Coin Dresden Dolls is a duo (Bostonians, singer-songwriter

Coin Operated Boy- The Dresden Dolls

Identity –
the Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer

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The Dresden Dolls is a duo (Bostonians, singer-songwriter and pianist Amanda
Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione) who formed in 2000. is from the
Dresden Dolls’ debut album released in 2004 (
In 2005 the Dresden Dolls supported the US tour of Nine Inch Nails and in 2006 they released their second album following
by their album in 2008

In 2009 Amanda Palmer almost forced
her record label to drop her, as well as the Dresden Dolls, which led to the
band’s hiatus, and a focus on her solo career. She crowd-funded her next album
and tour gathering the historical amount of $1.2 million. She currently
supports and funds her music and artistic escapades via Patreon, a
crowd-funding platform (Dredge, 2015). To this day, Amanda Palmer – who recently
released a Pink Floyd cover, receiving much controversial criticism over her
video – is an anti – Trump activist, pro animal and human and LGBT rights,
supporting any weak and mistreated minority

Culture – the musical style of the Dresden Dolls

The duo’s music is a mixture of Berliner cabaret and punk-rock music.

” ” (, n.d.).

Even the band’s name is influenced
by the German cabaret’s era – a combination of ” ” (, n.d.).

Artists like Claus Nomi, Tom Waits with
his musical theatre directed by Robert Wilson, experimental, avant-garde theatre
director), Kurt Weil’s songbook (sung by Ute Lemper and Nina Haagen), puppet
theatre, the musical numbers form Kander and, Nick Cave’s dark American folk
storytelling, The Cure, the Stranglers (”
“) and Kate Bush’s baroque pop songs, Siouxsie Sioux’s dark pop style and
Cindy Lauper’s punk pop style, the man faces of David Bowie and (as Amanda
Palmer herself has indicated) and ?he Legendary Pink Dots are some of the band’s main influences, as well
as the great love both Amanda and Brian hold for the theatre

Unlike most indie and rock duos, who
are mainly guitar or bass and drums (White Stripes, The Black Keys, Royal
Blood), the individuality and uniqueness of the Dresden Dolls lies in choice
and use of instruments (piano and drums).

Song – Coin Operated Boy

is a playful and fun, upbeat song.
Early in its intro, we hear a music-box-like piano classic cabaret vamp (much
like Cabaret’s main theme piano vamp), accompanied by a bell followed by a very
simple and children’s song like melody (much similar to the French Frere Jacques
song The drummer usually acts like a puppet on stage, very mechanically, and in
the specific song he starts playing when she says, Moreover, he plays the coin
operated boy’s role in the video clip

The harmony is simple (I-V-II-V-I),
and the ABBA first part of the song has four stanzas in every verse (A), as
well as four stanzas in the two B parts.

The first part of the song end with
a recurring A, with four stanzas, with a repeated (ad lib times) line. In this
first part of the song, Amanda Palmer sings about her relationship with this
mechanical-toy-human size (probably rubber) doll, upraising the many advantages
of this uncomplicated relationship in comparison with those with actual humans.

The song’s beat is 4/4 and it
changes to 6/8 in the bridge, with a different piano playing now, with lots of
arpeggios, that begins with the lyric line: ” ” where the mood is a lot darker and hectic and the singer gives
us the impression of losing her sanity, with mood swings, being needy of love,
begging for it, and denying it, fading away with the lyric ” ” and then, snaps back to the last part
of the song (” “), with an
instrumental B section repeated twice, and then another B with lyrics, and two
A verses to end the song.

As the song ends, Amanda rounds up
the story justifying her choice of wanting to be with the ” ” rather than with a human boy.


In a bar-
Tango with Lions

Identity – Tango with Lions

Tango with Lions were formed by Kat
(Katerina Papachristou) in 2007. It started as a co-operative with many
musicians participating. Today it is a band of 6 and Kat sings, plays the piano
and guitar. She previously played bass for ”
“, a band that became popular once they won the ” ” seat, on the digital music platform of Cosmote (major Greek
telephone and internet provider) in 2010 (, 2010). Jumping Fish
was and still is an image making platform, providing independent artists with
the opportunity to play in major festivals (COSMOTE, n.d.).

