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2008 bio


Amanda heads to New Zealand.

Heads up folks, Amanda fucking Palmer from The Dresdon Dolls is returning to NZ in the new year to ravish the country with her solo show.

Friday 12th March at Bodega, Wellington
Tuesday 16th March at Al’s Bar, Christchurch
Weds 17th March at The Kings Arms, Auckland

Click here for press reviews on "Who Killed Amanda Palmer "

Read Amanda's blog here



September 2009 - Amanda Palmer, queen of the Punk Cabaret and Twitter-meister of the online wild west, is headed back to the east coast for her first full-band tour since releasing her Ben Folds-produced solo debut "Who Killed Amanda Palmer."

Photo credit: Desi
Click image, new window opens with downloadable hi res version

Berlin/Brooklyn's crew of bombastic performers Nervous Cabaret will be heating up the room as Amanda's support band and then take on back-up duties with drums, guitar, bass and horn section. Amanda will be pounding out newer, louder, in-your-facer arrangements of her solo record, The Dresden Dolls catalog and (as usual) a variety of surprise covers and oddities. NME recently called Amanda "one of the most talented singer-songwriters around" but she knows how to mix things up offstage, as well. Amanda will be inviting attendees to the tour's "floating confessional booth" to chat with her about sex and God before the gig. Only a lucky few selected via Twitter will be given the password to gain entry and confess.

Once inside, the merch table will offer a slew of multimedia projects that have accompanied the rolling release of the album. The past year has ushered in the Who Killed Amanda Palmer DVD (subtitled a "surrealist mini mystery" and containing 12 arresting videos with loads of extra footage) as well as her self-published coffee-table book, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer: A Collection of Photographic Evidence." The book is an extravaganza of eye-candy, clocking in at 130 pages and featuring more than 100 photographs of dead (and sometimes naked) Amanda Palmers with accompanying stories penned by her fella, Neil Gaiman. (Gaiman has been stepping out from behind the page onto the stage as well; the pair performed a cover of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook's expletive-ridden hymn "Jump" at Amanda's recent show at London's Union Chapel. You can watch it here on YouTube)

In the "Eat it Paris Hilton" department, Amanda recently teamed up with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and created a line of 12 artisan scents inspired by the Amanda/Neil book. The scents include "Unfortunate Shopping Cart Incident", "Blackberry Jam & Scones" and "Cupcake Spatter Pattern Analysis" so don't expect to see them at duty-free before your next flight. They are exclusively available (while supplies last) at online postwartrade.com and at the merch booth.

Photo credit: Gregory Nomoora
Click image, new window opens with downloadable hi res version

When not touring, Amanda has been having a ball online - she's garnered praise across the blogosphere for her innovative use of flash networking (arranging last-minute donation-only shows from LA to Berlin using Twitter) and her online business savvy (holding live webcast auctions in which song requests and oddball objects have been fetching a pretty penny). Her general no-holds-barred connection with her online posse has Advertising Age saying "Palmer is more sophisticated than almost anyone on the internet -- musician, brand or otherwise."

After this, Amanda will be heading to Australia for the winter to tour and to perfect the release of Evelyn Evelyn, a joyfully tragic record featuring two ukulele/piano/accordion/guitar-playing 24-year-old conjoined twin sisters. Amanda and Seattle-based songwriter Jason Webley have been working with the twins on arrangement and production for the better part of four years and despite long-standing creative frustration with the difficult Eveyln Sisters, hope that the record will finally see the light of day in mid 2010. Watch for it.

11 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
12 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall
13 Northampton, MA Pearl Street
14 New York, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
18 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
19 Falls Church, VA State Theatre
20 Carrboro, NC Carrboro Arts Center
22 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre
13 Orlando, FL The Social

For press inquires on Amanda Palmer please contact: Ken Phillips Publicity Group, inc. (323) 845-9997 or kpgroup@yahoo.com as well as http://kenphillipsgroup.com/Phillips/palmer.htm for hi-res jpegs, etc.



Photo credit: Beth Hommel
High res version can be found here.

Los Angeles, CA – April 14, 2009 - Amanda Palmer-the one-woman machine who is equal parts rock musician, artist, writer, director, yoga enthusiast, political activist and more-continues to take the world by storm. Having been on a world tour since last September when she released her critically acclaimed Ben Folds-produced solo debut Who Killed Amanda Palmer, Amanda has captivated audiences in Europe, North America, Australia and the U.K. with a theatrical stage show featuring a troupe of top-notch performance artists. Amanda is set to perform at Coachella on Saturday, April 18th and will perform at various other festivals this summer. Check http://www.AmandaPalmer.net for full details.

