April 21, 2013
Sunday Songs ~ Amanda Palmer
On Friday, I scored tickets to a Q&A session at NYU with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman.
Front row seats!!!
I've had mixed feelings about this artist. If you don't know Amanda Palmer, let's basically leave it at this- former frontwoman of the Dresden Dolls, she is an independent musician who raised 1.2 million dollars on kickstarter last year. She's reached unprecedented success as an indie artist, and posesses a stubborn will to keep growing in an industry that won't.
But despite all these things, and every music blog I read demanding that I worship at her alter because of these things, I just couldn't.
She's obviously a genius marketer. Not to mention talented. And her whole "artists need to make money too" ethos is completely in line with my beliefs. Still, something always rubbed me the wrong way. I guess my opinion was cemented when it came out that she asked musicians to volunteer their services for one of her recent world tours in return for "beer and hugs."
There was a huge backlash. She obviously has a very special relationship with her fans, and many of them were happy to oblige what she asked. And as a "starving artist", I totally understand the struggle that comes with the costs of putting your art out there. But I just think... if you have the money, and she clearly did, you should pay people for their time. If you don't, then you're setting a precedent of devaluing others' work, and undermining future generations' ability to seek artistic and financial freedom. It's just what's fair.
So I went to the talk with an open mind, hoping to learn something new. And I did :) First of all, she opened with a line that was something like "What do I do? I used to be a musician, and now I spend most of my life on the internet." I instantly related, seeing as I've been spending more time blogging than songwriting for awhile now :P She also actually admitted that in the past two years, she's written only two songs. I really respected her honesty, and could very much relate. The creative process can be a daunting one when your energy is constantly being redirected elsewhere.
She's an incredible, engaging speaker. And while my mind wasn't completely changed about the volunteer musicians thing, I can see where she was coming from. She struck me as someone who is level-headed, examines herself and her decisions, and that I desperately, desperately want to to have a beer with. I also left the talk feeling a profound sense of renewed inspiration.
Well... this is Sunday SONGS afterall, not Sunday Artist Critique, so I thought I'd leave you with this video (WATCH IT.) They played it at the talk. I was riveted for the whole seven minutes... but the tears were streaming down my face within thirty seconds. I quietly died inside, as I thanked god it was dark inside that theater.
♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!! ♥
Labels: sunday songs