Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter record, art book and tour

Amanda Fucking Palmer's next album is a big, super-duper extravanganza, with lots of bells and whistles funded by Kickstarter. She wants $100K. She's at 258K as of this morning. And I just kicked in:

hi folks, it's AFP. this is my first BIG, LEGIT studio album undertaking since breaking from a major label. i've spent four years writing the songs for this record, and more recently, putting together the perfect band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, comprised of genius musicians/arrangers/programmers MICHAEL MCQUILKEN, CHAD RAINES, and JHEREK BISCHOFF. in march, we locked ourselves up in a studio in Australia and, with the help of producer/engineer John Congleton (who's worked with a zillion amazing people including St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, and Xiu Xiu), we made what I believe is my best fucking album to date. it sounds...BEYOND EPIC. we laid down "The Bed Song", "Massachusetts Avenue", "The Killing Type", "Trout Heart Replica" and a slew of other tracks...some solo piano, but many featuring HORNS (locally sourced in Melbourne, Australia!), SYNTHESIZERS, GUITAAAARRRRR, and BIG BAD-ASS ORCHESTRAL ARRANGEMENTS that will blow your domepiece. we're working on finalizing the arrangements and mastering as i write this text. i expect great, big, giant things to happen when this record comes out in september. the band & i will be touring it across the globe ALL YEAR. here is me with the band, plus performance artists anthony cleave & jess daly, in melbourne right before taking stage:

NOW, about the ARTWORK. over the last six months i've been working in secret with OVER THIRTY visual artist friends of mine (full list below) to create a massive explosion of song-inspired album art, in all different kinds of media. some people took the project really literally and made super lyrics-specific paintings....some people went way abstract. the end result is an EXPLOSION of incredible art. here is the list of artists who made things (alphabetically by first name): Amanda Palmer, Barnaby Whitfield, Blake Brasher, Cassandra Long, Conrad Keely (...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead), Cynthia von Buhler, David Mack, Desi, DJ Spooky (Paul Miller), Empire SNAFU Restoration Project, Hans Rickheit, Heide Hatry, Judith Clute, Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), Kyle Cassidy, Lee Barron, Meghan Howland, Michael Pope, Michael Zulli, Molly Crabapple, Neil Gaiman, Nicole Duennebier, Rick Berry, Robyn Hitchcock, Sarah Beetson, Shepard Fairey, Steven Bogart, Sylvia K, Tao Lin, Tony Albert, Vladimir Zimikov, Walter Sickert, and Zea Barker.

since i'm now without a giant label to front the gazillions of dollars that it always takes to manufacture and promote a record this big, i'm coming to you to gather funds so that i have the capital to put it out with a huge fucking bang. i think kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now - no label, no rules, no fuss, no muss. just us, the music, and the art. i'm also making sure EVERY PRODUCT sold through this kickstarter is unique to this campaign, to reward all of you who KNEW ME WHEN and were willing to support me from Day One.

Amanda Palmer: The new RECORD, ART BOOK, and TOUR


    1. Some people can crank out a book in a month. Some people need 20 years.

      Specific historical and cultural references notwithstanding, is the quality of a work of creative labor diminished by how long it takes to make it?

    2. Well . . . she didn’t say that’s *all* she’s been doing for the last four years (it isn’t). As a longtime fan, I’m really looking forward to this!

    3. It took Bob Dylan approximately ONE WEEK to record what some say is his album masterpiece, “Highway 61 Revisited” – think of what he could have done with a little Kickstarter cash : )

  1. When I learned that she was the living bride in Harvard Square in the 90s is when I figured out I’d been a huge fan since the beginning. I wasn’t sure she’d top bagging NG, but this is monstrous for her…. She’s a stepper-upper. and I can’t wait to see how awesomely she nails this one.

  2. Hmm.  Not sure what to make of this.  Now for starters AFP is brill.  And Kickstarter is brill.  BUT my beef is that Kickstarter should be for up and coming noobs, who don’t have the luxury of “breaking with a label” or whose other halves aren’t mega-successful (and brilliant BTW) authors.  Or have I got my whole perception of Kickstarter wrong?  In any case good luck AFP, but I’ll be saving my hard-won and scarce pennies for those who haven’t a hope in hell without my paltry contribution.

    1. When anything gets big, people start to think it should be a certain way. The ones that have been around the longest usually worry about what it’s becoming, while the newcomers glow over it’s potential and unexplored avenues. Both thoughts are correct, but irrelevant in the end. It will grow where there’s money to be made. 

    2.  One of the options is to back and get a copy of the album for one dollar. That investment is better then buying a used cd, because she has been releasing stuff in ogg, flac, mp3, and aac for the last few years via bandcamp, and I bet this will also be hosted through them. That alone is better than buying the full digital download on Amazon or Itunes.

    3.  It’s an easy, trusted and tested method of gathering money for a specific purpose, why should only up and coming artists use it? Using Kickstarter saves everyone a lot of time and hassle involved coming up with a new infrastructure, and who knows, people who go to contribute to this project may just run into Other projects (by small groups?) that they also want to support.

    4. An album, videos, art book and tour are all quite expensive. As she mentions in the video the budget if she stayed on the label would have been $200,000 to make it and $300,000 to distribute and promote it.

      She doesn’t have that kind of money so she needs to either convince a label to take her own and hope they see things her way or cut out the label and go directly to fans. Since Amanda Palmer’s last album wasn’t exactly a huge success, she might have had a hard time with that.

