NEIL & AMANDA TAKE QUESTIONS FROM TWITTER about “AN EVENING WITH”
neil and i just finished up the two new york town hall shows, and they were amazing….friday was a bit more chaotic and special-guest-ridden and saturday was a bit more dr. who themed, it being the 50th anniversary. we roped in a bevvy of special guests including arthur darville (who played “rory” on dr. who), meow meow and lance horne, kat robichaud fresh from being ejected from The Voice (that one deserves its own blog), and claudia gonson from the magnetic fields. there were stories, wine, questions, answers, arguments, falling microphones, and loads of joy. thank you to everyone who came:
An Evening w/ Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer 11/22/13 – Town Hall, New York City
An Evening w/ Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer 11/23/13 – Town Hall, New York City
(photo credit: by Hannah Means-Shannon)
(photo credit: by Tom Steiger)
1) Question from @LuaNucci: How was the process to select the readings on An Evening With ?
— LuaNucci (@LuaNucci) October 23, 2013
NG: I just listened to everything, and tried to assemble a 70 minute sequence with a good mixture of stories, poems and such on it.
AFP: neil had his own secret process (neil?) for his material, but here was mine:
i’ve had a handful of songs that haven’t really “fit” on any other records, but that i’ve been playing live for a long time, songs like “dear old house” and “gaga palmer madonna”.
so i figured it would be a nice idea to just record them live, because they were more, well, “storytelling” type songs that didn’t need any fancy studio production or extra overdubs or effect. as far as the poems went, we sort of improvised our way into it.
it was my idea to do the two love poems back to back, and i think it happened on one of the drives from one city to the next.
a lot of the moment on the album actually came about while we were On The Road…the most obvious being the song that’s dedicated to the girl who died at Occupy.
the idea of neil playing the “virtual bongos” happened off the cuff as well. i think he makes an excellent beatnik.
2) Question from @wallrike: How has the show changed since you started? What surprised you the most?
— David Wohlreich (@wallrike) October 23, 2013
AFP: i was surprised how FAST the shows felt. i feel like they could have gone on for hours and nobody would have gotten bored.
i was also really pleasantly surprised to see strange themes emerging. as i sat on my side of the stage, with my own songs and material rattling through my head, i would listen to neil’s readings and start to connect bizarre little dots between his poems and stories and my lyrics. maybe i can’t help but do that no matter what, but there were nights when stories and song would just seem perfectly curated and matched…judy blume and ray bradbury and memory loss and dusty old attics and the past and future all started to thread into a fabric that tied our material into a quilt, and we’d done it all unintentionally.
3) Question from @adventuretom: @neilhimself AP is intense & connects with an audience like no one else. Is it intimidating to share a stage with her?
— adventuretom (@adventuretom) October 23, 2013
NG: Not at all. She’s really a very reassuring person to share a stage with. She takes enormous pains to make sure that anyone on a stage with her is comfortable.
4) Question from @AltoidLover: With all of the traveling you do, how do you keep a feeling of consistency/normality in your life?
— Jp (@AltoidLover) October 23, 2013
NG: I try and bring my own pillow with me on the road.
AFP: as do i.
5) Question from @djkeng: Were you surprised at all at the response to your Kickstarter campaign for An Evening With?
— Diana Keng (@djkeng) October 23, 2013
NG: I was, yes. Also delighted and humbled. The task went from how to record the money to how to use the money we’d made to give back to the supporters, who found themselves with a triple CD and not a Double CD, lots of digital material, and a Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground covers CD they were definitely not expecting (and neither were we).
6) Question from @JackieMReuter: What unexpected joys or difficulties did you come across while touring with each other?
— Jackie Reuter (@JackieMReuter) October 23, 2013
NG: I got most upset with Amanda during the second San Francisco show, where she wouldn’t leave the stage, took requests, and seemed upset with me for going over time, when I knew I wasn’t. She was convinced I’d hogged the stage time until we actually got the recordings. She’d got bad news before the show, which had thrown her.
AFP: i’ll own that one. i was a dick that night. and still sorry about it. i learn.
7) Question from renarossner: How is song writing different than novel writing/ poetry writing? How do your genres mesh? Where do they clash?
How is song writing different than novel writing / poetry writing? How do your genres mesh? Where do they clash? #EveningWith
— Rena Bunder Rossner (@renarossner) October 23, 2013
NG: Novels are much longer than songs, and poems almost never have tunes. The biggest clash is I would happily take half an hour for each short story, and I can’t do that.
