airports. snowmen. catching up.
the european tour was generally fucking miraculous. more news about it below.
yet today was one of those days where I thought I could feel myself aging in realtime.
something about a certain kind of combination of travel, diet, stress and drinking can do that to you.
i ate too much spanish tortilla, drank too much coffee and wine and beer and have done no yoga or exercise for almost two weeks. i finally hit the wall and feel like a squid that has been dried in the sun and then deep-fried and covered in ketchup. my belly is expanded beyond it’s usually fat little dimensions, my skin is broken out, and i am reminded once again that touring life does, indeed, put premature lines on your face no matter how much you hydrate and moisturize.
i was just in the airport in madrid, dealing with the brutal combination of being hungry where there is no decent food and also negotiating with the heaviest day of my period which always means i invariably bleed all over myself and cleaning blood off yourself in an airport is so grace-less. but telling you people about it, that brings all my grace back. now i am hail amanda, full of menstrual blood and grace. i’m sorry if i’m grossing you out. i’m in a sort of shitty mood. they come and go, no?
if i’ve learned anything about myself lately, its that i abhor making plans. i really do. not in the general sense. i like to know where i’m headed in the large picture. up, down, towards the ocean, faster, slower. but the thing about this life that is absolutely nerev-wracking is that you find yourself in january making plans for september. i don’t have a record out now, i’m probably not going to make another one for a while, and i can really just do what the fuck i want. if i tour, i’ll make more money and i’ll be happy to be performing and connecting with people, but i’ll have to deal with things on a daily basis like bleeding on myself in airport bathrooms when the stall has no fucking toilet paper. even madonna probably has to deal with this, when you think about it. she must occasionally have to fly with the plebeians. all airports have bathrooms. sometimes they forget. but she’s got to tour. it’s a trade-off. maybe madonna has a special staff member for this purpose.
but what i’d love, if i could have my way, was the ability to decide month-to-month, even week-to-week, even better, day-to-day what i feel like doing.
id love to be able to wake up every day and say:
“hmmm. today i feel like playing a show. in israel.”
it may be some sort of reaction to the fact that my life is so strictly scheduled when i’m on the road that i crave the freedom. but i think i’m just like that. i’ve never been a structure addict like some other people i know. my favorite days are when nothing has been planned, i don’t know where i’m going, and i start making random rights and lefts into bizarre situations. or i don’t. i sit there and read and book. but it still feels like a spontaneous action. you know?
in this business of touring, it’s just impossible. gigs have to be planned a good six months in advance in order to make everybody happy…the venues, the agents, the promotors. it’s a bitch.
i am currently trying to decide what to do with my summer and it’s driving me nuts. if i plan nothing, i’ll be craving action once it rolls around. if i plan too much, i’ll be bleeding in airports all summer.
i’m trying to carve out a reasonable balance. if i could just predict exactly when i’m going to get my period, then i’d be golden. sadly, such things are not plannable 5 months ahead of time.
whatevs. at least i don’t have to work at a bank or suck dick for a living. jesus.
i’ll stop my bitching, now.
now for the weather:
DEPARTMENT OF OASIS:
i can’t thank you guys enough for the incredibly thoughtful feedback you’ve all given to the oasis issue.
the most beautiful thing, i think, about all of this happening, is that it is leading people to talk and connect and think about things.
in the wake of the whole thing i’ve been having way more intelligent conversations with journalists.
the same thing happened with the leeds united video and the rebellyon…. technically i’ve had two botched singles, but i think i’m better off for it.
i feel like i’m more sure than ever of *why* i’m doing what i’m doing. and more sure of the fact that staying this particular course, working from the grassroots without a lot of help from the top really is a better way to go. it does mean i need to rely on my fanbase more, but i’m becoming happier and happier to do that. i trust the fanbase more than i trust the radio and certainly more than i trust the label.
i’d rather put my future in their hands than in the hands of the machine. and so onwards.
i love finding out that there are so many people out there that feel the way i do about things. it helps me feel grounded.
the guardian did a great piece for the women’s section of G2 the day after the london show called “breaking all the rules” using beautiful photos taken at the clute’s magical house of books,
read it here: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/feb/06/amanda-palmer-interview
this here was the original uncropped photo from the hard copy of the paper, taken by linda nylind.
those paintings in the background are both by the magnificent judith clute.
