Reviews & Recommendations
Behold the world's worst accident
I am the girl anachronism
-- Dresden Dolls
The Dresden Dolls
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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Amanda Palmer: Piano, Toy Piano, and Vocals
Brian Viglione: Drums and Percussion

"Comprised of Amanda Palmer; vocalist and pianist, along with Brian Viglione; drummer, the Dresden Dolls are a self-proclaimed "Brechtian punk cabaret" band from Boston who have created an entirely new style of music - melding rock, jazz, pop and German influences to create a driving and unclassifiable genre. Some might say they are yet another two person, Boston-based, Brechtian Punk Cabaret band who gets naked on stage and dresses up like mimes, but they are oh so much more. (...)Rather than backup instrumentation such as flutes or even guitar, the lineup reads more like a list from Home Depot. Sawing, hammering and crashing glass are often heard throughout the album, as listeners spy into this secret world of love, deceit and uncertainty. (...) The Dresden Dolls can evoke such strong emotions from fans because they are willing to bare all, literally and figuratively as they push the boundaries and stretch the limits of rock."
-- Jess Lucero, University of Rhode Island Student Newspaper, 2/05

"At first glance it’s easy to mistake the two members of the Dresden Dolls as an art exhibit. With their chalk-white face paint, rosy cheeks and 1920s cabaret-inspired clothing, they look as though they should be pretending to be trapped inside an invisible box as opposed to playing rock music. However, as soon as pianist/vocalist Amanda Palmer opens her mouth and drummer Brian Viglione begins controlling the drums, it becomes apparent that this band is much more than a sculpture or mime act. They categorize their music as “Brechtian punk cabaret,” which basically translates into “We don’t care what ‘the man’ thinks about our anti-realist, 1920s German-nightclub-influenced rock music. Now hand me my white-face,” or something like that. The focus on live performance is clearly reflected in the band’s aural representation. (...) The Dresden Dolls is pretentious and down-to-earth, serious and hilarious, commanding and vulnerable, artsy and primitive, weird and perfectly normal. Overall, these contradictions make for a very interesting and fresh sounding album.
-- Kris Graft , WhatzUp, 10/04

 The Dresden Dolls Discography - Album / CD Reviews

2003: A is for Accident

"This is a limited edition live CD and not the Dolls proper debut. The sound is raw in places, but the songs are amazing. Amanda Palmer's impassioned vocals and intense piano-playing and Brian Viglione's steady drumming makes for a good listen. The Dresden Dolls cabaret punk style is theirs alone. Palmer may dissolve into giggles on the whimsical Coin Operated Boy but that's part of the charm. Her dissonant piano playing comes to the fore here. The Time has Come is all fiery intent and staccato piano. Christopher Lydon is subdued and lovely. Palmer's voice is an understated marvel here. 'You cut me off like a guillotine' she sings and the pain in her voice is clear. Thirty Whacks tells the story of Lizzie Borden and becomes menacing but still impossibly beautiful. This live album is good, great in places and I suspect the upcoming debut will be devastating."
-- Anna Maria Stjarnell,, 4/03

***¾ 2005: The Dresden Dollsaudio
"With unrelenting intensity, The Dresden Dolls open the listeners’ ears and eyes to a wealth of creative fertility unleashed from a complete lack of inhibition. A trip into the dark inner workings of an artist wrapped up in the safe world of extravagancy, this album provokes the same snickers as a quarter peep show. If Boston ever needed a poster child for independence, The Dresden Dolls are it. At first listen, I was swept away into a cabaret of psycho-stimulus. Then, I decided to grab a bottle of Merlot and set the CD to repeat. As the red filled my mouth, a flavorful bouquet drenched my ears. A fearless woman told me stories of her past as a bleeding drummer let me know exactly why he was there. Never rushed, always bold, and completely honest, The Dresden Dolls are the spark of new music that none should ignore. The album opens with a thrashy little number called Good Day, which suggests a plea for some positive words in a world congested with conversational whining and self-apathy. By track two the listener is fully encased in the mind of Amanda Palmer, a girl whose untimely existence has promoted the chaos that brings her visions to life. If I were to pick out a single from this stellar group of tunes it would have to be Half-Jack, followed by Coin-Operated Boy on the flip side. This combo displays the two-part mix of serious lyrical expression and jovial, dolled-up sweetness that comprises this theatrical duo. A joy to listen to and a joy to share, this album is sure to inspire all who have an open mind and a stable self-image. The entire visual production of artwork and photography makes this album a pleasure to own. Cheers to you Amanda Palmer, Brian Viglione, and Martin Bisi for creating a truly, purchase-worthy piece of art. "
-- Darius Jager, CD

***½ 2006: Yes Virginia
Tracklisting: 01. Sex Changes 02. Backstabber 03. Modern Moonlight 04. My Alcoholic Friends 05. Delilah 06. Dirty Business 07. First Orgasm 08. Mrs O 09. Shores Of California 10. Necessary Evil 11. Mandy Goes To Med School 12. Me & The Minibar 13. Sing

"The piano-drum duo commandeered the local Brechtian punk-cabaret niche -- an anemic genre, to say the least, until Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione came along. (...) Where Coin-Operated Boy and Girl Anachronism (from the Dolls' 2004 debut) were quirky and captivating, 'Yes, Virginia' is a startlingly well-written, beautifully crafted collection. It's still weird and licentious, but by some marvel of musical alchemy (or possibly talent and hard work) Palmer's songwriting has grown simpler and deeper, more concise and more sprawling, all at once. Drummer Viglione, who once described his role in the band as that of a wall off of which Palmer's songs bounce and reverberate, accommodates his partner's evolution with his own smashing, teetering cache of rhythms. Palmer grafts a tragically sinister perspective onto an anthemic chorus in Sex Changes, a powerhouse album-opener that probes the fallout of gender reassignment. First Orgasm, a desolate ballad, is thrilling and alarming in its intimacy. (...) Producers Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie captured the Dolls' energy in all its pungent, off-kilter glory for 12 consecutive tracks, at which point the album comes crashing to a bizarre conclusion with Sing. It defies reason that this earnest and lackadaisical invocation to join voices in unifying celebration -- an entirely unrepresentative song, and not a very good one -- was chosen as the album's lead single."
-- Joan Anderman, The Boston Globe, 4/06

Recommended Links:

Official Dresden Dolls site
The Dresden Dolls on MySpace

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Antony and the Johnsons | Marc Almond| Tori Amos| Rasputina | PJ Harvey | Garbage | The Faint

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