I’ve seen her cross a hall with a marching band behind her playing this song. And this is better than any of them.” Two nights later, on the phone, after the Boston gig, she tells me how irritated she is with people who tell her that they like the Dresden Dolls better than her solo performances, and I feel guilty.I’m starting to understand why she went on her first tour with a dance troupe, even though it guaranteed the tour would make no money, why she would go on tour as conjoined twins with Jason Webley and a single dress that fitted both of them.After the jump, see her dramatic answer to that question.Palmer posted the image to her blog on May 23, but I just ran across it yesterday while perusing a lengthy thread at Why We which has been raging for weeks, debating the connections between Scientology and the married couple, Gaiman and Palmer, who are attacked rather viciously as artistic hacks and dupes to the church, funding it with huge donations.As the Black Freighter ships off to sea, and Jenny whispers that “On it is me,” the hall is perfectly quiet.A girl shouts “I love you Amanda.” A man shouts “I love you Brian.” The Long sisters, friends of Amanda’s, both made up dead, Casey with a bullet-hole in her forehead, Danni’s face a mess of stage blood, come and stand beside me.
When I started going out with Amanda I asked about the Dresden Dolls. She holds my hand, introduces me to the man who introduced her and Brian at a Hallowe’en party exactly a decade before, and slips back into the shadows.Amanda goes into the chords of “Coin-Operated Boy,” a song that too often, solo, feels like a novelty song, and, played by Amanda and Brian together it brings the house down: less of a song and more of an act of symbiosis, as they try to wrong-foot each other.It’s funny and it’s moving and it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen.“We love every single fucking one of you in this whole fucking room,” says Amanda, using her favourite intensifier.The Dresden Dolls play Maurice Sendak’s “Pierre.” The moral is “Care,” and I don’t think either Brian or Amanda can stop caring for a moment: about the gig, about the other’s playing, about a decade of good times and bad times and petty offenses and anger and disappointment and seven years of really, really good gigs.Jack Palmer, Amanda’s father, is up on the balcony near me, beaming proudly. “It must be like catching lightning in a jar.” And I say yes, I suppose it must be, and that I sleep just fine. I feel like I’ve been made a gift of seven years of Amanda’s life, the Dresden Dolls years before I knew her. I did, and for the first time it occurs to me how bad it must have got to make her leave something that meant that much to her, that made so many people happy.