Amanda Palmer, Boston's hometown hero who seems to have as many admirers as detractors, is doing what she does best today: raising eyebrows. Various outlets have picked up on a story the New York Times' ArtsBeat blog posted this morning about Palmer inviting musicians to volunteer their services for her latest tour that's taking her across the country. (It comes to the Paradise Rock Club for a three-night stand Nov. 15-17.) How will Palmer pay her impromptu backing musicians? With beer, affection, and merchandise.
In a note posted on her website on Aug. 21, Palmer wrote:
"We’re looking for professional-ish horns and strings for EVERY CITY to hop up on stage with us for a couple of tunes.... 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."
Having spoken to Palmer recently for a Globe story, I have to say that sounds right in line with the Lexington native's incredibly close and trusting relationship with her fans. They're the ones who recently contributed nearly $1.2 million to a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that funded Palmer's new album and tour, among other artistic projects.
As the Times reported, however, the notion of working for no compensation has upset musicians and some of Palmer's supporters alike. Then again, knowing Palmer, this little bit of controversy comes at a perfect time. "Theatre Is Evil," her new album, was released yesterday, and as the old saying goes: No press is bad press.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.