Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer flies solo
Amanda Palmer of indie cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls is heading out to support her just-released debut solo album, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer."
The singer/pianist will start this weekend with a monthlong tour of Europe and then kick off North American shows Nov. 12 in Nashville. She's booked more than 20 club/theater dates across the US, including a two-night stand in her hometown of Boston, as well as a stop in Toronto. North American gigs are included below and those overseas can be found at Palmer's MySpace page.
The idea for the performer's solo set was a simple one: songs for the piano and voice recorded in one week in a bedroom. But the plan snowballed into something much more grand.
"I was all set to just bang out the tunes in my bedroom with the help of a local engineer and was locking the dates when Ben Folds showed up on the scene," Palmer explained in her bio. "He emailed [The Dresden Dolls'] website while he was on tour in Japan, gushing about how much he loved our records. I was totally ecstatic and jumped up and down for a while and then dug out my old Ben Folds CDs and wrote him back immediately."
As luck would have it, The Dresden Dolls and Folds were both in Australia a few weeks later and they struck up a friendship. Folds offered his Nashville studio to Palmer, as well as his production services.
"I just had a good feeling about it and knew I could trust him," Palmer recalled. "And I wound up being blown away by what Ben brought to the table; he went beyond my expectations in spades."
That originally planned one-week recording session turned into a year-long project featuring string arrangements by composer Paul Buckmaster and guest turns by The Dead Kennedys' East Bay Ray, St. Vincent's Annie Clark and Rasputina cellist Zoe Keating. In addition to producing and arranging the record, Folds also played synthesizer, drums, organ and contributed some back-up vocals.
Palmer hopes that "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" will show fans a different side of her.
"One thing that has always irritated me is that the Dolls get locked in the gimmick box by a lot of people. Many times, they don't see past the fun and theatrics ...," she explained in her bio. "I'm hoping that people can see past that and assess me as a songwriter and performer instead of just a circus ringmaster."
Songs and videos from the new album are streaming at Palmer's MySpace page.
Last spring, Palmer and her Dresden Dolls cohort, drummer Brian Viglione, toured to support their May release, "No, Virgina," a collection of b-sides and rarities. Their latest studio album is 2006's "Yes, Virginia."