Such a jaunty little tune

By skepticlawyer

Amanda Palmer sings and performs in the same tradition as the artists in Cabaret, with jaunty and up little tunes about death, destruction, weird sex and squick. Once part of The Dresden Dolls, she had a large hit with Coin Operated Boy and has since done various other things, including a musical attempt to revive the flagging fortunes of Leeds United Football Club (now sadly languishing in the 3rd Division).

A friend pointed me to the video below, which, I think, combines ‘all the above’ in about equal measure (death, destruction, weird sex and squick). It made me laugh, but in the same way that large chunks of Python make me laugh: with a creeping sense of, oh no, you mustn’t, it’s cruel!

Palmer’s response to the blanket refusal of UK radio stations to play the tune was to point out the following:

I suggested that I might be allowed to play it if I just slowed it way down and played it in a minor key. Think about it. If they heard the same lyrics against the backdrop of a very sad and liliting piano, maybe with some tear-jerking strings thrown in for good measure, would they take issue?

She’s got a point, especially considering the success of Ben Folds Five’s Brick, which does the appropriately sad lilt with a side-serving of ‘rite of passage’. Interestingly enough, Ben Folds is often Amanda Palmer’s producer, so it’s clear that neither disapproves of the other’s approach. They just approach the topic differently. I suspect Palmer’s above comment is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Brick, which even gives us some strings.

Alternatively, Ben Folds just prefers to write sad songs, while Amanda Palmer just prefers to write happy songs. Even about poor old Leeds United, who may have missed the transfer window for all time.

One Comment

  1. LE's husband
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I always liked Girl Anachronism for its absolute mania,

    and i’ve never noticed how cool her eyebrows are before…

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