Kat likes literature and poetry,
(especially and finds her influences in. She is a great fan of and has
announced that Tango with Lions’ new album would contain mainly folk and
country songs. In 2010
they released their first album followed by in 2013 and they are about to
release their third album in January Culture – the hit song success &
the Anglophone Greek scene

The Greek
Anglophone Indie music scene is a very popular one, mainly supported by young
people aged 15-35. The most popular genres are Indie Rock, Metal, PostMetal,
Hip Hop, funk/soul and dub. Tango with Lions belong in the Indie scene, which
is relatively popular, in Greece.  The
band appears selectively in Greece mostly in minor or major festivals (have
appeared alongside Sivert Hoyem and Placebo (Rockwave Festival July 2017)
and alongside other indie Greek artists.

Tango with
Lions, represent the strange case of a band becoming popular almost solely on a
single. They are not amongst the most popular English pop/indie/rock artists,
nor do they appear in major festivals abroad, like other popular English-speaking
Greek bands) do. They usually play in medium sized venues (150-200 people
capacity) and never headline a show (Krintzas, 2015). Probably because most of Tango
with Lions’ social media fans come from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Azerbaijan,
as well as Greece (Tango with Lions- In a Bar, 2011).


Song – In a Bar

  was released in 2010 and was included in the
band’s debut album . It is
believed to be the most successful Greek English-speaking song in YouTube). It
has exceeded 37million views, uploaded in a stranger’s channel. to compare, Monika,
Greece’s most popular English-speaking singer-songwriter has barely 5.4 million
views in her ultra-famous ” ” is an
alternative, indie pop song with AAAA form, with an instrumental part in
between. The song has a simple arrangement that uses only piano and cello. It
is written in 4/4 beat and is very simple harmonically, with the same 4 chords

Kat’s voice sounds a lot like Hope
Sandoval (Mazzy Star’s frontwoman)). while singing about loneliness. The singer cannot stand
being alone nd she wants tohowever she has no strength to face other people Hurting
she needs she wishes to go in a bar where  could make her feel better and finally talk
about her feelings The song that ends with the lyrics implied that she never
went to the bar, but stayed alone with her pain.



Tori Amos

Amos is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer (born 1963
music, and her dislike to read sheet music

Tori Amos’
first solo album , released in 1992.  (1993) followed, and “Boys for Pele” (1996), and Tori was already experimenting in
different keyboard instruments or recording places and techniques. 

2002, Tori Amos has released numerous albums and also wrote the musical (words
and music) “The light princess” 2013).
She is currently touring around Europe and North America presenting her latest
album (2017) (She had already more than 1000 live performances before embarking
on her first world tour (1992) and she was in the Top Five touring acts
according to Rolling Stone magazine). She is in the ” VH1s list and was
nominated for many awards

2002, Tori Amos has released numerous albums and also wrote the musical (words
and music). She is currently touring around Europe and North America presenting
her latest album  (2017) (She had already
more than 1000 live performances before embarking on her first world tour
(1992) and she was in the Top Five touring acts according to Rolling Stone
magazine). She is in th VH1s list and was nominated for many awards

the album and Tori Amos’ music style

  is included in , an album with songs about Tori Although, it was released in a
period that garage/grunge rock met great success ( by Nirvana was on the top of
the charts), Amos’ delicate lyrics and sophisticated harmony managed to be
established in the singer-songwriting scene of 1990’s (

In the album, Amos unfolds her real-life stories and
intense feelings (e.g. is written after draft rejection, ” ” is based on young Tori’s rape and ” ” talks about one of her internal fights) (Maril, 2009).

