<—- THIS is Amanda Palmer, half of The Dresden Dolls, wife and soul-mate of Neil Gaiman, and the latest love of my life – and before you start to worry, the Lady Fair shares my adoration – we’ve both got a crush, so it’s all good. This remarkable woman has gotten all my attention here lately for a few excellent reasons.
1. To say Ms. Palmer marches to the beat of a different drum would be an understatement – she found a twisted piece of driftwood and hollowed it out to create her own drum she beats against her hip as she not so much as marches but performs interpretive dance numbers. In a world where even those attempting to exist outside the system still end up looking like lemmings, Ms. Palmer is unique and seemingly completely comfortable in her skin.
2. She doesn’t just create art, she lives art – with her choice in clothes, makeup, instruments, lyrics, spur-of-the-moment appearances and impromptu events, her life is an ever-evolving art project in progress. Ms. Palmer is one of the few musicians and singers you could easily mistake for a performance artists. Because her life IS a performance.
3. She practices what she preaches by giving back to her fans – Ms. Palmer has an active web presence with lively Twitter feeds and multiple websites. It is not at all uncommon for her to announce she’ll be at a certain bar doing a small performance for the first fifty fans who arrive – recently, Ms. Palmer deciding practicing for her upcoming tour was boring, so she set up a webcast, allowing fans to not only watch her process, but participate by tweeting questions and comments.
4. She practices what she preaches by giving back to not just her fans – Ms. Palmer has been taking her ukulele to Occupy Wall Street encampments and performing free, impromptu shows for the protesters.
5. She is marketing herself and her music while generating incomes streams outside of her “tradition album sales” by embracing social media in all of its forms and exceeding beyond all expectations. She is the role model of the future of marketing any kind of artist in the digital 21st Century.
6. She is championing the ukulele as a means of artistic expression.
And I think that’s what I’m loving the most – she’s actively trying to convince more people to express themselves artistically, to free themselves of the shackles of restraint and feel the unbridled joy that only comes from creating something that’s yours with something as seemingly silly and simple as a ukulele. She is the reason I now have a ukulele – so that I may hopefully follow in her footsteps while serenading my lovely Lady Fair.
Ms. Palmer is inspiring and instructional, and that is a very attractive combination.
Okay, yeah – and she’s really kinda hot.