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The Dresden Dolls

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Boston, United States (2001 – 2008, 2010 – present)

The Dresden Dolls are an American musical duo from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 2001, the group consists of Amanda Palmer (vocals, piano, ukulele, toy piano, harmonica) and Brian Viglione (drums, percussion, guitar, vocals).

They describe their heavily art-damaged and theatrical style as “Brechtian ”, a phrase invented by Palmer because she was “terrified” that the press would invent a name that “would involve the word ‘’,” and are part of an underground movement that started gaining momentum in the early 1990s.

Palmer accompanies her confessional story-songs with a thunderous and shimmering piano style that rests on the shoulders of Jerry Lee Lewis and Nina Simone. Viglione’s jazz and hardcore-influenced drumming and creative percussion are the perfect foil, providing in turns a delicate cradle of rhythm and a piercing bed of nails onto which Palmer lays her raw, tragicomic lyrics.

The release of their debut album The Dresden Dolls, produced by Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth), has won the band accolades from both mainstream and underground media, and it appears that the Dolls are poised to transcend cult status and smash all commonly held ideas about what a rock band is supposed to be. Their awe-striking live energy and singular look has earned them opening slots for Nine Inch Nails, Beck, the B-52s, Jane’s Addiction, OK Go and Panic! at the Disco, a tour with the Legendary Pink Dots, and a victory in the 2003 WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble.

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