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surreal moments #1-5 and … i’m out.

i wrote this whole long blog on the plane over to australia and the evil that is mac mail ate it. it’s been eating a lot of things lately. it must be hungry.

anyway, fuck it.
i’m now sitting in a cafe in sydney with my twitter-ride comrades, kate and tina, who are indulging the fuck out of me while i sit here and write this.

then i’m heading totally offline for about two weeks. no phone, no email, no twitter.

where will i be?
i’ll be outside sydney, hiding.
just yoga, people, food, meditating and a good long breath.
…it’s technically teacher training but i’m not actually planning on teaching, at least not until i get old and start my nightclub/juice-bar/cinema yoga studio, when i’m like 90.
i will wear only kimonos and start chain-smoking menthols because at that point i’ll be like FUCK IT.

neil will be 105 (or dead -but let’s hope for the best) and will hopefully enjoy my kimono antics as he sits in a bathtub, reading and sipping endless cups of tea, with cream and extra sugar.
being old will be great. i’m psyched.

then i head to melbourne for two weeks relatively OFF and try to be an artist again.
melbourne  ninja gigs a definite possibility, and it looks like i might do a mini-gig in the butterfly again just for contest winners who help me promote the show at the forum
(which needs help BADLY, since i’m going up against the soundwave festival…if you’re in melbourne and want info on how to help me, go HERE.)

then i tour oz and new zealand, and somewhere in there i’m headed to a recording studio outside adelaide…just to see what happens.

i haven’t been in the studio since “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” with ben folds. it’s time. there’s songs. if all goes well, i’ll be able to put this shit out myself. pray for me.

i wrote some more blogs on the plane to be sent while i’m gone (one about michael jackson…i watched “this is it” on the plane – but now i’m thinking i might save it for later so that i can add to it – and one about Evelyn Evelyn).
and i also left tons of shit for sean and beth to twitter while i’m gone. i’ll be with you in spirit :)



the trip to france was a mistake.
i should have checked the weather. i’m a fucking idiot. i somewhere imagined the south of france being perennially warm. like florida, or other places with palm trees.
it was fucking mitten weather.
it was one of those snowball trips…i took a gig at the MIDEM conference because i thought cannes owuld be warm, and then..why not book a gig in bordeaux? and then…why not book a gig
in a nearby little town? c’mon, it’ll be warm…and quaint….

it was not warm, it was not quaint, i was tired and the travel was hard, and the shows were fine, weird and quiet.
france outside of paris is a really small market for me – there were only about 200 people at each show.
and they don’t really follow me online. so they don’t know me as well as, say, people in san francisco, or london.
this is the thing about the net.

my panel at MIDEM was short and trivial, we didn’t talk about anything very significant.

but i could talk about THIS for hours….in the cities where my fans are online and really follow me, the SHOWS ARE WAY BETTER, BECAUSE THEY KNOW ME.
it’s like internet dating. we get to know each other over the course of a year or two and then when we finally get together, it’s like we already know each other and can get right to the (often great) sex.
when i play for a cold audience who doesn’t follow me, it’s closer to going on a blind date with a third cousin. not as sexy.

surreal moment #1:

this living statue was stationed outside the main MIDEM conference hall one night.

i gave him some money, which i always do….even though the fact that he was using two trained cats kind of bugged me out.
he saw my MIDEM badge and my music case and must have somehow decided i was important and/or famous.
so after i took this picture with him he turned to me and told me, in VERY broken english, about his horrible fucking life and how he’s old and his three children are grown and how he hates being a fucking statue and how he can barely make ends meet and could i please, please, please help him out with his music career, he plays guitar and has to get out of this fucking racket man it’s killing him.

it was humbling and kinda painful.

surreal moment #2. no comment.

the suits at MIDEM were all running around talking about apps and social networking and the future of the music business, and meanwhile i’m trying to ignore it all and stay focused on what’s important:
the music. the fans. the simple connection. i feel like you can get lost in a sea of clever concepts. sometimes i feel like the suits overanalyze everything so much they forget why people love music.

but i got to meet some awesome people i’ve been chatting with online. mike masnik from techdirt (sweetheart) and jeff pulver for the 140 conference (ditto).
you can tell they love music and are geeky in a way that drives things forward.

having spent a lot of time thinking about it, i think i have a point.
the whole point is: if you’re an artist, you either like connecting or you don’t. if you like it, you’ll find every possible creative way (online: blogging, twittering. live: meeting, signing, hugging etc.) to do it.
if you’re a misanthrope, you’re simply fucked. it’s 2010. the currency is connection. the internet is the tool.

my favorite picture from MIDEM…check out the comments when i twittered it, they’re hilarious:


“4 out of 6 cute, nerdy, industrious & chairless men at the #MIDEM conference prefer mac over PC.”

MIDEM also made me a great couple of friends…one is the DJ/producer hal ritson from the young punx, who i’m going to collaborate with on a dance mix of “map of tasmania” (you heard me).
he’s aces (esp if you’re in the UK, go watch the video ROCKALL, it features some of the guys from the mighty boosh and it’s hilarious)

hal took this photo of me with the french police outside the french music awards…
this is me & hal at the super-cheesy david guetta afterparty.
i borrowed thomas’ prada sunglasses to try to fit in.

he introduced me, in turn, to a UK dj named caged baby, aka thomas, whose sunglasses i stole and who just happened to live outside bordeaux, where i was headed.
so my awesome housemate geeta showed up and hopped on the party train. thomas took us to a restaurant in a 600-year old chateau in the middle of nowhere that had fucking miro and matisse pritns hanging on the walls….

surreal moment #3, and this one almost legitimately surreal….

people eating pasta under a miro.
sorry the pictures so bad.

i twittered this and a lot of art lovers expressed horror at the blazing lighting on the paitning.
i think it looks worse than it is.

we also noticed there were no bars on the windows. so if you’re in the market to steal some miros out of a restaurant, head to france.

and off we all went to bordeaux, and drove 2 hours into cognac country to thomas’ house.

he lives surrounded by vineyards and 6 other houses.

this is geeta, outside the house:
thomas in his home studio….
and his one-eyed cat, nelly, named after lord nelson:
thomas fed and watered us and we felt loved.

then we headed back to bordeaux and i played my second show outside of town.

i lost my ATM card.

then geeta lost her ATM card.

