Amanda Palmer writes and performs a sublimely entertaining brand of music she flippantly calls “Brechtian punk cabaret,” but she may go down in history for another feat: figuring out how to make money off music in the 21st century.
With a dedicated army of fans, Palmer has successfully monetized her life. From secret ninja gigs to #LOFNOTC (Losers of Friday Night on Their Computer) webchats, she gives her fans what they want. The latest is a pay-what-you-can EP of Radiohead covers, performed on her “magical” ukulele.
Stripping down Radiohead hits from Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, and Kid A, Palmer finds a common thread of melancholy melodies which remain haunting, even on the ukulele. The compositions range from the barebones “Fake Plastic Trees” to the more densely layered “Idioteque.” Fan-favorite (and suicide theme music) “Creep” shows up twice, both a hungover soundcheck version and an audience-participating live version.
Palmer recently orchestrated a release from Roadrunner Records (a poor fit if there ever was one). She’s releasing music sans record label, sans marketing machine, and relying on her fans to spread the word. Some “WEBCAST RELASE PARTY LUAU MADNESS” is planned for today at 6pm, and you can watch it live. An $0.84 purchase ensures that Radiohead are paid royalties, so anything more will help her continue to be one of the most innovative performers alive. So don’t be a creep, don’t be a weirdo, and do the right thing.