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Listen local: The Dresden Dolls

December 11, 2007

flyer from Dresden Dolls March 2003 show

The first local band that I heard after moving to Boston was the Dresden Dolls. I had gone to see Michael Gira play with his band, Angels of Light, in the South End in March 2003. Their opening act was an unknown folk-y singer that Gira had signed to Young God Records, with the unusually cross-cultural name of Devendra Banhart. But the local openers were a band called The Dresden Dolls, who were just astonishing – I vividly remember my first hearing of ‘Miss Me’ and ‘Coin-Operated Boy’ – and I also remember noticing Amanda Palmer’s modded keyboard, with the Kurzweil logo painted over to instead read ‘Kurt Weill.’ After their performance, I cornered Brian Viglione and told him how much I loved their music and that I was happy to discover that I was not the only person who listened to both the Buzzcocks and to Lotte Lenya. At the time, I remember thinking, ‘Well, I love them, but they’re never going to find a wide audience.’ Then, of course, I was mandible-to-the-mat astonished when they won the WBCN Rock’n’Roll Rumble a few months later (I mean, come on, the Rock’n’Roll Rumble?) and delighted by their subsequent success.

Sadly, I fear that they are drifting apart – Amanda is working on a solo album, produced by Ben Folds, and Brian has been playing with another local band, HUMANWINE (and I’ve heard a rumour that he’s accepted an invitation to join Nine Inch Nails permanently – well, insofar as any NIN band member is permanent), so I do wonder if the upcoming tour is their last.

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MP3: Dresden Dolls – Girl Anachronism

4 comments

  1. […] fairly thrilled that one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman, is collaborating with one of my favourite Boston artists, Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls). Palmer’s solo CD, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, is […]


  2. […] saw Gira play a few years ago (with Banhart and the Dresden Dolls), and I asked him about the story behind my favourite Swans song, “God Damn the Sun.” […]


  3. […] “Short Skirt, Long Jacket.” And on most days, “Girl Anachronism” by the Dresden Dolls. What’s yours, and […]


  4. I remember seeing Regina Spektor open for the Dresden Dolls when we went with an Olin crew (of course I can’t remember if it was Boston or Providence and their show history page isn’t helping — probably sometime in 2005 though). Amanda had this amazing stage presence in getting everyone to be quiet for Ms Spektor, and the contrast between spektor’s then-mostly-spoken-word-inspired style and the Dolls’ significantly more punk aesthetic knit delightfully well.

    Amanda’s been doing her own thing for so long I thought dresden dolls were a done deal — I’m glad they’re doing this tour, even if it turns out to be all that’s left.



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