“Hello, I’m good for nothing, will you love me just the same?”
And now, a song about rampaging insecurity. Or the opposite, a song about expectations and frustration. Amanda Palmer writes about emotional ambiguity like none other. She slides from frailty to rage and back again in a couplet. This kind of theatrical intensity can be almost terrifying, especially for people who are used to the cleanliness of pop. But the Dresden Dolls built a singularly dedicated fan base because they appeal to people who want to see real blood, sweat and tears underneath the makeup. The intimate and confessional coexist with the performative; that’s where punk poetry meets cabaret. Say what you will about Amanda Palmer and her business practices, but she represents the triumph of the crazy independent artist in an era of corporate sponsorship. It’s good to know that it’s possible to keep a career afloat just be the sheer force of passion and charisma. Obviously, her global couchsurfing grassroots ethos isn’t for everybody, but it’s still inspiring.