The Dresden Dolls photographed by Kyle Cassidy

The Dresden Dolls

Average Rating:

Hometown: Boston, MA (USA)


Rock bands are pigeonholed into ever–increasingly minuscule sub–categorizations, but The Dresden Dolls continue to defy explanation and classification. While some have called it theatrical rock, punk cabaret, manic–musical, neo–glam–torch‚?¶eventually even the most clever and creative describers shrug and say: "You just have to hear it to believe it."

Living in a two–faced, popular culture built on artifice that demands authenticity; The Dresden Dolls take the world stage, tear down the curtain, rip holes in the veneer and create their own rules, rhymes and reason. For the past six years, the duo has been climbing steadily out of the artistic trenches and into the mainstream of rock on their own terms. The Dolls thrive on their inherent juxtapositions. The musical–theater and New–Wave background of writer/singer/pianist Amanda Palmer mixes with drummer Brian Viglione's heavy metal roots to create a sonic smear of unclassifiable rock. Palmer wails; Viglione cackles. It is this dichotomy that supplies the band with a yin–yang quality that keeps them hurtling through space, pulling each other to and fro in an endless – and highly entertaining – match of musical wits.

After signing with Roadrunner Records in early 2004, the band has been enjoying a whirlwind schedule that has included headlining sold–out tours on four continents, opening for Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor hand–picked the band after seeing their homemade video for "Girl Anachronism" on television), performing at the world's biggest festivals including Coachella, Fuji Rock, Roskilde and Glastonbury, writing an original musical at the prestigious American Repertory Theater and releasing an innovative and acclaimed live DVD.

The music is just one installment of the on–going artistic collaborations between the band and their fans. Additionally, a flood of home–made films, burlesque numbers, sculptures and animations to complete plays and musicals based around the band's songs have created a constant dialogue between band and audience. The same spirit exists at live shows, as manifested in the so–called "Brigade", where the Dolls collaborated with hundreds of performing artists ranging from high school drama troupes to top–shelf actors and professional circus artists, including members of Montreal's celebrated Cirque Eloize and San Fransiciso's Vau de Vire Society.

The Dolls' self–titled debut has been selling strong and steady scanning 100,000+ copies in the United States alone. Initially released on Palmer's own 8 Ft. Records in the fall of 2003, the album was subsequently re–released upon the band's signing with Roadrunner. The release of two wildly different singles, the manic–punk "Girl Anachronism" and the cabaret–tinged and bittersweet "Coin–Operated Boy," which debuted on KCRW via the influential DJ Nic Harcourt, swiftly went on to be the most–requested singles on a handful of stations nationwide. Airtime on MTV2 and the Internet immediately began to win the band thousands of admirers for their innovative style and "Coin–Operated Boy" received an MTVU award nomination.

In 2006 The Dresden Dolls released their highly anticipated follow–up, Yes, Virginia to immediate worldwide acclaim. Yes, Virginia marked the band's Billboard chart debut in the United States and also charted nationally in various European countries following the success of the lead single "Sing" and it's emotion packed video. In January 2007, The Dolls wrapped up a string of 40 sold out shows in an original piece of musical theatre, The Onion Cellar, produced with the distinguished American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge , Massachusetts.

This past summer, The Dresden Dolls were proud to bring their bittersweet, smart, and gender–role–defying music to the 2007 True Colors tour. The tour consisted of DD as well as tour–creator Cyndi Lauper, and fellow performers Deborah Harry, Erasure, Margaret Cho, and (.. dates) Rufus Wainwright. The Dolls have been long–time supporters of the gay community performing alongside transgender, drag and gay performers including but not limited to Baby Dee, Peaches Christ, Titler, Edna Million, Dames Aflame and countless others.

The band has just completed a winter tour, trekking across the midwest and east coast of North America. Though these were the last Dolls' shows scheduled for quite some time, be sure to keep your eyes peeled on http://www.dresdendolls.com, as it will be constantly updated with solo shows, shows with friends, and information on the forthcoming EP, due later in 2008.


The Dresden Dolls The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls (2003)


Related News

Related Stories

Morning Glory to begin recording new album with Brian Viglione in July
Morning Glory, the band featuring Ezra Kire, formerly of Choking Victim and Leftover Crack, is set to begin tracking their new album in July. Brian Viglione…
June 03, 2013
Amanda Palmer urges Morrissey to crowdsource album
Though lately he seems more well known for his outspoken political views, "staunch" defense of animal…
April 29, 2013
Media: Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra: "The Killing Type"
Amanda Palmer, formerly of the The Dresden Dolls, has posted the first sample of music funded from her $1.2M Kickstarter…
August 13, 2012
Media: The Wicked: 'Never Trust The Dead'
Boston, MA-based gypsy-punk outfit The Wicked have launched a stream of their new album. The group is compared to similarly inspired acts like Dresden Dolls and Gogol Bordello. Find the stream…
August 08, 2012
Media: The Economist looks into Amanda Palmers $1.2m Kickstarter
The venerable Economist magazine looked into the surprising Kickstarter success of Amanda Palmer (formerly of the…
June 05, 2012
Videos: Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra: "Polly" (Nirvana)
Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls has released a music video with her latest project The Grand Theft Orchestra. The video is for their cover of Nirvana's "Polly." Palmer…
February 08, 2012
Tours: The Dresden Dolls
The Dresden Dolls have announced a short headlining run this fall, their first in three years. The band is celebrating their 10th anniversary at the Halloween tour opener. You can click Read More for the…
September 10, 2010
Tours: Amanda Palmer leaves Roadrunner, posts new music
Amanda Palmer has announced her split from Roadrunner Records after a lengthy legal battle. The pianist and former Dresden Dolls vocalist has been released from her contract and was able to release a new song. She talked about the split on her blog: As many of you know, I've been fighting very, very hard to get off the label for the better part of two…
April 08, 2010
Tours: Gerard Way, Frances Cobain, Franz Nicolay, Eugene Mirman on new Amanda Palmer track
Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Franz Nicoley (ex-The Hold Steady), Andrew W.K. and Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Cobain are among the guests on the debut from …
February 06, 2010
Tours: Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) talks about fan donations, asking for money
Musician Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls posted a new blog entry about asking for money and trying to make a living through music. She explains: Artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art. Artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money…
September 30, 2009

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go