Wow. Uhm... so, hello!
Right, then. The topic. Share thoughts. Here we go...
I adore Peter Gabriel's music.
Seriously, I do. I have music from hundreds, maybe thousands, of artists. In fact, let me check on that...
Yep, a couple thousand.
Of that number, a handful of artists stand head and shoulders above all the others. They're my musical Justice League, if you will. And of that handful, Gabriel is clearly Superman (strike a pose, Petey).
The reason why is: I've enjoyed every track on every studio album that Gabriel's ever released. Every single one. Considering how picky I am, that's no small feat. Over these many (oh too many) years, his music has spoken to me in a way that has been truly singular in its consistency.
"But, hey!" you respond. "What the fuck does this have to do with Amanda Palmer?" Well, I'm gettin' to that! Hold your horses, jeez! These are thoughts! No one said they had to be concise!
The thing is, Gabriel is notorious for taking his own sweet time in putting out studio albums. Last one was Scratch My Back (an interesting covers project) released just last year. Before that? Up. That was back in 2002, eight years earlier.
EIGHT FRICKIN' YEARS! Almost a decade! Yikes!
Now, let's lookit darling Amanda (finally!). Aw. Innit she cute? Just precious!
Who Killed Amanda Palmer? was released late in 2008. Just over two years, folks.
Since then, she's done... well, near as I can gather, a metric crap-ton of stuff. From following her on Twitter, she seems pretty much nonstop action to me, constantly doing something. Frankly, it's exhausting. After reading her tweetbombs, I sometimes have to take a nap.
Anywho, has it all been recorded music? No. It's been a lot of performance as well. And since I just brought that up, I'll point out: aside from being a musical artist, Amanda's also a performance artist. That's kinda important, as points go, when considering the creative output of the particular individual that is AFP. If you're not into that stuff--if you just dig the polished musical offerings--that's okeedokee-fine. But you should be aware that, in terms of artistic expression, there's more to her than that. It's not the only itch she has to scratch. And if you're a creator, you go where the itches take you-- Okay, that didn't come out quite right. But you get the idea. Probably.
So, yes. Performance! Upon it Palmer doth dig. Obviously. Ham, thy name is Amanda and so on. When considering this, it shouldn't be surprising that she's glommed onto the whole social networking thang with her apparently characteristic verve. As a happy result, we all get to know what she's up to all the time.
But what if she didn't put it all out there like that? Would anyone really be kvetching about a WKAP follow-up right now?
Honestly, I'm thinkin'... no. Again, it's been just over two years. Typically, right about now is when more earnest inquiries about the next album would just be starting. Nevermind the gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes I see going on in this thread. I doubt that'd be happening hardly at all.
But, because Amanda's provided this insight into her doings--of which there is much (of both)--our sense of time gets warped. Surely, with this sheer mountain of output she's produced, it's been a very long time since WKAP? Seems like it. But no. Hasn't actually been that long at all.
Oh, and of course, also coming with the transparency she's adopted are the inevitable "yer doin' it wrong!" people, but I'm going to be charitable and assume they're a tiny minority in this case.
However, let's consider that for a second. Is she doing it wrong? Should she be locked in a studio somewhere, working tirelessly on the next offering? Putting aside for a moment her other artistic passions and inclinations, her seeming need to connect and everything else... would focusing on the next album be the right course?
If you hadn't noticed, the landscape out there is shifting. Rapidly and radically. How art is made, and how one makes a living by making it, is all up in the air right now. The old rules and established methodology are being challenged. In this current environment, artists have more freedom, but walking hand-in-hand with that is more responsibility. It's on the artists to make it happen for themselves more so than it ever was before. At least for the one's that're bucking tradition, and Amanda does buck her brains out, so she's definitely one of those, right?
In any case, it's work. It's hard work. Rewarding? I would guess so. Liberating? I have no doubt. But hard? Demanding? Draining? Yah, absolutely.
From what I'm seeing, all this stuff that Amanda's been doing--this parade of "novelty" projects and endeavors that some have been bemoaning--is necessary. It's what's going to make the next studio album even possible. It's what keeps AFP in the circumstances she needs to be in to create, to produce, to ultimately craft that next album you crave. She's a business owner now, and her business is herself. She needs to sell sell sell her bread and butter product in order to provide the luxury goods in which you long to indulge.
So, okay, you might not like the way she's going about it. It's certainly not the only way to go about it. There are others who're taking different approaches to the situation--Imogen Heap, Klayton of Celldweller, Trent Reznor are the first few that spring to mind for me--but those methods are what work for them. Amanda's doing what works for her. And that's what's important. What works for Imogen, Klayton, Trent--or you and me--is irrelevant. The only one who can decide what works for Amanda... is Amanda.
So! As requested, those are some thoughts from me. They can serve as my introduction to this forum (hullo!). While I certainly enjoy a lot of Amanda Palmer's music... I think I'm a bigger fan of her as a creative force in general (even if I'm not always personally taken with what's being created) and as a voice for change in an industry that so desperately, desperately needs it. I personally belive that AFP as the total package is far more important right now than specifically AFP: maker of studio albums. If the latter has to go on the back burner for a while, so be it. I doubt it'll ever be measured in Gabriel Time anyway.
And as a closing remark: if nothing else, any path that leads to something like Map of Tasmania coming into existence is 100% A-OK with me!
Thanks for reading!
[Edit: Cuz I need to lern to count betterz. Derp. ]