A Paranormal Library – Darkness on the Edge of Town Paranormal Radio Show

I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public.  I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure.  The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating.  Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase.  I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage.  Happy reading Dreamers!

This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.”  My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens.  If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal.  So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.

Darkness on the Edge of Town Paranormal Radio Show

I first heard of Darkness Radio while I was enjoying a new episode of Jim Harold’s Campfire.  Darkness Radio Host Dave Schrader was on an episode of Jim Harold’s Campfire recounting a personal ghost experiences.  While I can’t recall (OR FIND) the episode in which he was featured in, I do know that it sparked an interest in this new radio show.

Darkness Radio was started in January 2006, and the show discusses all types of topics regarding the paranormal. In the short time I’ve been listening to the show, the topics discussed have ranged from Men In Black, Cryptozoology, the destiny of a Sociopath, How to create a better spiritual self, personal ghost accounts from people who have published books, Psychic readings and a break down of what really went on in the Amityville house.  What has been very interesting topic they’ve been discussing in the relatively recent events of Caylee Anthony’s death, was what happens to a sociopath after they die, and other real life cases in which Medium/ Psychic Attorney Mark Anthony discusses his own readings regarding several sociopaths who crossed over. One interesting topic that has been discussed on Darkness Radio is a study from listeners and guests alike who have had an experience with the Black Eyed Kids.

Darkness Radio hosts are Dave Schrader, Mallie Fox and Producer Tim Dennis, or Timmy D if you catch them on a Friday where Paranormal News is the day’s topic.  Dave is the main host and executive producer of Darkness Radio while he also hosts darkness events, contributes to TAPS ParaMagazine, co-authored The Other Side, 2009, lectured in conferences around the world regarding the paranormal, has been featured on tv shows such as Paranormal State and Ghost Adventures, and is the Head Judged on Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge.  Mallie Fox is the co hostess of the show, where she gives insight on topics and is an all around dear when it comes to the show, while Tim Dennis is an old friend of Dave’s whose skeptic beliefs keeps the guests on their toes.  Due to the close-knit ties each host has with one another, the show has this family feeling that one can “feel” when listening to the show.  This approach makes the guests feel comfortable and feel like they can joke around with the hosts and make a serious topic feel less serious, but keep the tone of the topic.

Now, every Friday, the Darkness Radio crew holds a Paranormal News night in which strange Paranormal accounts are read to the audience.  The crew jokes about some of these accounts, and there are at times I’m laughing hysterically in the car due to the crazy antics these guys get themselves into.  Some listeners really do not like Paranormal News night due to the fact that Paranormal News should be taken seriously.  I’m sorry though, another sighting of Jesus on a Wal-Mart receipt and the proud owners of said receipt are so backwaters hick that I can’t understand a word they say will prompt me into a hysterical bout of laughter.  It’s just that funny. Which is why I get where the Darkness Radio crew is coming from.  There are stories that are reported that are so out there, you can’t help but laugh, and sometimes we do need laughter in the world.

There is an archive you can listen to on all the past Darkness Radio shows that have aired, but there is one small problem, the shows won’t download…at least not until March of 2011 on a show that has been going on since January of 2006.  Honestly though, this mishap really doesn’t bother me at all, that’s just too much Darkness Radio to listen to on my already short schedule frame, but you do get the feel for the show starting from March 2011.  I honestly cannot get enough of this show, the hosts are HI-Larious, and they do bring on wonderful guests.  In fact I’m searching for my next book to review from one of the guests that was featured on both Darkness Radio and The Paranormal Podcast (which reset it’s RSS Feed to January of this year!!! I’m not done with 2011 yet!!).

As I mentioned earlier, the show has been conducting a study on the Black Eyed Kids Phenomena (BEK) that has been around for several years.  Through this study Dave, Mallie and Tim allow people to discuss their own personal events regarding this phenomena and allow their guests to describe their own personal experiences.  Now, I have heard of this phenomena before, and this topic has always creeped me out for several reasons, and I’ll get to those later.

The BEKs were first INTERNET noted on the internet by a man named Brian Bethel on January 16, 1998.  His story began when two boys had approached his car and asked for a ride.  Not phased by the request, since he did live in an area where one did not have to worry about such requests going bad, he had no qualms in letting the boys in the car.  They looked like normal kids with olive skin, dark hair and somewhat stylish for the times.  The boys explained further that they were on their way to a movie and forgot their money at home, and didn’t feel like making the walk back to their home, Brian was about to let them in when he had a strange feeling come over him.  Listening to this “feeling” he looked up once more at the boys and noticed that their eyes were  completely black.  Freaking out, Brian left, while the boys chased his car for a bit.

The BEKs are children, some are reported as young as 9 or 10 and as old as 15 or 16, I have heard of reports in which the BEKs are older teenagers, but those accounts just don’t seem as likely.  ANYWAY, all the reports are almost the same, people hearing children outside the home crying or laughing, and then the children knock on the door or a window asking to be let in. Some people look through their peep-holes or out the windows and see some young children at their doorstep.  The children ask again to be let in and that is usually when the person sees that something is wrong with the child.  The clothes are either super stylish or slightly outdated, outdated in a sense that a girl is wearing a Victorian child’s dress with modern tights.  And while the person is deciding to let in the children, they notice something even more strange, the child’s eyes are completely black and they refuse to let the child in.

No one really knows who these children are, and there have been no reports of someone letting the child into their home and what has happened afterwards.  One thing has remained consistent in all these BEK reports, they cannot come into the house, that is until I started listening to Darkness Radio.  There was one caller who told the show that she had woken up from being sound asleep with the feeling that she was being watched, and when she looked over on her side of the bed, she could see three children with dark eyes staring at her IN HER OWN BEDROOM!!!  The one in the middle (the boy, he was with two girls) told her that he just wanted to watch her sleep, and when she woke up in the morning they were gone!  Another was a caller who was recounting a story that had happened to his mother when she lived in Korea during the war.  She was a light sleeper and had woken up from being asleep to see the door adjacent to the family bedroom was open (this door led to the outside of the house) and there was a boy standing just out of the doorway, the boy was her brother, and he was motioning for her to come outside with him.  Knowing it was her brother she started walking towards the door, and tripped over something and cut her knee pretty bad, when she went to look at what she tripped over, she realized it was her brother sound asleep on the floor! She looked back up at the other brother and noticed that his eyes were silver in the moonlight and he was motioning very angrily to her to come outside and she flipped out and ran back under the covers next to her mother.  She then heard the footsteps coming closer to her and her mother and started to feel its hands trying to reach for her.  It didn’t stop until her mother woke up and asked the girl, who was in shock what had happened.  The family was told the story and they stayed up for the rest of the night praying, feeling that it was one of the deceased siblings who wanted to take the girl with him.  Either way, it shocked me that there were two instances in which BEKs were able to get into the house!!

Here’s a strange account as I was writing this blog post, it wasn’t about the one I was going to mention earlier, I SWEAR IT!, but it is something that just happened.  As I was writing the history of the blog post, I was sitting on my downstairs couch with my two dogs and my sister’s kitten sleeping soundly next to me.  My cat was upstairs with my parents and my sister was out with a friend.  So as I was typing this post, I heard someone or something knocking on the two downstairs windows.  Now these aren’t just some regular window, they’re two HUGE picture windows that sit right next to each other with the porch door in the middle of them.  BOTH those windows, which are over 6 feet apart were KNOCKING!! Not just one knock, but a series of knocks that sounded like two people knocking as if needing to be let in, kind of like an emergency knock.  I don’t know how to explain the knocking but it sounded urgent.  I didn’t move when I heard the knocking, but the dogs and kitten sure did, all three running to the windows to check out the sound.  Thinking it was a prank played by my sister I called her, and sure enough she was still at Big Texas with her friend Scott.  My parents didn’t hear the knocking nor the barking that started shortly thereafter.  I got my baseball bat, and went to the windows, opened each one flicking the light on and saw nothing, opened the short window on the back door and heard nothing, the air was SILENT, we usually have some late night doves cooing in the dark, and an owl lives in the tree behind our house who is usually Whooo-ing up a storm at this time of night, but NO! NO SOUND AT ALL.  Really strange right?  Maybe I’m going crazy…I don’t know!  I’m calling it hail and leaving it at that since we’re supposed to be getting a big storm tonight, even though the storm is nowhere near the outskirts of Houston, let alone the NW side of Houston.

If you have any Black Eyed Kids stories to share, please do! I’d love to figure out what the hell these things are!  Or what is your opinion regarding the BEKs, some say it’s just an internet hoax.

Go to paranormal.about.com for some other information on BEKs

Sorry for the delay…

I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A. on the blog for a couple of weeks, it’s been hectic here in Oracle-land dealing with my sister’s wedding, school applications, and program and invitation designs.  Not only that, I’ve been teaching myself graphic design from some PSDtuts.com.  I’m also trying to wait for my Sub-check to come in for me to buy a new book for my Paranormal Library series.  I have one I’ve been reading, but it’s just way too much information in a small package that I already know, so its been agonizing, but a great read nonetheless.  Also, I may post a complementary review on one of the books I have already written about.

Anyway, to pass the time before I post the last of my images from my 30 Photography Challenge and A Paranormal Library, I am going to post some of the most inspiring things I have found over the internet with LINKS!!!

  • I’ve been frequenting A Beautiful Messfor quite some time now, and here are some very inspiring D.I.Y. projects and crafts I have discovered since I’ve been reading about the work from Elsie and her crew!
    • I love this wall art made from paint swatches!  Believe it or not, I have a bunch of these guys in a drawer in my room!!
    • I keep going back to this Record Cabinet.  I have some ideas to use this as an impromptu jewelry supply and mini sewing machine storage!
    • Elsie had a sewing class on her blog, great for me since I have a new sewing machine to try out!  If you’re a newbie like me, try this Simple Cotton Top!
    • If my hair would cooperate, I would so do this hair style!
  • Pugly Pixel is a great resource for Photoshop items, and I find her blog highly inspiring for my artwork and blog!
    • These Handmade Envelopes inspired me to create and write a blog post on my sister’s Save the Date cards!
    • You can learn how to make your own Blog Post Layout!
    • There are also some downloadable’s for free or for those who are part of her membership (with a fee).
  • Of course there’s NubbyTwiglet who posts design advice in links loved and such for those who love graphic design or shoes.

Check out this Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas commercial, every time it comes on, I start dancing!!!

Isn’t that song is amazing!?!  Then check out Parov Stelar’s website and watch this awesome video..

That is it for me, till next time!!!

Music Albums That Have Changed My Life

let the music play (explored)

Via Flickr

Music has always been in my life, ever since I was little and listening to the tinkling of the music mobile that adorned my crib, to the Classic Rock road trips with my parents that introduced me to a world of music that defined times, that started movements; music that transcends times; music I use in class.  From there, I started creating my music identity, listening to music that I really liked, that brought a sense of comfort, normalcy, and acceptance, in a somewhat craaazy life I’ve had.

Below is a list of albums that had changed my life; some of which were empowering to an emotionally weak me where the confidence boost from the music definitely helped me.  Sometimes I was so emotionally wrecked, that music was the only solace I had, strange when it comes to the fact that I come off as a strong independent woman.  The selection may not be to everyone’s taste, but these are albums that I played constantly until I was a better person while my friends and family agonized over the trillionth time I played the album.

So here’s my list of the Music Albums that have changed my life.

The Dresden Dolls

1. The Dresden Dolls, by The Dresden Dolls

It’s strange that I put this as the first album, but it’s not going to be the last of Mrs. Amanda Fucking Palmer Gaiman’s attempts at enlightenment with me.  I first discovered this album from the Eastern Echo, of which you can read the whole story here, and after listening to it for hours on end, while studying, taking a shower, in the car, on my cd player (I had no iPod then), on my way back home to Texas, so on so forth, I started realizing one important factor: I spent nearly my entire life to that point living to what I thought I wanted people to view me as, instead of being myself.  I was always my own drummer, but I did my own drumming to other people’s beats. That revelation made me realize that I was a unique individual who didn’t need to lie to be interesting, I could do that all on my own.  All I needed to do was let people know of my own interests and let them feel sorry for themselves.   While, yes, it does sound selfish, it transformed my life’s mission into showing people who follow the conga line doesn’t necessarily mean they have happiness.

How many times have I told myself this now that I’ve lost my teaching position, agonizing over the fact that I can’t be happy unless I have a salary paying job.  I’m enjoying myself, which is really scary, back doing something creative, working on rosaries, and everything in between.  I’m actually very happy not in the corporate world, because of the stifling of creativity, and political nonsense (not corporate politics, but general politics).  I listen to this album more so now, to keep reminding myself of what I learned at the age of 20, I just need to find my niche in life, not the niche someone else carved out for me.  That’s what Amanda did, and that’s the message of the debut album of The Dresden Dolls.

I Am Me

2. I Am Me, by Ashlee Simpson

After all the drama around the SNL scandal, the Orange Bowl debacle, and just all around kid sister of Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson’s second album was a life saver for me.  I was in a relationship that was going south, I was going through my Senior year in college, and I was getting bored with life.  DJing on a radio station for an online Game was starting to pick up, with some of the highest (certainly not THE highest) ratings the station had, but my long-term relationship was just ending.  Neither of us were happy with our situation, having to see each other at Christmas and Summer vacations, and he was attending school four hours away from where I was going to be living in Houston.  Things were not getting better, I was moving in one direction, and he was still the same boy I had started dating in high school.  I was just ready for a more adult relationship, and I felt a bit dejected that I had spent my college years chasing a loosing dream.

I Am Me came out right before Thanksgiving, and I was superbly excited for the album.  I had liked her debut, and I was ready for another round, having forgiven her for the SNL thing.  When I listened to the album, I heard this girl, hurt, crying, striving to reach for something she possibly couldn’t reach but was damn well trying.  The Songs I AM ME, Beautifully Broken, Catch Me When I Fall, and Dancing Alone were my consistent soundtrack up until the second Dresden Dolls Album.  Each song hit a nerve in me, making me feel like I wasn’t alone in being hurt, and the 80’s throwback sounds helped me as well, since I tend to like music that has a bit of history to it (sound or songwriting, take your pick).

