In a recent column I wondered whether musicians will keep being able to make a living with their art. I included a suggestion that neo-cabaret chanteuse Amanda Palmer made on her blog, specifically that artists get over their squeamishness about asking for money and straight-up beg people for donations, the same way she did in her former life as a street performer.
Yesterday Palmer announced that she’ll be following her own advice. She’s finally been released from a contentious deal with Roadrunner Records, which she claims severely mishandled the promotion of her solo album. “now that i’m unshackled,” she writes, “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.”
The first bit of this experiment is the NWA-inspired, freely downloadable “Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth, So Help Your Black Ass.” A note on her site reads, “Should you wish to donate more than the bare minimum for the download, just change the $0.00 to whatever you’d like; Every Cent (sans PayPal transaction fees) will go straight to Amanda. HOORAH! HOORAH!”