"Wealthy musician Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to produce and release a record, recently used a TED talk to expand on the idea that artists should be willing to work for free. After relaying a story about how she used to be a street performer, Palmer, who is married to a very successful author named Neil Gaiman, told an audience of people who’d paid $7,500 apiece to be there that musicians shouldn’t “make” people pay for their work, but rather “let” people pay for their work. She also explained that she found it virtuous when a family of undocumented immigrants huddled together on their couch for a night so that she and her band could have their beds, because her music and presence was a fair exchange for the family’s comfort. After about 13 minutes of explaining why she is content with people giving her things, Palmer received a standing ovation."
When People Write for Free, Who Pays?
FYI, this is why Amanda Palmer is a giant SHITMONSTER.
All while she and her fans rally around her right to perpetuate ableism and appropriate native cultures in order to sell records, and SHAME ON ANY OF US OUT THERE FOR JUDGING HER FOR IT IN ANY WAY.
Everything this woman does and says is unethical, immoral codswallop. I could support the weight of a schoolbus on my pinky more easily than I could support her if she said that the sky is blue.
And I’m STILL not over her pretending to rape Katy Perry onstage.
I watched this TED Talk, and to be honest, I don’t entirely understand the backlash.
I understand why it would be wrong to tell people that they are bad for making money off of their music, but i don’t think that’s what she was trying to do, and I found her talk to be interesting from a musical perspective. Lots of my friends are musicians and they advocate DIY local music and they play free shows and they all help each other out and no one expects to get “paid”. I used to have bands crash at my apartment for free all the time. There are countless bands down at SXSW crashing on couches for free right now.
Anyway, she did make a lot of money off of asking for Kickstarter donations in exchange for her record—something that Radiohead did similarly, too—but making music is EXPENSIVE. You guys see that $1,000,000 and think HOLY SHIT THAT RICH BITCH but costs of production and editing and equipment are high, plus they probably split the profit between several people in the band, and that’s after the money was taxed (a LOT).
I guess I see what she was saying far more from a DIY artist/musician perspective and I think it’s a great cause to support. Plus, I loved the Dresden Dolls A LOT…
I’d love feedback on why she’s so horrible and why this is so bad!
the undocumented immigrants part of this pullquote is fucking HORRIBLE and it makes me hate her so much.
and i’m sorry, as a DIY musician, yes, part of the community is love & support from your fellow community members.
but you don’t ASK that of the general public. you ask it of your fellow musicians and community members if you are close enough friends. i would never, ever, ever walk up to a random person at a show and ask them to stay at their house - you suck it up and you get a cheap hotel room with your bandmates if you can’t find a place to stay through the person who booked the show. it is a very different power dynamic to ask things of your ‘fans’ than the equal exchange of ‘i’ll set up a show for you, you can crash at my house when you’re in town and you’ll do the same for me when my band comes through.’
making music is not as expensive as you think. i have a home studio and i know a lot of people who also have home studios. putting out a record is something you can do with your bandmates - my band is currently putting out a 12” ourselves. we are saving our pennies from our day jobs, combined with the band fund (money we have from playing shows), and we are doing it ourselves. if you want to work with a producer/pro studio, the costs go up, but even recording at, say, electrical audio with albini is cheap comparatively (his rates have basically not changed since the ’80s).
i cannot IMAGINE making a record with $1,000,000. the record we’re putting out ourselves i can’t imagine costing more than $2000 total (split between the 5 of us), and that’s a high estimate for recording & production costs.
i guess things get a little different when you’re doing music as a full-time job, but $1,000,000 is still a LOT of money. & i still see her model as rude and inappropriate and based on a sense of entitlement rather than a sense of community and exchange. she EXPECTS people to put forward because she’s AMANDA PALMER or whatever and because her PRESENCE is worth their inconvenience? no. art is an equal exchange, or at least it should be.
Nico Rosso pointed out to me that Neil Gaiman has also been in favor of piracy, so clearly he and his wife don’t need to give a damn about you know, making the rent.