Friday, July 17, 2009

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

I called in sick to work today because I needed a mental health day. At least I'm calling it that. Things have just be super stressful lately, not all in a bad kind of way, but working at a psychiatric hospital can just wear you out. So I lay in bed not really wanting to get out of bed, happy being here and the doorbell rings. A twist of fate would pull me out of my funk when this arrived at my door: wkap_sm Yes, that is Who Killed Amanda Palmer, a collection of photographic evidence WITH stories by Neil Gaiman. And I've already read it (for the first of many times). I can't put into words how beautiful of a book this is and how eclectic of a book it is. It features numerous pictures of the amazing Amanda Fucking Palmer dead. Yes, dead. And there are stories mixed in by the always wonderful Neil (Fucking?) Gaiman. By the way, if the two of them were ever to get married, I totally thing Neil should change his middle name to "Fucking". But I digress. Who is Amanda Palmer, some of you may ask. I didn't really get into Amanda Palmer that much until the last year or so. I had known who she was when she was the lead singer of The Dresden Dolls, a punk cabaret duo. I would see that she was playing at one of my favorite bars here in New Orleans called One Eyed Jacks, formerly known as The Shim Sham. It's a bar in the French Quarter that used to have a cabaret night and always has amazing bands. I knew a few Dresden Dolls songs...the popular ones, but never fell in lust love with Amanda's music until she released her solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. If you haven't checked it out yet, you must. The album is all things good: haunting, meaningful, poppy and catchy at times, goth at times. Just a fantastic album. Oh, and Amanda is now dating Neil Gaiman. Seriously, look at the two of them, they're adorable: amandaandneilSo, the book. It's a companion piece to her new album. Neil Gaiman writes his version of the story behind the book at the beginning. No one knows who killed Amanda Palmer, but she has turned up dead all over the world. And everyone knew she died when she did. There are suggestions that she was taken to another plane of existence and all of the Amandas are copies of the original. He ends his first story by writing "If you see Amanda Palmer on the street, kill her, said the graffiti under the bridge in Boston. And beneath that somebody else wrote, That way she'll live forever." I ask only one thing...don't follow this piece of advice! The photographs are stunning in so many ways. They are a compliment to her album. There are photos that are completely haunting, photos that evoke so much emotion in one piece, photos that tell endless stories from a glance, and the occasional photo that might just make you giggle. Like the one with three people walking down the street with a severed arm flying in front of them. maybe my sense of humor is a little different than others :p There is nudity in the book, just so you know and it's beautifully done. One of the many beautiful things about Amanda is that she embraces her body rather than fear it, something that seems rare these days. And I think that's beautiful. The stories by Neil are right up there with all of the others he's written. They're clever and not what you would expect. I've never seen a man who can create so many unique stories. It's proof to any writer that there is a new story to be told still. His stories serve to add depth to many of the pictures, to tell the tale in a different way than you might imagine when you first lay eyes on the picture. I wish there were more stories than what there is, but at the same time, the balance was just right in the book. The book also has the lyrics to all of the songs from the Who Killed Amanda Palmer album and I have to say that her lyrics rival Neil Gaiman's words. When listening to the album, I've gained an appreciation for Amanda as a songwriter, but it's different when you see the words in print and read them on their own. She's a fantastic lyricist as well as a songwriter. Am I happy with the book? Uh...yeah.


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