Paid for by patrons
[LONG, DELICIOUS READ] the first piece from our Foreign Tour Correspondents {official Thing}

(public post)

hallo loves.

it is with great, great pleasure that i present this latest Thing to you.

first of all: i want to thank all of the PoC who weighed in on the last post about race and compassion. i'm reading every comment and i cannot thank you enough for contributing your words and stories. more on that soon, and this offering is not unrelated to our themes. 

so. 


i could talk for paragraphs on end about journalism, fake news, clickbait, algorithms, the internet, how media things have worked in the past, how i think they can work in the future, about how the medium is the message, and about how utterly revolutionary i think these new systems of patronage are going to be to put creative and artistic control back into the hands of artists. 

i will try to keep it short, because the spotlight really should get swiftly pivoted to the two artists whose work you are about read/see.

about a year ago, i got it into my head that it might be fun to hire under-represented/under-appreciated writers to work with me on creating paid content for the patreon. (i did an early experiment with south african SF writer lauren beukes, who wrote a short story inspired by a song i wrote with edward ka-spel.) i had my eye and brain on younger writers (the feminist writer laurie penny was one idea, the music writer geeta dayal another, and my friend jack nicholls, an incredible long-form culture writer from australia, was another).

this past spring, on the eve of the release for THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION, i caught wind that one of my most treasured press allies in the UK, the guardian, wouldn't cover my album, tour or activities. i did a quick google and discovered that their new music editor was not a fan of my work (that's putting it generously). i was incredibly discouraged: i'd been relying on support from the guardian to reach my wider audience...and hell, I'd even written a piece of the guardian about breaking ground on the record. they'd been covering my band and work for years. it all seemed so childish, trumpy, and unfair. i moped. 

then the album came out and the tour started, and while everything was a huge critical "success", i  was again discouraged that there wasn't anybody in the press who wanted to cover the wider story about the community, the patreon, the abortion politics, the deeper meaning behind what was happening with me - and my audience - at these shows. what was happening was amazing. why was the press not covering it?

where was my new yorker profile? 

why was the atlantic not banging on my door to send a journalist on tour with me? 

and then i caught myself in this narcissistic and mopey train of thought. and was like: wait.

i know why. first of all, journalism is becoming more and more underfunded by the day.

and secondly: i am not sexy. i am not sexy like billie eilish (new!) and i am not sexy like kim kardashian (famous!)

i am a woman who has a long track record of doing things my own way, including in regards to the press, and i have very little clickbait caché.

then it all became obvious.

we are the media.

we can do it ourselves.

so for the past several months, this patreon has spent tens of thousands of dollars towards paying the salaries, food, lodging and liquor bills for two immensely talented people: writer jack nicholls, from australia, and photographer gabrielle motola. 

......................

i could not think of a better way to DIY our way into making a better, more expansive media landscape, with more freedom, and more opportunity, as the old systems crumble and change.

who says a musician can't collaborate with a couple journalists? why not?

..............

the alternative is to rely on newspapers that are frantic, ad-driven and clickbait-dependent.

the alternative is to let the profit-driven media tell our story for us.

.............

this piece may not go viral online, and it may not have a clickbait title. it may have no kim kardashian to be seen. it may wind up being read by nobody outside this patreon community.

if that happens: that's okay.

either way, we tried.

for the lat two months, two artists - and me, in the background, and this whole community, in a way - put a shit-ton of effort full-time into making it exist, as a piece of free public content on medium.

it is about 9,000 words.

it contains 110 photos.

and it was made, with love, by us, for

.....us.

..............

i am so proud that we did this, that we pulled it off.

i want to extend a huge congratulations to jack and gaby for working so, so hard to make this experiment work, and the final product amazing.

this piece is only the first of a multi-piece effort.

we haven't even gotten INTO the meat.

and so.......now.....

go READ IT!!! 

it's on medium, free for all.

according to medium, it's a 43 minute read.

{and fair warning, there are a couple boobs.}

https://bit.ly/37j43iC

...........

some words from jack:

