And Finally Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #13: Amanda Palmer vs Roadrunner Records

By | Published on Saturday 10 April 2010

This week’s beef was actually quite a polite affair, but with everyone seemingly still a bit chilled out after a long weekend, few pop stars seemed to very angry (Liam Gallagher’s epic Shortlist interview being the exception).

Rihanna made a general comment about product placement in music videos during an interview with the NME, which some spun into a bitter attack on Lady Gaga, but I wouldn’t do such a cynical and lazy thing to you, dear readers. Not when I thought you’d notice, anyway.

So, yeah, this week Amanda Palmer announced that she and her band The Dresden Dolls have been dropped by Warner Music’s Roadrunner Records, something she’s apparently been trying to get them to do since 2008.

Amanda told fans, via her blog: “As many of you know, I’ve been fighting very, very hard to get off the label for the better part of two years. For the past seven years, anything I have written and recorded (solo or with my band, The Dresden Dolls) has technically been owned and under the ultimate control of the label, but no longer. After endless legal bullshit, it’s over, I’ve been DROPPED, RELEASED, LET GO, whatever you wanna call it. In other words: I am FREE AT LAST!!!!!! RAAHH!!”

I think it’s safe to say she was a little pleased about the news. As to why, she explained thus: “I’ve been a very vocal advocate of artists being fearless in asking their audience and supporters for direct financial help. I come from a background of grassroots theatre and street performance, and I think that artists should feel no shame while passing the hat around once they’ve entertained a crowd of people. It’s been a huge and obvious irony that I have been legally unable to ask for money for my music, since it’s been verboten by my contract with Roadrunner. Now that I’m unshackled, I plan on doing a lot of really awesome and creative things with my songs and how people can pay for them – or, better yet, donate – now that I have control over my stuff”.

In an open letter to her former label, Palmer thanked many of the people who had worked with The Dresden Dolls at the company (that’s the politeness I was talking about), saying: “I will never regret signing with you and I will never take for granted what you did to help my life”. She also admitted: “When we signed with you in 2004, I was a wreck of a human being because I was working too hard to juggle business-ing and musician-ing. … and no other label in America would sign us”. But added: “You stopped helping us when our second record came out in 2006. That made us really sad”.

To celebrate her new freedom, Amanda did something she’s until now been unable to do (not without label approval, anyway) by giving away a song for free. Entitled ‘Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass’, you can download it here:

This Beef Of The Week comes from this edition of the CMU Weekly. Subscribe to the CMU Weekly here.