While not many people accept the Ashlee Simpson, calling her a poser and whatnot, I found this album to be very honest, a trait I started realizing after the boyfriend and I started going over the thousands of albums and songs that we both identify to.  We basically had three questions: Which Artist, Which Album and Why?  For all my choices, those of which are listed here, I ended up with the why as honest.  Each artist’s album was an honest interpretation of how this person was feeling, and I Am Meis nothing short of honest.  I can feel her pain in these songs, and her joy, and her frustration.  The anthem song I Am Me still resonates with me to today, and I still blast it in my car whenever I get the chance, its straight forward, to the point, and it helps me remind myself that I won’t change unless I say that I am ready to change.

Box Car Racers

3. Box Car Racers, by Box Car Racers

Still in High School when this album came out, I was feeling already an adult.  Having lived through the crisis that was 9/11, I realized that within the moment I saw the plane fly into Tower 2 on live television, I was no longer a child.  I could not hold on to things that I held dear before September 11th, and things I listened to reflected that.  I was looking for a more adult tone with what I wanted out of my music, and I started listening to more Classic Rock than ever before. Probably due to the fact most of what I listened to were influenced by The Vietnam War, it didn’t seem a likely source that Tome DeLonge and Travis Barker’s side project would influence me so much.

I was a huge Blink-182 fan since I could even remember, being introduced to them by my cousins, and sneaking off to buy their albums on band trips to avoid my parents discovering the music that I found fascinating, but they saw only as raunchy and death (Adam’s Song was forbidden in my house after a suicide in the newspapers).  The music resonated to me as a child before 9/11, and they were one of the first concerts I had ever been to, and my first mosh pit accident happened on their Take Off Your Pants & Jacket tour (A broken toe, I’m so badass!).  But after 9/11, I couldn’t listen to the last few albums anymore, with the exception of the songs Dammit, All The Small Things, What’s My Age Again, and First Date, with the sick  feeling  that I had grown up somehow.  I ended up realizing that they were not cutting it for me, and to this day I haven’t listened to any other Album by them (even the most recent album my ex absolutely loved,but because of him, I can’t listen to that album because it leaves a bad taste in my mouth).

When I heard about the side project, I was very excited, I purchased it the day of the release, and started listening to it.  Finally, someone who got the fact that I was trying to grow up, be an adult but didn’t know how.  Hell, I still don’t know how and being back in my parents place makes me feel more like a teenager than ever!  Maybe I should take up a career in writing huh?  Anyway, sidetracked, this album had songs that related to a Post 9/11 me, and while I couldn’t stop listening to it, even in college, something about this album has continued on with me to this very day.  Even now, in my car’s disc changer, I have this album, Letters to God still plays on constant loop, maybe because every day, I ask God why he took my job at school away, why can’t I find another, and this song seems to help me be less angry at Him, I don’t know why it just helps.

There is and I Feel So have been constant companions in my never-ending path towards growing up, somehow I feel like the adult in those teen movies who has yet to grow up and relieves the glory days to the youth but they know he’s just full of it. Like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, who relives his high school years which have long since passed him.  When I listen to this album, I listen to it to find sense and direction in this crazy world, trying to make sense of a life gone wrong, a mission gone awry, a disk that has slipped.  Its kind of the Fisher King’s wound, a never healing answer to the crazy thing called life.  That’s why this album has stuck with me for so long, it gives you more questions than answers, but it definitely gives you something to think about.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

4. Who Killed Amanda Palmer, by Amanda Palmer

I have to say, Amanda Palmer, for those who just happened across this website, is probably the most honest person when it comes to music.  The songs on this album are so raw and thought-provoking that it took me a very long time to actually stop listening to the album.  The album came at a great time, Hurricane Ike had just ended, and I was in a boredom rut.

Then it happened, an oasis of electricity not far from my home was a Best Buy and lo and behold, the Who Killed Amanda Palmer Album ready for purchase!  I spent the nearly two weeks of electricity-deprived life listening to this album.  The album deeply resonated with the feelings inside me, that each song has a story that fits into my life. The words felt like a best friend giving me advice, like I was ready to hear a long kept secret that no one else was supposed to hear, something to beautiful, that upon hearing it you’d cry.  That’s how I felt about this album.  It summed up everything in my life to that point, it was as if there was a sign pointing me to the direction I was supposed to go, I was supposed to hear this album, I was supposed to do great things with these songs.

Not only that, but this Album created my life’s mantra, the words I live by, ones in which I’m considering getting a tattoo of on my body somewhere:

“And I may be a romantic, and I may risk my life for it, But I ain’t gonna die for you, you know I ain’t no Juliet, and I’m not gonna watch you while you burn yourself out, baby, no, I’m not gonna stop you ‘cause I’m not the one that’s crazy”

The underlined part is the piece that I’m going to get tattooed on me.  Possibly in white ink, not sure yet.  But this album was one of those albums that you will never let go of, it will follow me forever, the music, the words, the honesty was just absolutely beautiful, and every song in this album specifies a point in my life I have either conquered, or a conquering as we speak.  The music is something I still believe in to this day.

The songs on this album I had owned from live concerts and downloads, and these songs, especially Ampersand and Point of It All were ones that helped me through the horrible break up between me and my ex boyfriend.  They helped me empower myself against the things that I felt were important, being part of a unit, having an identity with someone else, afraid of being alone, not doing anything because of the depression, and these two songs especially, helped me realize my own life’s path.  Thank you, Amanda Palmer.

Dreamers, what are some of the albums that you would describe as life-changing?  Which ones do you find the most inspirational?


The Oracle of Dreams

Astronaut: A Brief History of Nearly Nothing, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dresden Dolls Pt. 1

The first time I had ever heard of the Dresden Dolls, I was in college at Eastern Michigan University.  Sitting in a booth by the windows in the Large Commons, I unfolded the Eastern Echo, the schools newspaper, I had worked for the Echo at one time as a staff Photographer, but due to my in ability to actually capture a moment, I ended up leaving the Echo, but not without a profound respect for the job of Newspaper Staff Photographer.  I bet, if you went to the archives of the Eastern Echo, and searched Melinda Colmenero, my images would be there.  Anyway, it was twilight, I was eating dinner before attending my night class, History of Mexico, and decided instead of studying for the test that I was about to have, I would read the Echo and take a mind break.  Going through the newspaper, while eating my bow-tie pesto pasta and giant salad with chocolate milk, my staple during this momentous time, I came across the review for a band.  Interested in many forms of music, I decided to read this review of a strange band called The Dresden Dolls.

