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missive from heathrow / san fran, comic-con, wanderlust

fuck. warning: this blog will be not too deep and very photo-heavy

on my way to russia for the with The Grate Jason Webley – will post this blog whenever i find a somewhere get online over there – the place i’m staying in st petersburg with jason has no internet.
maybe i’ll post it in two parts because i have many, many, many photos to post and don’t want to make you wait hours for loading.

currently in the terminal 5 purgatory of london heathrow airport.
the light here is great but the espresso blows. the juice is good. life is in balance.

if i wasn’t a twitter addict before (um, i was), the die has now been fully cast with the addition of an iphone and twitvid capabilities. i can now point my phone at my bellybutton and immediately upload it to twitvid or youtube. not that i would.

me? noooo.

first, the weather and news…….



so – if you missed the memo on this one, i’m playing two official shows in russia. it’s why i’m in the airport, in fact.

1 thursday august 6th at the glavclub (st. petersburg) – this one is a club show with jason webley. we’re sharing his back-up band, i’m hoping to god someone videos
2 saturday at the afisha picnic (moscow) – this one is a huge city festival. i have NO idea what to expect but the back-up band is going to help me out and jason is going to hop up with me.
3 moscow secret show?! – COULD be. COULD be happening the day after the festival. AIN’T SAYING it will. check the blog and the twitter feed, all shall be revealed.

this all being said, i know most of you aren’t in russia – but if you have ANY contacts there, send them, send them, send them our way!!

i promise as many vodka-soaked pictures and stories as possible.



i’m very very happy to announce that the first london show (at union chapel sept 12) sold out way in advance (go team) and so we’ve added a second one on sept 11th. tickets are available now HERE but get them quick because this one may sell out, too.

in support for the sept 12th show is polly scattergood. i’m a huge fan and she may also show up the 11th so stay tuned. in addition, these london shows are going to be SICK as i’ve heard they have a PIPE ORGAN that i can use. mother of god! excellllent. i will bach! i’m also hoping to land a very special musical guest (who i won’t be able to announce – but you’ll cream…and no, it’s not neil gaiman playing tambourine again, though he will probably be on hand to sign books after the show, since he’ll be in london with me and i don’t think he’s sick of watching me play….yet).


we’re JUST starting to make the book available at a few select retailers with whom we have cosy relations. hopefully more are to come, but for now…

if you’re in NYC, you can pick it up at:
Forbidden Planet
840 Broadway
New York, NY

(they’re right near union square. they’ve also got it on their website)

and CHAPTERS has it:
Parnell Street
Dublin, Ireland
(they wrote a little blog about carrying it HERE)

we’re also hoping to have the book available in some UK stores so keep your fingers crossed and let us know if you see it pop up at:
Forbidden Planet
40-41 Southbridge Street

Forbidden Planet
179 Shaftesbury Avenue

if i find out it’s at either place, i’ll post to twitter and facebook and such…

past that? the main place people are getting it from is JSR Direct, the amazing merch company that i’ve been with since almost day one. they will ship it worldwide and have it in stock NOW meaning it ships ASAFP.

more happy customers are tweeting in their reactions:

from left to right: @Skeezix1967, @z_mbie, @tofro and @jake_lam

sweet. for reals, the reaction to the book has been so positive we’re all like proud parents. beth, me, neil & kyle worked so long and hard to put this sucker together.

if you still haven’t ordered, there are a few thousand copies left. given how well it’s going, i think we’ll be out by the end of summer, which is great.

please note: there is NO sheet music in THE BOOK, but there IS a sheet music book for “who killed amanda palmer” that can be ordered HERE. some people have gotten them confused – i’m sorry – but the two books are very different in every way. the sheet music book is a paperback (with no stories by neil) and only has a couple of photos (in which i’m very much alive). it is also about half the price and it’s aimed at those of you who want to learn to play the songs. the dresden dolls companion and the virginia companion are beasts of a different color as those include TONS of photos, alternate artwork, pages and pages of writing by me and brian, and of course the sheet music for piano or guitar with drum notes from brian – THOSE can be found HERE.

but none of of those things are like THE BOOK.


i’ve been feeling off, but mostly just do to the stupid speed of life, my planning and my brain.
i planned only 5 days at home and it was just long enough to run around like a crack fox in a cage wondering what the fuck i should do.

during any given hour at home i will clean, pack, twitter, answer email, try to catch up with my housemates and family, try to re-connect with my old boston friends, do wash, try to enjoy the weather, talk on the phone, go to yoga, write music, practice (though i didn’t do so well this time – i never actually did), sort through mail, make plans for the long-term, sort through things that accumulated on the last trip, sit and try to meditate without getting driven crazy by the to-do list.

