Amanda Palmer

Arena, 2011

“Servus!”, says Amanda Palmer to the barkeeper when ordering a few beers for the whole band. The Boston-based artist does obviously know some German. Later that night she would cover Grauzone’s “Eisbär” and “Ein Stuhl in der Hölle” from Einstürzende Neubauten – all sung in perfect German. But for our acoustic session Amanda Palmer performed a most popular song of an English band: Radiohead’s “Idioteque”! If this takes you by surprise – how the fuck can you transfer such complex electonic music into an acoustic set-up? -, you should check out the impressive “Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele” album. The only requirement for this unusual performance is to find a surrounding that fits the dark mood of the song. So Amanda Palmer and her bandmates (among them Adrian Stout who we have met before with his band Tiger Lillies) flee the sun to a gloomy and dusty attic, where they go for a haunting and breathtaking rendition of “Idioteque”. After the swirl of dust in the fragile shafts of sunlight, it all ends with a lapidary comment: “More dust!”

Sarah Brugner
Sound Recording
Matthias Leihs
Post production
Sarah Brugner


Arena is a cultural center and music venue in the industrialized district of Erdberg. Its beginnings hark back to 1976, when some thousand demonstrators gathered around the former St. Marx Auslandsschlachthof to save it from demolition and subsequent commercial use. While they were not able to save the huge building complex, the vast social movement did succeed in reaching the foundation of an autonomous cultural center on the smaller area of the former slaughterhouses, which represents today’s Arena. Presently Arena has integrated a wide musical spectrum to its programme for various crowds and commercial use. Yet Arena’s dictum “Love Music, Hate Fascism!” is more than a relict of old days as it is still the venue with the most punk concerts in town.