Listen local: The Dresden DollsDecember 11, 2007
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.