the many THINGS of THING-MAS…the patreon “Year In Review”
on the first day of ThingMas, my true love gave to me….
A GIANT LIST OF ALL THE EFFING THINGS.
ok, hot damn. by the end of 2017, dear patrons, i will have released 39 things – 15 Things this year alone (and counting) – through this here portal, powered by….you all.
i figured it’d be nice to wrap everything up in a this-year-retrospective, especially for those who’ve only just joined and want to do some catch up.
there is, of course, the ongoing page of ALL THE THINGS EVER, and you can view all the ALL THE PATREON THINGS on my website, whenever you wanna. http://amandapalmer.net/patreon-things
i’d LOVE it if you all weighed in in the comments of this post about what your favorite thing was, and why. maybe share a story about how this art intersected with your own story….where you were when you heard something, why it mattered, how it worked, why you cared.
i like talking about the art and what it does, because the stories are always so unique and i like rememebring that i don’t make art in a vacuum, that there are living breathing people on the other side of the art-wall (you) who actually take the art and weave it into the fabric of your own weird lives and experiences. it helps me to know.
so talk to me. also feel free to tell me what isn’t working for you, what’s bothering you, if there’s anything that just doesn’t sit right about the ptreon and how it’s working.
we are making this all up as we go along.
also worth celebrating: through these releases, plus related digital/physical sales, we’ve raised over $17,000 (USD) for a variety of charities and organizations doing amazing work. i’ve detailed these contributions below along with links to these orgs, if you feel so inclined, give them more money and spread the word for the great work that they all do.
without further ado…
in JANUARY – we released one Thing
Floating in a Cocktail Glass, a strange little out-take song i wrote inspired by an unknown long-dead woman’s poem (thanks jason webley), and a weird little underwater music video to go along with it.
in FEBRUARY we released no things, and i just worked on songwriting and plotting and doing some touring in australia.
in MARCH we released one Thing
the AFP-Cast episode 1: AFP + Missy Higgins podcast which found me chatting with songwriter missy higgins about the collision of work and music motherhood. the audio is a little sub-par, and i’m proud to tell you all that i’m currently in talks with a fantastic podcasting team who are gonna be helping with future releases (YAAAAYYYYYY)
in APRIL we released one Thing
The Clock at the Back of the Cage which is one of the most beautiful animated music videos i’ve ever put out. this was also hands down my favorite track on the edward record, and the video actually just WON the silver award for cinematography at the Australian Cinematographers Society awards for Victoria. WE ROCK.
in MAY we released one Thing…
the entire I Can Spin A Rainbow album, which was a long-time passion/bucket-list project of mine: co-written and recorded with my songwriting hero, Edward Ka-Spel of The Legendary Pink Dots and featuring Patrick Q. Wright on violin. we spent over a month writing and recording this album in the early summer of 2016 at Imogen Heap and Edward’s houses in sussex, UK. the album was really beautifully critically received, we did a mini US and european/UK tour to promote it, and i consider it a bucket-list well fucking kicked. you can still get the album on vinyl or CD here: http://amandapalmer.net/icanspinarainbow
in JUNE we released one Thing
an “I Can Spin A Rainbow” webcast: Live in London at Heaven Webcast.
we hired a super-pro webcast team and the quality came out gorgeously.
in JULY we released one Thing:
the Grown Man Cry music video, which was my first attempt at partnering up with one of my trusted director friends (steven mitchell wright) and giving him free reign to pick an AFP song that he loved (it had to be a song with no official music video) to create a video for. he made a super-new-wave-inspired video that reminds me of lost 120-minutes/depeche mode MTV era. it also employed a ton of australian actors and crew, which made me happy.
and…while this wasn’t an official 2017 thing (it was thing’d in 2016),
Piano is Evil, my acoustic piano version of “theatre is evil” was released publicly with a different track order and a new recording of “Lost” after it was first released as a patreon-only download in october 2016. with the launch of this, i donated 10% of merch sales to The Trevor Project.
