Tag Archives: music

Ladies and Gentlemen….Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amanda Palmer has quickly become a person I greatly admire, and one day, I really hope I’ll get to attend one of her shows maybe even get a hug.  The awesome part is, with the kind of person she is, all of that is a possibility, and how cool is that?  Who is Amanda Palmer?  She is a musician, and a seriously kickass one at that.  You should really check out her latest album Theatre is Evil.    It will make you weep and smile and dance.  The more I listen to her music, read her blog, follow her on Twitter, watch her Ted Talk the more I want to hear about her opinions and the way she thinks.

Now some of the people who know me may laugh, because they’ve heard me wax poetic about a few celebrities that I would love to sit down and have a drink with lately.  (Most of them, it is solely for their personalities, and not because they are amazingly attractive men…mostly for their personalities and not only because they are amazingly attractive men…their personalities are great too?  No really, it is because I think they would just be fun interesting people, the pretty part doesn’t hurt though.)  The whole idea that I could sit down and have a drink, a cup of coffee, or a conversation with these people, all started with Amanda.

She has this connection with her fans that I hadn’t seen before in individuals who enjoy (or are burdened) with that level of fame.  Now, given, I was introduced to her just about the same time that her Kickstarter  campaign was coming to a close (The info is still there.  I love the video!), and I am still kicking myself for not contributing to that while I had the chance.  (However, thanks to her, I know what crowdfunding is, and I’ve gotten the chance to back several other projects.) You may have heard of it.  She raised nearly $1.2 Million to fund her album.  You know,Theatre is Evil , the one I was talking about.  The campaign got a lot of attention, and not all of it was positive.  However, what the naysayers failed to realize is that this idea of asking her supporters for…well, for support is not something new for her.  Go to her site, and check it out.  Want music?  Pay what you can…yeah, that’s right.  If you can afford to pay the regular price of an album, do it.  If you can’t, pay whatever you can.  If you can’t afford anything, just enjoy the music.

Amanda Palmer's Ninja Beach Gathering

Amanda Palmer’s Ninja Beach Gathering (Photo credit: Burns!)

They couch surf when they travel.  If you’ve got some free space and are willing, there is a decent chance that you’ll have a band sleeping at your place.  She does “ninja gigs” all over the world, small, free, last minute shows, spread by word of mouth and social media.  They could be anywhere, in a park, on a street corner, empty theater at SXSW…wherever.  Sometimes her husband comes along too.  Wait, did I forget to mention him?  She’s married to Neil Gaiman.  (Yeah, now you figure out how I found her, huh?)  Her connection to her fans isn’t some ephemeral thing.  This is an enduring connection that she has to the people who love and support her, and it never fails to amaze and touch me.  Through her blog, the comments she receives, her tweets…all of it.

5563952_zps605a5261Amanda and Neil are also releasing An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer that looks absolutely amazing.  You can pre-order that too (and I have) here.  I cannot wait!  There’s Amanda singing, Neil reading, Neil & Amanda singing and then there’s stuff! (See picture: Left)  Oh my, I’m giddy with anticipation.  Anyway, back to the point(ish) things.

After the Kickstarter Amanda was asked to give a TED Talk.  You might have heard of TED, yeah?  No?  Definitely something you should check out.  She gave her talk on “The Art of Asking”.  As of September 3, 2013 it had 1,534,822 views on YouTube…and counting.

Asking is hard…I mean really hard.  Right?  Reading the comments, this isn’t just me.   I know I am a headstrong, stubborn independent woman who would rather fail abjectly than ask for help sometimes.  (It is all a pride thing, I know.  I’m working on it.)  It really isn’t easy, but the video helps.  Every single time I watch it, it helps more.  Don’t ask how many times I’ve gone back to this video, because I honestly can’t answer that question.  It isn’t just about asking though, for me, it is about communicating too.  People don’t suck as much as we all believe sometimes…most of the time.  They can be wonderfully generous people if you give them a chance, but you have to let them.  You have to open up and let them in, and holy cow is that a terrifying prospect.

At first, I asked myself, how does she do it?  How does Amanda Palmer open herself up to all these thousands and thousands of people, because that’s where the support came from, you know.  All these people she’s touched over the years in one way or another, when she needed them they showed up…in droves, with everything they could give…because she asked…because she gave.  I’m still wondering how she does it, because it is freaking scary!

She’s writing a book now, and I think that is fantastic.  I cannot wait to see what she gives us!  Pre-order?  Sure.  No question.  Not just so I can support, but because I want to know what she’s going to say!  She’s asking for those of us who read her blog for help/input/feedback/support…whatever.  The questions she’s asking on her blog “what’s the difference between asking and begging”  and “what do you wish you’d asked for”  are good questions.  They’re hard questions.  She’s reading the comments and using them in the book.  Amanda Palmer asked…as hard as the questions are, I’m commenting with answers…what can I say, she asked.