Continually adding fuel to the multi-media Who Killed Amanda Palmer project, Amanda is also set to release a fine art hardback book of "photographic evidence" with contributions from celebrated blogger and photographer Kyle Cassidy, Beth Hommel, Tegan Rain (of Tegan and Sara) and many others. Fictional stories to accompany the photographs have been penned by best-selling author Neil Gaiman, known primarily for his work on the Sandman graphic novels, The Graveyard Book and the box office smash Coraline, a stop-animation film based on his novel of the same title. Pre-orders for the book begin Monday, April 20 at 12 noon EST by logging onto www.AmandaPalmer.net. 8,000 copies will be available for the pre-order price of $34.99.

Photo credit: Pixie Vision Productions
Click image, new window opens with downloadable hi res version

Amanda Palmer (leading lady/corpse) says:
This book developed much like the album did: accidentally…a bizarre creative snowball gathering speed down a dark, lost highway. My label had given me a teeny packaging budget for Who Killed Amanda Palmer, released in September 2008, and I had too large a concept for the artwork than would fit on four panels. So I decided to cut the label out altogether and make a little companion book of photos to accompany the album. I had been hoarding these dead photographs of myself since I was about eighteen and I'd wanted to thread them together into some sort of themed collection. The dead photos of yore spanned from random self-portraits in light studios to political street theater to college performance art projects (I famously showed up bloody, naked and dead in several spots on the Wesleyan University Campus in 1997 for my senior performance art project - I got an A!). I started expanding my dead photo collection as I was traveling around the world over the past eight years with The Dresden Dolls, and it was often a sort of therapy for me to wake early in the morning and head off to a secluded spot and set the auto-timer. Once the actual book was in motion, I found myself coercing photographers from all over Europe and Australia to snap dead shots during official press shoots. Dead with kangaroos. Dead in front of the Moulin Rouge. Dead in The Hague. Dead in a Chinatown noodle warehouse in Boston. My touring crew and my assistant Beth aided in my obsession, snapping shots from weird vantage points. Dead in a river, being poked by a stick by the opening band Smoosh who happened to be twelve, fourteen and sixteen years of age. Dead on the set of a video shoot in London. Dead backstage on a pile of beer kegs. At a concert in New York, I ran into my friend Regina Spektor and asked her to slump over a table so we could get a nice dead two-shot. I ran into Tegan and Sara and Edward Albee at an Out Magazine photo shoot we were in and Tegan snapped my corpse in front of Albee as he sat and read a newspaper from 1946. He agreed to be included in the book so long as he wasn't "accused of the killing." Being dead so frequently kept life interesting.

Photo credit: Beth Hommel
High res version can be found here.

I decided to ring the writer Neil Gaiman, who I'd recently been introduced to--and who I knew was a fan of the Who Killed Amanda Palmer album--to throw some text in, and he was so fancy I never expected him to say yes but, surprisingly, he did. Very soon, the book crashed, much like the album, into a giant project that ended up involving Neil flying to Boston for an entire week and writing odd Amanda-slaying stories while tucked into the corner of my bedroom while I practiced piano for an upcoming tour. We would undertake bizarre outings to old Victorian houses, to Walden Pond, to highway bridges, to the ghetto alleys behind my house with Kyle Cassidy, a photographer with whom I had a long-standing relationship, and my photographer/assistant Beth Hommel and we would shoot dead photos galore. Dead at my parents’ house. Dead stuffed with clarinet. Dead with feral cats. Dead with funny-haired British author. Dead with vibrator. Dead in the bathtub. Neil's stories sometimes inspired the shots, but mostly the shots inspired Neil's stories. His stories manage to capture something beyond the absurdity of my corpse project though they often play along guiltily with the sarcastic mortal tongue stuck in my cheek. They capture something about the girls behind the corpses, the hearts and brains of those girls still beating under the layers of fake blood, broken tree branches and digital celluloid.

Neil Gaiman (author and perpetrator) says:
What I responded to, apart from the music, was that Amanda had been taking photos of herself dead for fourteen years, and so many of those photos were small frozen stories, and, especially with Kyle Cassidy's glorious photographs, I loved trying to turn them into stories. Some big stories, some very small stories, each story odd, each story fun to write, and each story, invariably, fatal.

Kyle Cassidy (photographer and blogger) says:
My photography has, for a very long time, been about the intersection of the normal and the absurd and this was really a perfect venue for exploring that. I tried to give each image an element of both and with a dead body in each shot, some large part of that equation is already there for you. It then becomes a question of balancing that with a scene of the mundane and then storytelling accessories to give the trip from point A to point B a lot of possibilities in between. A body at the bottom of the stairs tells an obvious story. Add a dozen roses and the legs of someone walking away and it's a mystery.