in AUGUST we released one Thing:
Drowning in the Sound…which marked a whole new approach to my patreon that i’ve since stuck with. i was behind on projects, a lot of videos and stuff were taking longer than i’d thought they would (nobody’s fault, just….art things can take time). so i decided to try something that i’d wanted to do since launching the patreon, which was to hole myself up in a studio with a gun to my songwriting head and not emerge until i had a finished, recorded song. which i would thing. i did it, and i have to say, i think this is one of the better songs i’ve written in ages. the release was a pay-what-you-want download, and for the first month of sales i donated all profits to The Texas Diaper Bank for hurricane harvey relief. we raised $7k….which felt hugely poetic given the hurricane and the powerlessness in the face of it had been one of the main song ingredients.
in SEPTEMBER we released one Thing
i was so inspired with how well “drowning in the sound” went that i got on a roll and reprised the flash-song technique and locked myself in a studio again and wrote and recorded Small Hands, Small Heart over the course of 2-3 days, and this time i brought in a producer (sean slade, who also produced the dresden dolls’ second album, “yes, virginia”) and again, i was super-proud of the results. i also dropped it as a pay-what-you-want download and donated the first month of sales to the Maria Fund to aid puerto rico in the aftermath of hurricane maria, and that raised just under $4k.
in OCTOBER we released TWO Things
this was a massive release month. i did my third ninja song, which resulted in (my opinion) the best song i’ve ever written, The Ride. before even writing it, i’d committed to FILMING the recording of the song in one take with michael pope, since we had a venue booked at welseyan university to film anything we wanted. the fact that i had to record the song, two days after writing it, in ONE take, actually influenced the way i wrote the song, and i found myself feeling a whole new awe at this process: i was doing a real dance with my patreon and loving it. i’d also committed to NOT releasing this new song to the public because i was getting increasingly more frustrated with the fact that the songs i was dropping with no warning just weren’t getting any traction in the “real” world, because, generally, the “real” world (read: the music industry and the music blogs) aren’t build to withstand constant releases: they’re built to receive a giant project from an artist every few years. i grumbled. i decided to keep my really good shit to myself, and to my patrons. “the ride” still isn’t available to the public.
this month also saw the song & video release of In Harm’s Way, which was a epic project i’d been slaving on (along with the filmmaker, abel azcona) for MONTHS. this song was an epic i’d penned over the previous winter, in response to the refugee crisis, the video featured a ton of the fanbase who had volunteered their time to go to the coast of spain to shoot….and we tied in a physical release of a 7″ vinyl, giving a cut of that (and the digital download $$) to one of the charities i’d worked with when i visited the camps in lezvos, and we raised over $2k for Because We Carry.
also….in early october i did a ninja gig at Her Upstairs Cabaret in london, since i was there for a quickie visit to hang with neil while he worked on Good Omens with the BBC, and we raised £1,OO for The Outside Project, a crisis night shelter service for the LGBTIQ+ community in london.
in NOVEMBER we released TWO Things
the Mother music video, which was my crowning art achievement of the year. i’d gotten the idea for the song and video back in australia right around the time trump got nominated, and it took forever to find the right team, the right director, and the right moment…but we did it. i am more proud of this music video than any other i have ever put out. if you haven’t seen it yet, for god’s sake, please don’t miss this one. it got a deafening response from international press and a huge rally of support (especially from my feminist and artist friends) on the internet, and a few brave journalists (including one from newsweek), managed to wrap their heads around it.
pausing for a moment: this project, the mother video, was the moment where i seriously stopped in my tracks, looked at what i was able to do with this patreon….i.e. create a $40,000-budget video and employ an army of progressive, queer, outsider performers and crew for a project that had ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO EXIST – videos don’t “make money”, and it was a pink floyd cover song for god’s sake, and the sales of the physical and digital track wouldn’t even clear a few thousand dollars in profit (if i was lucky) and i was like HOLY FUCK, YES, THIS IS WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. getting inspired, making art, and sharing the wealth and resources with artists like these.
just saying. i had my domepiece blown.
then i went over to london a few days after the release and we recorded and thing’d the Live in London at Union Chapel with very special guest Jherek Bischoff…and again, the audio and video quality of the webcast were fucking phenomenal.