‘Til Next Time,

Jessica


Back to Cain’s…Eye Empire, Seether and 10 Years

PhotoMy vaguely preppy exterior hides the heart of a rocker, and I got to indulge that side a few nights ago at Cain’s Ballroom.  (Seriously, I love that venue!)  Eye Empire, 10 Years and Seether were performing to a great crowd.  The show didn’t sell out ahead of time, but when we arrived, the line to buy tickets snaked down the block.  Luckily, I already had my tickets. (Sometimes, planning does pay off.)  We were able to enter through the Second Stage entrance at Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue where there was no line.  Don’t you just love being able to do stuff like that.? It kind of makes you feel like a VIP even when you aren’t.  Not a bad way to start the evening, if you ask me.  (That could also have been the guy at the door telling me that they didn’t take fake ids.  I’m 36.  That kind of thing just makes you smile.)

photo (14)The evening started out with Eye Empire taking the stage.  I had no idea who these guys were before last night, but I’ll definitely be following them from now on.  They were the perfect openers to get the crowd pumped up and going.  I’ve mentioned before in posts about Center of the Universe Festival and Rascal Flatts that I really love a performer that works the crowd.  These guys did an awesome job with that.  They realized they were playing to a crowd that probably hadn’t heard their music before and they were out to impress.  Consider me impressed.  The temptation to head bang along to the music was nearly overwhelming.  The lead singer’s does a great job of balancing melodic passes with raging ones.  That juxtaposition of harsh and staccato with smooth and lyrical has always been something I’m drawn to in this genre and Eye Empire pulls it off beautifully.  The songwriting was fantastic, and, in particular, I loved the stuff they said came off their new album.  These guys love what they do and it shows.  Every time they addressed the crowd they spoke about all of us coming together over a shared love of music, and their overall message was one of love and support.  By the end of their set, I’m picking up the words to their new song Beyond the Stars, which is just fan-freaking-tastic, and singing along.  Eye Empire picked up at least two new fans in Tulsa, OK.

photo (17)10 Years followed them, and the contrast was a bit shocking.  When I lived in Chicago, I’d come across a few of their songs and really liked their style, so I was excited to see them live for the first time.  The music was played flawlessly, and I still love their sound.  The lead singer came out with heart shaped sunglasses and a handlebar mustache…he has a unique sense of style.  He seemed disappointed that more people in the crowd weren’t singing along and kept telling us “you can do better”, reminding everyone that they’d been playing in Tulsa since 2006.  Frankly, it was kind of off putting after the unbridled enthusiasm and spirit of Eye Empire.   There were a couple of band members who looked like they were having a good time, but overall the performance came across as stiff and rather gimmicky.  This is a band that I’d rather not see live again.  I’ll still listen to their music, but I’m not paying for tickets to see them.

photo (22)Fortunately, Seether had a Remedy for that when they took the stage.   They rocked.  I wasn’t surprised.  This is my second opportunity to see them live.  The first was a few years ago in Milwaukee at Summerfest. (If you ever get the chance to go to Summerfest, do it.  It is completely worth it.)  I only knew a couple of songs of theirs that first time, but seeing them live made me a fan.  I bought their album on iTunes as soon as I got home, and I’ve listened to everything they’ve put out since.  They have never disappointed me.  Last night I got to hear all my favorites including Country Song, Fake It, and so many more.  They did a ballad version of The Gift that was just amazing.  I sang along with every song, and walked out of Cain’s last night with no real voice to speak of (get it…no voice to speak of?).  In fact, I was still paying for it the next day, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it.  When they performed Broken, the audience took over and was signing the lyrics before Shaun Morgan could even really begin.  In fact, we sang most of the first verse without him.  It was pretty awesome, but I did sort of miss hearing what may be my favorite song not being performed by…well the actual performer.  They closed with Remedy as their encore, which was pretty much perfect.

As always a big shout out to everybody at Cain’s Ballroom.  You guys are awesome.  Rowdy, impatient and often…we’ll just say less than sober people aren’t easy to deal with in small numbers much less crowds, and I know they get on my nerves (I don’t even work at a place where I have to deal with people like that!).  Everybody I’ve ever had contact with at Cain’s has been great.  They’ve all been friendly, helpful and in general happy to be there.  The bartenders, staff, security…they’ve definitely made Cain’s my go-to place to see live music in Tulsa.

So you might have figured out I love music…all kinds of music!  What has been your favorite live performance?  Who should I go see if I get the chance?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Music on My Mind

“Music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” ― Modest MouseModest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Today the power and beauty of music have been on my mind.   Just like reading feeds my mind, music feeds my soul.  What can I make a meal of tonight?  Do you play any kind of music?  Today what is a song or artist that feeds your soul?  What book or story feeds your mind?