19 May 2011

Dresden Dolls - Coin Operated Boy

Dresden Dolls
Every morning for the last two months, my iPhone has tried to wake me with this song.  I thought that Amanda Palmer's vocals and the changing tempo of the drums would be guaranteed to wake me.

Well, seeing as I have slept in a bit too much recently, I think we can say that experiment failed.

Imagine waking up to this at 5:30am every weekday...








Good God.  I am absolutely in love with Amanda Palmer, and I don't care who knows it. My heart now probably belongs to her due to the fact that her astonishingly powerful voice has woken me every morning for the last 60 odd days. Deep lying psychological issues can only come to the fore quickly now.

Joking aside, thank god people like the Dresden Dolls exist.  As good as some modern popular musicians are - much of it is as boring as recordings of my grandfather breaking wind.  It's nothing new, nothing exciting, smells quite bad and is probably a load of shit.

But why did I think that the Dresden Dolls would wake me up?  Well, when I listen to music I like it to make me think. 
Not all the time - sometimes I like music to drift around me - I'm not necessarily talking about ambient or Muzak here - I mean disposable music.  Think of good pop - Good pop should be enjoyable but forgettable.  The majority of good 50's Rock'n'Roll hits are this type of pop.

However, much of the Dresden Dolls isn't disposable - jerky time signatures and maniacal tempo changes pushing needles into the music receptors of your brain forcing you to play an active role in the listening process. Palmer's voice can change in the blink of an eye from sweet and innocent to aggressive scream as can her piano playing.  In many ways her style is reminiscent of Tori Amos and the whole Cabaret scene of 40's Berlin.  I guess that is where their name came from...  If you don't know what 40's Berlin cabaret sounds like - go and watch the bloody film Cabaret.  It's honestly quite good.  Music wise, at least.

The other half of the musical conspiracy at play here is the drummer - Brian Viglione.  Play that track again, but don't look at the video.  Just listen to him hitting those skins.  Gosh darn it, he is good. He matches the timbre and tension of the piano and voice perfectly.  No 'straight 4/4' beats going on here. He has played with loads of unheard people, as well as the Nine Inch Nails, on a set of drums he made out of scrap metal and wood he found outside the studio.  As you do.

I'd like to see Ringo bloody Star's face if he tried to play along to this.  You would be able to stretch another emotion  out of his miserable millionaire face.  Fear.

And finally we see a live performance. Watch that bad boy go.
Time has run out, OJR has started.  Get a couple of their albums - The Dresden Dolls or Yes, Virginia.  Another track you ought to listen to on YouTube is 'Backstabber' - I'll say no more on that as it is likely to turn up here one day.

So am I still in love with Amanda Palmer?  Yes, but massively intimidated, and after a bit of Wikipedia research massively heartbroken.  She appears to have married Neil Gaiman.  Bastard.

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