It’s a monster that was never released, and the ‘guest’ singer, my best bro, blew his head off a few years ago with a gun.
    He gave up the ‘Gladiator’ spirit.
    Check it out, and please download and share it with your friends!
    Peace & Chaos,
    Mitch M/ex-“House of Strangers” leader….

  • ilovetheusers

    I love the article, it’s dead on. People steal your music (I bought all your CD’s and merch btw) so you have to pass the phucking boot now and again and get money for whatever you can and if someone things that’s wrong, they can go to h3ll. Give ‘em h3ll Amanda!!!!!

  • emestes

    Hells Yeah!! When are you coming to New Mexico or Colorado next?

  • Cheri

    The music industry is so corupt these days I have no idea why anyone would want to argue with the idea of giving money straight to the artist. Considering the fact that I am in school studying for a degree in music business, it makes me want to change my mind sometimes. There are so many pricks within the industry and I do not want to become one of those pricks. Hopefully I can bring about some change within the industry and do some good. No wonder why the industry is in the shape it is today. I will admit it, I download music for free but I also buy music that I feel is worth buying and support the artists that are worth supporting to me, even though they barely see any of the money from record sales. Something needs to change within the industry for good and what you are doing Amanda is a brilliant idea. There is no need for any artist to be shameful about asking their fans for money if they need it. That money is just going to be used in turn more than likely for the fans sake anyways so why would people from the record labels……..I’m not even going to finish that statement because I know the answer. All that the people from the record labels care about is money and not the artists themselves. I know that the industry I am going into for a career is in bad shape but I am glad it is right now because maybe it will teach those assholes a lesson for once. They need to pull their heads from their asses and get their shit together!

  • charels

    I hope noone is taking this idea badly, I for one would prefer to see my money go directly to the artists i enjoy, it definately beats feeding the corperations who care NOTHING about the fans, or the artists for that matter.

  • johnnywarwick

    how about posing on Suicide Girls for cash. You are sooo fucking hot and evidently don’t mind being naked. I’d bet they put up big time cash for a beautiful celebrity type like yourself.

  • http://therecklessgeneral.co.uk/ Elliott

    Brilliant. Fantastic. Amazing.

    I wish any one of those words still carried the sense of meaning they once did. Your views are all of those and more :-)

  • http://amish.com/ Jack

    Shamelessly begging for money.
    Nice to see your scientologist boyfriend has effected you so pathetically.
    Also funny to see neil got a tori amos knock off when he probably could have had the real thing.

    :D

  • http://www.alexajazz.com/ Alexa Weber Morales

    You can get an amen. That was amazamoving!

  • http://www.eternyl.com/ Drew

    I love this…telling the truth, and skipping the middlemen….I too want to become shameless…you have inspired me.

  • http://www.paemepromotions.com/ JMack

    wow… amen

  • stu

    maybe instead of money you should ask for things that benefit your health or swap your art and that way you dont sound like a total nobber asking for money

  • http://facebook.com/morriganswitch Amy Blackthorn

    Fucking AMEN! My father has been playing music (primarily blues) since before I was born, I have famous and unknown musicians as friends. You bring beauty to the world. Everyone has a job to do. You pay your doctor, dentist, lawyer, and you pay for your groceries just like everyone else. People are used to hearing, “so and so made eighty gajillion dollars last year on their newest tour”, that they think ALL musicians who tour must be rolling in it. Not so! Just the same as “Best selling Author”, doesn’t mean “set for life” either!

  • Sara

    AMEN!

  • Tei

    Nice comment here, and I hope it works for you.

    Note: Not everyone think art is “that great”, that other people sould pay so the artist can continue. I think is interesting to let then continue, so any movement in that direction, like your is awesome on my eyes. Good luck, and good fun!.