Echo Online – March 16, 2005

Dresden Dolls: Boston group captures German cabaret style
by Earl Poleski
When I hear something totally unexpected in music come along, sometimes I try to imagine what the discussion at the record company sounded like. Someone said to someone else: “You know what music needs? A German cabaret sound!” The reply: “I’m sold! I’ll find ‘em!”
Eventually winding up in Boston, they found The Dresden Dolls: a two-member band inspired by abstract flashiness and the music that was popular in pre-Hitler Deutschland. Hey, it worked for Marilyn Manson and his latest Nazi-like motif on his latest album “Golden Age of Grotesque.”
On their 2004 self-titled album, The Dresden Dolls stick to music boxes, a piano and a drum set for the most part. Apparently, guitars and amps are unfashionable. There’s a remarkably unannoying clangor of sound effects in most of the 12 songs on the album, which sounds like a combination of Tori Amos and L7 might if they lived in Depression-era Germany. Fans of either might want to check The Dresden Dolls out.
Then again, solidly likening them to other bands is difficult. The music sounds black and white and very unlike many things I’ve ever heard before. Listening to The Dresden Dolls makes me feel kind of poorly traveled and badly read. It’s like finally reading the book everyone who seems smart has read and feeling stupid for just now getting around to it – but you’re glad you did.
The Dresden Dolls are very relistenable – hearing them once is insufficient. Every song is like a little silent movie that you hear instead of see. The album can be played while studying without distracting anyone an awful lot from notes or reading. It doesn’t get too loud but avoids getting so soft that listeners fall asleep. The music is interesting, and the lyrics are vivid. Everything about the album is dark and theatrical; it’s not unlike David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” in that respect.
The Dresden Dolls are just what music needed: something dark, daring, alluring and attractive enough that you forget whatever else is going on and just enjoy listening for 45 minutes at a time. It’s the change of pace most people’s music collections need.
Taken from The Dresden Dolls Site

Photo by Lisa Gordon 2002 of The Dresden Dolls – Not too sure if this is the picture with the article above, but it gives you an idea as to why I was entranced by them.

Staring at the picture provided from the website, I saw this woman, with a painted white face, dark eyebrows (I couldn’t tell if they were painted or not at this point), smeared on rouge, dark lips and scraggly hair, with striped stockings and a dress that was barely covering the woman’s body, she was labeled Amanda Palmer.  Behind her and to the side was a gentleman due to the fact he had on a suit, bowler hat, same painted white face, smeared rouge and dark lipstick, he was labeled as Brian Viglione.  Little did I know, looking into the eyes of this very strange woman, that she would unearth a band, a singer and an artist that would take my life by storm, that would bring me a kind of self confidence, that at times I almost feel as if I owe this band something for giving me this confidence, this new woman I would become.

To this day I still feel as if I owe this band something, because, at one dark point in my life, where I felt it would be better if I had died than lived on this earth, a voice came out to me in the darkness.  The percussive beats of piano and drums, saved me from this dark place, because at that point in time through song, I felt that someone out there at least for that specific moment knew how I felt.  Knew how I can’t cope, and somehow, someway came out of it, and so can I.  It was the sound of Amanda Palmer’s honest and pain filled voice, her pounding of the piano, and Brian’s continuous rampage against the tops of the snare and bass drums that told me I wasn’t alone.  For the first time in that dark period, I did not feel alone.  There was the gratitude that I will continue to feel for these people, whom I regard as my best of friends even though they don’t know who I am at all.

Little did I know that by staring into the harsh and mysterious eyes of Amanda Palmer’s photograph in the Eastern Echo would transform my life into what it is now.  A life of never giving up, living it to the fullest and loving yourself for what it is and what it doesn’t lack.  I am The Perfect Fit for myself and no one else, I am a Girl Anachronism, and I am The Kill.

When I read the article, I read about how the band was based off of a sound that was Brechatine Cabaret and Punk, a sound very original and unique that they called Punk Cabaret, how both played percussive instruments was a fresh new look at music that would surely take the underground music scene by storm.  Intrigued at this review, and most of this is based off of memory as how I can’t seem to find a copy of that review (03/27/2011 I found it!!!), I instantly left for class, barely finishing my meal, my chocolate milk being the only thing I had finished on the entire plate, and raced to my class, holding the newspaper in my hand, hoping for my class to be canceled.  I remember it being somewhat warm in the air as I was running to my class in Pray-Harrold, taking the stairs to the third floor, not wasting my time in the death elevators, I was sweating.  I get inside the classroom, and my classmates were picking up their things getting ready to leave, telling me that there was no class for today.  I think I startled most of my classmates, mostly because of my excitement over this new discovery and wanting to get to my dorm to see and hear this exciting new band.

I run back to my dorm, which was very VERY close to Pray-Harrold, another 5 minutes and I was in my dorm, startling my roommate who was studying at the time, and handed her the news paper.  She had joined the staff for The Eastern Echo at the beginning of that year, and she had only heard of the article, but upon reading it, she too had the same expression on her mind, “DO IT” her face read, as I started up my computer and typed in a web address: www.dresdendolls.com.

Once the site had popped up a piano medley started to play, a tango with a minor sound (did I mention that I was a music minor), the picture in the middle was a black and white animated video, which reminded me of Aha!’s Take On Me video of the 80’s, with two people dancing.  I clicked the link, “Enter the Site” beneath the video, and the main page opened up.

The images were the two same people from the article, Brian Viglione on the left, and Amanda Palmer on the right, in between the two was a gigantic dollhouse that even to this day I envy.  The rooms inside the dolls house were links, including the roof and the basement, Press, News, Shows, Art, everything you’d expect to be there was there, except music!  I didn’t know what to say, I wanted to hear what they sounded like, and this was way before I had a MySpace or a Facebook account to call my own.  So off I went to my mirc account to download the first album, or to my knowledge, of The Dresden Dolls.

When I typed in the search for The Dresden Dolls, only one person showed up, thinking nothing of it at the time, I quickly downloaded the music, waiting impatiently for the file to finish.  Now that I look back on the whole situation, I went to look up this mysterious person, to thank him/her for having the album of The Dresden Dolls up to download, and noticed…that person wasn’t there anymore.  It was as if fate had brought me to them at the right time, if I had waited any longer, or if my class hadn’t been canceled, I would have missed my opportunity to hear the sweet music of this band.

Once finished downloading and my roommate had decided to take a break from studying, we both sat around my computer, my roommate finishing her dinner, in preparation for another long night of studying, waiting for the first song of The Dresden Dolls to start playing.  Then it happened, iTunes began and the sounds of a toy piano wafted though my Altec Lansing speakers, and the seed had been planted, I was hooked.  No words had been spoken, no percussion had begun, and I was already hooked by the tiny tinkling of the toy piano that would later bring me unspeakable joy every time I heard it.  The sound of that piano brought my imagination to a place of discovery, as if you were walking through the woods and found an old Victorian house, still standing after all these years surrounded by trees, and the subsequent walkthrough of the dusty manor, furniture still there, but faded and rotting by the years, until you enter the attic, and there in the middle of the giant room you see a toy piano sitting contentedly in the sunlight while dust motes dance happily around your movement.  A world of vintage, a world of art, passion and any other possibilities you could imagine happened at the beginning of this album.  No word was spoken, no drum beat was played, that toy piano was God!