(and, in prep before the gig at union chapel, i did a second ninja gig at Her Upstairs, this time we raised about £750 for Mermaids UK, an org that provides family and individual support for teens and children with gender identity issues.
in DECEMBER we released TWO Things (and have more coming…wheeee)
the song How Would You Like To Play God which was my wesleyan-students inspired song…written in new york and recorded with a pick-up band (including jherek on bass) in london. it got a fantastic response from y’all…i kept it more or less out of the public since i’ll likely release it later, and there’s still a student video to come (which we won’t Thing, we’ll just share when it’s ready).
AND LASTLY….if you didn’t notice yesterday, i released a totally left-field musical theater number, Labyrinth from the musical The Grinning Man.
all digital downloads proceeds for labyrinth are going to fund The Bristol Old Vic Young Company, a youth theatre company in the UK….and hopefully we’ll be able to send a few thousand pounds over to the kids of london who need to flex their small jazz hands.
and last but not least, the last thing of the year, released on december 23rd, Annunciations: Offline in Cuba, a short documentary film made while working on the angel gabriel music video in cuba last year.
that’s it my loves. well.
AND A PARTRIDGE IN A MOTHERFUCKING PEAR TREE, as michael pope would say.
to all of you who have been supporting me here…i hope looking at this entire list of makings and doings has made you feel like i feel right now: awestruck with what’s it’s possible for an indie artist to accomplish when she can make her art direct and in the now, with direct funding from a bunch of generous people, without the mainstream games to play, without the media to please and placate, and without rules and regs to make me second-guess my work.
i am learning every day how to do this, and i am so grateful that you’re all patiently supporting me through all the growing pains.
before i let you go, i have one extra big thing to say.
none of this would have been remotely possible without MY TEAM. i don’t talk about them constantly, but they are CONSTANTLY working. a huge portion of your patreon $$ goes to pay the salaries and health insurance (and more) of my absolutely amazing two full-time employees, michael mccomiskey and hayley rosenblum, who work tirelessly from our HQ office in new york city to make sure that everything runs smoothly, from booking flights and recording studios to making sure posts like this one have the right images and photo credits.
if i didn’t have them, i would spend 98% of my life doing desk admin, and i’d have almost no time for writing and making art. i’m also endlessly grateful for nick rizzuto (and his current assistant, brittney bomberger) who works out of his office in philly to make sure that our website, our email blasts, and my bandcamp and other web-lands are all perfecto. they do a phenomenal job and your patreon money pays their salaries.
alex knight has been my Merch Queen in the UK and indispensable in so many ways – from helping me with logistics on the ground in london to providing you all in europe and the UK with all the merch your heart desires (with an incredibly personal Merch Queen touch). he also helps – along with the amazing marjolein van eltern, who occasionally gives an amazing helping hand with physical merch and other AFP team work – commandeer the patreon facebook page. they’ve both been a godsend and i’m so lucky to have them.
lastly, my new manager, jordan verzar, who cranks behind a hot laptop every day in sydney, australia, has been indispensable behind the scenes to rope this whole team together and make sure the trains run on time. he isn’t on a salary; he’s paid (like a normal manager) a percentage of my income, and he earns every penny of it.
it’s also a good time to thank my two booking agents: bex majors at UTA (who books me in the UK and europe) and matt hickey (who books me in north america)… these guys are solid as rocks and i am ever-grateful to the work they put into tracking down and working with the very best venues for our community to gather in. it’s all real.
i wouldn’t be able to my job without all these people.
they don’t get applauded at the end of every show, and it’s nice to say thank you in front of everybody. i love and trust these people so much, and i’m so proud of what they’ve helped us all create – together – this year.
thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all of us here at team AFP – you are everything, and without you and your support – NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
here’s to MANY MORE THINGS IN 2018, MY LOVES!!!!!!
i’ve already got an art-list as long as my fuckin arm and then some.
there is no stopping this bitch.
———THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS———
1. if you’re a patron, please click through to comment on this post. at the very least, if you’ve read it, indicate that by using the heart symbol.
2. see All the Things i’ve made so far on patreon: http://amandapalmer.net/patreon-things
3. join the official AFP-patron facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/afpland
4. AFP-patreon-related questions? ask away, someone will answer: