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Controversy Surrounds Palmer As She Releases Fan-Funded Album

Amanda Palmer performs on stage with her new band Grand Theft Orchestra in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, June 14. (AP)

Amanda Palmer performs on stage with her new band Grand Theft Orchestra in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, June 14. (AP)

Rock musician Amanda Palmer has gotten a lot of press this week. The Lexington native released her much-anticipated album “Theater is Evil” — the product of a wildly successful fundraising campaign on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter that netted her $1.2 million. Palmer’s and her band, the Grand Theft Orchestra, kicked off their tour on Monday.

But discussion of the album itself has been increasingly drowned out by controversy surrounding her invitation to local horn and string musicians to play with her band on tour in exchange for beer, hugs and high-fives. Some musicians and musician unions have reacted angrily, flooding Twitter and her website with calls to pay those musicians.

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  • J__o__h__n

    Can I buy her a beer or give her a hug to go to the concert instead of buying a ticket?  She should pay the musicians. 

    • http://twitter.com/rsybuchanan R. S. Y. Buchanan

       Actually, yeah, sometimes you can. She’s pretty famous in indie rock circles for hosting “ninja gigs” where she’ll find a space, borrow some instruments, and throw together last-minute concerts that get announced on twitter.

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    I had never heard of her until I heard this story…  so I guess the controversy is working.

    I applaud her not having a record company and still being able to go on tour.  I don’t know what size tour this is so I can’t do a financial analysis as to whether she has enough money but tours are expensive.  You have to front a lot of money to pull that off.

    Not to mention how much money she had to pay for the studio time to record the album.

  • KJ

    > …netted her $1.2 million…

    Maybe “grossed her and her band” would be a better way to put it. There are more than a few expenses they’ll need to cover.

  • http://twitter.com/andrewfrankhous Andrew Frankhouse

    Could this segment have pandered to Palmer any more?  She’s married to a millionaire author and sells hundreds of thousands of records.  This sends the wrong message to society and my music students about the value of artists and their work.

  • calciferboheme

    I saw her perform a couple of days ago. I’m pretty sure none of the local musicians were upset about not getting paid. I don’t see how this is any different than when any other band gets people to come on stage to jam with them, aside from it being planned in advance.

    Amanda has always got artists to help out with shows, this is just the first time it was musicians. Either way it was a lot of fun and I think people are making a big deal out of nothing.

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