Published on Magnetmagazine.com
Amanda Palmer has been a busy lady. It’s been four years since her last record, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, and in the interim she’s been dabbling in all sorts of projects: business (you can read about her huge Kickstarter success), music (channeling her musical roots for her new album, Theatre Is Evil) and fun (adapting Neutral Milk Hotel for a high-school production). Palmer will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on her.
Palmer: You know that first favorite band that absolutely changes your life, the thing by which you decide to totally define yourself? The band you would drive hours to see, the band whose music saved your life when you were 15 or 16?
The Legendary Pink Dots were that band for me. They’re not everybody’s cup of tea, and their catalog is so infinite that it’s impossible to know where to start. They began as a minimal, drum-programmy and synth-y trio in the early ’80s and have gone through a gazillion lineup changes, but the main thread has remained strong: Edward Ka-Spel’s absolutely heartbreaking voice and singularly emotional and fantastical songwriting and Philip Knight’s psychedelic and gorgeously melodic programming. The songs have a cast of characters and places that thread the albums together: hotels named after different colors, a girl named Lisa, a captain who appears again and again. Edward’s songs shaped me considerably as a songwriter. I can always sense when there’s a little bit of the Pink Dots creeping into my chords. They still tour, and they are a force to be reckoned with live. They’re also the reason, I think, that I can relate to so many of my own fans when they say, “You don’t understand how much your music has changed and influenced me.” All I need to do is project that this person feels about me the way I felt about the Dots. Utterly changed and devoted. They are my gold standard for a band: perfectly authentic, uncompromising in their vision, wonderful to their fans, in it for the art and the love. Best records to start with: Asylum, The Maria Dimension, Any Day Now, The Golden Age, The Crushed Velvet Apocalypse.