Musically, her art
rock style predominates, her Kate Bush influence if vivid, her progressive rock
piano-driven arrangements feature multilayered vocals that range from Joni
Mitchell’s heights to Nina Simone’s depths, distorted guitars as well perplexed
drum styles, her baroque pop and punk influences and her virtuoso pianist’s
amazing technique, that make her look like   is merged with the complexity and sometimes incomprehensibility
of her lyrics,
her peculiar choice of words, and her unique phonetically style of pronouncing
words and syllables when singing. The album is her most
successful and nominated one until now


Leather is a 4/4 beat song, in C
minor, with a simple (piano and vocals) jazz-influenced arrangement. It is an
AAA song, (where A is a verse+ chorus) with a bluesy piano solo between the
second and the third A.

The song has sexual imagery that
have been interpreted by various ways (e.g. as the end of a relationship or the
scene of a rape) (Staibshine, 2012), but Tori Amos in
her Track-by-Track Guide to ” ” for
the Rolling Stone magazine in 2009, that  . The song indicates artist’s -oppressed
till then- sexuality, as she explains (Maril, 2009).

There is not a music video for the
track, but many available from her live appearances
(you can also watch her bite her tongue, to mimic smoking a cigar, while
singing the stanza; ” “).  She usually introduces this song, in her
concerts, saying how she at first, presented this song to the record label that
turned her down, only to get a heartbreaking reply, that she could never be a
successful artist, not with a song like that (Tori Amos Leather- Live At
Montreux, 2009).



Lee – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Identity- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave is a singer-songwriter, soundtrack composer, writer, and actor.  Nick Cave’s career began with the post-punk band (1973-1983), but he became widely known as a singer-songwriter and frontman o (formed in Melbourne in 1984 by multiethnic musicians) (, 2015).Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have a peculiar sound, art rock, avant-garde, grotesque and Southern punk gothic elements all merged together. Throughout a turbulent career, the band went through a lot of changes, founding members a side project with fellow Bad Seed musicians. Their commercial come back was wit (2008) which was praised by critics. Nick Cave’s lyrics are usually dark stories, with sinister heroes and angry words or brokenhearted love songs. In the early 90’s Cave started writing piano-driven ballads (in 1993 he wrote the popular   album and the theme became an ongoing song choice for the band.  The bands next album, 1996, was their greatest commercial success In 2015, during the recording of album, his son tragically died. Cave altered the songs and the album (finally released in 2016) that mainly themed death, religion and grief, got dithyrambic critics. Cave recently released (2017) dance/electronic album. The band keeps on touring, recording and releasing new material since

Culture – the album as a concept album

Usually we find concept albums in
progressive or metal music however “Murder Ballads” is a concept album, too, as
well as a song cycle (kind of like the romantic composers’ song cycles of the
romantic era – e.g. Schumann) and became unexpectedly popular

contains folk stories as
well as tales that Cave wrote. Most of its songs are long stanzas stories,
mainly character songs, where Cave –with his theatrical and cinematic writing
influences- sketches his characters’ portraits fully detailed and uses
particularly cruel and violent murder scenes’ descriptions.  He manages to combine lyrical, epic beauty with
astonishing power and surprising abhorrence violence, underlined with music whose
incomprehensible elements reach a musically solid result

Nick Cave –upon concluding recording the album- told  , (1996)   

Nick Cave has stated in
Rolling Stone Australia

Stagger Lee

  was released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in
1996 in their album . The song’s story is Nick Cave’s version of the popular
American folk song; Stagger Lee is   Lee
Shelton, who killed Billy Lyons on Christmas Eve in 1895 in St. Louis,
Missouri. As the Bad Seeds drummer Jim Sclavunos
stated in an interview. Stagger lee is a storytelling, character, simple two-chord song, in AAA
form and in 4/4 – one of the two most violent songs of the album, and certainly
the one with the most vicious and foul language and description. Musically, as
the Bad Seeds usually do, there is a steady bass melodic riff that runs
throughout the song, with a quasi-reggae guitar chord pattern on top, and tutti
– band moments where loud chords banged on the piano are intruding when, so
verse are there. Nick Cave does not even sing, but recites the song.

