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The Boston Phoenix - November 7 - 14, 2002

Arts and Entertainment - Editors
Best indie-art ringleader

When we last visited Amanda Palmer in our "Best" issue, she was in her guise as "the Seven-Foot Bride" -- a towering apparition in Harvard Square, swathed in white, painted in white face makeup, expressionless, waiting for a donation before bending to offer a flower in silent thanks. Since then, Palmer has become an impresario of the underground. Working with the theater troupe known as the Shadowbox Collective, she spearheaded several theatrical productions, including last year's Hotel Blanc, staged at the Middle East, a mesmerizing production (collectively written and performed) that mixed elements of Weimar and post-Holocaust Germany with the music of the Legendary Pink Dots. Later, she put together a month-long residency at the Lizard Lounge that featured not only performers like jazz chanteuse Karen Mantler and performance comic Evan O'Television, but also her own band, the Dresden Dolls. The Dolls, with Palmer playing keyboards and Brian Viglione on drums, also tended toward the Weimar-esque, both in Palmer's garb of negligee-like black mini-dress and zebra-stripe hose and Viglione's suit jacket and bowler hat, but also in the occasional oompah rhythms of her songs of romantic dissipation, an original mix of Weill and Tori. As far as we can tell, there's nothing Palmer does that isn't worth checking out. It doesn't get more Best than that.