Amanda Palmer

As an avowed feminist with an eccentric stage personality, Amanda Palmer became a prominent musical figure as the lead singer of Dresden Dolls before embarking on an at times controversial solo career that turned her ... Read more »

Born: 04/29/1976 in New York, New York, USA

Filmography

Music (1)

Margaret Cho: Beautiful 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Music

Biography

As an avowed feminist with an eccentric stage personality, Amanda Palmer became a prominent musical figure as the lead singer of Dresden Dolls before embarking on an at times controversial solo career that turned her into a somewhat divisive figure, alternately lauded for her artistic freedom and mocked for her sometimes pretentious tendencies. Palmer was born on April 30, 1976 in New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. She grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, where she became involved in the drama department during high school. Her penchant for dramatic flair continued with her enrollment in Wesleyan University, where she devoted some time performing in street theater. Interested in combining music and theater, Palmer partnered with drummer Brian Viglione to form Dresden Dolls, a musical duo she described as "Brechtian punk cabaret." They released their debut album, a collection of live songs and demos called A Is for Accident, in 2003 and subsequently released two more albums and another compilation until the duo went on hiatus in 2008. In 2007, Palmer began developing her solo career and also formed another musical duo with experimental folk musician Jason Webley called Evelyn Evelyn. Palmer and Webley began weaving an elaborate story behind their act, taking on the persona of conjoined twins "Evelyn and Evelyn Neville." That year, Evelyn Evelyn compiled their first EP titled Elephant Elephant, while Palmer made her solo debut with the ukulele-drenched Who Killed Amanda Palmer. Over the next few years, Palmer released Evelyn Evelyn's debut self-titled debut album in 2010 and Palmer continued to develop as a solo musician. Her second solo album, Theatre is Evil (2012), was funded via Kickstarter contributions from fans, who brought in nearly 1.2 million dollars in donations. This later caused an uproar on the tour behind the album, when Palmer put out a call for local backing musicians in each city who she said would be paid in "beer, merchandise and hugs." Detractors charged that not properly paying musicians, especially after her Kickstarter windfall, amounted to exploitation. A different kind of controversy erupted when the Boston-area native wrote a free verse poem sympathetic to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev shortly after his capture, which ignited impassioned responses from all sides, including a large amount of ridicule about the poem's artistic quality.

EDUCATION

Wesleyan University

Milestones

2012

Released Theatre Is Evil

2008

Released first solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer

2007

Formed Evelyn Evelyn with Jason Webley

2003

Released first full length album, A Is for Accident

2002

Released first EP, The Dresden Dolls

2000

Formed Dresden Dolls with Brian Viglione

Bonus Trivia

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"There was a real judgment cast in my family about me wanting attention. It wasn't that my parents didn't encourage my artistic pursuits – they did very much – but they didn't understand them" - from The Guardian, June 21, 2013

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