AFP: songs are like poems: it’s all about economy. i am AMAZED at neil’s ability to write a novel. i’d never have that much patience, but there’s also something magical about taking an entire complex feeling or set of circumstances and squeezing it into five minutes. to each their own. we need all forms.
8) Question from @avishai_kaplan: How do you resolve an artistic disagreement? Do you even have any artistic differences?
— Avishai Kaplan (@avishai_kaplan) October 23, 2013
NG: The person who cares most wins.
AFP: yeah. what he said. i encountered this when i was making “evelyn evelyn” with jason webley, and the same rules applied. we’d get into an argument about a lyric or a line or a melody or something and jason would say “i think i’m right” and i’d say “well, i think i’m right”. and we’d stand there staring at each other until one of us said “i care the most”. and that person was the winner. and we would, importantly, agree that the winner wasn’t necessarily RIGHT, just MORE ATTACHED. big difference. and really crucial for collaboration (or marriages) of any kind.
9) Question from @crimsong19: What were your favorite tracks to record (audience reaction, etc.)
— Jason (@crimsong19) October 23, 2013
AFP: ooh…i think “jump” is the absolute highlight. i looked forward to that song more than any other moment of the night….every time.
10) Question from @soupdragon70: @neilhimself you’re stuck on a desert island, what three cheeses would you want with you?
— Nigel Berry (@soupdragon70) October 23, 2013
NG: I would like the enormous Boat Cheese of the Varshiti people, who make a hardened cheese into a boat. I would like some of the Woven Yak Cheese which a Himalayan tribe weave through their long winters, to fashion into a sail. And I would like a good Wensleydale to nibble on the way home across the ocean. Preferably with a good tart apple.
11) Question from @AJF185: @amandapalmer How do you trust people so implicitly when you sometimes perform and/or walk through the crowd nude?
— Amanda Firestone (@AJF185) October 23, 2013
AFP: jeez. i don’t know. how do you cross the street without being afraid that the car waiting at the stoplight isn’t going to just accelerate into you?
i honestly…..don’t really know. i just do. i’m more interested in trusting people than i am in being afraid of them. it’s more fun.
12) Question from @TheSagest: Simple but deep question to each of you: What is your favorite work of the other?
— Kevin S. Mahoney (@TheSagest) October 23, 2013
NG: The Bed Song.
AFP: i’m a huge fan of the new novel (Ocean). and before that, it was both short story collections, especially “smoke and mirrors”. i still have yet to read all of his stuff. i used to feel more guilty, but fuck the guy has written a lot. and i kind of want to take my time with it and not swallow all his works at once like a giant handful of candy.
13) Question from @thecoffeepunk: If you had dinner guests at a future evening, who would you invite?
— jhm (@thecoffeepunk) October 23, 2013
AFP: caitlin moran. tim minchin. laurie anderson. margaret cho. russell brand. judy blume. the dalai lama. michel pope. the actual pope. and why not. miley.
14) Question from @LunikAudion: What is your favourite sense?
— ☞ Lunik Audion ❥ (@LunikAudion) October 23, 2013
15) Question from @PoetCourtney: What is your favorite song to perform together?
— Courtney Bates-Hardy (@PoetCourtney) October 23, 2013
NG: For me, it’s “Psycho,” every time. I love that little song, because I never know what it will do to an audience.
AFP: lately, we’ve got a new one…we’ve been doing a cover of “the luckiest guy on the lower east side” by the magnetic fields.
that’s my new favorite. mostly because of how happy neil looks when he sings it.
FAQ c/o @southships
Q: Hi- So what is this?
A: Back in 2011, Amanda and Neil decided to do a brief run of shows up the west coast- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. they booked nights at mid-sized theaters and performed a heartfelt mix of original songs, duets, covers, spoken word pieces, poetry, and some goofy/awesome/poignant audience-sourced q and a. We took to Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds to record each of the performances- then edited down all the files to compile a best of the best 3 disc set, which was then released exclusively to the Kickstarter backers. Today marks the release of this album, An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer, to the world/general public.
Q: Got it. So how does this release differ from the Kickstarter release?
Q: Okay- but what happened to all the other cool items you were selling during the pre-sale? i dont see them in the webstore….?
Q: Alright. You got me. So, how can i get my hands on this incredible collection of arts?
Customers in the US should be able to find the collection in local record stores, as well as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. you’ll also find the digital download is available in itunes- though it will be cheaper on amandapalmer.net
Customers in Canada should also check their local record stores.
if by chance your local independent record store is NOT carrying the album. DEMAND THEY DO SO! then get 10 other people to contact the record store as well. with enough demand, chances are strong your record store will reach out to the distributors to start carrying the album.