Open Letter to Amanda Palmer, The Newly Arrived Member of the Petit Bourgeoisie

Edit: Amand Palmer has now decided to maybe do the right thing, although the details are still sketchy. A new blog post reports that she is now going to pay her "volunteer" musicians, and I'm glad she's decided to do that right thing. That said, I hope she really does learn from this and spends some time thinking about her newfound power as a person capable of raising the kind of capital she finds herself in command of. ANd I hope she's paying her volunteers AFM Scale for their performances.

Note: This began life as a comment on AFP's blog here. It's been expanded and edited a bit below.

Dear Amanda,

First, know that I'm a fan. I like your music. I like what you do. I think you're a very talented performer.

Second, know that I'm a musician, and an accomplished one. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2000 and I've been around working musicians my whole adult life. I've been a working recording engineer, record producer, and live sound engineer. I've also worked for no money at friends gigs and I've got lots of friends who have struggled hard on tours trying to make enough gas money to make it to the next town. And I have dozens of friends and acquaintances who to this day make their living as professional musicians.

I want you to know this because I want you to understand where I'm coming from when I tell you that what you're doing is awful and you need to stop.

Ed Champion vs. Billy Joel

At the risk of seeming like I link to Ed to much, I want to draw attention to this post in which Ed Champion gets an email from honest-to-God Billy Joel ("Fuck you," says Billy), responds to it, and then (in one of the most entertaining exchanges I've seen in a while) Joel himself shows up in the comments to engage in an enormous flame war.

Billy: "...your inability or your refusal to follow a simple lyric pattern is symptomatic of either a mental disorder or a hearing defect..."

Ed: "...Just be honest, Billy. You did it for the cash. The guy who wrote the sardonic anti-yuppie song “My Life” is gone. (Indeed, you’ve BECOME that yuppie.)..."

Billy: "...THIS IS MY LIFE. This is what I do and who I am, and your ignorant, self-righteous ’sellout’ attack is typical of a dilettante, an amateur, and an abject failure. It was never about “the cash”. You will never know the joy I have known, and you will never accomplish anything in your life until you learn humility the way I have : The hard way..."

Airborne Toxic Event


I'm really liking the songs on the MySpace page of The Airborne Toxic Event, a band apparently named in a DeLilo reference.

Via Scalzi