  • Alison DeJesus

    You certainly can get an amen Ms. Palmer. It’s time labels stopped using people, then breaking them. Literally…people are getting promised money, not reading the fine print, spending money, and then finding out they didn’t get as much money because they had to pay everyone’s third cousin’s sister-in-law’s baby’s daddy’s brother who was involved, and profiting off someone else’s work.
    I work my ass off, not as an artist, and can’t get ends together. I once had something stolen, and asked for help to get it replaced. My roomates were horrified that I would ask this from people. They said that it wasn’t right for me to ask for money from others to replace this thing.
    Now I’m getting married, have a kid, and have to take care of my family. I’m told it’s wrong to ask for money from others to help me have the wedding, even from people who are coming to the wedding. I already work. I don’t get welfare, although I probably should…should I just go without because I’m not making near enough money being a teacher to be able to afford to have a wedding? When there are others around me that are perfectly content, have enough money, and less to worry about paying for? There’s no charity for working people who just don’t have enough to get by. None for people who have being looking for jobs that aren’t there who have used up their unemployment and now have no income. “Get a job” is really not as easy as it sounds. And if you can get others to give you money directly to get what you need, it’s a blessing. Society just frowns upon asking for help from others…you should pull yourself up by your boot straps, and take care of yourself. Forget the actors who make billions while cops take bribes to make their mortgage payments. Just be happy with what you have while others get thousand dollar facials, and your bank account is overdrawn again because you needed medicine for your kids.
    AND we feed that! Fawning over those people, fascinated with their lives and lifestyle.
    Okay, I could go on like this for a long time, but I have to get back to work to make the little that I do to get through another week.
    Alison DeJesus

  • chirori

    AMEN.

    And I love you.

  • bobwho

    The itinerant musician, tryin’ to make a buck, has been around since the first time somebody made a musical instrument small enough to carry. Nuthin’ new. You’re just more up front about the business end than most. Coming at it as a street artist, I can understand the why, even if I’m not too impressed by the how. Lots of places have THRIVING local music scenes. They’re all supported pretty much the same way. People coming to shows. Bands selling CDs (and whatever else) between sets. (One at a time) The tip jar on the piano. The open case at the corner of the stage… I always toss in what I can because that’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s a lot more personal than just buying a CD at Wal-Mart. Over the years it has help me build relationships with some amazingly talented artists. (and a pretty cool collection of autographed CD artwork too

  • Jeannie Lou

    AMEN! Finally someone said it! I’m an art student at a private college and I have so many classmates fight me on why I want to make money out of my art someday. They say that they’re there for the experience so that they can relate it someday in their own work. If that’s the case, then why go to a school that costs $30,000 a year? If they wanted an experience, they could do that in any regular college. A school like mine costs that much money because they promise a business future out of students like me.

    You are so fucking awesome. I hope that other artists speak out about this like you did, instead of being intimidated by artists who wants to just make art for art.

  • johnnycash111

    the problem comes when the reality is exposed. i 100 percent support the idea that artists deserve to be paid for their art. no argument from here. but the idea that music fans are those who are cheating the artists out of money, is absurd and insane. I dont have the power to sign a band, I dont have the power to give Lil Wayne or Gaga an advance. I cant sign them. I cant write a contract for them.
    The idea and theory you propose is backwards. the culprit is not the lowly 20 year old poor college student who downloads on bittorrent sites, the real criminal is the record industry in general, the ceo’s and label owners. The “normal” record contract is insane and exploitative. The fact that the label gets a bigger take of the cash is unfair. the fact bands dont and cant own their masters is unfair. the fact that for every record sold in a shop most artists recieve a few dollars rather than 15 dollars or whatever.
    appealing to us, the listeners is pointless, as we are powerless, as I pointed out. I find the notion that by downloading the new Gorillaz record, I am stealing from the band, absolutely ridiculous. Whether i steal it or not, the fact is, the band will not recieve the money they deserve. Whether I download it or not, the system of exploitation exists and will exists whether I buy cd’s or not.
    i wish artists got fair money in return. were treated fairly by labels. werent exploited

    you can post these missives all you want but it wont change the system and the world as it exists now. hundreds of millions of people illegally download. the record store that existed 20 years ago, is closed, bankrupt, or doesnt exist in the way it used to. cd sales have been down every single year since 1999.