i look around at all of my SHIT and clothes and realize that i never really see them – that all the shit i’ve been accumulating over the years doesn’t ever come with me.
i simply should not accumulate anything i can’t fit in the suitcase.
meanwhile, i always come back with an extra bag since so much random shit comes my way in the forms of random gifts and accidents.
there is probably a name for this phenomenon, but in plain language, i have Tons of Shit Syndrome (TOSS – ironic, hm?) and a very small amount of usage and processing time.

here’s an example: i have a pile of DVDs stacked in my apartment i have been collecting since 2006. i think out of 40 of them, i’ve watched one. but every time i’m told i HAVE to see a film and i either buy it or someone hands it to me, i assume that at SOME point my life will change and i will turn into the kind of person who watched movies when she has spare time. this is a fantasy. when i have spare time, i do not watch movies. i read. or i work online. there’s still hope.

i also have a pile of friends CDs and recommended music so high it hits the ceiling, and i’m not yet in the habit of ripping anything to my mac or organizing my iTunes.
so the pile lives at home, where i never am, and the CDs are useless. not to mention the fact that i never listen to music even when i’m home (i crave the silence)…or on the road for that matter.
i crave the silence there, too. so what am i supposed to do with all this crap? i wish i had 3 more lifetimes.
or better: digestion clones.
i want some paralllel selves who just hang around my house listening to music, watching films and eating frozen bon-bons and getting fat and immovable because they never have to face the real world, or move for that matter. i’ll be their best friends when i come home and they’ll give me a distilled list.
“well, you really liked deerhunter, mommie dearest, and this audrey hepburn, but you hated this quentin tarantino film”
“sweet” i’ll say “how about the music”
“oh god” i’ll say “there wasn’t much you’d dig. you tossed most of these bands out after 5 seconds. but THIS one…you loved. you’re going to want them to open for you in germany. i already emailed them. you’re friends now.”
“awesome, thanks” i’ll say “here’s another box of shit. get back to me”


catching up from where i left off -

we had a little bit more time in san fransisco after last related….
we took maddy and claire to wicked. they loved it.

i, however, kept pinching neil and telling him that i wanted to make a musical JUST LIKE THIS when i grew up.
i don’t think he believed me.

dude – i loved the book. but the musical was really bad. the story is great, some of the dialogue was hilarious. but the music and lyrics, help. cheese factor 10. give me west side story. give me hair.
in general, i kind of hate musicals. i grew up with them, in them, hating them, loving them.

nowadays when i’m exposed to a bad musical i want to run back to wherever i’m staying and start writing a good musical, like a crazed mozart. someday, i will.
anyway, i was glad the girls were happy. they sang the songs all through the next few days.

me & the girls….

maddy on left, claire on right. we ate at this place (foreign cinema, in the mission ) twice, by accident. photo by mr neil

food: good, cocktails: amazing, foreign-language films being screened on the brick wall during dinner: somewhat pretentious but awesome.

…we went to las vegas for a night, to eat dinner with penn jillette and his wife emily and neil sat in for 15 minutes of an improv comedy thingamajog that emily was promoting.
it was odd and fast and i was glad that we got in early enough to hook up with my old friend jonas….many of you will recognize him from tour. he’s shaven bald now, and was half of krin and jonas when they toured their weird MC act with us….remember? jonas was the one that spun around in the GIANT METAL HOOP. he is also, as some of you may also remember the dude who broke up with me when i was in 8th grade and wrote me a really nice break-up letter that i then went and heartlessly sold on my webcast auction. i’d promised him a sushi lunch in exchange. i’d recited the break-up letter so many times during the webcast auction that i had it memorized (including the classic ending “….and i really i hope we can be friends. love, your friend, jonas. p.s. i really want to be friends” – ah, to be 14).

so neil took a photo to prove that friendship between exes IS possible:

he’s kicking ass now, he’s working full time for cirque du soleil in vegas.
if you go to zumanity and you see a dude in a giant metal hoop with a bondage hood and zipper mouth….yep, that’s him.


then we hit comic-con.

comic-con was, in a nutshell, a huge fuckshow dork-fest of 200,000 people in a big air-conditioned metal box.
but it had it’s high points. the signings were good, i hugged many, though i did feel overwhelmed by the fucked-up mall feeling.
we sold a lot of books.

there was an incredible panel i was on organized by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund….

they arranged for three artists (david mack, camilla d’errico, and terry moore) to draw me in front of a seminar room of about 300 people (with the drawings being used at auction to benefit the CBLDF…so awesome)

while the artists drew (taking turns having their live-process projected on a large screen) the audience threw out questions to me & the artists.

here’s some photos:

this is david mack drawing….

this is being done by camilla d’errico, who’s a manga artist…..

rad shit!

i also did a sidewalk tweet-flash-gig-thing and paraded around like a fool with my ukulele.

for those who couldn’t find us on the back steps….sorry about that. it was a bit unorganized. we got the middle finger from a few assholes, and smiles from many. that made me happy.

