Infamously DIY musician Amanda “Fucking” Palmer is widely celebrated for having carved a career for herself using social media and direct fan support, she has been an innovator in creating new models in the music business that do not depend on corporations. Last Spring, she put out a call on Twitter for lyrics about â€œan empowering three-syllable object that you werenâ€™t allowed to take to workâ€ to a massive response.
The results were added to the lyrics of â€œUkulele Anthem,â€ an ode to the DIY ethos to which Palmer (and her army of fans) is firmly committed. Palmer has been playing the song to wild applause at her recent “Ninja Gigs” – spontaneous free performances for which Palmer has become known, the most recent taking place at Occupy Wall Street in NYC, Occupy Boston (Palmer’s Hometown) and her appearance yesterday at Occupy LA. Two weeks ago, artist Shepard Fairey heard Palmer playing a song at a party in Santa Fe, and loved what he heard. Palmer had no plans to release the song, but was encouraged by Fairey and others at the party to put it out instantly. She recorded it four days later, while Shepard Fairey went to work in his studio creating an image to represent the song.
“I’ve admired Shepard’s work since I was a teenager. The fact that he was excited about the anthem and was willing to create an image for it literally kicked my ass into releasing it. This song is so much more powerful than I expected it to be. At the #Occupy gigs that I’ve been doing, I’ve been playing all sorts of inspiring songs, from Lennon to Billy Bragg, but this one’s been getting the loudest cheers. It actually speaks to the here and now. I think it’s a good time to put it out. The ukulele is a perfect symbol for hope and empowerment. It’s cheap, it’s easy to play, it’s punk rock, and as I think George Formby said, you can’t be unhappy holding a Ukulele.”
Through Amandaâ€™s typical “pay what you want” model, fans will be able to get the track and artwork by Shepard Fairey for free or voluntary donation via bandcamp.com.
Award-winning author Neil Gaiman and DIY-musician Amanda “Fucking” Palmer have embarked on a brief co-headline tour of the West Coast, starting with a Halloween engagement at Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. The newlywed (and anything but conventional) couple are billing the event as “An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer” and promise an unusual and intimate few hours of spoken word, songs, stories, chats with the audience, and – given Palmer’s penchant for the unplanned – more than a few surprises.
Fans who are unable to get to the limited run of dates can still celebrate Halloween with Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and friends as they will be making a Halloween appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson tonight. When asked to perform on the show, Amanda recruited her friends Moby and Stephen Merritt of The Magnetic Fields to be part of her band for a special Halloween performance of a “cult classic” song that the “supergroup” have not yet revealed.