Smile for the Camera, Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn is a concept album by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley. It’s about conjoined twins who make music, with some tracks telling their tragicomic history and others being songs supposedly written by the sisters. When I first heard of this project, it sounded like it would be depressing, but it’s really more darkly comedic. The story of the twins is tragic, but in an absurd, over-the-top manner. It actually kind of reminds me of the Lemony Snicket books, not least of all because it places Dickensian events onto a modern world. One thing I noticed about the story is that, if you connect the dots, the conjoined twin elephants Bimba and Kimba died on the same day as the World Trade Center attack. And since those were the TWIN Towers and the story tracks are referred to as “The Tragic Events of September,” I’m sure that’s not a coincidence. In contrast to the dark humor of the story, many of the songs are simple light-hearted fun. “Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?” and “Elephant Elephant” are good examples of this. The eleventh track, “My Space,” has backing vocals from an interesting variety of guests. I can’t really pick out the individual voices yet, but the guests as listed in the liner notes include Kim and Zoe Boekbinder (formerly of Vermillion Lies), Margaret Cho, Corn Mo, Frances Cobain, Neil Gaiman, Eugene Mirman, Tegan and Sara, Andrew W.K., and Weird Al. Now THAT’S an impressive group!

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4 Responses to Smile for the Camera, Evelyn

  1. vilajunkie says:

    Wow, imagine having all those artists (both musical and non-musical) in the same studio! Oh, I’m sure they weren’t all there at the same time, but it would be pretty cool if they were, wouldn’t it?

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