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Dresden Dolls Think Up New Activities for Coin-Operated Boys at Le National, Jan. 3

Posted by Jenny / January 4, 2008

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First, a fact: punk cabaret duo Dresden Dolls’ female half, singer/keyboardist Amanda Palmer, is beyond obsessed with indie poster boy Conor Oberst, of Bright Eyes fame.

Another fact: the friend who accompanied me to the Dolls’ show last night is even more infatuated with Ms. Palmer herself. This made for an interesting gig, to say the least.

20080103_diemannequin01.jpg Few bands sound better live than on record; most often, the opposite is true. Not so with Dresden Dolls. Palmer and her partner-in-crime, drummer/guitarist Brian Viglione, share a truly solid stage chemistry and are as much into giving a full performance than simply playing a handful of tracks. This included an act from a circus performer during intermission, Palmer making a production out of using a towel like a well-raised lady (“My mother just sent me an e-mail asking me not to spit onstage,” she announced), and a spontaneous change to the lyrics of “Coin-Operated Boy.” (Hint: modify “I can even take him in the bath” to whatever rhymes with sodomy.)

In comparison, the one memorable thing about the opener, Toronto’s rockers Die Mannequin, was the contrast between their frontlady’s guitar-playing skills and her bandmates’ complete lack thereof.

All in all, it was Palmer’s wit and charisma that won the audience over. After the show, we patiently stuck around, with my friend hoping for a picture or handshake. We did finally get one, from the Dolls’ male half. We used the opportunity to ask him how important sexual expression is to the band.

“It’s very important,” Viglione replied. “It’s what ties the whole performance together.”

Alas, Palmer was nowhere to be found. I wonder what she would’ve said.

Discussion

12 Comments

Bruce / January 5, 2008 at 12:44 am
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Dresden Dolls rock! I can't believe you got to meet Brian! OMG! I've seen them twice in concert, and they were awesome! I definitely felt the whole sexual expression thing!
P.S. Love the pic with Amanda and that "semi-skirt"!

Bruce / January 5, 2008 at 12:45 am
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Dresden Dolls rock! I can't believe you got to meet Brian! OMG! I've seen them twice in concert, and they were awesome! I definitely felt the whole sexual expression thing!
P.S. Love the pic with Amanda and that "semi-skirt"!

RS / January 5, 2008 at 03:41 am
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Absolutely true, it was a great show and better live!
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