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Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley Present: Evelyn Evelyn!

Proof that Indie Collaboration is Worth More Than Label Support.

Leave it to Amanda Palmer to be up to something interesting. Starting in 2007, rumors began to fly about a pair of conjoined twins – former circus act(s) – whose musical talent had been ‘discovered’ by Palmer and accordion-wielding-street-performer extraordinaire, Jason Webley.

The twins – known as Evelyn Evelyn – released the EP Elephant Elephant in 2007, and are now prepping for the liberation of their first full-length album and world tour, supported by Webley’s true-blue indie label, Eleven Records.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Are the world’s first Parapagus Tripus Dibrachius indie superstars about to break down barriers for conjoined twins everywhere, or are the twins, in fact, Palmer and Webley themselves? And either way, what is this world tour gonna look like?


Photo by Lenka Sindelarova

The only thing that can be said for certain is that Evelyn Evelyn is yet more proof, by way of Amanda Fucking Palmer, that hard creative work, not major label support, is the key to a great career in music.

Palmer got her start as part of the Dresden Dolls – a duo of experimental, cabaret-style punk rockers – and has since moved on to a successful solo career, which – rather than being a solitary pursuit – has involved constant collaboration with other musicians, artists, and stage performers of all kinds.

Over the last few years, Palmer has written musicals, including With the Needle that Sings in her Heart, a production based on the seminal (note the ultra-witty double entendre) Neutral Milk Hotel album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. She’s collaborated with photographers and writers, such as Neil Gaiman, on book projects designed to accompany album releases. And she’s toured the world, with Webley, as well as other musicians and theatre performers, all without the help of a label.

Not that Palmer hasn’t had a label. The debut album by The Dresden Dolls was picked up by Warner subsidiary, Roadrunner Records. Palmer signed a 7-album deal with Roadrunner, only to find that by album three (Palmer’s first solo project), Roadrunner – a mostly metal label – was done with supporting their weird art punk adoptee.

Not only did Palmer have to promote her album herself, and run her own tour, the label added insult to injury by wanting to edit her first music video to shreds because she “looked fat” in it. In response, Palmer has been begging the label to drop her contract, even writing a song about it. As she told, “I feel an extraordinary amount of sympathy for anybody working at a major label right now because their lives are over.”

Palmer knows that the industry is crumbling, and she doesn’t want to be brought down with it. Luckily, thanks to her endless enthusiasm for collaboration, neither she, nor artists like her, have to suffer overmuch.


Jason Webley is a similar DIY success story. Webley began his career as a street performer, self-produced and sold albums at shows, and eventually worked his way up to world tours and his own label, Eleven Records. Like Palmer, Webley’s openness to collaborating with performance and visual artists of all types has led to a career of steady creative work.

All of which brings us back to Evelyn Evelyn, whose self-titled album is dropping this March – graphic novel based on the twins life, and published by Dark Horse, to follow.  According to a recent press release, the album will feature a diverse collection of tracks (all sounding suspiciously like the lyrical stylings of Palmer and Webley), including an 80s-inspired pop anthem featuring vocals by the likes of Tegan and Sarah, Weird Al, and – get this – Francis Bean Cobain, of the Cobains.

All of which goes to show that there is absolutely no career – however strange, however diverse – that needs a label to survive, thrive, and tour the planet Earth. In Amanda Palmer’s own words, “Nothing happens by accident. You tour and you work hard and you take care of your fans and very real things lead to other real things. There’s never been some fantastic fluke or break in my career, it has all been very slow and steady.”

For more words of wisdom, check out her blog, and keep your eyes peeled for Evelyn Eveyln, coming soon to a cabaret near you.



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