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
The 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!”
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!
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:
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