More than 400 artists (among them are) got involved with Stagger Lee’s
folk story since 1923,



Life on
Mars – David Bowie

Identity- David Bowie

David Bowie
was born (1947) and raised up in London’s suburbs. He was mainly known as a
singer-songwriter, but was an actor and a painter too, and a
multi-instrumentalist. His first success was in 1969 with the song ” “, although he had been active
since 1963. Many albums and singles followed during the 1970’s (Sandford,

highlights of his turbulent and most creative life: He spent the last three
years of the 1970’s in Berlin In 1980’s he reached the peak of his career,
while he was in a romantic/pop mood, with his great hit song

was his electronic era with hip-hop, soul, jazz and industrial elements (and
collaborations with artists such. During his Reality Tour (2004) he suffered a
heart attack on stage. He did continue to publish music, and music videos, and
appeared in various TV shows and movies, as well (Hiatt, 2016).

David Bowie
died of liver cancer in January 10th, 2016, Three days before his death, and on
his 69th birthday, he released the video “Lazarus” and the studio album   – an album that he created in full secrecy,
and intended to be his artistic farewell to the world. The album features all
kinds of music (electronica, sampled, rock overdriven guitars, R’n’B beats,
distorted harmonies, multi layered vocals) and David Bowie collaborated with
world class jazz session musicians to record it (Erlewine, 2017).

– the album

After his hard rock album (1971),
Bowie showed his singer-songwriter skills and released also in 1971, with folk
songs, dance music the jazzy and acoustic. 
Strongly influenced by the pop culture of the time the album contains a
homonymous tribute to Andy Warhol and two more to his idols; the Velvet
Underground and Bob Dylan

included in became popular in 1973 – released it as a single, it stayed in
British single charts for thirteen weeks and climbed up to number
three. That was the time when the artist’s alter- was introduced

John Mendelsohn in his 1972 review of the
album for Rolling Stone describes David Bowie as a femme fatale that

Life on Mars

In 1968 David Bowie was hired to
write an English version of the song by Claude
Francois and Jacques
Revaux, but his version was rejected (Paul Anka, who’s version was approved, then bought the exclusive
rights to it). As Bowie recalled  (Bowie’s sarcastic  ” note to the back cover of Hunky
Dory is most probably related to that)
(Pegg, 2011).

himself on how the song was created) (Bowie, 2008).

Although Bowie once announced the song as a   in 1990, his description in 1971 as a “, in 1997 is more likely to explain
the song (Pegg, 2011).
 It is a 4/4 song, with structure verse,
verse, prechorus, chorus (x2). It is not a simple (harmonically) song, with
constant modulations to nearer and more distant keys (although in Bb major, it
begins with F chord as a tonic key).

In the first verse we are introduced to the lonely, that lives in a
typical patriarchic middle-class family and finds consolation in the movies,
wishing to escape her reality, unsuccessfully, as her own life proves as boring
or sad or as the films. The chorus (which is exactly the same both times) is a
psychedelic mix of scenes of the various films she goes to see that the girl
contrasts to her reality, concluding in the ending question.  Perhaps the question stems from the recent
(1969) landing on the moon, or it is the girl’s last sanctuary, her hope and dream
about living in another planet. A lot of word painting – like orchestration
techniques build up the tension in the chorus, as strings glide and slide to
portray what is on the cinema’s silver screen.

In the second verse we find ourselves going through non-related scenes and
imagery, about America, Europe, and western culture (Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse
to Lennon). The lyrics are aleatoric, based on post-modern poetry technique
(cut-up technique – inspired by the author William Burroughs), as Bowie himself
explained in his video; he uses random, like rolling a dice, chance based
lyrics (Cut up techinque- David Bowie, 2013).

As the second pre-chorus comes Bowie
himself addresses the public in an oratory way, claiming the film to be his
creation, and asking the public to focus on and all the weird scenes from the
first chorus, wrapping the up the song with himself wandering if there is ,
being probably as frustrated and disappointed with humanity as the girl with
the “mousy hair.

The song has still great impact on many forms of art; more than 25 covers of the song were recorded since 1975 (by etc.),
also, the song was included in many TV shows, movies and. In 2006, the -a back
to 1970’s detective TV show- broadcasted on BBC




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