(well, to be fair, a bank ate it).

we were broke for a while and a small crisis day ensued.
i wound up borrowing cash from the promotor.

by now, i was in a foul mood.

i bought a winter jacket, finally accepting the fate that it Was Not Warm the South of France.


then geeta took off for paris and i flew to vienna. where it was snowing.

but i didn’t make it to vienna. by connection from bordeaux was late and the last plane from paris to vienna left without me.
so the fucking airline gave me a hotel voucher for one of those soulless airport hotels with one-piece plastic bathrooms and no minibar.

due to the lack of minibar, i twittered for wine and two people from paris showed up.
i had never met either of them.
one was nina, she brought a great bottle of red and some m&m’s.
one was olivier, he brought TWO bottles of red a bunch of twix.

when such events transpire, there’s only one thing left to do…
so i did it.
an hour long drunk french webcast.
i slogged my way through my first françoise hardy song on ukulele.
olivier played cameraman with my mac while i performed a touching & drunk rendition of “makin’ whoopee” as requested by neil.
(the whole webcast was recorded and, beware tired slightly drunk amanda, you can watch it HERE.)

anyway, by then i was really really fucking tired and everyone got kicked out and i went to bed.

i love the internet.

the internet means free wine driven to you when you’re tired and stuck at a shitty airport.
the internet is an awesome thing.

surreal moment #4,
playing a weird ninja gig in vienna in front of a defensive missile tower from WWII.

then we all headed to a cafe and hung out…..
it was the world’s fastest ninja gig.

i announced it 25 minutes before going.

the actual show in vienna was fucking incredible…the antidote i needed after the french shows, which were quiet and small.

i stayed at a fans house, a great girl named kathi who has a wonderful posse of friends and a cat who i got to cuddle at night.
kathi gave up her actual bed for me, which was fucking noble, and i burned my chin on her chandelier. long story.
she also had a friend named KLAUS who does great shiatsu. he chinese cupped my back and when i posted on twitter that it felt better than sex,
i got a faux-grumpy email from neil saying that he was getting flack for not being as sexy as chinese cupping. so i took it back.
but check out the awesome photo (care of kathi):
in the background: the chin eating chandelier.

i played at the Arena, the same place the dolls have headlined and also opened up for NIN back in 2005.
beautiful old, old, old converted building with tons of character and vibe:
it was a stupendous night all around….great sound, great people.
i sold out the joint, almost 1200 people, i couldn’t believe it.
the feeling of playing solo to so many people while being technically off tour was transcendent.
i had this sort of “holy shit, i can just DO this” feeling. it balances out the times that i don’t, and can’t. those times do happen.

i’ll look for good footage to post, but i think the highlight was the beginning, when i covered a song by HEINTJE on ukulele.
this will only be hilarious to german-speaking people.

here’s a fucking epic photo by @nacaseven taken from side of stage:
this is what the outsides of me have been doing.

the insides of me have been depleted, and sort of lonely.

i am really, really, really looking for the time off.
i haven’t had time off-line and alone in about 3 years.

it’s time.

i love you.

rock on with your smocks on


p.s. congrats to my neil-moxy, by the way, for getting an oscar nomination for “coraline”. sadly, no, i won’t be there, it’s the same night as my show at the sydney opera house.
but if bjork calls to loan me the swan dress, i’ll swear i’ll consider warping time and space and heading over. anybody got a tardis handy?

p.s.s. TOUR DATES:
February 26
The Forum Theatre
Melbourne, Australia
Ages: 18+

March 4
Adelaide, Australia
Ages: All

March 7
Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia
Ages: All

March 8
A & I Hall
Bangalow (Byron Bay), Australia
Ages: 18+

March 10
The Zoo
Brisbane, Australia
Ages: 18+

March 12
Wellington, New Zealand
Ages: 18+

March 16
Al’s Bar
Christchurch, New Zealand
Ages: 18+

March 17
Kings Arms Tavern
Auckland, New Zealand
Ages: 18+

April 12
Cambridge (Boston), MA
DETAILS COMING SOON! Stay tuned HERE and HERE for additional info…

April 17
Glasgow, Scotland
Ages: 14+

April 19
The Academy [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Dublin, Ireland
Ages: 14+

April 22
Camden (London), England
Ages: 16+

April 23
Bush Hall [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
London, England
Ages: 14+ (under 18yrs with an adult)

April 24
Bush Hall [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
London, England
Ages: 14+ (under 18yrs with an adult)

April 25
Bush Hall [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
London, England
Ages: 14+ (under 18yrs with an adult)

April 27
L’Europeen [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Paris, France

April 28
Melkweg [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

April 29
Kampnagel [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Hamburg, Germany

May 1
Babylon [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Berlin, Germany

May 3
Köln (Cologne), Germany

May 4
Arenbergschouwburg [w/ EVELYN EVELYN]
Antwerp, Belgium

And lots and lots more to come in the US and such…

p.s.s. surreal moment #5, going into a bathroom in vienna and seeing this poster called “TOILET CAM”.
who do i see (bottom right hand corner) but my fucking friend scotty the blue bunny. small, surreal, little world.


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