    you can hold your breath for a world where, people legally buying records from their local store, you can hold your breath for a world where when that happens, you, the artist will be fairly compensated, but that world isnt real. i aint holding my breath for it.

    the fans have been exploited as well. its not just the artist that has been unfairly treated. jacking up cd prices. endless reissues of the same cds year after year. constantly being bombarded with the same pop and asinine crap on the radio and tv, and it being packaged as great or worthy of our money.

    you can scream all you want, but it makes zero sense to fine music fans who download illegally.

    we are all pawns in the game as dylan would say.

  • Darren Mitton

    Hey – Just wanted to toss you a note to tell you how much I love your music and what you are doing to change music. I don’t normally spend money on CDs – as it is the companies that get most of the money. But you’re worth it. Your music is REAL and so are you. Thank you.

    To those of the posters who do not “get it” – it really is your loss that you have to knock someone elses’ methods and success in order to make yourself feel better. YOU are the ones who “don’t get it”. SAD. Time to re-examine yourself.

  • althara

    Amen! Somebody has to do the work to figure this out, even if they trip along the way and end up pissing a few people off. My hat’s off to you AFP, and not in that collecting a tip way. :)

  • http://www.paragraf.su/ Типография

    nicely written.

  • http://www.paragraf.su/ Типография

    You can whine all you want, if some musician would interrupt his show to start selling shit which by the touch of the artist magically becomes art (i could use quotation marks everywhere in this sentence….), I would hope to find something which I can throw and then leave. sounds to me like you are turning a concert into some kind of outcast-infomercial: Noone leaves before we have not made ten grands tonight…

    • rcp

      This is a good point. Artists can ask for money, but a concert is certainly not the place to do this, and especially not in this way. Those people already paid money to get into the show. And with Amanda, mny of them are already bringing gifts, artwork, food, etc. to give her. She is sucking her most dedicated fans dry. Taking advantage of their fanaticism. It’s uncool.

      Putting a small donations bucket at your merch table is probably okay, but even then I feel you should be offering something to your audience for free from said merch table, if only just stickers or small buttons. My band offers free stickers, buttons, and sometimes “first-come-first-serve” homemade CDs, which people LOVE. We make new/different ones every so often–limited copies which only cost blank CDs, cheap DIY-type printing at Kinkos, and a little time and TLC–and some of our fans have actually started collections of these CDs. Sometimes we also raffle off t-shirts. Depending on the show we’ll charge 25¢-$1 to put your name in the pool. Then 1-3 people go home with t-shirts they only paid a buck (at most) for and everyone else probably doesn’t even give a second thought to that $ they put in, or if they do, they know it went directly to a band whose music they enjoy, so it’s no big loss.

      Little things. Friendly exchanges. Material world, man. People want Things. You give them little, inexpensive things and they will become more committed as fans. They will keep coming to your shows and keep buying your music and t-shirts. They will keep donating a dollar or two to your “gas money*” bucket placed humbly on your merch table alongside free stickers. These friendly little exchanges add up. You can’t just play music and cry into your microphone about how poor you are and so they’d better pay a lot of money for the wine glass you just used backstage if they really love you.

      *The idea of asking for things like “gas money” instead of just “donations” is actually key. People are 20x more likely to give something (in my experience) when they know what the money is being used for. Full disclosure and all that.

  • sooksan
  • marckdon

    it’s a really fun. but i like music and its a great article.It seems that it is not a SEO problem but that’s something wrong with the products you promote. They might be of good quality and fairly priced as you say. But if the products are not in high demand and/or the sales pages are crappy, you won’t make good sales, no matter what SEO work you do.

    The only other explanation could be that you might not use BUYER keywords and attract too many freebie seekers/non buyers to your website.

    For how long do you have those 250 clicks you mentioned?

