The Dresden Dolls - Biography

The Dresden Dolls are a duo from Boston, Massachusetts who describe their rock theater as “punk cabaret.” Singer, keyboardist and songwriter Amanda Palmer formed the band with drummer, bassist, guitarist and singer Brian Viglione in late 2000; according to the band’s Roadrunner bio, the two met at a Halloween party that year. “Amanda sort of came up with that title and concept,” Viglione said in 2007, when an interviewer from asked if the band had taken its name from the Fall’s song “Dresden Dolls.” However, he added: “The song was perfectly fitting because of the juxtaposition of imagery—something like this delicate porcelain doll amid the bombings of Dresden. And we thought—this is cool.”

The debut album The Dresden Dolls (2003 8ft.), recorded in Brooklyn, was the first release on the band’s own 8ft. Records, named after Palmer’s Harvard Square street performance character, the Eight Foot Bride. Roadrunner Records signed the Dresden Dolls in 2004, reissuing the debut and A Is For Accident: Collected Live Recordings 2001-2003 (2003 8ft.). Nine Inch Nails picked the Dresden Dolls to open some dates in the spring of 2005, and the band filmed its show at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club that June for the Paradise DVD (2005 Roadrunner).

Yes, Virginia… (2006 Roadrunner), the band’s second album, was followed by the companion album No, Virginia… (2008 Roadrunner), the Dresden Dolls’ latest as of this writing. The DVD Live at the Roundhouse London (2007 Eagle Rock Entertainment) captured the Dresden Dolls’ 2006 show at England’s hallowed rock venue, where Margaret Cho, Lene Lovich, Edward Ka-Spel of the Legendary Pink Dots, and numerous other guests joined them onstage. The Dresden Dolls also performed in their own musical The Onion Cellar, co-written by Palmer, which ran in Cambridge, Massachusetts from December 2006 through the following month.           

The Dresden Dolls went on hiatus in 2008. Palmer released her first solo album Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (2008 Roadrunner), produced by Ben Folds and accompanied by a limited-edition coffee-table book of the same title, co-authored by Sandman creator Neil Gaiman. Meanwhile, Viglione played with other bands, including Face of the Sun. The Dresden Dolls returned for a US tour in fall 2010, beginning with a “10th Bandiversary Halloween Show” in New York.


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