Alongside an utterly kick-ass backing band dubbed the Grand Theft Orchestra, Palmer did the opposite of waste a million bucks on the production of hands-down her best work since Who Killed Amanda Palmer in 2008. On Theatre, Palmer surrenders to her formerly self-denied aptitude for catchy, infectiously cheeky song craft with nostalgic nods to new wave with "Want It Back," "Massachusetts Avenue," and "Melody Dean," a zooming reimagining of the Knack's "My Sharona." Meanwhile, brooding sagas of broken relationships like "Grown Man Cry" and "The Bed Song," plus grand stompers "Do It with a Rockstar" and "The Killing Type," showcase Palmer's penchants for whimsicality and big production.
Our conversation takes a weird turn when I bring up the polarizing aura surrounding her in the Boston arts community. "There's a fundamental black heart that beats at the core of this city," she says. That sounds bad, until you factor in how many "You suck now that you're successful"-style rants from scenesters she's had to listen to. Also, she's right.
But whereas practically every band amounts to nothing more or less than an amalgam of influences, the unclassifiable Amanda Palmer always keeps things interesting. Meanwhile, scenesters are fucking lame.
: Music Features
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