  • Elaine

    Amanda, for the benefit of those who don’t understand the concept of capitalism, rest assured that we are all working for money not for charity. (those reading who work for charity excepted of course!) When record companies make promises and then take the lion’s share of profits for doing nothing but paying lawyers, they deserve to be cut loose. In general, the artist’s image thing is not besmurched by the handling of cash in the minds of those of us who understand the direct benefit to art lovers. To my mind the business end of artistic endeavors requires as much or more talent ! Especially doing it well. Being a pioneer on the bleeding edge of anything means YOU are the one with the arrows in YOUR BACK. Yet, you are also the one hacking your way through the ugly underbrush so the rest of us can walk more easily toward our goals. (Internet pioneer speaking there from first hand experience)
    So, Girl, keep the faith, money is only dirty in the minds of people who don’t have it and can’t figure out a way to get it.
    In summary, while it’s mighty nice of you to justify your actions to the few (not the many) who simply don’t get it, justifying payment for services rendered is totally unnecessary.
    May The Force Be With YOU!

  • http://maverickmoneymakersreview.ws/ Maverick Moneymakers Review

    i think there are more good tips!

  • Hasanmn

    Stretch marks massage, Massage for stretch marks.
    Just about everyone who says massage works is using it in tandem with nourishing lotions or regenerative serums or a suctioning kind of process. Most of them say massage must be used in conjunction with their other doctor-free treatments, but a few people insist that massage is the core, and must be administered strategically.
    http://stretchmarkinstitute.com/14,is-massage-helpful-for-stretch-marks.html

  • http://hedtke.blogspot.com John Hedtke

    A-fucking-MEN!!

  • http://www.governmentcarsauction.com government auction

    Interesting stuff. Too bad she passed, great to hear those old stories!

  • http://www.smallweddingideas.org/ Small wedding idea

    Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

  • Guest

    i could get on board with this if it was actually: “fan loves art, artist needs money, fan gives artist money, artist says thank you.” but too often, the artist does NOT say thank you – they just give some bullshit entitled attitude and hold out their hand for more, or forgets to forget to thank the fans.

    what happened with that burlesque troupe who opened for you guys for free, and all they wanted was to briefly meet the band and say hi? oh yeah – you couldn’t be bothered.

    • Guest

      ignore the typo, it’s pretty clear what was meant.

  • http://www.VaginaJenkins.com The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins

    Hey grrrrl hey!

    I totally agree with you on so man of these points. Im a burlesque dancer of seven years and people ask me all the time to do shows for free for “exposure.”

    For me, it feels crazy anti-feminist/kind of exploitative to expose my nude-ish black, fat body to folks who dont value my art/my body enough to pay me. You know what I mean? Like its my BODY here, feels like shades of Saartje Baartman (The Hottentot Venus) all over again.

    I mention all this because recently I got approached by someone representing you/TDD to be a part of an opening burlesque show for your Atlanta stop.

    They didnt want to pay any of the performers AND the only compensation they were willing to offer was a pass to the show. Mind you, not a pass for a guest, but a pass to see the show that I would have just helped open!

    It felt super wierd/exploitative. So I decided to sit this “opportunity for exposure” out. But I wonder about the experience of some of my burlesque fam who did perform, y aknow?

    Are you aware that this is going on? What are your words o’ wisdom around all of that stuff? Im not trying to call you out/put you on front street. Im sincerely just curious about how much you’re aware of these sorts of situations?

    Love and Light,
    The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins, Burlesque performer, educator and all around badass
    http://www.VaginaJenkins.com

  • http://www.auto-rent.ro Car hire Otopeni

    I’m completely on your side Amanda! I’m happy to shell out money to see you perform and will continue to do so forev! Please tour with Brian again soon though, K? Love all that you do!

  • sad fan

    love to support artists but…. I’m still waiting to hear about the 2nd copy of the orange vinyl that I ordered… only received 1 in early january and have had no response to my email inquiries about the 2nd copy. :(

  • Seasahocha

    Wow. I’m a million years late to the party, but I feel like I have something to say. And that, is that people commenting here are giant fucking hypocrites.

    It is SO inappropriate for AFP to take money from her fans. It is SO inappropriate for her to take credit for being a comparative front-runner in terms of how she runs her business. Shouldn’t she just be Ashamed to stick her bitch hand out to people who might have less than her and ask that her effort be remunerated?

    Hell No. I am a student, and I pay for my goddamn classes. When I get a job, I’ll charge for my fucking time, because my training and talent and time will be OF VALUE. That’s what currency IS, folks. My mom, a nurse, went into her field out of a very real sense of empathy and wanting to care for people. She still wants to eat, pay her mortgage, retire one day… Her work is of value, and she should be paid for it. Same goes for artists. Maybe some of the commenters here aren’t lucky enough to love what they do. Boo-fucking-hoo. Maybe some people want to keep their artistry as a hobby, to keep it pure and untainted by the muck and mire of business. Good for them. Some of us, apparently a vanishingly small minority, want to do what we love and live off of the proceeds, and so long as what we love isn’t raping kittens, I don’t see why that’s a problem. Me? I have such utter unmitigated gall that I don’t just want to do what I love AND be able to survive off the profits, I’d even like to have some nice things and savings and disposable income. WHAT A MONSTER.

    Why exactly is AFP so different? It’s crass to want to be paid because… she’s an artist? Because she makes more than you do? Because she’s a woman? Because she’s dating a famous guy? Because she doesn’t dig big evil corporations? There is no conflict here. She does the work, she gets paid, and people who don’t like it are entitled babies. End of story.

  • CBKOF

    Amen. Vote with your money comrades. Be a Patron. Make a Difference. Do It Now. Love, CBKOF

  • TeDiouS

    I really don’t get what the issue is. When UkeHead came out for like 80 cents and it explicitly said 30 cents goes to BandCamp and 50 cents goes to Radiohead and whatever else you pay goes directly to Amanda I thought it was revelatory. Back in the day you’d buy a CD for like 16 bucks and MAYbe 50 cents of that would go to the artist whose music brought joy to your life. The rest of the money went to useless leeches who added no value and brought no joy. Now you could still pay that same 16 bucks secure in the knowledge that the vast majority of that money would go straight to the person creating the joy. OR OR OR if you’re a poor kid who can’t afford the 16 bucks pay EIGHTY FUCKING CENTS and know that you’re square; you covered the cost of getting the rights and distributing the music. You can’t conceive of a better system than this. Everyone pays what they can afford and the bulk of the money goes to the person who actually created the music. As Charlie would say: WINNING!

  • Pete

    I am one of those people who don’t sleep, yet I’m sober and drug free. I just don’t sleep, most of the time. When I do get some shut-eye, it’s not in time with the rest of the universe. Go figure.
    Anyway, I was not sleeping and the TV was on a late muzic channel. I was just putting up with muzic, hoping I can get some clues from drummers, cos I am trying to learn to play drums, but I can’t practice when I don’t sleep, the neihbers lead “normal” lives. I really really want to bash my drum lessons at 3.am.
    Anyway, the TV had this smaz looking artists, the name said Amanda Palmer. Even if I tried to sleep, she kept me awake. All I want to say is thanks Amanda, your lyrics reflect things that make me want to google to find out more. When ya can’t sleep, eventually there is nothing left to google. The last thing I googled was time travel, so yeah, it gets pretty bad.  fancy googling time travel, then all of a sudden ya googling Amanda….Palmer, for fucks sake.
    Love
    Pete
    X

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001597488919 Surviving Sophia Walker

    While I agree with pretty much all that you’ve said, I must object to your suggestion that we give any more money to Paul McCartney.

    He’s gotten quite enough money from each and every person on the planet for plenty long enough, and frankly, he sucks.

    He’s already rich beyond the dreams of avarice, let’s agree to stop giving talentless old tossers like him any more of our money.

