Monday, November 7, 2011

Amanda Palmer + Neil Gaimen

An Evening with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman
Guests: The Jane Austen Argument
The Vogue Theatre
November 6, 2011

I walked through the theatre doors at around 8, entering into a shower of delicate melodies and singing. The Jane Austen Argument were playing their set. I didn't know what to expect, but they blew me away.

They closed with a song Neil Gaiman had written, the title of that song escapes me, but it was beautiful. "Holes"?

Sitting at the back of the theatre I watched as the show unfolded, almost immediately after The Jane Austen Argument finished playing, Amanda Palmer walks out onto the stage in a romper type gown/dress stepping on the the dress as she goes. 'It was one of those nights, the step on your dress night.' The show opens with Amanda on ukelele and Neil performing 'Making Whoopee.' Hilarious. Everything suddenly sounds better with an English accent.
I became an admirer of Amanda Palmers music just short of The Dresden Dolls break up and the release of "Who Killed Amanda Palmer." Her unique voice and musicality was different, and so from here developed my month long obsession with her sound. After that album I didn't really keep up with her endeavors, be it 'ninja gigs' or ukelele anthems. I never caught on absolutely.
The only association I ever made with Neil Gaimen was that he wrote "Coraline" and was one of those talented writers with a knack for expressing the human emotion through words in hundreds of ways.

So attending the show with the husband and wife couple, I don't know why I didn't expect so much "lovey dovey bullshit"... although, it was indeed lovely. I suppose I should have anticipated that this show would be about love and all of it's quirks.
It was like we were invited into their home, the set beautifully decorated courtesy of Bard on the Beach.
They each had their time to shine on stage, Neil reading 3 poems and Amanda playing 3 songs, and in between they would interact, unscripted, uninhibited and were absolutely charming. Amanda flashed us her Australian flag imprinted 'knickers' and so the night went on.

Neil read fairytale themed poems 'Formalities' and creepy love-struck stories and hilarious anecdotal recounts of memorable people. It reminded me how much plain language can be just as effective and as melodic as music.
The night included impromptu conversation, Q+A, stories and of course music.

It was a clever, heartfelt and witty night.
An incredibly long night, 3 hours long --- it was exhausting.
An exhausting night made better when Amanda played "Runs in the Family." Brilliant.

I became more appreciative of her work when she began to speak about Occupy Vancouver and the death of Ashlie.

As a college student I think I'm selfish. I can't help it. Being someone who has no secure career (yet) and who is not (yet) financially independent. I find it difficult to become fully invested in movements in my city. I'm unsure how to vocalize my opinions on the protests. I'm unsure if I want to take sides. I'd much rather prefer to drown it all out with music and I think Amanda's will do just fine. (For now.)

For a more detailed review of the show. HERE.

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