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Amanda Palmer's Whodunit

04:11 AM Monday 9/29/08 | |

Amanda Palmer, currently out on her own in Europe in support of her debut solo project, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, has unveiled a two-month North American run.

Upcoming stops on Palmer's European sojurn include the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.

The singer launches the North American leg of her investigation November 12 at The Mercy Lounge in Nashville and will scope out clubs and theatres through mid-December.

Places of interest include Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C. (November 14), 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (November 18), Webster Hall in New York City (November 21), Paradise Rock Club in Boston (November 24-25), The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto (November 30), Metro/Smart Bar in Chicago (December 3), Bluebird Theater in Denver (December 6), Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Ore. (December 12), and Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles (December 16).

Tickets for some shows are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Palmer, one half of punk cabaret The Dresden Dolls, spoke with Pollstar earlier this year about her new company Post-War Trade and recording her solo debut.

"It's been a long, arduous record-making procedure - but it sounds incredible," the singer said about WKAP.

"It's produced by Ben Folds. He plays drums on a lot of the tracks, surprisingly, and a little bit of synth and organ and MOOG."

Palmer recently came up with a way to blur the boundaries between artist and audience even further with Post-War Trade.

Taking her cue from the hundreds of Dolls-inspired creations she'd seen at shows over the years, Palmer invited fans to submit designs for what she describes as "the fucking future of merchandising" - a cooperative project where fans design and make all of The Dresden Dolls merchandise and share in the profits.

The concept is actually a logical extension of The Brigade, the ever-changing collective of professional and amateur performance artists who are an integral part of The Dresden Dolls' live show.

"It seemed like such an obvious fit to me, because we'd be touring all over the world - it seems to be an international phenomenon - and we'd show up at a show in Sydney or London or Prague and fans were bringing us these beautiful items that they'd made, like purses and clothes and lunch boxes," Palmer told Pollstar. "They'd bring us stuff sometimes as gifts, but sometimes just to show off and say, 'This is this Dresden Dolls thing that I made.'

"I was constantly getting my mind blown by how creative our fans were. Some of this stuff was actually really high quality merchandise, because these people were real artist who spent time on their work. It seemed obvious to kind of turn that in on itself and reach out to those people to actually make our merch."

The company is as much about supporting fans creatively and financially as it is about benefiting the Dolls.

"It's two-fold," Palmer said. It's not just that the stuff is cool because I'm actually really directly involved in making it and approving it. It's also that it's not just being manufactured by random people in a random factory - the majority of it will hopefully be handmade by the fans.

Fans have been submitting ideas to info@postwartrade.com and Katie Kay, the Dolls' tour manager and the one who oversees Post-War on a day to day basis, has been combing through them to pick the ones that will work.

In the first two weeks of the project, Palmer and Kay received more than 150 submissions, the majority of which were wearables, something both of them are trying to keep in balance with other items.

"We don't want it to be strictly clothing," Kay said. "We want it to be really odd, like beer coozies and placemats and random things. We don't want a million reconstructed t-shirts, as great as they are."

For Palmer as well as Kay, the most important thing is balancing quality with inclusiveness.

"The challenge to running the company is trying to figure out how to make top-notch stuff while still making sure everyone feels included and feel like they have shot," she said.


Artists Mentioned in this article