In collaboration with writer/illustrator Molly Crabapple, and filmmaker Jim Batt. We’ve been making these political explainer videos for Fusion.net.
The Washington Post has run a very lovely piece about the animation I did with Molly Crabapple and Jim Batt. The story also includes a bunch of history of how Jim and I fell in love while working on the project. READ IT HERE
A personalized and signed gift-card and pre-order for my album, “The Sky is Calling.”
An early x-mas gift: Tickets to my San Francisco show on Dec. 13th.
T-shirts and DVDs for “I Have Your Heart”, the animation by me, Molly Crabapple, & Jim Batt. SELLING FAST
This amazing silk screen print by Molly Crabapple
Spooky chamber music by Meredith Yayanos. So beautiful.
Vagina Dentata underwear by Melissa Dowell
CAPES! Everyone needs a cape. Or two. Or three.
High-quality, handmade jackets by my gorgeous friend Bex
And last, but certainly not least, the gift of freedom: The Rolling Jubilee purchases defaulted medical debt, and then forgives it, freeing people from the burden of debt. Amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen! The animation we have been working on for over 2 years is done and gorgeous! Be sure to watch it full screen in HD and then share, share, share!
It got premiered on BoingBoing.net yesterday – head over there for some behind the scenes photos. And check out the website here: www.ihaveyourheart.com and if you want some wonderful merchandise related to the film go here: http://bit.ly/TUOtxh
…because apparently I live in a French sci-fi graphic novel.
Download it now. It is free (or pay what you want.) And it is really really really really good.
Collaborations unfold in surprising ways. I’ve always been interested in comics. When I was a teenager I wrote and drew several and if I ever dig them out of storage I will share them with you. My main character was called Super Vague, she was a punk goth bad ass who did, you know… stuff. I’ve read many comics and befriended several (very talented) comics makers though I don’t call myself a comics nerd because I don’t have a collection of my own or follow any comics or creators in particular. But last year Jim Batt pointed me towards The Secret Knots which is a really wonderful webcomic by Chilean author/artist named Juan Santapau.
In June I wrote to Juan. I told him how much I enjoyed his work and that if he ever needed music for a story he was working on I’d be happy to write something for his story. Juan thought that was pretty interesting and wrote me back the next day saying that he liked my album and we should stay in touch. Later that day he sent me the outline of the story which was to become “Music for Stray Days.”
When I originally contacted him I thought I might write some instrumental music, something that went along in the background. I never expected him to write a story about a song but I loved the story and set to work on the song right away. The challenge was to write something catchy, something that would get stuck the heads of an entire population. But also something beautiful, ethereal, and compelling. And catchy is not always all of those things.
I finished writing the song on September 16th and began the recording process a few weeks later. The guitar and voice tracks were laid down in October. I then asked Meredith Yayanos, a wonderful violin and theremin player (and editor of COILHOUSE Blog and Magazine) to add a violin part. Meredith added 17 violin parts! Creating a breathtaking symphony of strings that swell and break like a tide of sound. She recorded her parts in New Zealand and sent the files through the magical internet.
I also put out the call for people to sing along to the chorus of a secret project and released a 15 second clip of the song for people to sing along to. 16 people sent their parts in.
Chorus voices by:
Alex Marteen, Andrea Kaplan, Carl Salbacka, Caroline “Dirty Carrie” Willis, Daryl Davis, Helen Perris, Holly Caldwell, Ian Gazzoti, Lisa Waters, Lisa Scrivner, Lizzie Westbrook, Myrrh Larsen, Nate Chambers, Serpa Sas, Viki Ostrovsky, and Wayne Watrach.
As the song unfolded and I became involved and enraptured by the Occupy Wall Street movement I began to feel that the song, written one day before OWS began, was a wonderful soundtrack – not to the movement, but to the feeling of compassion and awakening that I was seeing in the world. This feeling ebbs and flows now in the difficult times, but I still feel hope.
In November I finished mixing and mastering the song as Juan was finishing up the final art for the comic.
I love this collaboration. Meredith did such a fantastic job making the song cinematic and extra magicalicious. Juan’s work is really inspiring, be sure to read his other stories: www.thesecretknots.com
The title to this blog is “My FIRST Webcomic” because now I want to make more. This is just the first. I love storytelling and I want to keep doing it with pictures and words and music and drawings and well, any way I can. Forever.
My musical compatriot, Amanda Palmer, wrote a song called ‘The Map of Tasmania’ which is about pubic hair. Mostly it’s about having pubic hair, and that having a big bush is great and shaving or waxing is painful and crazy and makes you look like an 8 year old. Those lyrics are funny, and thought provoking, and also necessary in a culture where the public pubic is mostly quite sparsely hirsute.
While we were on tour together I wrote a rap for the song, the rap evolved and grew and I got better at rapping – which I’d never done before. So when Amanda decided to release a remix album with a whole bunch of radtastic folks like PEACHES remixing her song I was happy to record my rap.
Here is my ‘Rap of Tasmania.’
but I think it’s kind of nice when it’s all slippery and smooth
Some women just don’t have a lot of hair
and to say they all look eight years old is really unfair
Yeah, I dig the jungle,
I dig the Rubyfruit,
just like a pirate,
I dig the boot-y.
You say you got the map,
I say you got the treasure,
your hair can mark the spot
where I can dig for pleasure.
I like it fuzzy, yeah I like it bare,
uh-huh, but most of all, I really don’t care.
So let me clarify what I’m trying to say:
There’s a thousand ways to shape it,
do it your own way.
You can read Amanda’s blog about the remixes here: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/
Here is Amanda’s fantastic and colorful original song and video:
Here’s another Amanda video that Jim Batt made:
As I reached 2,500 followers on Twitter yesterday I took a poll as to what I should do to celebrate. I had people pick a costume, and which artist’s song I should play. Then I got dressed up with my friend Saint Clare and we sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles.