Amanda Palmer's Grand Theft Orchestra
She raised $1 million, but is still asking you to work for free.
People are pretty pissed off at Amanda Palmer right now. It seems she's gone from Amanda Fucking Palmer to fucking Amanda Palmer. The singer, who contributed an illustration drawn on a bed sheet to our 100th issue, recently self-released her third solo album, Theatre Is Evil, funded solely via donations to her Kickstarter page. Her newfound DIY approach ruffled a few music industry feathers at first (successful musicians aren't supposed to rely on charity!) but Amanda ended up raising almost $1.2 million for the album and related expenses.
That's a pretty good effort. But then when she posted a call-out for professional horn and string players to perform in her band for free at every show of her upcoming tour, people got a little angry. She 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. ... 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."
Steve Albini (who's produced some of your favourite bands ever – Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies, etc) called her an "idiot", saying "If you ... are forced by your ignorance into pleading for donations and charity work, you are then publicly admitting you are an idiot." He later retracted his comment.
Though Amanda claims she can't afford a bigger band (instead choosing to make the artwork, packaging and tour digs "extra fancy"), it's been suggested that she could have managed her finances better. At the same time, a lot of musicians would cut off their right pinky to share the stage with someone so famous/controversial/talented as Amanda.
Here she is being OK with taking her clothes off: