I was not always a fan of Amanda F. Palmer, instead I became a fan over time. I heard her name first through her husband’s (Neil Gaiman) blog. It was a post about a ukelele album Amanda had just released and could be obtained for cheap on her website. Curious, I meandered on over, but I only listened to one track and wasn’t sold. The moment passed.
A while later, also through Gaiman’s blog, I got another glance into Amanda’s world with the 8in8 collaboration between Neil, Amanda, Ben Folds and Damian Kulash. I was entertained, but again was not interested enough to actually check out Amanda’s discography.
Then, on November 9th, 2011 I attended An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. I was unaware that 80% of the audience was actually there for Amanda, and were dressed in steampunk or just punk get up. I looked only a touch out of place, but once inside the happy energy and excitement was plain to see. I then, for the next couple of hours, fell in love with Amanda’s music. I was nerding out to Gaiman’s recitations, but I was moved by Amanda’s lyrics.
For a while after that concert I kept thinking that I was interested in buying some of her music, but I kept forgetting. I started checking in on her blog and paying more attention to Gaiman’s when he mentioned her, but that’s about it.
Then, when I saw her kickstarter video posted on Gaiman’s blog, I knew I wanted that album. I had missed out on kickstarting the Evening album because I was broke at the time and I’d regretted it ever since. This time I wanted to be in at the beginning. Little did I know, I would be a part of the most successful kickstarter campaign to date.
When Amanda’s campaign closed, 24,883 people and $1,192, 793 later, media outlets started to interview her, shocked that her “We are the media” approach actually worked.
All of the above is old news, and what is to follow is also old news. Amanda was selected to give a TED talk this year, and her talk entitled “The Art of Asking” has blown up across the internet. (Similar to Neil’s commencement speech that he gave at the end of the scholastic year last year). So if you’re late to the party and you haven’t seen it, I think it is really important that you hear the concepts Amanda covers.
As she says, Amanda’s music is not for everyone. That’s ok. If you haven’t heard it, these are two of my favorite songs off of her (and the Grand Theft Orchestra’s) Theatre Is Evil album.
(*tasteful nudity included)
Amanda’s encouragement to artists, to put in the work and then ask for what they need, is important. Living in a global community, what do we have if we don’t give to each other?
P.S. The album, even if you didn’t kickstart it, is available any way you can buy an album. I’d suggest her website, which follows a pay-what-you-will model. (Spoiler alert before you go to her site–yes, that F stands for exactly what you think it does).