Here is the recent TED talk by former Dresden Dolls and current Grand Theft Orchestra front woman Amanda Palmer in which she describes how her career prospers in the new world.
Palmer uses the newest ways to connect with fans, constantly giving updates to those who want them, as she says in the excellent talk, it’s not just updates on records and gigs, follow Palmer and you’ll hear what she’s reading, listening to, drinking or watching. The other way is the oldest, actually literal connection. When Palmer rolls into town, she’s not an untouchable star, she will play guerrilla gigs for the devoted, turn up at fans’ houses, crash on their couches and mix with all.
Like stardom but with all the barriers taken down. If you want to be part of Palmer’s ‘gang’ then you don’t have to buy a ticket and stand at the back of a huge arena, you can talk directly to her, there’s no fourth wall in the performance, she trusts the fans and in return they spread the word and make sure that those who should know about Palmer DO know.
Amanda Fucking Palmer is not a star whining about the major labels and saying it should all be free, she’s just talking about a system that works for her and the unique art that she creates. Dresden Dolls hit the major labels and soon were told that 25000 records sold was a failure and were passed along as another failure. Strange definition of failure indeed but luckily it did not stop Palmer, she just got up, brushed herself off and came back with more twisted cabaret heartache for anyone who wanted it.
If you want Palmer’s music it is all out there for you to discover and behind it there is a whole world of art, magic and camaraderie that you are unlikely to get from Mariah Carey (the magic being that Palmer isn’t dissing Carey etc. she’s interested in her own path and the path of her fans, not telling others what to do or how to achieve their dreams, she just let’s you see that whatever those dreams are they can be attained however unlikely).
Crowdsurfing, knocking on fans’ doors at midnight, standing naked and allowing fans to write messages on her during gigs, Palmer trusts those who are drawn to her and once you discover the magic you are likely to always follow it. Unlike with other stars, Palmer slows down and shares the magic with you. She’s amazing. Pass it on.
Amanda Palmer And The Grand Theft Orchestra – ‘Theatre Is Evil’ can be listened to here: