Some personal news, Dolls in Cali now on sale, the many many tiers (re)explained, and more..
First of all, welcome to all the new patrons. I regret that I’ve been very behind in almost every way for the past few months (and I owe welcome letters to a handful of new $100 patrons), but it’s been one of those seasons where everything collides. My co-parent covid, the finely-laid plans got mangled once again, but honestly…it’s been like this for so long that I am having an easier time letting it all slide down the hill while I gaze and roast my vegetables, which makes me happy.
How are you doing? Tell me in the comments….I am reading them all later tonight. Say hi. Maybe introduce yourself if you’re new.
The news from overseas…my god. I haven’t wanted to discuss it much, honestly. I have a handful of friends who have fully deleted their social media in the last few days.
It feels like there is no right way to talk.
It feels like there is no right way to be. To move.
I have been thinking deeply for a few days about certain specific things.
I don’t understand exactly how my car works.
I don’t understand exactly how my house works.
I don’t understand exactly how a war works.
But I do know how my heart works.
More and more, I know. More and more, I feel it.
This is my job.
I feel a Dresden Dolls song coming on. They’ve been coming fast and furious.
For now…I need to unload a lot on you. Sorry.
It’s been backlog season.
So….some housekeeping, and some personal news, way below, where I like hiding it deep after all the boring stuff.
This post is kinda all over the place – just skip the boring parts if you want.
First up: CALIFORNIA!!!!!
DRESDEN DOLLS TICKETS ARE NOW ON PUBLIC SALE FOR OUR WEST COAST SHOWS. As of a few minutes ago at 10am PST.
December 8th – Los Angeles, CA – Tickets
December 9th – San Diego, CA – Tickets
RUN DO NOT FECKING WALK.
These shows are gonna sell out. Fast.
Again: join the band’s mailing list for early access. These shows almost sold out to the mailing list alone.
Greetings from a beautiful goddamn day in Bearsville, NY. The sun is blazing, the leaves are en-redding and falling, diving, it’s just fucking gorgeous. I’m feeling fragile and uncertain but full of life, and songs, and forward motion.
I just walked around and took a couple pictures of the porch, the yard and the house. It’s just gorgeous right now.
The dawn light.
Basically….I want to take a moment to catch you up about a few things going on with the patreon, my life, my writing, my work, the dolls…it NEVER feels like a good time, lately, to catch you up about all sorts of random things, but today’s the day.
This is the sort of stuff that I’d usually put in the Althing (our monthly newsletter)….but sometimes there’s just TOO MUCH TO SAY and I don’t wanna overload that post at the end of the month.
And a plant on the front porch that doesn’t have too many days left out here….
From the kitchen:
A really nice guy – a patron, I think – whose name I didn’t catch (or retain) grabbed me at the venue the other night and gave me this beautiful jar of homemade honey.
Thank you….whoever you are, nice man.
Okay, let’s do this.
A couple things about the patreon itself.
First up, you may have noticed (I sure did) that my front-facing patron number exploded overnight. I went from having about 10,000 patrons to about 17,000. I assumed this was a glitch in patreon’s system…but NO! It’s actually just a change in the way they’re exposing the number of paying/subscribed patrons versus the number of free subscirbers. So, if you’re reading this, you’re either one of about 10,000 people paying to be a patron, or you’re one of 7,000 people along for the free ride.
This is a free post.
That means ANYONE in the world can see it.
Many of my posts are free, but not all of them are.
I like using the paywall/tier aspect patreon as a “low-walled garden”. Having a paywall means that the people of the community able to access the posts and the comments section aren’t just random people from the internet; it’s a committed community, and it keeps things (generally, 99% of the time) very kind, supportive and sane.
I also used to do a lot of flash events all over the world. Nowadays, I like throwing patron-only events and parties. It keeps the groups smaller and less random. It means I can throw a party in New York (which I am) for the AFP/patron community, and I’m not posting it on Facebook or Instagram. It’s just the hardcore.
The higher tiers of the patreon make it possible for two things to happen: I can get more heavy support to pay the bills from the people who can afford to help me, and the staff, and the band, and it’s a very nice way to have smaller conversations. The webcasts, for instance, usually draw under 100 people, since there’s not thousands and thousands of people paying more than $10/month. That keeps things nice and cozy, and the group is tight.
A reminder: there are many tiers of the patreon.
There’s a good chance I’ll be changing these tiers (or moving to a monthly model) sometime in the next year or two, but for now, I’m subscribing to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp.
You can subcribe for free, and just get the basic news posts.
The $1 tier means: You’re a committed patron, you’re helping out with $12 a year, and that’s great. This gets you access to ANY patron-only art, posts, parties, gatherings and patron-only events. It’s a bargain. 🙂
The $3 is just a step up and gets you downloads of all the things I release that are possible to download…mostly videos, music, podcasts, digital goods. Sometimes, when I released a song, the $1 patrons can access it via a streming link, but the $3+ patrons get a download code for the same song (or whatever). It’s also just a nice way to show your support and give more money to the basic cause.
The $5 tier gets “random surprise” posts. Mostly photos, little video snippets of life, and often things (art, information, thoughts) that I want to share with a smaller group of people. Sometimes I go a while without posting, sometimes I have a logjam. It’s also, obvioously, just a nice bump up in income for the patreon coffers, even you don’t much care about being barraged with extra photos and videos. Here’s a little post I put up yesterday for the $5 folks (you’d need to be that tier or highter to access this)…I just wandered around The Dresden Dolls rehearsal space and took a bunch of random photos: https://www.patreon.com/posts/90797995
The $10 tier gives you access to the webcasts/webchats/Ask me Anythings which I try to do about once a month (but sometimes I get busy and a couple months go by). The webcasts usually last about two+ hours and are mostly a way to hang out, ask questions, and I usually monologue about whatever’s going on in my world. There’s sometimes some music played, or special guests, or poetry readings – from me and the other patrons around the world. Some of the patrons in this tier have been here for 7 years and we all have gotten to know each other – online and in person – quite well, so there’s a wonderful family vibe. We use Crowdcast as a platform and it’s got great chat tools and the ability to have up to four people on stage at a time, so sometimes we have nice circular shares or poem-readings. It can be very emotional, and funny, and I always leave the casts feeling better. It’s hard to explain, but if you wanna see a classic example, here’s a link to the replay of a webcast we did a couple weeks ago.
It’ll give you an idea. You’ll need to be logged in as a $10+ patron to access it: all you need is your patron password, Crowdcast will understand it.
The $25+ tier gets access to all of the above, and ART IN THE MAIL…which is what it sounds like. A few times a year – with no regularity, we promise you – we send ART IN THE MAIL. That’s right. We’ve sent fine art prints, puzzles, SOCKS, nd stained-glass window stickers. We try to keep it delightful and creative and we try to give paid work to creative members of the patreon community itself…so the economy is circular. Here’s a few examples of things we’ve mailed out over the years
It’s really nice.
Note: I don’t like to think of this tier as a SHOP.
It’s more of a….world of ongoing thank-you gestures.
$25 a month is a lot of money.
But if you have that kind of dough to give to the arts, and my team and band is the arts you wanna give it to, we wanna art you back.
This tier gets ART IN THE MAIL, plus guest-list privileges.
This is getting more fun now that I’m ACTUALLY STARTING TO TOUR.
Micheal – my beloved assistant – helps me with this one. Every time we annoucne a tour, or a show, we reach out to this tier and do a kind of “frist come first served” guest list system. We can almost always accomodate everyone who wants a seat (unless you ask me for six tickets, at which point we sigh and try to do our best, and sometimes can and sometimes can’t).
The guest list is good for ALL SHOWS – solo, The Dolls (where access can be more limited), and benefits or whatever weirdness I’m up to. If I get a guestlist, basically, I try to pass it on to you all once my family has seats.
This tier is usually full, but we just had ONE spot open up if someone wants to grab it.
It is always limited to 30, because that’s about how many postcards I can handle writing (while keeping them meaningful)
This is a tier that gets everything the $75 tier gets (Art in the Mail, and guest list) but every once in a while, I’ll send you a postcard.
I’ve sent postcards from ALL over the place….Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Florida :)….TO all over the globe. I have postcard patrons in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Canada…everywhere. It’s so…nice.
I usually do them in one bulk two-day coffeeshop session….but sometimes I sprinkle them around.
Again: it’s just a gesture. Anyone spending this amount of money on my team and my art deserves a hand-written thank you note every once in a while.
Here’s a picture of some $100+ patron postcards about to go in the mail
All of the above – Art in the Mail, guest list, postcards, AND we send you any merchandise you want, anytime we make ANYTHING. This is by request, and we also reach out to you personally and ask if you want stuff. So: when we release an album, or a tour poster, or a shirt, or a cool piece of merch, you just get it…with a thank you note.
This is the largest gesture I can make for someone giving so generously. There are very few people in this tier, so it’s easy to have a personal relationship, and the asking door is open.
We have had a few people in and out of this tier over the years, and there’s basically nothing to say here. You get everything, you can ask for anything, and we’ll try to accommodate. These sort of benefactors are rare, and when they show up, we try to show up as well.
So THAT’S the current tiers, (re-)explained.
Ask me questions if you got any.
For the last seven years, this patreon has been supporting my life, my staff and my band – really, truly. We started at 4,000 patrons in the first month…and now we’re at 17,000. It’s pretty amazing.
But it isn’t magic. I work my ass off, the staff works their asses off, and we try really hard to make art, music and other stuff that matters.
We also try really hard to take care of the community as best we can. We try to run this like a family resaturant.
And it’s never perfect.
I make some money on other things, but this is really it: the bread and butter.
I would ask you, therefore, to contribute it you can, don’t if you can’t, and think about the value of what we do and give you and try to work accordingly.
Now that we’ve eaten our vegetables, I have a couple more things.
There is now a CHAT feature of the patreon app.
See this little thing?
Thats the CHAT function!!!
I mentioned this in the Althing, and I’ll mention it again…but if you go to the patreon app, you’ll see it there.
I’m currently just playing around with it and trying to decide what to do with it.
I *think* I’m gonna make it a $5+ patron perk, but for right now it’s open to EVERYBODY.
So go play ’round. You can upload photos, which you can’t do here in the comments (which has always made me sad), and it’s just a nice way to feel connected with the community, and me, and the Dolls goings-on, and everything.
In general Dolls News….
Brian and I have been rehearsing our asses off and working on new material.
The Dresden Dolls are adding a TON of shows this spring, all over the states, and possibly in Europe.
We’ve been on long phone calls with our management and agents trying to figure out where to go and when as we gear up, slowly, to the making of our next epic record.
Again….I beg of you, I beg of you, please get on the band’s mailing list.
Photo: Jenn Ross.
I beg you again: The mailing list is here. It’s the only way to get first access to tickets as we gear up touring.
And now to the grand finale.
The world news has been dagger-ing the hearts of everyone I know.
Maybe in this turmoil, there’s a little good news to brighten your day.
I’m in a relationship with someone, a him person, and he is really nice.
I gotta boyfriend.
He’s actually an old old friend (flame, I suppose) of mine from Boston. We were in a relationship twenty years ago, and we’ve re-found one another.
We’ve been together for a little while now, and I’ve been wondering when or whether I say anything to y’all, but I’m putting out a beautiful piece of writing via the patreon/substack next week (if all goes well) that mentions him….so I figure I can give you the heads up here and we can feel all fuzzy about it.
If you’ve been seeing the increased feeling of sparkle in my words lately, it’s because I’m hanging out with a person who makes me feel wonderful, cherished, and safe; who has my back, who delights and confuses me constantly, and who has known me a very, very, very long time. It carries weight. He knows Old Boston Amanda, he knows New Mom Amanda and he knows the whole cast of characters in my old life, which feels strangely and deeply comforting at the moment, with the world’s constant agitation and tumult.
Right now, it’s all I need.
To love, and to be loved.
I love you all, too.
Thank you for being here. It’s everything.