Amanda Palmer, formerly half of the Dresden Dolls but now a pin-up for the digital music generation, is facing a backlash after asking fans to play in her band for free.
Even producer Steve Albini (Pixies/Nirvana/Jesus Lizard) has called her out for hypocrisy, calling her an "idiot" in an online rant.
Palmer hit headlines this year when she raised over $1.2 million on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter to release her new album "Theater Is Evil". Now she's asking fans to fill out her live act to save on touring costs.
To pay the semi-professional musicians, Palmer said: "We will feed you beer, hug/high-five you up and down (pick your poison), give you merch, and thank you mightily for adding to the big noise we are planning to make."
In response, producer Steve Albini wrote this:
"I have no fundamental problem with either asking your fans to pay you to make your record or go on tour or play for free in your band or gather at a mud pit downstate and sell meth and blowjobs to each other, but I wouldn't stoop to doing any of them myself.
"If your position is that you aren't able to figure out how to do that, that you are forced by your ignorance into pleading for donations and charity work, you are then publicly admitting you are an idiot. Pretty much everybody on earth has a threshold for how much to indulge an idiot who doesn't know how to conduct herself, and I think Ms Palmer has found her audience's threshold."
Palmer has now defended herself, calling the backlash "absurd" and insists the musicians are happy to play for free anyway:
"If you could see the enthusiasm of these people, the argument would become invalid. They're all incredibly happy to be here. They fundamentally believe it's worth their time and energy to show up at this gig. To me it seems absurd, If my fans are happy and my audience is happy and the musicians on stage are happy, where's the problem?"
What do you think? Has she exploited the good will of her fans too many times, or is it an awesome opportunity for the musicians? Share your opinion in the comments.