THE DRESDEN DOLLS first record came out 20 years ago today.
Story time. I’m reading comments, please share feels.
I was about to post our epic – and FINAL – Graveside Variety Thing-post….but then…I was gonna just write a line or two and got CARRIED AWAY WRITING ABOUT MY BAND…so I’m fucking it all and posting this here.
It’s too good not to share.
So many patrons here are new to my band, The Dresden Dolls, since so many people have come to my patreon from elsewhere…from the book (The Art of Asking), from my podcast, from my TED talk, from my feminist rants on instragram, or from whatever.
It all started, my loves, with a band, and with a record.
My band formed in 2000.
In 2003 – exactly 20 years ago – we put out our first record.
It was twenty years ago today. JESUS.,
When people ask me where to “start” with my music, I still point them here.
This collection of songs. It’s such a great fucking record.
“The Dresden Dolls” – our eponymous self-titled debut, was a hard-worn labor of love, we borrowed money from many corners to make it, and we drove back and forth from Boston to Martin Bisi’s recording studio in Brooklyn at least 7 times and crahsed on many floors during the recording.
We marked it with a record release show in Boston (our deliciously complicated home town stomping grounds) at the Paradise Rock Club.
We were at the height of sizzle with our friends, surrounded by art, creation, explosion. Looking at this show poster (swipe for it) is incredible…what a line-up. So many amazing humans: now well-known surreal comedian Eugene Mirman (a Lexington High School school-pal of mine) was on the bill, as well as Count Zero (Boston music heroes helmed by my teenage idol Peter Moore of Think Tree, who used to get constant rotation on WFNX), World/ Inferno Friendship Society, performance artists Les Freres Corbusier, clown-maniacs Daredevil Chicken Club (good friends, who are still touring and creating), and extra-curricular art from Empire SNAFU and “Third Dresden Doll” filmmaker Michael Pope….who made the “Girl Anachronism” and “Coin-operated Boy” videos…among many many other things.
And what a party it was. Here’s a photo of Brian-lifting-Amanda by Kathleen Doran. The joy on our little faces.
The Dolls in 2003:
Our little band has come so far….here’s more photos, for perspective, of us the other night at Riotfest in Chicago. Jesus.
It’s also sad to revisit this moment, this poster.
Jack Terricloth, the singer for World/Inferno, left our realm a few years ago. Thom Martin, our dear friend (and my Cloud Club housemate), who designed the album jacket, also passed away a few years ago. Things change.
Time passing. Friends. Art. Legacy. Traces. Threads.
The songs on this album are evergreen. We still play almost every single one of these when we perform live; they’ve all stood the test of time and get richer and deeper with every passing year, including “Coin-operated Boy”, the saddest song about fear of intimacy (or about a vibrator? we’ll never know) ever penned. “Truce” is one of the best songs on the album – and one of our favorites to pull out and hammer. It’s the definition of The Dolls, that song, the post-9/11 collision of debris, confusion and heartache that defines those years after the towers came down. 672…I’ll never tell you. I just wrote a little bit about “Slide”, which I wrote at 15, in my post about Russell Brand and rape culture, which has garnered almost 1,000 comments on Facebook. Sadly, this topic never goes out of style.
Tell us about your relationship with these songs, your faves, your memories this record. We’d love to hear the stories and the feels.
We’re about to play comeback shows: four in NYC (sold out!) and in Portland, OR (sold out!) and a few in California: New Years in Berkeley (almost sold out!) and two surprises coming up on the west coast. (Get on the band’s email list, dammit, we’re announcing any minute.
Mailing list and upcoming show links here: dresdendolls.com
I leave you with our favorite band quote….as we said in the album liner notes:
“Accept the worst, expect the worst, DEMAND the worst” – (our friend and avant-jazz hero) Karen Mantler
THE DRESDEN DOLLS
released September 26, 2003
Amanda Palmer: Piano, Toy Piano & Vocals
Brian Viglione: Drums, Guitar, Vocals & Percussion
All songs written/composed by Amanda Palmer
Produced/Engineered by Martin Bisi & The Dresden Dolls
Recorded at B.C. Studios (Brooklyn, NY)
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Absolute Studio (NYC, NY)
Album cover photo by Lisa Lunskaya Gordon
Album Graphic Design by Thom Martin
- “Good Day” – 5:51
- “Girl Anachronism” – 2:59
- “Missed Me” – 4:53
- “Half Jack” – 5:57
- “672” – 1:24
- “Coin-Operated Boy” – 4:46
- “Gravity” – 4:19
- “Bad Habit” – 3:01
- “The Perfect Fit” – 5:45
- “The Jeep Song” – 4:50
- “Slide” – 4:30
- “Truce” – 8:34 (with surprise Amanda’s Grandmother recording at 11:11)
Long Live The Punk Cabaret.
FUCK I LOVE MY BAND.