      If a musician or band has a fanbase to cut out the middle men, but yet not enough to pay for it themselves, then why not use Kickstarter? I think it’s great for anyone who wants to do something but doesn’t have the funding to do it and needs to get it from fans.

      I guess Amanda Palmer could have just set up sales for her new album on her website, but if there was a chance that she wasn’t going to get funding for the whole thing, then Kickstarter is the safer approach for both her and her fans.

  3. That was (fucking) adorable, and Who Killed Amanda Palmer is a great album (especially Guitar Hero, Leeds United, Astronaut….brb spotify…)

    1. She’s an awesome and wickedly smart musician.  Search youtube, you’ll find some fine material of hers.  She used to be part of/front the Dresden Dolls, you should be able to find some of their stuff that way too.

      1. I’ve seen the Dresden Dolls bring half a room of middle aged artsy types to tears – wtih a drum solo. True Story.

  4. I’m not sure I get it.  I have funded a number of Kickstarter projects.  Most of them have been physical products where the prototyping and testing had been done, but they needed financial backing to begin mass-manufacturing.  That makes sense to me.

    In this case… I’m not even really clear on what she’s asking people to fund.  The album — from what I gather from the Kickstarter video — seems to be done already.

    So it really sounds like a Kickstarter for printing an art book that is tangentially related to the album, and funding promotion for her album.  This doesn’t really fit my (possibly narrow) definition of a “project”.

    1. Did you not watch the same video I just did? She says she needs money for promotion, mixing, manufacturing and distribution – costs which the record label used to cover, but since she is independent now needs help with that.

  5. She’s using Kickstarter to basically get an advance. Note that the majority of the “goodies” you get are related to the album. So, rather than waiting until the album comes out and spending $5 on a CD, or $50 on the special limited edition doodads, you put your money up front. She then uses the advance to pay for studio and production fees.

    It’s an interesting take on Kickstarter and is creative in the sense that it’s using Kickstarter as more of a shopping cart than an actual project, so I’ll agree with you there. The project is done, and as far as I can tell whether this is funded or not, what she writes is going to happen. This seems to simply be an easier way of making the doodads exclusive and cool. Still, for most creative people, Kickstarter’s approach to projects are basically the same as getting an advance, so it’s not too far off.

  6. Now, I like Amanda Fucking Palmer as much as the next guy, unless that next guy either doesn’t know who she is or happens to be Neil Gaiman, but I have to ask: Why, exactly, are we kicking in funds to the wife of Neil Goddamn Gaiman?
    I mean, is this so she can feel financially independent of the most fucking lucre-rich speculative fiction author on the planet at the moment? If so, that seems rather facile and purposefully deny-ish of the married concept.
    I don’t know how the do things in England or on the faux-19th century music hall planets, but I do know that here in what I like to call ‘The Real World’ when folks (finger quotes) ‘marry’ they share and share alike.
    Ergot, just to use that word ’cause it’s a great word, if I want me an’ my pals of fun-loving cabaret rats to engage in a project and I don’t have the funds, BUT I SUSPECT MY WIFE’S A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, I’m likely to ask for a subsidy based on past, present, and future marital ‘relations’. And because we’re a team.
    Face it, I’m going to have to put out and put out big. Not that I’m already doing that, but I’ll have to acknowledge some sort of tenuous physical and/or emotional attachment which leads me to impose upon my spouse rather than the General Public if said spouse is, again, A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE. Am I wrong in assuming this, BB fellows?

    1. She’s pursuing a business strategy. Hitting your spouse up for cash is not a business strategy. At least not a very good one if you want to keep the spouse.

    2. Quite aside from your general point, I see amusing potential in your ergo/ergot substitution.  Perhaps a kickstarter fund is in order?

    3. I’m going to give her money because for only $1 she will give me a legal download of her album in return. That’s a more than fair price for an album and since I know she’s pretty great and I like her work I’ll probably give her a couple dollars extra to make the price extra fair. Also, “kicking in funds” is a funny synonym for “buying.”
      Though, I’ll admit I am a little overexcited to give her money for the more abstract reason that I am supporting a business model that eschews the inefficiency and overpricing of mainstream music distributors.
      And you know what? You can laugh all you want at my idealism there. I just hope people follow her lead.

    4. Reasonably confident that AFP is a rather independent person and asking hubby for money is probably not high on her list of desirable activities. That’s a rather limited view of the “married concept” you seem to have.

      Besides, why shouldn’t she get her audience to back her business, when they so obviously are delighted to do so? did you look at the list of “rewards”? there’s some pretty great and unusual stuff that people are ponying up for. We trust her to live up to her promises.

      1.  I was crying by the end of the video, not sure what that means, other than I’m Really excited to see stuff like this happen. The internet may have not solved the world’s problems, but it’s starting to help us solve each other’s problems.

  7. Neil Gaiman says she awesome (really… like, in 300 tweets a day), and I believe Neil knows awesome when he weds it.  I really haven’t seen any other evidence, though.

  8. The keytar sold it for me.  

    I’ve never really bothered to listen to her music to figure out if I like it, but she has always seemed like a cool person to me, and this is a project I can get behind.

  9. *love*  I’m feeling in the doghouse for not even listening to Evelyn&Evelyn and the Map of Tasmania yet… this year has been a blur.  WKAP is my forge music. 
      If you’re interested in the AFP primer get hold of the live show dls.  “Automatic Joy” is the working title for that body of work, i guess?  

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