Greetings from upstate new york. i’ve missed you.
this is an email to my long-lost, wonderful 24,883 ttheatre Is evil” kickstarter backers. long time, no see….
TL;DR: i am using patronage now. it is awesome & has changed m life. have a new record out. my patrons get tour ticket access for TWO MORE DAYS, & the cool merch. if you still want to help me make art, join at https://www.patreon.com/amandapalmer for as little as $1/month.
the long read:
i haven’t reached out to you, as a group, in a few years. coming over the the kickstarter was a trip (errr....i just opened a message from someone who STILL HASN'T RECEIVED HIS ART BOOK, 6 years later....oops. andrew jarvis, i got you covered).
and.....i have things to tell you, so here i am. yesterday, i launched the pre-sale (and tour dates) for my first big record since “Theatre is Evil”. it’s called “THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION” and it’s a solo (well, almost solo) piano record.
here it is:
the cover don't lie. it's a profoundly personal and naked record.
i made a heartfelt little video announcement yesterday, from me & neil's living room in upstate new york....
....you may get teary, especially when you see the vintage kickstarter footage :)
what a long strange trip it has been since 2012.
and meanwhile... you may have noticed i’ve wandered over to patreon, and this is also a missive to convince you to join. if you’ve already joined my patreon: THANK YOU. almost 1,000 people have joined in the last week alone, it’s on fire.
i dropped the first single from the new record yesterday (“drowning in the sound”).
you can listen to it here while you read this rambling letter. go for it. it's streaming: https://nointermission.amandapalmer.net/
this record was produced by the same genius who made "theatre is evil" with me, john congleton. since "theatre is evil", john has upped his game - he even won a GRAMMY for the work he did with st. vincent. he's just so goddamn good.
other musicians and collaborators include jherek bischoff (the bassist and string arranger from the grand theft orchestra/theatre is evil tour), max henry on synths, and in select moments, the drummer joey waronker (mostly known for his work with beck and R.E.M.). jason webley plays accordion on one song :)
here's me and john and jherek in the studio in LA, where we made the record this past fall....all photos by allan amato.
(me and jherek, working on arrangements)
(yours truly at piano...)
(beloved john congelton. there he is.)
the longer story?
well, fellow travelers...it’s taken me six or seven years to create the songs on this record, and so much has happened in my life.
my best friend, anthony, died of cancer. i’ve had two abortions, a son, a miscarriage. i’ve grown…a lot. i’ve faced a lot of grief, and surrender….and lot of how i got through it was by writing and recording the songs on this record.
“theatre is evil” was a collection of my best songwriting from the period of about 2009 through 2011, and those were fraught and joyful years too - but i was dealing with such different stuff: ending relationships, marriage, different kinds of losses. the record was big, and loud, and the band i chose and the production was really a love letter to the new wave and synth music i grew up with.
i am still so grateful to ALL OF YOU for supporting and backing that record back in 2012. this kickstarter campaign changed my life in so, so many ways. it changed the way i thought of exchange and art, entirely.
this new record is a totally different beast. these songs - 10 of them - are some of the most vulnerable i’ve yet written, and i feel like my songwriting game has gone to a different place, a raw-er place, a more honest place. it wasn’t a record i thought through, or planned, it was more like a record that happened to me, that are around me like a crutch, or a blanket, while i got through some very, very hard times.
meanwhile….i moved my community over to patreon. i loved kickstarter (and still do) but it just wasn’t a sustainable way to make a predictable living. i didn’t want to do a kickstarter campaign every six months to pay my bills, and i had the feeling that using it again and again would just exhaust all of you. so i moved to a patronage system where people could give me smaller amounts of money (you can join for $1/month) to simply let me WORK. i never could have guessed how much that collective support would change my life, my process, and my faith in humanity.
right now there are over 12,500 people giving me micro-donations every month, but it all adds up to a lot: and that lot helps me work freely, write freely, experiment, play, collaborate, and follow dangerous non-salable, non-commercial paths i never could have dreamed of in a pre-patreon world. i am certain that some of those 12,500 people are YOU, i know a lot of people from this kickstarter followed me over.
i spent a lot of the last three years kicking shit off my art-bucket list: making a fun folk record with my dad, making bold non-commercial feminist videos, making a collaboration record with my hero edward ka-spel, making fun side-projects with jason webley…just playing around and enjoying the work itself, finally freed from the commercial restraints of SELL SELL SELL YOUR ART. i've released about one to two things a month, and the list of everything i've put out on patreon is HERE. i've put out SIXTY NINE THINGS, ahem. all that and i'm raising a three-year old. take that beyoncé.
all uncensored, all without a record label, all without bullshit corporate sponsorship. I'VE BEEN FREE. DO DO WHAT I WANT. NAY OLD TIME.
it's also meant that i can work with more creative collaborators, take on more staff, pay them all well, and not have to hustle so hard to make people PAY for things. i can just MAKE them. it's pretty amazing.
and now i’m done dicking around with side projects and i'm finally back with a BIG, REAL, BEAUTIFUL RECORD that i really worked my ass off to write, and to record.
i made it over a month this past fall in LA, and it’s produced and engineered by john congleton, the same genius who worked with me and the band to make “theatre is evil” and our collaboration was, again, totally satisfying. he speaks fluent Amanda, and, like with “theatre is evil” the record is the record i HEARD IN MY HEAD. this is why he’s a genius.
jherek bischoff also helped me with some of the arranging (you’ll hear) and played wisps of upright bass on the record…but mostly, it’s me and a piano and a ukulele….making you cry.
i will be up front about that: it’s the saddest record in the world.
that was actually the working title: The Saddest Record in the World.
for a while it was “five hanky record”. but now it’s “there will be no intermission” - because it fits perfectly. life is relentless. you do not get to stop. or pause. or breathe. it continues happening at you no matter what.
SO, WHY am i not kickstarting (kickstarter-ing?) this record? because my team finally has the capacity to release something this *massive* in-house. and because i've got everyone gathered over on my patreon, i don't wanna make people confused.
so please, consider buying the album through my website. you can trust us - it's the same team. we will get you your shit with a bow on it, and on time. if we don't, we fix it.
here is the tracklist....there are 10 songs and 10 instrumentals, arranged by jherek:
the titles in bold are the main album songs, the titles in italics are the instrumental vignettes.
the cover artwork is the best i think i’ve ever made, (it’s by allan amato, who also photographed the cover for the art of asking book) and, as usual, i’m also offering a book companion of gorgeous, soulful photographs taken by several photogs....allan, and an upstate new york art team, kahn and selesnick, and a few by stephanie zakas.
the photo shoots were all very meaningful to me - they were all a form of therapy at one time or another.
for instance: this image contains 200+ image that my patrons mailed me...things they wante dto reelase, get rid of, jettison. i am about to burn this whole pile in a pyre.
there were wedding rings and veils, and family photos, and a bill cosby book. (good job, guys.)
all photos below by kahn & selesnick unless where noted:
many of the photos were taken at our house in woodstock...this is me & my neighbors...and little ash (he's 2)...
in faraway places (this was on cape cod, after my miscarriage)....
...and in iceland...(photo by stephanie zakas)....feeling embattled...
at home, taking it all in....
...with my sisterhood....
...and letting everything go...
...to rise again.
...you get the idea.
if you haven’t had time to join the patreon, or have needed a reason, this is your reason.
-exclusive colored vinyl, available only to patrons (we are printing to order)
-an exclusive edition of the artbook, which includes a letter from me (again, we are printing to order, a soft back edition will be made available to the public and on tour)
-ACCESS TO THE TOUR TICKETS.... yes, i’m going on tour again, on solo piano, in beautiful theatres - FOR THREE DAYS BEFORE THE PUBLIC. THIS IS HAPPENING NOW. you have until december 14th (that's THIS FRIDAY) to join the patreon if you want access to the tickets before the shows go public and sell out.
if you want MORE, higher-tier patrons get free guest list, free art in the mail, and other stuff (like webchats & extra content).
you backed my kickstarter once - you must have seen some value in what i was doing.
please…if you’re out there and you’ve been wondering what i’m up to, come over to the dark side, join my patreon. the community is wonderful, the blogs are meaty, the discussion & comments intelligent….it’s actually a beautiful little KIND, CONSIDERATE space on the internet, which is hard to find these days.
like i said, you can join for as little as $1/month, all the way up to $1,000 (yep. there are actually three crazy mofos facing me at $1,000 a month) and you can CAP your monthly pledge no matter how many things i release in a month and still get all the content.
aaaand to sweeten the deal, here’s my tour dates for 2019 - tickets are available to PATRONS only right now, and to the public on friday (the 14th).
HERE COMES THE PITCH….3...2...1…..
i think i’m worth $12 a year. come do it.
here’s the link:
i hope i see some of you over there…..it’s gonna be a really exciting week. i’ve never been so proud of a record in my whole career.
once you've signed up...yu can go DIRECTLY HERE to this post to get the passwords for all the fancy merch and tour tickets!! it'll unlock if you're signed in:
if you don’t wanna join my patreon, and you just wanna pre-order the record and get tickets on friday and all that… go HERE, to my website, everything's there.
and in general….if you just want to stay up to date on where i am in the world and what i am doing - for free - i would love it if you’d sign up to my email list: http://amandapalmer.net/emaillist.html
platforms come and go, but my email list is gold.
thank you for supporting me, then, now and whenever.
it means everything.
i love all of you, so much.
we are still the media.