here’s the ragtag crowd of us at comic-con:

neil spent most of comic-con in hiding. he was there to do one panel for “coraline” and so universal pictures was footing the bill for everything. not a bad deal.

the day of neil’s panel they had rented a hotel room right next to the convention. i needed a place to practice piano (since our hotel was way off-site) and they kindly offered to let me hang out in there in-between teri hatcher using it for a dressing room and henry selick (the director of “coraline”, “james and the giant peach”, and “the nightmare before christmas”) using it for german MTV interviews. i hauled my keyboard up there to rehearse for the san diego show last night but ended up spending most of the time in there eating their leftover room-service breakfast. i was hungry. i decided to take a picture of that, because it seemed like it just had to be done.


the san diego show, despite my opting for cold omelettes over practicing, was really quite good.

it was a benefit for the CBLDF as well, in lovely old wodden-floored hall.
the girls came with me and danced around during soundcheck while neil jetted out and back to present some eisner awards to some fancy people.

tons of awesome people came out. jill thompson sat on the stage for a few songs and sketched me as i played, mer (@theremina) joined me for “blake says” and “missed me” (videos HERE), and molly crabapple (artiste extraordinaire) was even able to stop by and sign some of the posters she made for the show.

vermillion lies KILLED it (as usual)…and the girls from hair machine showed up and got in a fight with each other. hair machine deserve their own devoted blog….someday.

meanwhile, with all this shitake going on…neil and i tried our best to act like we were on vacation and finally realized that we were doing such a paltry imitation of two people on vacation that we threw our hands up and admitted failure. despite the time crunch, the girls managed to hit the beach to soak up as many rays as humanly possible, and we did a group photoshoot on the rocks of the beach, with each of us taking turns playing paparazzi.


photo by neil

…..and this is mr. writer-man, asleep on the beach with a towel on his head and a book on his chest.
i love this picture.
but it only works perfectly if you picture me and two 14 & 15 year-old girls giggling hilariously as the shutter is being pressed:

and here you have me and mr. neil, looking like a great prom couple.
(photo by maddy)

i love him.
he makes me happy.

(this is probably where i’d split this into two parts, but…onward)

after comic-con, i parted ways with the gaiman clan and i headed to wanderlust, a festival high high high in the mountains of lake tahoe.
as far as a festival site goes, it was unparalleled, it was a ski lodge village, which was just completely surreal….you had to actually get IN a gondola (an enclosed chairlift) to get the mainstage.
whether the location was fiscally practical is questionable (i think the festival drew far less people than expected) – but nevertheless it was gorgeous and i managed to collapse into the scenery, exhausted from the few days before.
beth came with me and we flew into reno and drove the hour to the festival site. we crashed early and when i woke the next morning i climbed out on our roof and played a ukulele song.
most of the people in the village below had no idea who the fuck i was. that was fun. the honey brothers (who i played with later that day) obsevred me from their windows on the other side of the plaza.

i think everyone should do something like this once a month or so, to just feel foolish.

(all the wanderlust photos are by beth unless otherwise noted….)


this is me and the author herbert gold in the gondola on the way to the top of the mountain…..
(photo by kaki king, i think)

herb is ari’s father.
he’s 85. we spent a good portion of the day and night courting each other.
i wanted to make love to him with my mind, body and soul.

ari is one of the honey brothers.
i met the honey brothers at the obama inauguration/dresden dolls show last january and we all took shines to each other.
they’re very sweet guys with other jobs & projects (adrian, the drummer, is a total tv/movie star and ari is a fantastic filmmaker…go watch the trailer to the film he’s got coming out called “adventures of power”….i watched the full film and it’s HILARIOUS)
here is the setting of the mountain-top concert…not so shabby. i am dwarfed by the grandeur of nature.


i sat in with the band (we decided to cover “we are the champions” by queen, and i stayed on to play, ahem, tambourine)….


AFP & the bros:
(i forgot who took this)

then i did some press and beth and i did a photoshoot on top of the mountain, after my set, which was quiet and odd and not very terrible.
playing michael jackson for a few hundred people who are sitting quietly on picnic blankets on a mountaintop gets ticked off on my list of Things To Do Before Leaving Earth.
my this point my brain was pretty much made of pudding, but sometimes these are the best sorts of brains.


and in the spirit of wanderlust being a yoga-centric festival:

1. drinking dancer’s pose:

2. drinking tree pose:

….around then, ari found me & convinced me to swim in the the freezing cold mountain run-off lake, and we discovered we had almost-matching underwear.



(these two photos above care of mira & dave)

we headed into the mountain night below with kaki king and her posse, who were a hilarious bunch (if you don’t know HER music, you are lost: kaki and i canoodled in a bathtub (it was a slutty day, to be sure, between her and ari’s dad – though this time i did not have sobriety on my side quite as much).

(photo by beth)

then we drove back to reno, drank, gambled a bit while we waited for our flights, and i came home to boston.

the end.

will update from russia as soon as i can




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