HERE IT IS, THING NUMBER THREE.
Patreon folks, you've been emailed the track. anybody else reading this, all info about where to get the track is below.
here's the story.
i wrote this song in August 2012, in the crack between the Kickstarter happening and Theatre Is Evil getting officially released into the world (that September). i was in upstate New York staying in a strange house near Bard College, shooting the video for "the bed song", and getting ready to go on tour. I don't remember why exactly I had the day off in the strange house, but I did, and this song popped into my head. I wrote it on paper and into my phone and then asked the guys at bard if I could borrow a room with a. piano when I got to work that day, and I found the chords. I had a show with neil a few days later, and I played it for the crowd on piano, and a few days (weeks?) later I was at some gig or party or another and really wanted to share it, but I was, for some reason, pianoless. so, more or less, on the spot, I found the chords on the ukulele (it put the song into a new key) and played a stripped down ukulele version. and i'll be damned if the ukulele version wasn't better. that was a first - basically the polar opposite of my experience of writing "the killing type", which was plucked out on ukulele in a hotel before I could finally manifest in onto piano, where it sounded, well, real.
but something about this song just sounded better stripped down and strummed as a
opposed to arpeggiated on a fancy piano, and that was that.
this song is a true story. the bar - upstairs on the square - unfortunately closed about a year ago. and I never got to tell the bartender that he'd made his way into verse three.
In a roundabout way, this song also really inspired the Patreon. when I played the early rough version of the song on piano at that gig at bard, somebody got a bootleg phone recording and sent it to me. I decided...what the fuck, I'll just throw it up on bandcamp. but with no magic infrastructure, it was hard to point to it, even as a special, random, weird thing. I found myself wishing I had a more "real" portal for releasing one-off Things when i had them.
the thing about songs is that the artist or the machine can (attempt to) dictate their importance, their relevance. we've been doing it for years by the way we release shit, hide shit, order shit, bury shit, re-package and remix shit, and even the way we title shit.
I think I'm kind of done trying to do that - at least for a while.
*viral marketing campaign*
*iphone commercial backdrop soundtrack*
....introducing amanda palmer's absolutely non-hit single
THE THING ABOUT THINGS.
if you love the song, share it with someone. that's the nicest thing you can do, ever.
and if you want to become a patron and get these pieces of content emailed to you for as little as $1, please join us. it's fun here.
and if you're a patron, thank you for making me possible.
music & lyrics written by Amanda Palmer
ukulele & vocals - Amanda Palmer
recorded at Q Division in Somerville, Ma
mixed at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, Ma
engineered & mixed by Benny Grotto
artwork by Famehouse
produced by Amanda Palmer & Benny Grotto
Available for free/paid download at
And available for purchase shortly on iTunes and all major digital distributors.
THE THING ABOUT THINGS
i’ve loaned a lot of things to a lot of friends
like dresses and records and books
and some of the time i never see them again
and in a weird way i think that it works
because the thing about things is they start turning evil
when you start to forget what they’re for
and so if you’re not sure what you did with my sweater
i’ll just have to love you a little bit more
i had a ring it belonged to my grandfather
he was a mason
and he was distant and bitter for all of my childhood
we never had much to say
he wasn’t the type to give tokens of affection
and so i stole ring when he died
and twenty years on when i lost it at a bar
I DON’T WANT HIM IN MY LIFE
the thing about things is that they can start meaning things
nobody actually said
and if he couldn’t make something mean something for me
i had to make up what it meant
i can carry everything i need in one collapsing suitcase
i can carry everyone i love in one phone application
built to maximize the facetime with the friends i’m bent on making
actually i want to be alone
to mourn the loss
of what this cost
i think it’s a poem and i think it keeps going
i’ve borrowed and lost lots of things
and three nights ago in the bar where i lost it
the bartender gave me the ring
and i lie in bed
with my phone in my hand
what can i fix with which app
and i call my grandfather
and he doesn’t answer
and i have to make peace with that fact
because the thing about things
is that they can start meaning things nobody actually said
and if you’re not allowed to love people alive
then you learn how to love people dead
the thing about things is that they can start meaning things nobody actually said
and if you’re not allowed
to love people alive
then you learn how to love people dead