Photo credit: Beth Hommel
High res version can be found here.

Beth Hommel (photographer, designer and assistant to leading lady/corpse) says:
I think this book appeals to the part of all of us that slows down while passing highway crashes. We find death fascinating--tragic or horrific death moreseo--and murder is the most intriguing thing of all. For this project we made art showing the many shades of murder, equal parts horror and humor. As I worked on this book for the better part of a year, I was continually amused at the reactions to the content. Some people were offended, some were intrigued but they all LOOKED. I want people to see this book and be appalled or amused or unnerved or even turned on. The particulars of the reaction aren't important. The important thing is that they slow down and stare.

In addition, Amanda has tirelessly shot videos for every song on Who Killed Amanda Palmer and will release them on DVD June 16th. The DVD release, like the book, will also don the name Who Killed Amanda Palmer.

For press inquires on Amanda Palmer please contact: Ken Phillips Publicity Group, inc. (323) 845-9997 or kpgroup@yahoo.com. Please visit http://kenphillipsgroup.com/Phillips/palmer.htm for high res images and other information.



"Palmer weaves elegant and at times funny tales into gorgeously created music"
-Under The Gun

"Palmer is more sophisticated than almost anyone on the internet -- musician, brand or otherwise..."
-Advertising Age

"A Veritable Force of Nature"
-Huffington Post

"Dark and jubilant"
-New York Times

"From the personal, over-sentimental inflection of the lyrics to the relentless dramatic style” on top of the flawless production of Ben Folds ”this is proof that Palmer can go light years beyond piano and drums.â"
- Janine Rizak, Beyond Race

"Comparatively alone with her piano, her unfurling splendor in "Ampersand" is a wonder, but it can't hold a candle to the jazzed stomp of "Leeds United," where pounding drums and blaring horns really bring her point home. When she slows the tempo to a grind on the ethereal "Blake Says," the taste is sweet sadness indeed. But when the doo-wop pop of "Oasis" kicks in, Palmer hits the next level."
- Metromix.com

"Palmer and Folds are truly kindred spirits, two piano-pounding songwriters with knacks for crazy-good melodies and wicked senses of humor ”we don't know anybody else who could make a song about rape and abortion ("Melissa Mahoney") poignant, funny, and catchy."
-Trevor Fisher, IE (Illinois Entertainer)

"Talking to this pianist/songstress is like peeling back the layers of an onion. A freaky, talented, German cabaret-styled onion."
- Bettie Magazine

"showmanship beyond comparison and unabashed vulnerability. Whether on her own or alongside Viglione, this woman is radiant." -Venus magzine

"One of the most talented singer-songwriters around - her muscular voice and pounding keyboard-playing elicit more shivers down the spine than a whole bucket of ice cubes." NME



Amanda Palmer can’t remember a time when she didn’t imagine being an artist, performer, and provocateur. Growing up in bucolic Lexington, Massachusetts, little Amanda spent her Saturdays dreaming up imaginary street fairs, great kaleidoscopes bursting with color and sound and people swirling around her.
“I spent lots of time drawing flyers for events that never existed,” Palmer says. “I would plan everything late at night in my room, conjuring up the most incredible, magical event on the planet, imagining everyone in the town would come and eat the candy, ride the bizarre rides that my friends and I would create, and buy the art that I would draw, so that I would never need to rely on my parents for an allowance again. At nine I was already fantasizing about throwing the ultimate party.”

“Being a musician or rock star seemed like the most obvious 'real' job that would line up with that dream,” she muses. “I think that’s why I turned to music. The rock stars I was idolizing on MTV seemed to have the most leverage when it came to art-party-throwing.”

But as anyone who’s ever seen or heard Palmer – whether raising eyebrows and attracting onlookers as The Eight Foot Bride living statue in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, delivering dramatically direct, wildly theatrical performances as one half of the cabaret-punk duo The Dresden Dolls, or, most recently, as a solo artist whose uncompromising vision has frequently made her a flashpoint for both admiration and controversy – will attest to the fact that being a musician and rock star is not merely a job, and never has been.

