A pioneer of punk cabaret, Boston-born Palmer first gained notoriety as one half of The Dresden Dolls, offering lead vocals, piano, harmonica and ukulele alongside Brian Viglione for a sound the duo described as Brechtian punk cabaret.
Known for outrageous stage antics and mad live performances, a typical show from The Dresden Dolls can include anything from stilt walking and fire breathing to living statues and other performance art. Palmer is also one half of the conjoined twin sisters Evelyn Evelyn with folk musician Jason Webley, releasing a self-titled full-length album in 2010.
Amanda Palmer has released four solo albums, including the critically acclaimed Theatre is Evil with the Grand Theft Orchestra and the tongue-in-cheek Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, an ode to her love of all things Australian, including tracks Makin Whoopee, Map of Tasmania and We’re Happy Little Vegemites. Palmer has also toured with her husband Neil Gaiman in their fringe hit An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.
Well-known for her online presence, Palmer connects with her fans via her blog and social media, couchsurfing around the world, performing in fans? backyards and announcing secret shows for those in the know. In January 2013, Amanda Palmer threw a ninja gig at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, stripping to her underwear and covering herself in colourful dots from the popular Yayoi Kusama exhibition.
In 2012, Palmer received a mix of praise and criticism for funding her album via the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter. Her inspiring TED talk Art of Asking has been viewed almost 3 million times and links her early work connecting to people on the street as a living statue to the “random closeness” of reaching out to fans, trusting each other and asking for help.
“My music career has been spent trying to encounter people on the internet the way I could on the box [as a living statue]”says Palmer.
“so blogging and tweeting, not just about my tour dates and my new video but about our work and our art and our fears and our hangovers, our mistakes. And we see each other. And I think when we see each other we want to help each other.”
“I think people have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is how do we make people pay for music? What if we started asking, how do we let people pay for music?”
Just about anything is to be expected Amanda Palmer in this intimate Spiegeltent performance!
Spiegeltent, Festival Village, Hyde Park, Sydney
Season: 9 – 19 January 2014
Bookings: 1300 856 876 or online at: www.sydneyfestival.org.au
For more information, visit: www.sydneyfestival.org.au for details.
Image: Amanda Palmer by Shervin Lainez ©