Release Date: Feb 1, 2011
Record label: Liberation
Genre(s): Vocal, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Cabaret, Nouvelle Chanson
Like many people, I became an Amanda Palmer fan after seeing her perform in concert. Her charming personality, visceral beauty, boundless enthusiasm, and willingness to take risks—not to mention her eagerness to do just about anything to please her audience—made her a difficult act to resist. Therefore, the fact that Palmer has just released a live album makes sense.
For her second solo album, the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer slapped together an album-full of songs about Australia and New Zealand to coincide with her 2011 tour of the Australian continent. Half of the recordings on Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under are taken from live performances and find her comfortably singing in her signature smoky cabaret style. The others run the gamut, from “Map of Tanmania,” a silly, beat-heavy ukulele-pop collaboration with DJ Hal Ritson (the Young Punx!) which features lyrics about pubic grooming, to a beautiful piano ballad cover of “On an Unknown Beach” by Peter Jefferies of New Zealand post-punk band Nocturnal Projections.
Once you ‘discover’ a new (to you) artist, you often find yourself quickly working your way back through their output – purchasing previous releases, scouring youtube for interesting videos, discovering little factoids about the artist, and generally connecting the dots. After hearing the lead single from Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, “Map of Tasmania” (the dance song about pubic hair) I went on a such a quest. Oh, this is the woman from the Dresden Dolls? Are her eyebrows tattooed on? Did she really just marry Neil-freaking-Gaiman?! I gleefully skipped over Amanda’s EP of ukelele Radiohead covers and headed for her 2008 release Who Killed Amanda Palmer.