Photo credit: Gregory Nomoora
Click image, new window opens with downloadable hi res version

Instead, Palmer is her art. And, in turn, her art is an extension of who she is, and is always becoming: a voracious seeker of creative catharsis and emotional release, a bold participant in games of truth or dare (she always opts for both) on a life-sized stage, and, above all, an utterly un-categorize-able work-in-progress. She’s a fearless singer and songwriter, of course, and an audaciously expressive pianist who simultaneously embraces – and explodes – traditional frameworks of composition.
She’s collaborated with indie pop pianist Ben Folds (who produced her most recent solo work Who Killed Amanda Palmer) and teamed with acclaimed author Neil Gaiman for a storybook of photography that beautifully expands the conceptual and narrative ideas outlined in her ambitious solo album. She created an ambitious 12-video DVD project to match each song of the record with filmmaker Michael Pope, and continues to post so-called "Karaoke Verité" lip-dub videos of other musicians' work on YouTube. She helped conceive and co-write an adventurous theatrical work, “The Onion Cellar" with the American Repertory Theater and played front-woman at Symphony Hall with the legendary Boston Pops. Then there’s a hotly anticipated record by the conjoined twin sisters, Evelyn and Evelyn, that she’s planning to co-produce with powerhouse performer Jason Webley, a close (though not conjoined) musical friend.

Photo credit: Jo Duck
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Her band, the enigmatic Dresden Dolls which she founded with drummer Brian Viglione in Boston a decade ago, remain an ongoing concern. Although currently on hiatus, the Dolls have hinted at playing select dates after rejoining briefly for a benefit gig in Washington DC in celebration of President Barack Obama's inauguration. Somewhere in between tour dates, Palmer is also breaking ground on her literary debut, a loose memoir and guidebook that reflects her complicated life as a female performer. The collection of eclectic projects, not to mention Palmer’s perennial To Do list, goes on. In the meantime, any mortal attempt to adequately capture Palmer’s mercurial essence and limitless imagination (and why she means so much to so many devoted fans around the world), would require an awful lot of hyphens.

“I don’t really belong to any genre, and people have always had a tough time with that,” Palmer says with a verbal shrug. “But that is, I think, a positive thing.” As Palmer herself put it when talking about her early Eight Foot Bride persona, her endeavors are about “changing the environment around you” and transforming the mundane of the everyday “into something surprising and artistic.”

What people see and get with each permutation is up to them. To some, she’s a feminist icon, brazenly challenging gender roles and body image stereotypes with equal parts humor and hubris. Case in point: the recent uproar surrounding her appearance in the video for her song “Leeds United.” When news broke that Palmer’s record label objected to the state of her stomach, fans responded by flooding her blog – and her label – with photos of their own tummies as a show of support. The campaign was cheekily dubbed "The ReBellyon,” and it tickled Palmer pink.

Photo credit: Joshi Radin
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“It’s what keeps the party fun,” Palmer says of the occasional setbacks that can occur when she won’t pander to convention or bend to biases. “It’s inspiring to have such unwavering support from my audience; it’s like a family. I'm not just talking to them; they're talking to me, and when I hit a pitfall, they respond loudly. Every challenge I've faced with this record has ended up looking more like a blessing than a curse.”

Credit, she says, goes to her legions of loyal friends and followers. Palmer keeps in close contact with them through her blog, which she updates with a prolificacy that borders on fanatical dedication. It’s a kinship that goes to the core of Palmer’s appeal. The recent ban of the song "Oasis" on British radio and video outlets - who refused to play the upbeat pop tune on the grounds that it "made light of rape, religion and abortion" - triggered more attention in the press than the song itself might have received on the airwaves given the conservative nature of most modern radio outlets.

"When you cannot joke about the darkness of life," Palmer explained on her blog, "that's when the darkness takes over." Ever loyal, thousands of Palmer's listeners responded to the controversy by barraging Palmer's various web outlets, which range from Twitter (she's addicted) to MySpace, Facebook, her own amandapalmer.net, and a dedicated discussion forum called TheShadowbox.net.

“There is something really special about connecting with people so intensely,” she says with a mixture of wonder and gratification. “You can't expect to blog about superficial things like shopping and expect to really reach your audience in a real way. Staying in contact with your fans means nothing if you aren't saying anything that really connects with them emotionally. It’s an ongoing discussion, and the whole point is inclusiveness. It’s never just about me being on stage and in the spotlight. Sure, I get to throw the party, but it’s not a good party if nobody comes, if nobody's acknowledged. It’s my life, and everyone’s invited. That's the way I like it.”

Photo credit: Anabel Vasquez
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In that spirit, Palmer recently teamed up with mentor Steven Bogart to run an original workshop at her alma mater, Lexington High School. A cast of twenty teenagers wrote a play entitled "With The Needle That Sings In Her Heart," based on one of Palmer's favorite albums, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. She also performed the music and acted alongside the cast for the four performances in early May. In addition, she stole the festival spotlight at the Coachella Music Festival in mid-April and is also planning a short tour this summer of the US, Russia and Eastern Europe to promote her new DVD and the Palmer/Gaiman Who Killed Amanda Palmer book project.


Photo credit: Martin Foster
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And what other personal details might she want people to know? She is 5'6, 137 pounds, and no, those aren't tattoos. She shaves them and paints them on.

– Jonathan Perry