Jeff Moody

Amanda Palmer’s Next Act

By - Apr 21st, 2010 12:15 am
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email

By Jeff Moody

Who in their right mind would bother to record (with intent to sell!) a bunch of circus cabaret songs while disguised as conjoined twin sisters named Eve and Lynn? Tom Waits might, but Amanda Palmer just did. Mizz Palmer is the Sisyphus of rock (and roll), without the rock rolling back over her part. She’s made a career of pushing rocks uphill, and this Evelyn squared thing might be the biggest rock she’s pushed so far.

Circus cabaret… what the hell is it, and who listens to it? Its music you’d hear at a circus, but with a narrative. You might hear something like it incidentally parading softly from speakers up at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, but nobody listens to this stuff on purpose. And that’s too bad. In an industry currently filled with product that sounds like copies of knock-offs of Lady Gaga, Amanda Palmer stands virtually alone in terms of musical ability and creativity. Her imagination as wide as the Texas prairie, she’s quick and spontaneous… her day isn’t complete without having done a ninja ukulele gig on some street corner. She is all about CARPE DIEM.

Palmer and Jason Webly (her partner in this project, the talented Seattle musician who appears to be perfectly matched with Palmer in terms of instinct and skill) obviously had a great time being “Evelyn Evelyn” together for this record. Nowhere is this more obvious than in “Chicken Man”, the theme song for the man who picked up Evelyn Evelyn off the roadside and gave them a home in one of his chicken coops. “Chicken Man” is the sole phrase; Palmer and Webly take turns saying it with comic mock urgency, and they follow it up with… what sounds like a chicken chorale.

If you’re already a fan of Amanda Palmer you’ll still be surprised by Evelyn Evelyn. It’s wildly creative, even by her standards.

(Below is a clip of something Palmer whipped up in her bedroom and posted straight to YouTube. Prepare to fall in love with her…)

Categories: Review, Stripwax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *