Amanda Palmer, the avant-garde folk punk (or whatever), most recently famous for breaking open the Kickstarter model for crowd-funded musical projects when she raised $1.2 million dollars from fans to pay for the release of an album, has let her new found riches go to her head, transforming over night into a predatory capitalist with no respect for the rights of workers, and is probably using sweatshop child labor to stitch together the notes of her next song as we speak right now. ROCK GAME MITT ROMNEY.
Or so you’d think from the reactions to her recent gambit, an invitation for fans to perform along with her band at dates of her upcoming tour.
you’d need to show up for a quickie rehearsal (the parts are pretty simple) in the afternoon, then come back around for the show! we will feed you beer, hug/high-five you up and down (pick your poison), give you merch, and thank you mightily for adding to the big noise we are planning to make.
“Woh, you mean we can play and then actually get free beer? Where do I sign up?” asked every dude who’s ever played in a rock band for much, much less. Professional musicians, on the other hand, ARE MAD.
But what’s the big deal? Sounds like a fun opportunity for her extraordinarily passionate fans to take part in a once in a life time experience. Not to everyone, the NYT reports:
But some musicians are enraged, flooding her Web site with angry comments saying that she should pay her backup band. At least one musicians union, Local 76-493 in Seattle, has been sending out Twitter messages denouncing the move and calling for people to post the comments.
The comments on her blog are a lesson in overreaction outrage:
- stick your merch and your sanctimonious blathering where the sun don’t shine. How dare you ask musicians who spent years of study and expense to develop their craft to play for you for free.
- As a professional orchestral musician, I’m offended by this. We have enough problems fighting the boards and business organizations in control of our paychecks that believe we shouldn’t be paid a fair living wage; now we have to defend our work to other musicians as well? I had a pair of tickets to the Detroit show – count me out. I hope to see an apology or retraction, Ms. Palmer.
-Grand Theft is pretty accurate, but Sycophantic Assfucked Whorchestra has a nice ring to it, eh?
Maybe they have a point, but there seems to be a pretty clear dividing line here between the culture of rock and roll clubs, where Palmer cut her teeth, and the orchestral culture, where musicians actually expect to be paid for their services. LOL, how quaint. Art is free, didn’t you guys hear?
This guy brings up a pretty good point however:
I’m having a house concert at my place. You should bring your tour to my house and play for free. It’ll be great exposure for you.
The Times spoke with Palmer about her plans to steal music from poor children’s souls the world over:
She said the players joining her band were there because “they fundamentally believe it’s worth their time and energy to show up at this gig.” As a working musician, she added, she absolutely believes regular players on a long tour should be paid salaries, as are the three other band members in her Grand Theft Orchestra….
“To me it seems absurd,” she said. “If my fans are happy and my audience is happy and the musicians on stage are happy, where’s the problem?”
Happiness doesn’t exist, for starters, but that’s a whole other thing. The real issue here is that, as Palmer often says, a career like hers is the future of music, it’s just that like with most internet innovations, we haven’t yet developed the ethical model to catch up to where the technology has brought us.