    If we must give it away, find someone else.

  • http://www.seorus.com.au/ SEO Melbourne

    nice post i like it 

  • Jkjk

    No if you bitches want money go out and get it, work for it, make those deals, don’t steal it from those that really dont’ give a flying fucking about your shitty art!

  • Jennifer

    Does this mean you will be letting the artists that are working for “hugs, beer and merch” put a tip jar out at your concerts? Because the issue is not with YOU making money. It’s with you NOT respecting other musicians and asking them to put THEIR art out there with NO compensation.

  • Jason

    Using CAPS to make yr WORDS louder is SILLY Ms. PANTS! I would be honored to rock the stage with one Amanda F Palmer, I would demand a photo as well…. it is in my contract. I would take the hug as well. Look it is one night, it is not like she is taking these people on tour, there is no per diem, they have to do very little! Show up, rock on, and love. If you do not want to be paid in hugs, do not volunteer your time with Amanda. End of story.

  • monkeypainter

    yes mam you can :) FUCKING AMEN!!!

    signed, one of the hidden rabbit artists ^,^

  • http://twitter.com/thehollajack Hollajack Clothing

    Hello, my name is Jack Frazier. I own a website called
    Holllajack Clothing Company found and hollajack.com ( http://www.hollajack.com
    ). We are looking for REAL art to
    display on our website. We are not
    contacting every artist we see, just the ones that amaze us. We want to
    showcase art that wows people, and makes them ask “where did you get
    that”? Which is why we are contacting you.
    We hope you might be interested in sharing your designs with the rest of
    the world while making a commission that you set (we recommend $1-$5 because it
    adds to the total cost of the product).
    We are just starting out and you would be taking a chance on us….but
    we hope you take that chance. We hope you Holla, and can’t wait to see your
    other work!

  • http://twitter.com/thehollajack Hollajack Clothing

    Hello, my name is Jack Frazier. I own a website called
    Holllajack Clothing Company found and hollajack.com ( http://www.hollajack.com
    ). We are looking for REAL art to
    display on our website. We are not
    contacting every artist we see, just the ones that amaze us. We want to
    showcase art that wows people, and makes them ask “where did you get
    that”? Which is why we are contacting you.
    We hope you might be interested in sharing your designs with the rest of
    the world while making a commission that you set (we recommend $1-$5 because it
    adds to the total cost of the product).
    We are just starting out and you would be taking a chance on us….but
    we hope you take that chance. We hope you Holla, and can’t wait to see your
    other work!

  • http://twitter.com/thehollajack Hollajack Clothing

    Hello, my name is Jack Frazier. I own a website called
    Holllajack Clothing Company found and hollajack.com ( http://www.hollajack.com
    ). We are looking for REAL art to
    display on our website. We are not
    contacting every artist we see, just the ones that amaze us. We want to
    showcase art that wows people, and makes them ask “where did you get
    that”? Which is why we are contacting you.
    We hope you might be interested in sharing your designs with the rest of
    the world while making a commission that you set (we recommend $1-$5 because it
    adds to the total cost of the product).
    We are just starting out and you would be taking a chance on us….but
    we hope you take that chance. We hope you Holla, and can’t wait to see your
    other work!

  • http://twitter.com/thehollajack Hollajack Clothing

    Hello, my name is Jack Frazier. I own a website called
    Holllajack Clothing Company found and hollajack.com ( http://www.hollajack.com
    ). We are looking for REAL art to
    display on our website. We are not
    contacting every artist we see, just the ones that amaze us. We want to
    showcase art that wows people, and makes them ask “where did you get
    that”? Which is why we are contacting you.
    We hope you might be interested in sharing your designs with the rest of
    the world while making a commission that you set (we recommend $1-$5 because it
    adds to the total cost of the product).
    We are just starting out and you would be taking a chance on us….but
    we hope you take that chance. We hope you Holla, and can’t wait to see your
    other work!