Needless to say, I do not remember if my roommate or I had studied once that night, we kept this album on an eternal loop, learning every word to every song that night, falling more and more in love with each cadence, with the glissando of the piano, and of the quirky sense of humor that we could possibly endure that one night.  Nearly spent of all our possibilities, we went to sleep, both of us absolutely happy of our newfound discovery.  What nearly shocked me most of all about this album, was the honesty found in each song.  I mean, how many of us have done something stupid in the past to avoid an accidental meeting with an ex-boyfriend, or have had a boy tell us that we’re not perfect, or had been in a relationship that was too adult, too mature.  The songs in the album told a story, and sometimes I felt that they were a story about me, told verbatim through a stereo, especially Girl Anachronism, because I have felt at times that I just do not belong in this time period, but something more glamorous, and have been told by professionals to live in the now, not the past.  The honesty about her life, is what brought me deeper into the Dresden Dolls, how many mistakes she’s made, how many people she’s hurt, and who have hurt her.  Its almost as if this is a manifesto Amanda’s giving, explaining the way she acts, even though you know she doesn’t need explanation. Amanda never needs to explain, she is just that: Amanda.  This idea is why I’ve been coming back to The Dresden Dolls, back to their story, their love, their hate, and their freedom.  Because Punk Cabaret is Freedom!

Sometimes I wonder if I’m an obsessive personality, sometimes I find something I love, and spend hours, days, and months absolutely loving something as if I were dying and needed an ounce of happiness, but my interests would start to wane and my love for that tv show/band/movie would end once I found something new to replace it with.  I think I spent a good two months listening to the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera when it came out, my coworkers would get mad once I put that album in, and I knew the words by the time the obsession ended.  Although, The Dresden Dolls, and to further that idea with Amanda Palmer, I have yet to tire of their music.  My current boyfriend, appreciating their music, and the theatricality that The Dolls bring to the stage, knew all the words to the Dolls’ music by the time we reached our first year anniversary.  I played them THAT much, this also includes the Yes, Virginia album, the digital copy of Fuck the Back row at Columbus, Ohio, The Roundhouse DVD, Live in Paradise DVD and many cover songs from various concerts that was copied and digitalized.  Yes, when I meant Obsessive I am obsessive.

Back to the story.

So by this time, I am a Junior in college, happily enjoying my last few weeks as a Junior, realizing that I was going to go home at the end of the year and take a writing class over the internet.  My friends and I routinely went out to party with guy friends, went to drink at bars (I won’t mention my age at this time) and The Dresden Dolls were our drinking buddies.  My roommate, coming back from a party with some sorority sisters, walked in drunk while I was on duty as security watch for our dorm.  Basically I sign people in who do not live in our dorm, and I make sure all outside doors are all locked.  My roommate walks in, completely trashed as I was playing The Dolls on my computer.  She gets so excited by Coin Operated Boy playing, that she jumps up on a chair by my desk and starts strip teasing to the song and singing loudly.  To avoid further embarrassment, and boys pulling their phones out to take pictures, I pulled her back upstairs and told her to stay.  Besides it was absolutely adorable that she would do that, this was just an example as to how deeply The Dolls’ affected our lives.

The drive back to Houston, Texas from Ypsilanti, Michigan was crazy scary!  My father had come to pick me up, and we would drive down the following day I checked out of the dorm room.  I had my bags packed, my computer was on, and I was playing a game of Magic with some of my guy friends who lived across the hall.  To this day I miss those guys, they were a sense of stability in a relationship that was slowly unraveling around me, but I was too stubborn to realize it.  They loved me for me, and sighed with resignation when put my burned disc of The Dresden Dolls into one of their computers and blasted it in the now empty hallway of our dorm as we stayed up late into the night playing magic.  That day it was about 70-75 degrees, my roommate and I were out on the lawn relaxing before her boyfriend came up to help her get ready to move.  That night, a weird cold front came through and dumped three feet of snow in to the Ypsi/Ann Arbor region of Michigan.  It was April of 2005, and to this day, I cannot listen to the first album of The Dresden Dolls (or the second album I Am Me, by Ashlee Simpson) without thinking of snow, cold and ice.  My father was intrigued at first, but became more and more disillusioned by the adult themes his darling little daughter was listening to, he began to take notice.  While I do not object to listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 4 Way Street, I spent most of that two day trip listening to the burned disc of The Doll’s, absorbing the sound, the notes, everything you could imagine, I wanted to know all their secrets.

My boyfriend at the time was un-amused.  He too loves classic rock, by and large, he’s a bigger Beatles fan than I or my father put together, but once he heard The Dresden Dolls, and saw how smitten I was with the band, he just kind of shut down.  He thought I was getting into some darker crazy Goth stuff than what we had toyed around with in high school, and he was getting worried, even though now, in my adult non-adolescent mind that I took when he was around, The Dolls are farther from Goth than you would really think.  I had no real way of categorizing them and Goth was the best I could think of in short notice to friends and family who needed explanation. I think my ex’s resentment was more because I was becoming self reliant than depending on him to help me, I was starting to be my own person, wanting to be on my own more than with him, I still loved him, but I wasn’t as deeply involved as we had recently been.  My whole life had been changed, I was shopping vintage more, I was becoming more theatrical, and I was starting to experiment in makeup than I had before, I was no longer his tomboy, I was becoming a woman.  He was not the only one to show discomfort, my whole identity before starting my Junior year in college was mainly dependent on pop albums, I even purchased Ashlee Simpson’s first album to satisfy a hunger inside me that burned for originality.  While I know Ashlee Simpson is a far cry from originality, her music, angry as it was at that point, helped me through the anger I felt, but hardly doused that fire.  The Dolls would help later on, but that was the type of music my parents would see me listen to, mainly pop, pop-punk with a heavy dosing of Classic Rock.  My mother was the most disturbed, finding joy in the music itself, it was the song lyrics, the constant swearing and the innuendos to rape (more prevalent in the song Slide) that she was displeased of.  My brother, having no qualms with the songs themselves, was still in the high school idea of music: If it ain’t on the radio, it ain’t good.   Lets put it this way, I WISH there was a radio station in Houston, Texas played Indie Rock/Pop music, something different, since it’s the same cookie cutter stations here, but the 90’s Alternative Station is the shit!  That would have at least credited the band in my brother’s eyes.  Aside from that, my brother’s only grievance was in the packaging that the clock CD was in.  He couldn’t get past the doll’s head in the tea cup.  To this day he still tells me that, that doll gives him nightmares.  To an extent, my sister’s boyfriend stayed in my room during Christmas this year (2010), and he even said the cover to the first studio album was scary.  My sister, who was more pragmatic than the rest of my family, liked The Dresden Dolls, but not as much as myself, and that knowledge would end up getting her a job at HotTopic several years later.

Sometimes I wonder if my then boyfriend started feeling left out in the relationship when The Dolls came into town on May 24th, 2005 with Nine Inch Nails.  While I was not interested in actually seeing Trent Reznor himself, I was unaware at the fact that The Dolls were opening for him.  Once I made the connection, I went to purchase tickets to the show to see The Dresden Dolls for the first time and I dragged him along, more for moral support, but not truly happy to see either band.  To my dismay, the show was sold out, and I was crushed, upset at this set back, I began calling friends to see if they knew someone who wasn’t going to the concert, that’s when I resorted to listening to the radio 24/7 in hopes of winning tickets on 94.5 The Buzz and Rock 101.  Once, on 94.5, they ran a contest to see who could give the best explanation as to why they needed to see the N.I.N. concert, and I called, got on air, and explained to the DJ why I absolutely must see that concert.  To my recollection, the conversation went as this:

DJ:       “94.5 The Buzz, this is – can’t remember the name – , what’s your reason for wanting to see the show?”

Me:      “I know it sounds stupid, but my favorite band is playing, and I have yet to see them!”

DJ:       “Really!? You’re favorite band is playing TONIGHT, and this is the FIRST TIME you have EVER SEEN THEM.  What kind of fan are you!?  I may just give you the tickets out of self pity.  I may even throw you back stage passes just to see Trent Reznor in person!”

Me:      “Oh dear God no!  I don’t want to see Nine Inch Nails!”

DJ:       “What?!”

Me:      “I want to see the opener, The Dresden Dolls, I discovered them earlier this year and have been dying to see them.  PLEASE I would love to see them.”

The phone line goes dead…

While I would never apologize for me being an idiot, this is not one of those times.  The night of the concert, I was still listening to win tickets and 94.5 again was running the same kind of contest, but you had to be at the Taco Milagro in person to give your explanation.  So, true to my still pre-pubescent mind (I was twenty going on twenty-one), I went to the Taco Milagro restaurant across from Verizon Wireless theater, and with a giant-ass sign in hand demanding I see The Dresden Dolls.  Again getting airplay, I was denied one last time.

Side note:  While I was begging and pleading for my life to see the band that would later define my life, my current boyfriend was with one of his ex-girlfriends at the Nine Inch Nails concert.   They too had yet to hear of them, but when they played, my boyfriend decided that they were too blasé for his time, and proceeded to get nachos, until The Dolls played their cover of War Pigs, and subsequently lost his nachos in the mosh pit.  Little did he know, that introduction into The Dresden Dolls would later take over his life.

Rejected, I took my ex home, and we ended up getting pizza and chilling for the rest of the night.  By that time, I was playing an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), so to speak, called Kingdom of Loathing.  I was making a name for myself in the chat channel called Games, hosting trivia games, and being an all around friendly avatar.  Enjoying myself, I ended up becoming associated with The Dresden Dolls, since one of my popular questions used to be “What is my favorite Band?” and those who knew would answer and get a prize.  I believe that to this day, one can go in and ask “Who is OracleofDreams’ favorite band?” and you’d probably get your answer.  Also at this time, I had adopted a very young kitten, named her Boo, and bottle fed her for a while at home.  While feeding her everyday, The Dolls’ would be in the background, even at an early age, Boo was subjected to the greatness of The Dresden Dolls.

My relationship with my ex was starting to come unraveled as time continued, I moved back into an apartment my roommate and I rented, along with Boo and my roommate’s cat Hobbes.  At this time, The Doll’s had become a staple in my life, and the both of us would put the first album into my roommate’s stereo and drink wine as the music played in our apartment.  That fall semester wasn’t very memorable in the way of the Dresden Dolls, I tried to get friends and family to listen to them, and spent the rest of the semester trying to graduate early, but, I was two credits short of my goal.  Starting the next semester off right, I decided that hey, I was going to finish those last two credits, get some more hours at my job, and use my new Gen 1 iPod Nano as a staple to my life.  I also joined a fledgling radio station on Kingdom of Loathing, as a DJ and played, you guessed it, The Dresden Dolls 24/7, of course I was still playing other great songs from various artists, with Bush’s I Don’t Want to Come Back Down, as my theme song, but as my show progressed into something more my ex became more and more despondent at how independent I had become, not really calling him, texting him, and even though we were at school on different sides of the country, he was upset at the fact that we were not together physically for a good majority of the year.  It was starting to become exhausting, but I figured if we were able to stay in the same state, things would get better, until he betrayed my trust over something on our four year anniversary, the precursor to this incident happened before I met The Dresden Dolls therefore not integral to this part of the story, but my roommate and I both discussed that maybe it was time for my ex and I to take a break.  I didn’t want to tell him until he came to visit me in May that I felt this way, yes I should have been honest, but at the time I was so mad, it just made sense.  With the newfound anger raging through my veins, my ex never really got the dosing of anger, but my fans on GKOL got a great dosing of Good Day over the internet waves for a while.

Around May, my first anniversary on Kingdom of Loathing, I got some incredible news from a friend who, like me, absolutely loved The Dolls’ and he was telling me that they had released their second full length album entitled No, Virginia.  Ecstatic, I ran to the nearest music shop and purchased their album, and stuffed it into my car’s CD player.  The opening lines were hypnotic, the pulsating chords that began in syncopation, that off kilter sound that makes The Doll’s music so memorable.  Again, I was hooked; the music was pulsating this time through my car’s stereo system, bringing an almost orgasmic joy in me listening to the high octane music that began the song.  It was almost as if life made sense again, my picks for overplaying were Backstabber, Mrs. O, Mandy Goes to Med School, and Sing, but in time I had learned all the songs on the album.  While the self-titled album was more about Amanda, this second one was about empowerment, in my mind, something to build you up, to give you strength, something to help you be who you want to be.  I loved it, it told you cautionary tales of men who are only after one thing, why to avoid the west coast, and how sometimes masturbating can be very lonely.

They made a new world for me, my DJ gig changed, my fans did not mind, they loved me going on and on about my fascination and obsession with The Dresden Dolls, they loved the fact that I could go on for ages describing what each song meant to me, and why I loved it.  I would even tell my fans to go see these guys in person if they could.  Then it happened, I was running a radio show, and went to read off dates, to my surprise, The Dolls’ were putting on a show as an opener for Panic! At the Disco.  At first, on air, I exclaimed, “Who the hell is Panic! At the Disco?”  After being “yelled” at by my fans for not knowing of the band Panic! At the Disco, and proceeded to send me to Myspace links, websites and Youtube videos.  I inevitably went to my source of information, the Amanda Palmer’s Blog, and to my dismay I read something that made me take action.  While I know that Panic! At the Disco has no control over what their fans say or do, I was surprised to see that the fans booed The Dresden Dolls.  For me it was as if I had a mind awakening, I mean seriously, who boos at Brian or Amanda!  I had to tell my roommate, we both agreed that by this time come July 6th, we’d give those P!ATD fans something to boo about.  What made this event even better was that The Dolls were holding a second concert after the Panic! opener, and my roommate and I just HAD to go.

On our way to Columbus, Ohio, I checked out the dolls second show for that evening, a sort of Film Festival of fan-made videos and assortment of other videos that I personally still watch to this day, because they hit a special something inside that I just can’t throw away.  So off to the PATD concert to see my band perform, and I started to realize exactly what kind of social group PATD catered too.  I fully understood the reasons behind the booing in New York, PATD was a music group that had fans who were mostly Teens!  I realized at the time, that Amanda and Brian were too advanced for teenagers to fully comprehend the quality and intelligence behind Amanda’s songs, or why Brian walked around in a dress for that matter!  These kids would spend the rest of their lives finding an experience like The Dresden Dolls in concert, who wouldn’t?  But not all the teens there were for PATD either, there were some who wanted to see The Dresden Dolls and were ready for some fun!  So I, decked out in a Madonna sort of outfit, a faux corset my roommate and I purchased from H&M, and a fluffy white skirt, we embarked on a mission: To see the Dresden Dolls.

