Palmer has been engaged in a protracted legal battle with her label, Roadrunner Records, that stems from her desire to be able to interact more freely with her fans in whatever way she sees fit, a fact she shared on her blog.
“As many of you know, I’ve been fighting very, very hard to get off the label for the better part of two years,” the singer wrote.
“For the past seven years, anything I have written and recorded (solo or with my band, The Dresden Dolls) has technically been owned and under the ultimate control of the label, but no longer.
“After endless legal bullshit, it’s over, I’ve been DROPPED, RELEASED, LET GO, whatever you wanna call it. in other words: I am FREE AT LAST!!!!!! RAAHH!!
“As many of you know, I’ve been a very vocal advocate of artists being fearless in asking their audience and supporters for direct financial help.
“I come from a background of grassroots theater and street performance, and I think that artists should feel no shame while passing the hat around once they’ve entertained a crowd of people.
“It’s been a huge and obvious irony that I have been legally unable to ask for money for my music, since it’s been verboten by my contract with roadrunner.
“Now that I’m unshackled, I plan on doing a lot of really awesome and creative things with my songs and how people can pay for them - or, better yet, donate - now that I have control over my stuff.”
Palmer includes in her message the text of a “goodbye” letter she wrote to Roadrunner, in which she thanks the company (and several employees there specifically) for believing in The Dresden Dolls and outlines exactly when the relationship soured, writing “You stopped helping us when our second record came out in 2006. That made us really sad.”
And to celebrate her new status as an independent artist, she offers her fans a free MP3 of the track, “DO YOU SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP YOUR BLACK ASS,” with a caveat about the title.
“Before any of you get up in arms about the title (peoples gettin’ mighty sensitive lately) please know: The title is a reference to a lyric in a song called “F**k Tha Police” by a band called Niggaz With Attitude. Look it up.”
Read Amanda Palmer’s complete missive about her victory here.
Download “DO YOU SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP YOUR BLACK ASS” here.
(As Amanda says: “This whole exercise may not seem like a big deal to you (artists put up music for free all the time), but for years I have not legally been allowed to put a song on a website and say: I JUST DID THIS, GO DOWNLOAD IT. It’s been illegal. I am so happy I can finally make music and just GIVE IT AWAY. SO GO TAKE IT, PLEASE.”)