Hi Patrons,
Jack here. Many of you have heard from me before, or even met me during one Amanda’s shows. If you have been wondering what exactly Gabrielle and I have been working on, here it is – the first of probably four features. A little bit of tour diary, a little bit of musing. As the title says – There Will Be Some Introspection.
For those who don’t know, I am a 34 year old British-Australian writer, who bounces between speculative-fiction stories and idiosyncratic long-form journalism.
I joined this tour through a winding and slightly nepotistic road. My parents were friends with Neil Gaiman way back when he was just an ambitious stripling who wrote comics, and I grew up with Neil as a distant family friend. Ten years ago, Neil wrote to our family to say that he had a new girlfriend who was coming to Australia, “the very lovely, funny and charming Amanda Palmer, noted chanteuse and red-carpet ecdysiast”. Would my parents mind putting her up for a few days?
So I came home one day to find a strange American with no eyebrows living at the bottom of our garden like a fairy. I had never heard of Amanda’s music and didn’t know who she was, which I think made our initial conversations easier. They've been easy ever since.
We liked her, and she liked us, and so those few days at my parent’s house became a regular part of Amanda’s touring schedule. As I grew up and started travelling the world myself, I would send letters to Amanda letting her know how I was doing, and we stayed in touch that way. Eventually she wrote back and asked if I would like to join her on the new tour and write a few similar pieces that way.
It's been intense and strange - I don't make a habit of traveling on international music tours, and will probably never do it again. It seems like a hard way to live for long-periods, but for all the stresses I never saw Amanda lose her cool or sense of humour. If you are wondering, I can confirm that she is the same behind-the-scenes as she is in her public persona. There was no secret rageaholic lurking backstage.
This was all part of getting to know Amanda better. Until know, Amanda and I mainly knew each other through our art – her from my letters, me from her music. This trip has allowed us to get to know each other more deeply as friends, and that has been a wonderful thing. But it’s also been an opportunity to meet so many of you guys, more than I can count, and hear your stories. That’s been the true highlight of this experience, being welcomed by so many strangers. And I’d like to give an extra-special thanks to everyone who took the time to write personally to me with their thoughts and opinions over the past three months. It’s all gone into the big stew that is this multi-part piece.
The finished piece will be long – I’ve got enough notes that I could turn them into a book. I considered whittling it down to something shorter and shinier, but the response from people I talked to was that you are really interested in the detail of what it is like on an Amanda Palmer tour, and if you are an Amanda Patreon you are used to receiving walls of text, after all. And this wall is decorated with some really glorious photography from Gabrielle Motola.
This is going out into the world, we’re hoping it will be read widely. But ultimately it was written for, and funded by, you the patrons. Thank you. Your generosity has given me the opportunity to do something I love, and I hope you get something out of it in return.
Love,
Jack  

..........

some words from gabrielle:

Dear Cherished Patrons of Amanda Palmer,
I write to you from London, where I am still recovering from the exhaustion of the tour while putting together the first of what will likely be four articles chronicling Jack’s and my experience. A bit of history on how I met and came to work with Amanda is due not only for your information but for your entertainment. It glitters with cosmic dust. I first met Amanda in 2009 at Gaby’s cafe in Charing Cross (for real). I didn’t know her music, who she was, just that the focus of the interview was dealing with the controversy which arose over the song “Oasis” and the abortion themes it dealt with. I was simply asked by Mathilde, a journalist friend who was writing the piece for Agence France-Presse (AFP...seriously?), to accompany her to make the images. I remember biting my tongue a lot during the interview wanting to speak extensively with Amanda but noting professionally that I wasn’t there to do the talking.
After the interview was over, I made a series of portraits. Back then, I wasn’t as fluid at talking with my subjects while photographing. My nerves were at an all-time high, and it was all I could do to silently compose images, hoping my subject would do the work for me. Many years later, I learned that Amanda hadn’t been informed that a photographer would be present and so hadn’t prepared herself visually. Despite this, she was gracious and patient with me. This is something that I have gratefully come to know and trust as a feature of Amanda Palmer’s personality.
Cut to 2017. I had been living in Iceland following the creation and publication of my first (self-published) book about gender equality in Iceland. I needed to get out of the winter doldrums so on a whim, I organised to visit friends to Paris. I studied photography there while in university and became fluent in French. Paris is a sort of fourth home for me.
I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Paris’s Montmartre neighbourhood with my friend Chloe enjoying an early evening drink. Mathilde the journalist I first met Amanda with was back living in Paris, and I was due to join her for dinner in a few hours. Suddenly, a blue-eyed woman with a child in hand walked by, and we locked eyes for a moment. She walked into the shop next door. My mind twigged. “Holy shit Chloe, I’ll be right back,” I say getting up from the table.
I walked into the shop after Amanda and approached her cautiously as she was with Ash and I could sense she wasn’t yet sure how to field this out of the blue approach by what appeared to be a stranger. I explained who I was, our brief history and that my best friend was working on the screenplay for Neil’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”. Then I explained the coincidence of our first meeting and the one I had planned that night with the journalist. I hadn’t seen either of them since that shoot back in 2009.
We parted ways, probably both thinking that was the end of that and the next morning she walked into my yoga class. We went to lunch afterwards and kept in touch by email. A year later she came to in Iceland for a sort of reunion gig (she had been stranded there as you might remember in 2010 from the volcano explosion). I connected her to my friends, who sourced her an amazing venue and opening acts. We spent four days hanging out, hiking, motorbiking, eating and hot tubbing. I had also just moved out of my flat the day she arrived and was moving back to London (on my 250cc motorcycle) after three years of living in Iceland.
When Amanda then came to London a few months later for the Dolls reunion, she asked me to make some images of the concert for her. It was around then that she mentioned the tour and that it might be something to think about. I wasn’t sure it would happen. But then it did. She told me about Jack with a twinkle in her eye “You guys are going to love each other, I have a feeling.” She was right.
In the summer of 2019, Jack and I met for lunch near the Tate in London and went to see the Olafur Eliasson exhibition. We clicked immediately and comfortably. I had no idea what to expect from the tour, but I felt confident that whatever Jack wrote, I would be proud to put images to. We made it up as we went along. Aside from being a producer and videographer for a few days on Ani Difranco’s 1997 “Living in Clip” tour, ad in 1998 for the making of her “Fellow Workers” album, I had no experience on the road with a band. Amanda was very trusting and repeated her wishes like a mantra. “Do your thing, do you.” So I did what I thought was best and hung on for dear life. The pace of a tour, how Amanda works, far outpaces my own life and usually quiet, street photography, documentary or portraiture work.
The crew felt like family immediately. At first, I wasn’t sure of my footing and took time to ease into my role, find pace with when it was okay and not a good idea to photograph people, especially Amanda. We had a discussion about when during the live show I could come out and where I could stand. I spoke to Subul about the lighting, which for effect was very dark and challenging from a photographic point of view. Jack and I checked in with each other’s experience of the tour at points, but mostly operated in our own orbits, meeting up late at night to load out the venue and eat our dinner on the bus.
Amanda and the life of a tour works around the clock, and that meant I did too. A typical day would often include a daytime gig as well as the evening gig and the entire time everyone was up (and sometimes sleeping). I edited as best I could in the wee hours downloading, charging batteries and backing up. Eventually, I was pulling images out for the Patreon posts at 2am after the gig, and the archive was a mess. Something had to give. I didn’t sleep more than 12 hours once in a three-day stretch, and this was physically difficult to cope with. But the entire time there was stress, I felt at home with all the people on the crew, deeply appreciated, and able to be myself.
At first, I was hesitant to insert myself as a character in the mix. I wanted to observe purely, but it became apparent that this wasn’t going to work. I had to speak to people. But how to photograph people after an intense 3-plus hour session of compassionate grieving, sharing, and delving deep into emotions and subjects which are difficult? Everyone was processing and what I thought I’d be doing, making intimate portraits of Amanda’s fans, wasn’t possible. Not in the time given. I felt it was more important to allow them to have the time to process their experience and be with each other than subject themselves to my lens. So I improvised. I documented, and I made images intimately of the crew, and of the world around the cities of the venues, we visited whenever I could. I wanted to make work in the context of the whole, but to be honest, it was so large I didn’t know what I was doing. I just had to trust that whatever I did, it would be enough. I wish I’d of had more time with you individually, but my role documenting meant that hard to get portraits would have to wait.
Amanda’s fans have an awareness level far beyond what I would expect from a rock n roll show. They possess and exude a gentle intelligence which pervaded every venue. There was never a time where I felt unwelcome or unsafe. I felt seen and even towards the end appreciated. More than a few fans approached me (to my surprise and delight) and told me what a great job I had been doing on the images. They’d seen the photographs Amanda was putting out in her Patreon updates, and they felt the love emotion and passion I put into them. This spurred me on through the difficulty I experienced working at this pace with little time for reflection or editing. Photography is editing more than you might realise and I see now I should have clawed back more time to do this on the road. But I was on a juggernaut of experience more eager to capture those moments and so the time was spent shooting.
Group therapy with unrestricted access to alcohol is not what I expected from the tour, but that is what it wound up being. I have faced demons of my own through this experience, I have slain some and become more aware of others, who now writhe under a watchful eye biding their time. It will come. I was profoundly moved by the experience of meeting Sinead Dinnen her family and friends, in Limerick and I am still processing this on a deep level. It has shaken me and changed how I see life.
In the end, I amassed a tremendous image archive across twelve cities. Where much of this work will go beyond these articles is of now, undetermined. It takes me time to look and to edit images, and as I am not an event photographer, I do not release reams of images into the world. I make no plans to show work if I do not have time to carefully select the images and edit them. This is no different from a writer writing an article or a songwriter writing making demo tracks and not releasing them until they are edited, mixed and mastered. I realise this may disappoint some of you and I am sorry if that is the case.
My work is what it is because of my honed skills, tastes and discernment allow out into the world what I feel represents an emotional moment in time. I have studied and practised photography for over twenty years, coming up in darkrooms and studios around the world. Perhaps there will come a time where there is a budget to allow me to create something more of an archive of this work. But until such time, I hope you will be satisfied with seeing from my eyes, what it was like to be on this incredibly important, cathartic Amanda Palmer Tour through the images in these articles and what you’ve already seen on her Patreon.
From what I now know of Amanda’s work and career, and from what I have witnessed on this tour, I see this show as a rebirth for her as a person and as an artist. It has been a tremendous honour to be a part of it. The fact that I have been paid to do what I do, and produce a body of work that I’m proud of, is magnificent. Thank you for your trust in Amanda and thank you, Amanda, for your trust in me. I hope I have done you proud. All of you.
Yours in art and solidarity,
Gabrielle

................

i love these people. they've become my family.

..................

a word about medium!

medium.com is a platform i've been using for a while, i admire their strategy. there are no ads, there are long reads, and there are a lot of thoughtful writers using it as a place to publish their work. (i've published a few pieces over there myself, including "no, i am not crowdfunding this baby", "oh lorde, deliver me from fucking joan" and the recent piece about the late late show in dublin uninviting me because of my abortion song

we thought long and hard about WHRE to publish this piece of jack and gaby's, once it was written and finished. posting it to my blog seemed wrong. it's jack's writing. posting it straight to the patreon seemed a little weird too. we thought for a second about pitching it to "real" newspapers (hey, the guardian, want an easy way out? here, we wrote it for you!")...but the seemed like a dumb idea.

in the end, we published it under a NEW publication we've started on medium called "WE ARE THE MEDIA" where future pieces will also be published. so log into medium (or make an account if you don't have one) give the article a clap (or 50, just hold that fucking button down), and click "follow" on the publication to get notifications when more stuff gets added, in case you leave the patreon and still want to read these long-form pieces, or in case you miss a post here.  

that's it.

we did it.

i love you all so much.

thank you for your patronage.

x

a


p.s about comments: please, if you can, use MEDIUM to comment about the article itself. it would be good to keep the piece's conversation in one place over there. meanwhile, feel free to use this space for anything about the patreon process, etc, the nerdier stuff that we all talk about over there. we will all be reading in both places, so you can't go wrong.


------THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS---------

1. if you’re a patron, please click through to comment on this post. at the very least, if you’ve read it, indicate that by using the heart symbol.

2. see All the Things i've made so far on patreon: http://amandapalmer.net/patreon-things

3. join the official AFP-patron facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/afpland

4. new to my music and TOTALLY OVERWHELMED? TAKE A WALK THROUGH AMANDALANDA….we made a basic list of my greatest hits n stuff (at least up until a few years ago, this desperately needs updating) on this lovely page: http://amandalanda.amandapalmer.net/

5. general AFP/patreon-related questions? ask away, someone will answer: [email protected]

 

UPCOMING SHOWS:

Sun Nov 24 – Portugal – Braga – Theatro Circo

Thu Dec 5 – UK – London – Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)

Fri Dec 6 – UK – London – Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)

Fri Dec 13th - UK - London - Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)

Sat Dec 14th - UK - London - Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)

THEN DOWN UNDER:

Mon. Dec 30 — Wed.. Jan 1 - WOODFORD, QLD - Woodford Folk Festival

Thurs. Jan 16 — Sat. Jan 18 - LAUNCESTON, TAS - Mona Foma Confessional

Mon. Jan 20 - LAUNCESTON, TAS - Princess Theatre, Mona Foma

Wed. Jan 22 - MELBOURNE, VIC - Hamer Hall

Fri. Jan 31 - BRISBANE, QLD - Brisbane Powerhouse

Sat. Feb 1 - BRISBANE, QLD - Brisbane Powerhouse

Fri. Feb 7 - CANBERRA, ACT - Canberra Theatre

Sat. Feb 8 - SPRINGWOOD, NSW - Blue Mountains Theatre

Fri. Feb 14 — Sat. Feb 15 - ADELAIDE, SA - Bonython Hall, Adelaide Fringe 

Thurs. Feb 20 - SYDNEY, NSW - Enmore Theatre

Sat. Feb 22 - PERTH, WA - Perth Concert Hall, Perth Festival

Sat. Feb 29 - DARWIN, NT - Darwin Entertainment Centre

Thurs. Mar 12 — Fri. Mar 13 - AUCKLAND, NZ - Auckland Arts Festival: Hollywood Avondale

ALL TICKETS: https://nointermission.amandapalmer.net 

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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 611 exclusive posts
19
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2688
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15
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13
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7
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20
Videos
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