Amanda Palmer blows up Kickstarter
It makes sense that starting out as a “living statue” street performer set Amanda Palmer up for a career spent maintaining her position. Her first band, the Dresden Dolls, made a cult following out of doing public shows, asking local performers to join the shows, and couch surfing with fans.
Despite this grassroots success, her record label was critical of their musical style, a quirky blend of punk and cabaret sounds. After their first album sold 25,000 copies and the label made some unwelcome suggestions about Palmer’s body, the relationship became strained. Palmer penned a song about a perceived lack of promotion, “Please Drop Me,” and got her wish.
She then decided to use her dedicated fan base to her advantage, raising money for a new album exclusively on Kickstarter. Asking for $100k, she received an outpouring of support, reaching almost $1.2 million in funding. At the time, it was the largest musical project funded on the platform, and set a new business model for how bands could make money. Theatre Is Evil debuted at the ten spot on the Billboard 200, and earned exorbitantly high praise from critics and other musicians, such as Ben Folds, who said “This record is as good as it gets. You're going to s--- when you hear it. It's going to be around for ages.”