Category Archives: Neil Gaiman

An Evening with Amanda Fucking Palmer

Love her.  Love her husband. Love imagining the combination baking inside her.

Love the fact that she’s playing with Morrissey for one date this summer.  Kinda wish I could go. Love that she did a cover of his (Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want).

Love the fact that she did a highly relevant Kimya Dawson cover (All I Could Do).

Love the fact that pretty much the first words she said to us were calling us godless for coming out to see her on Easter. Then rambled about a King Missile song about Jesus that she sorta knows (Jesus Was Way Cool – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSfa56tjBQo), then used that to segue into Missed Me, saying, “this is not about Jesus. At All. But what if it was?”

Love that she did old Dresden Dolls stuff. Love that she took requests. Love that she brought highly enthusiastic young helpers from the audience onstage to hold an iphone with lyrics for one she didn’t remember exactly (Dirty Business I think). Loved that one of them kinda got lost dancing to it and had to be reminded to come back and hold the phone.

Love that she did Have to Drive and told the story behind it, how it evolved from the guilt of seeing a dead dog in the road. Personal synchronicity significance there.

Love that she did Runs in the Family and closed with the Ukulele Anthem.

Mostly I loved how much Sophie got into it. You know how teenagers are, it’s so hard to turn them on to anything new, even quality interesting shit, because they’re so into doing their own thing. By the end of the second song, she leaned over to me with a big grin. “I LOVE HER!”

Thanks Amanda, for a wonderful night in Richmond.

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Review: An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer

Upon finishing up my listen of American Gods, I decided to shift the paradigm just a little bit, and move from delightfully compelling audiobooks to … performance. But just a little bit, as I kept Neil Gaiman in the mix, and added his beautiful, entertaining and sometimes naked wife, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls.

Maybe it’s just the space I’m in, but I honestly had no idea just how entertaining this would be. Whether I’m listening to Neil’s poems, probably half of which are to or about Amanda, or Amanda’s absolutely captivating songs, I found myself with a grin on my face the entire time.

Especially… ESPECIALLY… “Judy Blume”…

What a joyful confession! Fuck the “decent church-going women, With their mean, pinched, bitter, Evil faces” who work so hard to ban the works of Judy Blume. This all the evidence you need that Judy Blume is vital. Someone needs to tell your kids the things that you’re too afraid to talk about.

Amanda also does a touching version of Death Cab for Cutie’s I Will  Follow You Into the Dark, dedicated to Ashlie Gough, who died of an overdose in her sleep at the Occupy Vancouver protests.

To be honest, the marriage of these two is so perfect that I’m not quite sure who to be jealous of.

Anyhow, please go out and buy this beautiful 3-cd set of live performances of the two of them, from their Fall 2001 tour.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

Be careful with earbuds at bedtime

girl_with_pearl_earbudsI woke up early this morning, like work-day early, and i figured I’d get some listening time in. I’m still working on the last 20% or so of American Gods. Well, I guess I wasn’t really ready to be awake, because I fell back into dreamland while listening. In my dream, I was at my father’s place in Florida, with the family on a visit, I suppose. In the dream I was listening to the same audiobook, and I guess he was trying to get my attention, so I pressed stop on the player, but the words kept coming. Strange. So I pulled the earbuds out of my ears (in the dream) and the WORDS KEPT COMING.  There I was, confused as to why these words kept coming from inside my ears with no player and no earbuds. After a few more dream moments of this confusion, I woke up, laughed, removed the earbuds again and was actually relieved when the words stopped in real life that time. One of those recursive dreams would have really thrown me for a loop.

My Little Pony Sex Toys? Or American Gods?

Let’s go with American Gods for $1,000, Alex.

I wanted, desperately wanted, to dedicate a post to My Little Pony sex toys. I really did. Because apparently there’s a larger-than-life inflatable Rainbow Dash love doll available, for those who aren’t ashamed to own such a thing. There’s also a plush Lyra Heartstrings with a receptacle sewn in, if you think there’s anything at all socially redeemable about such a thing.

I also desperately want to believe that more than 90% of Brony culture is ironic in nature. I try to remain free of judgement, tolerant of all cultural choices, and encouraging of diversity, but there’s a tiny part of me that believes you should seek therapy if you can get it up for either of these.

So, on to American Gods, because it’s far more important, because it’s literature, honest to goodness literature that causes a person to think and perceive and exercise a muscle other than the penis. I’ll try not to subtract points for being written about America by an Englishman. I mean, fuck it, Nick Cave does it, and he’s fucking Australian.

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In American Gods, Shadow, in prison for doing something stupid, is about to be released when he discovered his wife has been killed. He’s released a couple of days early, and encounters his first fascinating stranger on the way home.

Always watch out for those strangers, especially the ones that seem to know too much about you.

The book seems to take Aleister Crowley’s polytheism to a literal extreme, portraying various gods as inhabiting physical entities in an effort to recruit him for work. Seems the god business is suffering a bit in the current climate.

I’m not finished with the story yet, but my favorite moment so far is when the television god inhabits Lucille Ball during an I Love Lucy rerun, and begins to unbutton her blouse, offering Shadow a peek. “C’mon, haven’t you ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits?”

By the way, according to the internet, they’re available.

Lucille-Ball I’m relieved that American Gods is so much more solid than Fragile Things, and understandably so. It’s meant to be a work that stands on its own, as opposed to Fragile Things, which never claimed to be anything more than a stew of leftovers and shells. I suspect I was correct about it being the wrong first exposure to Neil’s work. But it was still very engaging and entertaining.