Amanda Palmer + Jason Webley

Music seen at SPACE Gallery, November 24, 2007
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 28, 2007

About 200 people gathered at SPACE Gallery on Saturday night, paying a Dedication Necessary $12 to see one half of a duo you aren’t likely to ever hear on mainstream radio (and, for full disclosure’s sake, I have never heard at all). Of those 200, I knew one. What I’m trying to get at is that Boston’s Dresden Dolls are a big-league cult duo, Amanda Palmer is their sorceress, and her fans come out from all kinds of woodwork to see her.

I opened the door, pretty much on time (as Portland concerts go), to raucous cheers and hollers. Opener Jason Webley was already a third done with his set of accordion drinking songs. In good-natured brown top-hat, brown vest and with what’s essentially a Satan goatee with a matted-down handlebar mustache, Webley controlled the audience. He told funny jokes, mandated mildly complicated audience sing-a-longs, had everyone stick their index fingers in the air and spin around twelve times (“cheapest way to get wasted,” he says), and played accordion-driven drinking songs sung with a precise mix of fury and brio. Webley’s set — accompanied by Palmer for a couple of songs (they pretend their side project, Evelyn Evelyn, consists of Siamese-twin friends of theirs, to riotous effect) — was the energetic highlight of the show, but it scarcely mattered to Palmer and the audience: he just set a high pedestal for her to rest upon.

As for her — dressed down relative to DD standards, in cute white shirt, amazingly complicated hair styling, and black dots centering her bottom eyelids — she sang about a dozen really smart and open relationship songs, played on a keyboard that broke a little more with every song (seven bum notes by set’s end). On occasion, she’d pop open a question box from the merch table and answer questions from her fans. She owned them, and she sold me. I’ve got a new old band to check out.

  Topics: New England Music News , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Dresden Dolls,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GIRLS (AND BOYS) ON FILM  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
  •   AMERICAN VALUES  |  June 11, 2014
    The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.
  •   ASHES AND DIORAMAS  |  March 28, 2014
    History, rather than ennui, is the incursion that motivates this, his most antic and most somber work.

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY