It’s crazy that I have to explain to you how ridiculous it is to blow a million dollars. More than a million dollars. Just say it out loud and think about how much fucking money a million dollars is. That’s several really nice houses with a Jaguar in each garage. A lifetime’s wages. It’s just an incredible sum, enough to make a hundred records. Palmer had more than that at her disposal and now claims not to have enough left to pay musicians. To pay them for gigs she is also being paid to play. This coming from someone who already had a successful career before she had her audience begin paying all her expenses in advance. A millionaire pleading poverty and asking for additional charity. It’s fucking ridiculous and it mocks all the bands who genuinely need their audience to help them conduct their business.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that reading about this Amanda Palmer kerfuffle doesn’t have me crawling in my skin, because it does. Steve Albini really crystallizes so many of the reasons why in this interview, but I’m not even sure it’s enough. It’s even deeper than that. Fact: There is something that is very deeply wrong with Palmer’s entire notion of being “independent” — a flag she’s been waving with a tortured howl for some time now — when it involves asking her fans to subsidize her entire business and then going on a Republican-styled defensive when anyone holds her accountable for blowing that money like a Goldman Sachs CEO in a burlesque outfit. Because the thing about crowdsourcing is this: There is no golden parachute. You are responsible to your investors to respect the money they put into your business. You are not entitled to this. You are required, by the same DIY ethic you think you represent, to figure out how to make this up to your amazing fans. Fact: For $1.2 million dollars I could record at least three high-quality albums and still have enough left over to put on a free-concert tour around the world. That this kind of math seems to be lost on Palmer only goes to show that, frankly, she does not hold the moral high ground against the major label system she’s claiming to buck. She simply recreated it in her own image.