Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smells Like Bullshit: Amanda Palmer


Now that I have yelled my feelings....rather loudly, I can get back to actually blogging. I'm trying out a new series here on No Disassemble Charlie No. 5, "Smells Like Bullshit". My husband writes a lovely little blog where he talks about all sorts of things from cuisine, to Boston, to sports, to politics. This is much of what gets discussed in our home actually, and I would enjoy writing about some of those things more; ESPECIALLY the things that I feel need to get called on the carpet, like Amanda Palmer....

Last week I had a rather long work week. I had seen bits and pieces of this story on facebook and twitter. It wasn't until today that I had the time to sit down and read (I just had to correct that from "reed") the entire story. I wanted to throw shit. Seriously.

This is really hard for me two write without dropping a gazillion f-bombs and the words "stupid b$tch" time after time.

OK, in a nutshell: Amanda Palmer - this pseudo-feminist, cabaret-like singer just released a new album. People release albums all the time, what's the big deal? The big deal is that she raised a walloping $1.2 million on the "crowdfunding" site Kickstarter: meaning this project was funded by fans. Great, wonderful, awesome, stupendous!!! For what it's worth, I think Kickstarter is an amazing website and is and has funded several wonderful projects and programs that would not otherwise have seen the light of day.

Again, what's the problem? Now she's going on tour. She has three regular paid band members but wants 7-8 "professional-ish" musicians to full things out at every day. (For the record: I think the term "professional-ish" is just bleeping INSULTING!) The payment for these "ish" musicians? Hugs....hugs and booze. SMELLS. LIKE. BULLSHIT!

Palmer defends herself by saying how excited people are to sign up and play. I have to be a little bit of a snob here. Not only is what she's doing WRONG! (She stated that paying these extra musicians for the tour would be $35,000. Are you going to have that $$ once the tour's over Amanda? If so, PAY THE PEOPLE THAT ARE HELPING YOU MAKE MUSIC and then figure the rest out later. It's YOUR problem, not the musicians!) Back to the snob part: if "professional-ish" musicians are going to be THAT excited to play for free in your show, what kind of quality are you REALLY getting?

It's hard right now for everyone economically; particularly artists. They have bills too. I promise you. They're highly trained and are most likely paying back for an education that cost them a pretty penny in student loans. Next time you find yourself paying any type of artists for their services (I'm focused on musicians) 1) pay them a wage and 2) make sure it's a FAIR wage!
What irks me the most about what Amanda Palmer is doing.... Well, she should know WAY better! She's doing this to her own kind, her fellow musicians. What makes her so superior? Her way of spinning it honestly makes it sound as if she's saying that all musicians are daft with the exception of her. I find this to be deplorable and reeking with the stench of bullshit.
Even more simply put: If one can raise $1.2 million, SURELY there is a way to rustle up $35,000 more.


  1. Nice call out.
    I liked Amanda Palmer and this is very disappointing news.
    I don't approve of people being financially exploited, whether it's from corporations/non-profits using people as unpaid interns or from musicians who want to exploit other musicians.
    What a cheap, entitled mooch. I won't be attending her show this time.

    1. I liken it to eating your own young. From my own personal perspective - being trained as an instrumentalist - there was this tone of the front woman being SO SUPERIOR to the instrumentalists.

      But hey....I've found a way to talk about non-perfume things on my perfume blog; plus I get to curse in the title!

  2. Having just crawled out of my dark age period of no internet, I knew nothing about this. I agree that it stinks and is insulting. I also think anyone that would play for "booze and hugs" is desperate, selling out, or just not an actual professional (ish).

    1. Welcome back to the world, Jennifer! Yes...I'm very curious to see how this tour ends up going...