on being free (the new version of THE BED SONG and THE VIDEO)

note: this was supposed to be a BLOG on amandapalmer.net, but we’re in the middle of revamping the whole site, (which some of you have noticed)…so fuck it, i’m tumbling. there’s an EPIC bed song blog forthcoming in the next week with tons of photos. watch for it.

the story i’m about to tell you is even better after looking back on a blog i posted in april 2010…my farewell letter to roadrunner records. it actually makes me even happier, being able to put the THEN and the NOW side by side.

do you know what i fucking love?

really, REALLY fucking love???

not being on someone else’s label.
and having a POSSE of direct SUPPORTERS - that’s YOU, my dearest comrades - that i can TALK to. not just talk to, but talk WITH.

it’s pretty fucking amazing that i can swap out a key track on the album and ACTUALLY SEND IT TO THE PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THE RECORD.
it’s like a recall on a cosmic artistic level!

when “theatre is evil” came out, i was really disappointed with my performance of “the bed song” when i went back and listened to it.

we recorded it the very last day of 16 straight days of tracking in melbourne, and i was….tired.
stressed. slightly brain dead. hearing and music perspective lost and wonky from being cooped in the studio with no break for so many days.
we couldn’t take our time with it….we only had one afternoon left in the studio.
my nerves were shot. i played it too fast. i hadn’t practiced enough enough to hit the complicated run during the bridge.
when we finished what we decided was the “keeper” take…i was overjoyed, but not because we had the perfect take.
i was just happy i’d gotten through the song without fucking it up.

then, when we went on tour and i started playing the song every night, and i got better and better and digging into the notes, the recorded version just sounded worse and worse to me.
then i read a few (not a lot, but a few) comments on twitter, saying, effectively “so disappointed in the album version of the bed song! it was so much better live!”.
i only needed to read 3 or 4 of these…that was all i needed.
i knew i wasn’t paranoid. i called john congleton (the album’s producer) to see if he was free, called my management (who of course, sighed deeply) and said: “i’m going to book a studio and rerecord it. we’re going to use the new recording on every version of the record from now on. because I CAN.”

in the old days - the pre-april 6th 2010 days - this would be BEYOND impossible. first off: i NEVER could have convinced my old record label to let me “rerecord” and “rerelease” a track on the record. the chances of that would be LESS than a snowball’s chance in hell….it would seem as absurd and undoable as…i dunno…an architect going to the owner of a finished building and saying “you know, i was just driving by and i think i want to demolish and rebuild your whole building. i’m just not…HAPPY with it, aesthetically”. it just doesn’t HAPPEN that way in record-business world.
and second of all: even if that wasn’t the case, the paradigm changed and cats and dogs were living together and i HAD managed to convince them to rerelease my record with this one alternation…how the fuck could i have gotten a hold of the 25,000 or so people who bought the album on release week, to tell them? back in 2002? impossible, obviously. just, tough luck.

even if they wanted to, i doubt justin bieber or lady gaga could do this. their labels would shit a brick. but i can. we can. nothing against lady gaga & the biebs, but i just feel so fucking goddamn FREE. it’s moments like these that i feel the depth of my liberation from a record label who cannot, will not, under any circumstances, put the art above the bottom financial line.

now: i do not urge you to hit facebook and organize “theatre is evil” bonfire events in which you burn your original copies of the album. i urge you instead to think of your pre-february 2013 version of the album as its own variant, showing that you were there AT THE START. BUT, all further versions of the record - physical and digital, everywhere - will be released with the new version of the track.

and there you have it.
high five, world. and i’d love to know if you guys feel that the new version of the song is any better than the old one. from the comments i’ve been seeing on twitter and youtube since we dropped the video on valentine’s day, i think people are pretty unanimously happy with the new version. as happy as one can be over an extremely sad song.
honestly, the most baffling comment - BAFFLING, not negative - came through on youtube: “fantastic video, beautifully done. but i still don’t understand why people find this song sad.”
i want to meet that person.
maybe you’ll agree with them. maybe you’ll prefer version #1. maybe you’ll hear no difference.
but….i do. deeply.

if you’re Veronica Mars’ing this whole thing, piecing together the timeline and wondering which track (old or new) is in the video: it’s the new version. and yes, michael mcquilken (its genius director) almost killed me. he’d shot the ENTIRE video (including the lip-syncing and all the complicated piano parts) to version #1, which is significantly faster. it took him a few extra weeks of editing. but….it worked. the guy’s a genius.

if you backed my kickstarter, we posted a backer update on thursday which emailed you your own shiny new “THE BED SONG” version #2 MP3. if you didn’t back, you can hear the new version below, as the soundtrack to the video, and you can also go to my site or bandcamp and download it for free/pay-what-you-want.

(photo by kyle cassidy for the kyle/neil gaiman super-limited edition kickstarter bed song book, model: @Daph_Punk)

this sort of possibility in the world just makes me HAPPY for everybody. for artists everywhere.
no longer are we beholden to the physical form, to the forever and ever.
our art is alive and changeable and breathing, it’s in a conversation with its listeners.
if i hadn’t seen those twitter comments, i probably wouldn’t have made this move.
you are listening closely, and so am i. and that’s what this shit is about.

….i’m very happy.

many of you have already seen the video, but HERE IT IS:
(and BTW, if you’re in germany and or wherever youtube is blocked because of fuckery, we put it on vimeo especially for you: http://bit.ly/TBSvimeo)

(click here if the embed doesn’t work for you)

and if you like it, SHARE IT.
use #TheBedSong on twitter when you do.
@nocturnal_tick tweeted at me yesterday, asking how it only had 56,000 views so far.
i said “because it’s two days old, and i’m a cult artist.”
which while true, doesn’t mean we can’t share, share, share.
lots of people have been sharing lots of thoughts about it - my favorite comments have been people showing this song to their lovers/parents and the stories that follow….wow. heaviness all around.

now go love each other.

  1. poeticheap reblogged this from amandapalmer
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  3. 4lalala reblogged this from amandapalmer
  4. littleredgem reblogged this from amandapalmer and added:
    This song had me in utter tears when I saw her in October. Listen to it. Feel. Share it and then go at love someone
  5. ampersandweddingsevents said: great idea! I love this it is like Walt Whitman re-writing Leaves of Grass over & over until it was what he wanted it to be
  6. churrav reblogged this from cherrybomb-tom
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  8. cbeady said: It’s not so much that this is not a ‘sad’ song… rather, it is a cautionary tale. It did make me cry though. Thanks for the catharsis…
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