Ukulele Party!

Guest Post by: Brendan

Muruch Editor Vic may not have been fond of Amanda Palmer’s ukulele era, but I’ve been enjoying her performance of popular Radiohead hits on her Magical Ukulele:

Even more awesome is the fact that she brought her ukulele to C-Span.

Amanda’s Ukulele anthem is among the free downloads available from her Soundcloud page.

“The Guacamole Ukulele Song” by Lauren Fairweather and Lena Gabrielle will worm its way into your head and stay there forever. You have been warned:

Guacamole Ukulele by Lauren Fairweather

Here’s Jake Shimabukuro covering Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”:

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over The Rainbow” is perhaps the most heard Ukulele cover. He was profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Finally, I dare you to sit still during this NPR Tiny Desk Concert from Tune-Yards (mp3).

Amanda Palmer: Theatre Is Evil

Amanda Palmer just released her sophomore solo album, Theatre Is Evil, with her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra. The album explores pop, New Wave and synth rock in a way that is quite a departure from Palmer’s old punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls, but it often has the same twisted wit, high energy and frenetic pace. The product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the bombastic Theatre Is Evil is the best argument for fan-funded albums. It more than lives up to the excitement stirred up by the mp3s Palmer has shared over the past few months.


I heard that if you see a star at night
And the conditions are just right
And you are standing on a cliff
Then you can close your eyes
And make a wish and take a step
And change somebody’s life

Theater Is Evil begins with an unsettling blare of German blasting through a megaphone courtesy of Australian “Kamikaze Cabaret” artist, Meow Meow. The English translation is “Ladies and Gentlemen, how can I slit my wrists when I can’t stop dancing?” I could do without the grating sound of the introduction, but it does sum up the album pretty well. Palmer isn’t abandoning her Goth roots, she’s just mixing them with uptempo beats and rhythms. She herself describes the album’s style as “crancing” – simultaneously crying and dancing. Which is probably why so many songs remind me of a mix of The Cure and Depeche Mode.

“Smile (Pictures or It Didn’t Happen)” floats in on swirling, crashing waves of piano that build with Amanda’s voice into a crescendo of melodic melancholia.

The deliciously dark pop number “The Killing Type” sweetly seethes with stalkerish self-denial. It’s one of many standout tracks. Somewhere Siouxsie & The Banshees are smiling.

“Do it With a Rockstar” is a swaggering, taunting glam rock anthem, while “Melody Dean” is catchy New Wave with a spectacular, horn-burnished instrumental interlude.

The downbeat “Grown Man Cry,” in which Amanda skewers an overly needly and maudlin male friend, is a scornful albeit atmospheric answer to The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry.”

The classically arranged punk-rock instrumental “A Grand Theft Intermission” reveals why Amanda’s band is called The Grand Theft Orchestra. The song would have fit well on Muse’s The Resistance.

“Bottomfeeder” seems to be both a wry indictment of spotlight chasers and a bizarre and lovely tribute to those lurking in the shadows. Amanda abandons her signature frantic playing for a beautifully sprawling piano melody.

Theatre Is Evil is Amanda Palmer’s greatest work since The Dresden Dolls’ debut (which was my #1 of the last decade) and sure to be on my best of the year list.

Amanda Palmer – Do It With a Rockstar (mp3)*
Amanda Palmer – The Killing Type (mp3)*
Amanda Palmer – Want it Back (mp3)*
Amanda Palmer – Trout Heart Replica (mp3)*

*mp3s hosted by & posted w/ permission of artist’s PR rep

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Amanda Palmer Official Site

Amanda Palmer: Free EP Download!

In anticipation of the September 11th release of her new album, Theater is Evil, former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer is offering a free, legal EP download. The sampler includes four songs from the new album along with three previously unreleased tracks. You can access the mp3s by entering your email address into the Noisetrade widget below…

Buy Amanda Palmer Music @ Amazon

Amanda Palmer Official Site

Amanda Palmer: The Killing Type Mp3!

Former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer and her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, will release Theater is Evil on September 11th. “The Killing Type” is the latest free, legal mp3 Amanda is offering from the album. You can download the song below. It fits very well with “Do It With a Rockstar” and “Want It Back“, which bodes very well for the new album.

Amanda Palmer – The Killing Type (mp3)*

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of artist’s PR rep

Buy Amanda Palmer’s Music @ Amazon

Amanda Palmer Official Site

Amanda Palmer: Another New Mp3!

Last month I happily posted a track from Amanda Palmer‘s upcoming sophomore solo album, Theater Is Evil. She just released another free, legal mp3 for our delight. “Want It Back” is a little more pop than “Do It With a Rockstar,” but still has that punchy cabaret delivery we came to love when Amanda fronted The Dresden Dolls. Amanda’s Kickstarter Campaign to fan-fund the new album was a complete success, so Theater Is Evil should be released as scheduled in September.

Amanda Palmer – Want It Back (mp3)*

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of artist’s PR rep

Buy AP Music @ Amazon

Amanda Palmer Official Site