Singer, songwriter, piano-slayer and blogger Amanda Palmer is preparing to release her first new studio album in four years, in conjunction with her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, featuring Michael McQuilken, Chad Raines and Jherek Bischoff. The album, recently recorded in Melbourne with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Murder By Death, Modest Mouse, Xiu Xiu), will also include a visual art exhibit featuring 30 visual artists who have created work inspired by the album. And true to form, the undisputed queen of fan engagement is turning to her fans for help, launching a new Kickstarter campaign that will enable her to execute the ambitious global release at levels rarely seen by independent artists.
“I’ve been waiting what seems like ages to release this album, trying to figure out how to serve it best, since i think it’s the best material I’ve ever written. I had to find the right business team, the right musicians, the right producer, and most importantly, the right system through which to release it. I’ve been experimenting with self-releasing little projects for a while, learning as I go, and my team knows enough now to self-release a massive record.”
Since parting ways with her record label four years ago, Amanda Palmer has navigated her own fiercely independent path through the music business. A long-standing blogger who routinely tweets incredibly intimate details of her life, and who maintains constant and genuine communication with her fans, Palmer has fully embraced the “pay what you want” business model to proven financial success (See Palmer’s “HowtoGetRichonTwitter” as an example of a random Friday nightin Amandaland). Through it all she has built a loyal community of supporters (now over 500,000 on Twitter) that continues to grow with every piece of music she gives away (all of which is free on her website save for mechanical royalty charges) and every concert and flash-mob-style free “ninja gig” she performs.
Now Palmer is ready to raise the bar even higher, planning a 2-year global release of creative output that will feature a multitude of videos and remixes, 18 months of global touring, and pop-up art exhibition featuring 30 visual artists that will touch down in 6 cities in the U.S. and Europe this summer. To finance all the work that is to be done, Palmer will once again rely on Kickstarter, with a “macro-lending” add-on she’s calling Loanspark that will allow for larger contributions that surpass Kickstarter’s $10,000 maximum limit. The backer-incentives on Kickstarter range from $1 (a digital download of the album) to $10,000 (a live portrait sitting, painted by Amanda herself, including wine and dinner).
(Palmer’s last Kickstarter campaign, which funded the recording of a sold-out tour with author and husband Neil Gaiman, raised $133,000).
Amanda Palmer Pop-Up Art Gallery Tour, Featuring 30 Visual Artists
There has rarely been an Amanda Palmer or Dresden Dolls release without a strong visual art component, and Palmer has pulled no punches with this album: In conjunction with the album’s release in September 2012, Amanda has commissioned 30 unique artists (many of whom are musicians as well) to create work inspired by her new album. This art will be featured – live on local gallery walls – in a traveling “Pop-Up” art exhibit that will touch down in 6-8 cities in the U.S. and Europe, where Amanda & The Grand Theft Orchestra will perform exclusive shows within the gallery to reward local Kickstarter backers. Palmer explains: “I’m pretty sure I became a musician so I’d have an excellent excuse to throw an Art Party everywhere I went. This upcoming gallery tour is about as close as I get to fulfilling that fantasy. Wine flowing, visual art and artists everywhere, music playing loudly, everybody excited about the album in one tiny room, jumping up and down…it doesn’t get any better than that, really.”
DON’T MISS THE POP-UP ART EXHIBIT WHEN IT TOUCHES DOWN IN YOUR CITY!
BERLIN @ Platoon
(Alte Schönhauser Straße 3 10119 Berlin )
June 13-15: Exhibition open to the public (11am – 10pm daily)
June 12: Press / artist reception, 7-10pm (PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
LONDON @ TheVillageUnderground
(54 Holywell Lane Shoreditch, London EC2A)
June 19: Exhibition open to the public (hours tbd)
June 18: Press / artist reception, 7pm (PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
NEW YORK @ MomentaArt
(56 Bogart Street Brooklyn, NY 11206)
June 29 – July 1: Exhibition open to the public (12pm-6pm daily)
June 28: Press / artist reception, 7-10pm(PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
SAN FRANCISCO @ PublicWorks
(161 Erie Street San Francisco, CA 94103)
July 14: Exhibition open to the public (5:30 to 8:30 pm, 21+ only)
July 12: Press / artist reception, 7-10pm (PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
LOS ANGELES@ PopTartGallery
(3023 W. 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020)
July 20-25: Exhibition open to the public (Tues-Sun 1:pm-7:pm and by appointment)
July 19: Press / artist reception, 7-10pm (PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
BOSTON @ TheMiddleEastRestaurant
(472 – 480 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02139)
Aug 2-4: Exhibition open to the public (11am – 12am daily)
Aug 1: Press / artist reception, 7-10pm (PRIVATE / Invite Only, RSVP required)
DJSpooky (Paul Miller)
Don’t Miss Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra
When They Debut Their Live Show This Summer!
In addition to the touring art exhibit, Amanda and her band will debut her new songs in a series of VERY SMALL live gigs this summer as the band prepares to hit the road full-time in the fall. Tickets for these shows go on sale May 11, and are guaranteed to sell out fast!
June 14: BERLIN @ Roter Salon
June 20: LONDON @ The Village Underground
June 27: NEW YORK @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 13: SAN FRANCISCO @ Public Works
July 18: LOS ANGELES @ The Roxy
Aug 2: BOSTON @ The Middle East