A Doll Is Reborn

Anybody with keen ears, common sense, and good taste buds digs the Dresden Dolls. Why? Because they're the most exciting thing to sound off since Marlene Dietrich sang for Josef von Sternberg, that's why. And to think otherwise would be to miss out on music itself. 

And if you dig that Beantown-based "Brech­tian punk cabaret" act, then you undoubtedly dig its fetching frontwoman, one Amanda Palmer. She, along with her Dresden Dolls partner in chime, Brian Viglione, has spent the past eight years or so delivering some of the most stirring sounds in the spectrum. 

With the recent release of Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, now you've got a chance to dig the Doll baby even more. A long-playing concoction of lust, larceny, and other lovable illicits, Palmer's first solo outing finds her in the company of Ben Folds, who wrote Amanda a fan letter and ended up becoming her producer. As you might suspect from such a pairing, they've come up with a terrifically crafty collection of hummable smartness, and if the airwaves would brighten up, it'd be blaring from every radio and television set in the world. 

The thing is, the airwaves haven't brightened up a bit. In fact, it seems they've even dimmed some, at least in merry ol' England, where the video of Palmer's lead single, "Oasis," has just been blacklisted. Seems the BBC and their buddies believe that "Oasis" "makes light of rape, religion, and abortion." Granted, the song's swing is uncommonly upbeat considering the subject. But to hear the way the narrator finds solace in an autographed picture from her favorite band is to hear heartbreak itself. Still, since Palmer refused to turn the tune into a literal tearjerker, those tweedy thought police stepped in and silenced her. 

Well, they tried to silence her, anyway. If you're among the outcasts, misfits, oddballs, and walk-alones who comprise Palmer's rabid and ever-widening fan base, you know she shall not be shut up. Ever. 

This Saturday, South Florida will be blessed with Palmer sitting all alone at the piano and singing songs from her solo LP. Of course, there will also be favorites from the Dresden Dolls and an odd assortment of covers, not the least of which will be Rodgers and Hammerstein's "What's the Use of Wond'rin.'" And unless you truly don't dig yourself, you'll be there, front and center, reveling in the wonder of one of our planet's most digable creations. 

Read a full Q&A with Palmer at

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John Hood