songs you don’t know: Amanda Palmer, “Oasis”

03 Nov

This is at once the most hilarious, insightful, and disturbing song I’ve heard all year – and, really, can you think of anyone else who’s better at being at once hilarious, insightful, and disturbing than the First Lady of Lexington High School Drama, Amanda Palmer herself?  No.  No, you cannot.  Well, maybe Margaret Cho, but Margaret herself has said that we’re lucky to be alive at the same time as Amanda.   That might be pushing it – Amanda’s just a singer/songwriter after all, but she is a pretty damn insightful singer/songwriter.

You may know her from her band The Dresden Dolls, but this is from her solo disc Who Killed Amanda Palmer. The title should be familiar to Twin Peaks fans, and the videos from the album thus far (there’s one for every song) have been building up to some sort of Lynchean thing-a-ma-bob.  This video is different, though, and (like the song) is more light-hearted than the rest.  It’s a happy-go-lucky song about rape and abortion and teenage irrationality.  YAY! ZOMG!! ^_^

No, seriously.  All this terrible stuff happens to the protagonist of the song, and it’s not like she doesn’t care, but the whole story is told in a sort of ironic, off-hand teenage voice.  The girl in question is more concerned about trivial stuff, like how the band Oasis totally sent her an autographed picture.  O, if you will, MG.

Frightening, but really really clever.


Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “songs you don’t know: Amanda Palmer, “Oasis”

  1. Jen

    November 3, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I’ve been waiting for you to blog about WKAP or this song.

    The first time I saw the video, I don’t know what made me laugh harder–the thumbs up in the bedroom scene or the coat hanger. Then I felt really guilty for laughing. I know that none of this is supposed to be taken seriously, but there is still that little voice in my head that says, “You are laughing at rape and abortion–what is wrong with you???”

    She’s really twisted and brilliant, isn’t she?

    Have you been following (or trying to follow) the game/mystery? I am blown away by the amount of work that has gone into this whole album and project.

    Will I see you at one of her shows later this month?

  2. geekusa

    November 3, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Possibly – I saw her play at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops, and that was bloody amazing. Amazing theatrical version of “Strength Through Music” with dead kids walking through the hall in a straight line…. very cool.

    That voice in your head, while it needn’t be silenced, should at least learn a thing or two about context and why such jokes, in the proper hands, are perfectly funny. Part of the humor comes from the fact that the listener and the performer both know how serious those issues are, and the joke is that the narrator (separate from the performer) doesn’t.

    It’s how Family Guy can get away with racist jokes. The audience (by and large) knows racism’s bad, and Seth Macfarlane’s a big liberal. When Peter cracks a joke about Mexicans, though, it’s funny – not because the joke is based in truth, but because the joke is ultimately on the racist narrator. Ignorance is almost always funny, except when it sways a presidential election. Which reminds me: vote, dammit!

  3. Jen

    November 3, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I’m a huge fan of inappropriate jokes–and I’m usually the first in my circle to make them. I have earned several laps in hell, but I’m going to be in damn good company! I think it was just the initial shock of it all–I should be offended and upset by this. But I can’t stop watching it. Or laughing at it. And I realize, sadly, that the narrator represents some very real people who just don’t get it. I knew those girls. I’m sure you did, too.

    The Pops show was one of the most spectacular things I have seen. I cried during “Strength Through Music,” stood during “Sing,” and left with a huge grin. My only complaint was that I didn’t get tickets for both nights. I know it was the same show both nights, but it was just that good.

    Small tangent: whenever I read her blog, I have to remind myself that I am not reading Kathleen’s blog. Tell me I am not alone in this. There has to be some Worcester in that woman!!!

    And yes, yes, yes, we are getting up at an obscene hour to be at the polling place at an obscene hour to vote! Hooray!

  4. fever2tell

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    i can think of a lot more people who are more hilarious and insigtful… and can sing in tune.


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