Dec 2010 14

by Nicole Powers

Amanda Palmer is a rebel with a cause; she fights fiercely for her artistic freedom. When the musician and singer, who is currently on hiatus from the “Brechtian punk cabaret” band The Dresden Dolls, made a video to promote one of the songs from her debut solo album, Who Killed Amada Palmer, it seems her belly didn’t conform to the ideal expressed by a male executive at her label, who apparently explained: “I’m a guy, Amanda. I understand what people like.” She fought the label’s attempt to slim down her stomach’s role in the clip for “Leeds United” (it was already pretty damn small). Her loyal fans also rose to her defense, and a grassroots ReBellyOn website was launched.

The incident was the final straw in Palmer’s already fractured relationship with Roadrunner Records, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group. The singer subsequently asked to be released from her contractual obligations. So far the label has declined her request.

Palmer consoled herself with the very loving and direct relationship she enjoys with her fans via MySpace and her own blog. So when she sparked even more outrage with the release of her follow-up video, for the song “Oasis”, they were the first people she turned to for help.

Amanda’s semi-autobiographical lyrics tell a story of rape and abortion as told from the perspective of a teenager, who gets through the traumatic experience thanks to her preoccupation with the Brit-pop band Oasis. The subject matter of the song, and the up-beat way it was portrayed in the video, proved to be too much for broadcasters to handle.

Palmer, who is currently touring Europe, received an email while she was in the U.K. from her label there explaining that “all”‘ of the TV outlets had refused to play the video due to it “making light of rape, religion and abortion.” Palmer, in response, reached out to her fans via a lengthy missive on her blog, and by calling up SuicideGirls.

Read our exclusive interview with Amanda Palmer on