The opening band, The Hush Sounds, was absolutely A-MA-ZING, they had great energy, a good sound, and Gretchen was absolutely adorable, I recommend finding them on the interwebs.  Once they finished their set, I was absolutely freaking out, waiting for my band to play, this would be my first time ever seeing them, and the excitement was reaching a high point, when they first came out my fingers were tapping against the borrowed camera, as The Dolls appeared on stage!

Crappy Dresden Dolls Photo 1 singing Amsterdam 7 – 6 – 2006 Take by Me

Brian at the Panic! Concert 7 – 6 – 2006 Taken by me

Amanda at the Panic! Concert 7 – 6 – 2006 Taken by me

The ecstasy of feeling the Dolls on stage was exhilarating, they opened with Girl Anachronism, and continued that momentum with other songs from the new album such as Backstabber, Mandy Goes to Med School and Shores of California. I was dancing singing, screaming, listening to every note pulsate through my body, I knew I had found it, I had found the band that would identify me as a person, and I would be able to listen to it when I needed the band.  I was hooked.  The moment I was capturing the images from the concert, I was so excited that you could tell the images were second to what will be a lifetime (more like five) years worth of trying to get that great photo of me and The Dresden Dolls.  I could hear the other fans screaming, the Panic! fans screaming, and the whole world seemed right at the moment, that nothing could ruin my life, that I have heard the one band that could make me feel so inspired, that my life was complete.

What made the whole event so memorable as well was that my roommate and I trekked to this show because it was my birthday gift to myself, I was born on July 5th, and this concert was the epitome of awesomness!!!  I was going to see my favorite band live, and in art setting!

The music was extremely intoxicating in the fact that I had so much fun for one little set, the better irony was that, once the dolls were finished, and my roommate and I joined together to get our stuff signed, we noticed that a good majority of the spectators at the concert were leaving…hmm wonder what that was about.

Side note: Just to let you know, I have no problems with Panic! At the Disco, they’re great in their own type of music, and really great sports when it came to The Dresden Dolls (need proof? Go to Youtube, and watch the Backstabber video and check for yourself.  Panic! Was just not my cup of tea personally, and intolerance towards music is never acceptable.

The line to see the Dolls was incredibly long, and we were exhausted, and knew that we would be watching a film festival hosted by Amanda Palmer entitled: Fuck The Back Row! We also knew that Amanda is one of those artists who will stay as long as it takes for their fans to get the autographs and photographs they need, so we would have another opportunity to get our stuff signed. So, we booked it straight to Studio 35 where there was an enormous line of people waiting to get tickets.  We got up to the booth, and this sign magically surprised us!

From Fuck the Backrow http://www.dresdendolls.com

Of course you have to imagine this at night and all lit up.  But we were excited, we were still drunk from the experience we had at the Panic! concert, and we were eager to get started.  We ended up getting nifty fliers for the dolls to autograph for us (I even brought my two cds!).   This was the line up for movies at the time:

From Fuck the Backrow http://www.dresdendolls.com

We came in right at the time Girl Anachronism was playing and we got our popcorn and alcohol and we settled into what would be a long, long night.  The movies were great, they were deep, meaningful, absotively fucking hilarious, and just awe inspiring.  There were some memorable movies I highly suggest that you can watch on Youtube right now and here they are:

Popsicle – This is about the life of a frozen fruit snack and a bear!

Titler – This showed in clips throughout the entire film festival, and every time the clips would show everyone in the room would start cheering and clapping.  The last one was the loudest cheer!

Innocence – Probably the most terrifying experience I have ever had.  I have this mini phobia about dolls, and drills, and while its only specific dolls that creep me out, this one was definitely spine chilling, extremely thought provoking, and to me, a great explanation on technology’s mind control over us. Again that’s me Personally!

She She She She’s a Bombshell – Probably the funniest clip ever!  About a guy annoying his friends over a girl he just met! A MUST WATCH!!!

All these were just absolutely amazing, the whole experience left me confused though, because now I have reached a moment where Art and Life met, and they went together so completely that I have spent every moment since that life, trying to recreate that feeling of Art and Life, because without both, I feel lost.  I try though, images from my room, my jewelry, my boyfriend, my writing, and my art all help me come together and bring me a sense of solace that at one point I will be able to merge my life and my art together for me to be complete, and be around those who feel the same.  The whole experience was bittersweet, and it still resonates inside me to this day.  The reason I felt so empty was that I was moving back to Houston, a place of modern, oil, money, and living in the Ypsi/Ann Arbor area had given me a sense of what it feels like to be in a place where art is first (or other things) rather than money, cars and labels.  We’ll get into that in a moment.  The resulting music after the film festival captivated me, made me cry and introduced two songs into my life that would also resonate through my life, be an avid cry against my battered feelings with my ex, and help me push through the emotion, fear and worry and bring out the woman you see today.  Those two songs were Point of it All, and Ampersand.  Even on the current Who Killed Amanda Palmer album, I was extremely grateful to hear these words again, it made me feel complete like my life had come full circle by the time that album had come out, but I’ll explain that later as well.

When my roommate and I left Fuck the Back Row, we got in line to get our stuff autographed, and stuff to be purchased and we both were ready for the night to be over, it was well past 2 am, we had been up since 8 for the whole experience, and our stuff was itching to be signed.  We got up to the seats where Amanda and Brian were, we were so excited, getting our shit signed that I just had to exclaim, “This is best birthday I have ever had!” and both Brian and Amanda looked at me and went, “Happy Birthday!!!!” and Brian gave me a good luck pat on my leg! I think I either peed my pants or shit a brick or something, but DAMN I felt so great on the way home, I texted that to EVERYONE.  Yes, obsessive, but on a sleep deprived, fairly drunk expedition to Columbus, Ohio, I was going to be eccentric!


I got this back in 2006, doesn't fit anymore so I framed it myself!

Fuck the Backrow Flyer with Viggie's signature

To be brief in my first attempt at writing my feelings about the Dresden Dolls in this multi-part assortment of experiences noted through the music of The Dresden Dolls.  I know it may see obsessive and albeit, down right scary at times, but I credit the Dresden Dolls for helping me sort through my emotions of a horrible time.  My self esteem was so low at points, and depression so thick, it seemed like no one was there for me, even though a great cheer section was, I just wasn’t there to feel it.  The Dresden Dolls saved me from the brink of eternity and again that will be explained more in depth next time.  But for now, I’ll leave you with this to ponder and to resonate.

* Copyright 2008, Road Runner Records, Produced by Ben Folds, song and lyrics by Amanda Fucking Palmer.

** Modeled after Dr. Strangelove

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under Review

Ok, so my last post was a bit of a self-righteous form of blatant publicity.  I will make no excuses for the fact that I am a die-hard Amanda Fucking Palmer/The Dresden Dolls/EvelynEvelyn fanatic!  Not only that, but I have been a Neil Gaiman fan since before I had ever heard of Amanda Palmer, and in my self ignorance, chose not to acknowledge their budding relationship till my brother, who is also a giant Gaiman fan, told me that they were dating, upon discovering this, I now had my two most inspirational persons in the whole world mesh into one, at that moment in time, my life felt whole!

Yes, I will admit my ever-increasing form of scary fanaticism towards Amanda Palmer, Brian Viglione and Neil Gaiman, is severe enough to talk to a therapist about, but that is another post that is in the works with PICTURES!

Anyway, I decided for the first time in my almost 5 years of being an Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls fan to finally break down and buy a new bundle for Amanda’s newest album:

Tee Hee!

The bundle includes a t-shirt of my choice (We are the Media shirt in Purple or Black), North American Down Under CD, along with the digital copy of the Album, We Are the Media Patch, Sticker and Button, I (Tasmania) AFP bumper sticker, Map of Tasmania Single Cover Sticker, and a Black Death (Vegemite) Button.

Now, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under is an album based on the love affair Amanda has with the great Continent/Nation called Australia; this also includes the Tasmanian and the New Zealanders as indicated in the songs themselves (reference back to my last post on the song Map of Tasmania) along with mentions of Amanda’s menstrual cycle.  The track list includes an ode to the country Australia and New Zealand, and references to the local colloquialisms regarding shaving the pubic area and having sex.  Along with native foods, pet names and a cover song penned by one of Amanda’s favorite artists, Nick Cave.  You also get a surprise guest appearance from the ever great drummer Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls.

The sound is basic of the Amanda Palmer experience with the honest lyrics that many of us AFP fans have come to know and love, it’s the honesty about her love towards Australia, and her handy ukulele that we have also come to love.  Most of the album is a great inside joke for those who understand the terms “Map of Tasmania,” “Vegemite,” and “Making Whoopee” and the lovely commercial song We Are Happy Little Vegemites that I had to search for the lyrics to understand what the hell the audience was singing. It’s almost as if you would play the Armor Hot Dog song to a group of people…or the Oscar Meyer Weiner song…crazy!  You get the traditional AFP cabaret sound in the album with the songs Dr. Oz and Formidable Marinade.

I have to say I do love this album, it has songs on it that I can see myself playing over and over again, and I just can’t get enough of how this is a mostly live album, and has mistakes and off the fly curses and completely raw, I just love it.  Somehow the raw recordings of this album creates a feeling of being in at the concert with Amanda.  For those who do not know, its hard to see Amanda living in Houston, Texas and sometimes feel left out of the Amanda Palmer experience, but these live shows lets me feel as if I haven’t missed out, I also use the DVDs Live in Paradise, and Live at the Roundhouse, to recreate the live experience.  It’s a lonesome road, but at least you have Amanda Palmer to travel with in your mp3 player, or in my case, my cell phone.

Please my Dreamers, if you ever have a chance to listen to this album, click the link above and listen to it at the Amanda Palmer website before purchasing.  At this point in my life, I’m just purchasing Amanda Palmer shit left and right knowing that I’ll love every single piece of it.  Yes, it is obsessive, yes, it is a bit crazy, and yes, it is scary, but when my post shows up about why I am like this with Amanda Palmer, you will see, it’s not about me buying something from a favorite artist, but supporting a best friend who really has no clue about me.  Whether she knew it or not, she was there for me at a bad time in my life and helped me through it, since then I have always felt like I have owed her, and I will support her no matter what.


The Oracle of Dreams

P.S. This is the package I purchased below, it is $33.00 at Post War Trade, go support and purchase AFP shits!  I really wanted the AFP pillow with the Merkin on it, but I couldn’t afford the $100 price tag…oh well.  If I could afford the $5,000 package, I’d have to marry my boyfriend when she comes and play, since we’re planning on a Dresden Dolls/Steam Punk/What-the-Hell-Who-Cares-Its-A-Commitment-Ceremony themed wedding.  It is my plan/dream to have Amanda play at my wedding if she’s willing, I’ll buy her a beer just to be nice and feed her yummy foods, allow her to bring her Moxie, and her Moxie’s evil evil nemesis the oh so great, Mr. Kevin Smith of Dogma, Chasing Amy, and Mallrats fame…oh well, dreams are dreams right!  Did I mention I have a cousin named Kevin Smith?

$33 before shipping

Map of Tasmania – The Hype the Philosophy

I had to show this video, its by my most favorite artist in the whole wide world and I loved the ideology behind it, to explain some reasons behind my “hygiene.”

But first!–straight to the meaning behind the video!  When Amanda was last Down Under, she was visiting the local beach sites in Tasmania, when some random men flew by in a car screaming, “Show us your map of Tasmania!”  Perplexed by the random occurence, Amanda asked one of her friends who was a native Tasmanian, and the friend replied, “A Map of Tasmania is a local colloquialism for the lower feminine area, because Tasmania on a map, looks like the patch of hair down there.”

That’s when this project started, Amanda, inspired by the events, started writing a song that best represented the feelings towards the little know Map of Tasmania.  I couldn’t believe the hype that this is getting, on Facebook alone, I’ve been tagged to every upload of this video due to my fanatic fascination with this woman.  People everywhere are giving their two cents regarding this unexplored topics regarding shaving.

While I cannot speak for most women, and my opinions are entirely my own, I am a self-professed hypochondriac, I cannot for the life of me go with out cleaning everything with hand sanitizer and handi-wipes, especially in school.  But for the life of me I cannot spend hours shaving unnecessary places for the sake of appearances.  I do shave, I should preface that before anything else, more for work and health (I have eczema and its easier to put cream on without all that hair) but I have yet to understand why it is so important to do all this for the sake of appearances.  Who made it a rule that women have to be completely void of hair except for the eyebrows and the hair at the top of the head. Or should I bring up another shaving fashion from the past, back in the 50’s it was socially acceptable to shave off your eyebrows and draw them in, I have aunts who no longer have eyebrows because they followed this fad.

Although, this isn’t based off of my necessity to shave, I guess that I have a biased view or more of a glib view on hair, see, I have alopecia, and have been dealing with  patches of hair falling off of my head for years now.  So far in the past year, the patches appeared where no one can see them if I have my hair up or down, but seeing your hair fall at random tends to make you realize that hair is definitely relative, hair is not a necessity nor a burden, it is just that: hair.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that hair comes and goes, and it has left me ambivalent towards the shaving of other areas.  It seems that if I’m losing hair on top and not worrying about it, why should I worry about hair in other places as well?  That and I really can’t stand the stubble, I CANNOT stand the stubble!  Waxing helps but it just plain hurts. 

I guess most of my animosity towards shaving basically comes from the fact that I am just plain lazy. I really do not feel like spending my shower time shaving for reasons that were made up before I was born, I shave for my own personal reason, and no one elses, and I hope others shave for their own reasons and no one elses, its seems odd to me that people shave because we have to, without a reason, or an idea, but we’re people, we’re allowed that kind of mystery.  I do admire those who can shave their legs everyday without a blink of an eye, whereas I have to look like a Wookie in order for me to take notice of my hair on my legs. 

This is why I love this video, Amanda Palmer is just amazingly awesome, and Map of Tasmania reflects my philosophy towards shaving: “Who cares?” 

I think the best quote from Amanda was in an old blog post that I can’t find, but it was a question to the point of “Why do you not like shaving?” and Amanda’s answer was to the point of, “I don’t mind shaving, I just don’t like rules.”  That has been my philosophy since college, where the lazy really kicked in.

My lovely Dreamers, what are your opinions on this shaving debate, do you shave everything, everyday; do you shave once in a while; are you eu naturale?


The Oracle of Dreams