The Dresden Dolls are an American musical duo from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 2000, the group consists of Amanda Palmer (vocals, piano, harmonica, ukulele) and Brian Viglione (drums, percussion, guitar, bass guitar, vocals). The two describe their style as "Brechtian punk cabaret", a phrase invented by Palmer because she was "terrified" that the press would invent a name that "would involve the word gothic". The Dresden Dolls are part of an underground dark cabaret movement that started gaining momentum in the early 2000s.
The duo formed a week after Brian Viglione witnessed Amanda Palmer perform solo at a Halloween party in 2000. Their live performances soon gained them a cult following. During these performances the two band members often wore dramatic make-up and fancy clothing that push their cabaret/theater aesthetic. They encourage fans to become involved at their shows, with the fans' own stilt walking, living statues, fire breathers, and other performance artbecoming an integral part of the show. The Dirty Business Brigade coordinated the fans' performances.
The band's first name was Out of Arms. At some point, the name became The Dresden Dolls. The name, according to Palmer, was "inspired by a combination of things," including the firebombing of Dresden, Germany and the porcelain dolls that were a hallmark of pre-war Dresden industry; an early song of the same name by The Fall; and a reference to the V. C. Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic, where the classically blond-haired and blue-eyed protagonists are called "the Dresden dolls". The name also evokes Weimar Germany and its cabaret culture. Additionally, Palmer "liked the parallel between Dresden (destruction) and Dolls (innocence, delicacy), because it is very much in keeping with the dynamics of the music, which sometimes goes from a childlike whisper to a banshee scream within a few seconds."
The Dresden Dolls (2003)
Yes, Virginia... (2006)
My personal favourite songs by The Dresden Dolls:
Official band site:
(isn't the site amazing? :P)