Former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer made news last year when she fought with Roadrunner Records, in a highly publicized attempt to get out of her binding contract. She blogged about her label allegedly editing exposed-midriff scenes from one of her videos "because they thought I looked fat"; she also claimed that the "head of digital media" at her label in Australia didn't even know "what Twitter was" and wrote that her "label-dropping game had become very fun." This "fun" battle eventually culminated in a widely YouTubed clip of her performing her record-company kissoff song, the self-explanatorily titled "Please Drop Me," and Amanda finally got her wish. Yep, she is now a free agent.
So what is Amanda doing with all her newfound freedom? Why, she's releasing an EP of Radiohead covers performed on a ukulele, of course! The seven-track release, aptly titled Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele, features two versions of the perennial favorite "Creep" (one live in Prague, one from a "hungover soundcheck in Berlin") as well as five other pre-Kid A classics. All on a uke. Chances are, Roadrunner would not have approved.
But maybe Roadrunner should have. Amanda's EP, her first experimental digital-and-vinyl only release without a record label, has been a huge indie success. For a minimum donation of 84 cents (to cover Radiohead's royalties and PayPal fees), the EP sold more than $15,000 in downloads and merch in less than three minutes, and several bundle options (including T-shirts, buttons, and even hand-painted ukuleles) and 1,000 limited-edition vinyl LPs sold out in under 24 hours. Billboard.biz called this "one of the better DIY success stories."
Listen to the entire independent EP on Amanda's website, and enjoy some footage of her live Radiohead performances below. Uke go, girl!