a bunch of blogs also picked up the story, including the telegraph…and a little diversion for you…..after writing the blog and reflecting on the nature of how happy songs and sad songs are indeed, very different, i decided on the day of the gig that it would be really funny to actually attempt a SAD oasis.
so i tried it in london, complete with fog machine:
and by the way, if anyone thought MY song was dark, check out this wonderful article from the onion:
“I’m Totally Psyched About This Abortion!”
and favorite feedback moment of a week, from a fan who wrote in saying that until the controversy with the song came up and she actually READ the lyrics, she thought i was singing:
“i’ve had better days but i don’t care
a racist got my letter in the mail”
so, when i left you, i was in london. right after that i made a snowman with some british children, which as the highlight of my fucking life.
we made his face out of fruits and vegetables. one banana peel mouth, one carrot nose and his eyes are kiwis. that perverse second picture is me shoving the kiwi in one of the the kid’s mouth so he could bite in in half.
these photos were taken by andrew o’neill, who let me use his piano (this was outside his apartment).
he also opened up for me in london and is a funny fucking man. whole series of these up at www.flickr.com/photos/destroythedoctor/
the london show was sloppy as shit. trying a whole new setlist with no rehearsal and doing new pieces when we had been off tour for so long was a stupid idea.
everything felt clunky. the sound, i hear, was bad. but still, i think we managed to entertain the people of the electric ballroom and we have some awesome pictures to prove it:
Photo by Orlagh Stevens
Photo by Tylaar
Photo by Sinister PIctures
Photo by Hannah Daisy
Photo by dead by sunrise
Photo by Sinister PIctures
the movements of this european tour were old school plus, traveling in a van and feeling like a punk rock road warrior.
all eight of us moved around like a swarm of tired flies and slugs, depending on our level of caffeine and alcohol intake.
we slept in a beautiful huge apartment belonging to sarah the baker in paris, all on the floor and couches and couch cushions in the living room. in switzerland some lovely british folks named chloe and paul put us up in their spare bedrooms, and in toulouse we stayed for two nights in one room of a squat that charlotte, our opener, arranged at a moment’s notice. somewhere on the drive between switzerland and france we stopped at a warehouse called perce oreille and they gave us wine and olives and a painting that guilluame’s mom made. they also made a helmet for us (as featured on steven, below). i love the french.
AFP & the danger ensemble in the mountains of france….
clockwise from AFP: steven, lyndon, aideen, mark, tora.
arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt in pastel.
with the artist, guillaume’s mum, known as Cat…..
tora, jeffmaker, and me trying to point to mark where i thought we might be located if france was the shape of my hand:
they had a piano. i played it.
(all these photos by guillaume)
the cooks preparing dinner in swizterland at fri-son in fribourg. in foregrounds, amanda and mark having the daily summit of TEFS, The Eyebrow-Free Society:
the best thing about touring in europe is that in some of the clubs they cook real (real, real, real) food at the gigs for the artists.
this is almost unheard of in america.
and in addition to that, like in the states and as we will do in oz, people have also been bringing the most incredible foods.
we cannot thank these people enough, as you saved us tons of time and money and moreover, saved us from the perils of having to try to find edible food at 2am, which is nigh impossible in small towns in europe.
dinner with the ensemble in fri-son, photo by AFP’s mac:
thank you europe, for your food.
truly, my belly is jiggling europeanly in solemn appreciation.
speaking of which, in the…
DEPARTMENT OF PURE AWESOMENESS:
…some students decided to stage a live rebellyon at Louisiana State University.
there’s a ton of photos up on their website but here are some of my favorites…..
more at http://wowrebellyonatlsu.blogspot.com/
random photo dept DELUXE:
me, signing a frozen packaged duck in toulouse, france.
for some reason, the owner wanted it. his name was herve.
and i saw this giant baby head sculpture in madrid and was so disturbed by it i decided to take a picture.
one day later:
have been putting off sending this blog for way too long.
got to dublin and saw the screening of “Coraline” in 3D last night. it was amazing and i recommend everyon
e see it in the theater with the glasses…it may get knocked down to non-3D-only showings this coming weekend when the jonas brothers movie opens so don’t wait much longer!
now time for a show
ready for fucking anything
p.s. if anyone missed a chance to donate to the danger ensemble when tehy came around the audience, you can pitch into their coffers ONLINE: www.dangerensemble.com/donate
they will be on the road with me for the next month and every bit helps, so thank you.