Listen: New Amanda Palmer Tracks

That would be Amanda Palmer's new single "Map of Tasmania." It's supposed to be a joke and was written in about seven minutes. On her most recent tour, some of her fans complained that she wrote a song for "Australia" but nothing for their country. She learned the slang phrase "Map of Tasmania" and history was made.

She repeats "they don't play this song on the radio" throughout the song, but the song could actually be a hit pop single. You know, until people realize it's a song about pubic hair maintenance and get outraged. Then again, if "Camel Toe" and "Laffy Taffy" can be played until your eyes bleed, why not "Map of Tasmania?" While I'm a fan of the "phat beat" added at her request (but not M.I.A.'s beats as she dreamed), I actually prefer the original ukulele version.

In case you didn't know, Amanda Palmer is now a fully independent artist. She fought for a long time to end her major label contract because no one was happy with the deal and she won over the summer. Since then, she released a victory single, "Do You Swear to Tell the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth so Help Your Black Ass" (a catchy little ukulele jam about minor but influential events in her life), and an EP of Radiohead covers (on her Magical Ukulele). Now she's released a new album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under. I have to say, if you aren't familiar with Amanda Palmer's style of music (call it Gothic Cabaret, or alt-punk cabaret--highly theatrical pop/rocky/alt music performed like the world depended on her hitting the keys on the keyboard as hard as possible), this is not the album to start with. That would be Who Killed Amanda Palmer or Evelyn Evelyn. However, there is one song on the album that transcends the Amanda Fucking Palmer persona to pure sweet folk-pop and I'm addicted to it. "In My Mind" is a surprisingly positive, sincere, and hopeful song from Amanda Palmer. It's about dreams and the power of positive thought. It's the kind of song that I hear once and have to listen to again and again. Two hours later, I had an arrangement of the song sitting in front of me that I will use at auditions and cabaret-friendly open mics with minor alterations. It's a song that I believe has universal appeal. Perhaps the greatest thing to come out of Amanda Palmer's separation from her label is her new music distribution system. She uses bandcamp to set a minimum price for all of her music now. You pay what you want to in order to download the music. To be frank, I think this could be the way to go for many musicians that aren't happy with their labels. The money goes straight into the musician's pocket and you, the buyer, can sample everything before you buy. I'll gladly shell out $10 an album if I know the person who made the music is getting paid a fair wage. She just wants her fans to have the best experience possible with her art.

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