Indie's Weird New Trend

Marnie Stern, a perfect kiss?

Marnie Stern is coming to D.C. tomorrow night. Stern is famous (relatively speaking, of course) for a few things. First, for being a female, guitar-shredding indie rocker. It's a weird combo, and while she isn't my favorite, it works better than you might think. Second, the title of her new album reaches almost Fiona Apple levels of ridiculousness, wreaking havoc on scribes with strict word count limits. (It's called, "This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That.") Now she's got another quirk: Marnie's Kissing Booth.

The basic premise goes like this: Life on the road is expensive (especially when you rack up $300 speeding tickets, she tells Express), so in order to try to turn a profit on tour, Stern is puckering up for fans. It's a three-tiered pricing system. For $1, you get a simple peck. For $3, you get a kiss on the lips. And for $100, you get some tongue. Totally bizarre. According to that article, nobody had taken the $100 plunge, so to speak. Maybe someone in D.C. will make it happen on Wednesday.

Thing is, this isn't really the only recent example of this. Amanda Palmer, singer and songwriter for cabaret rockers Dresden Dolls, went topless at a recent gig. It was for charity, of course. She explains it thusly on her blog:

"i made a joke from stage the other night during the collection for the danger ensemble (because steven pointed out that i looked like i was about to take my bra off).
i joked that i would take my top off if someone donated $500 to the danger ensemble. and [expletive], some generously crazy person went to the club ATM and gave steven
five $100 bills. so i had psycho crank up the painful techno remix of coin-operated boy and we had a topless rave (well, it wasn't much of a rave, and i was the only topless one, but we definitely all danced to flashing lights and bad techno) to end the show. i'd say the offer stands, but i think i'll tack on an extra hundred-dollar donation bounty for anyone who wants to see the topless rave again."

She kept her clothes on at her recent 9:30 club show and I don't really feel like Googling "Amanda Palmer topless" here at work, so I'm not sure if anyone has taken her up on her offer in any other cities. Still, this mini-trend is very bizarre. But if you're a dorky young guy with prog-goth-indie taste who belongs on "The Pickup Artist" and you've been saving up allowance money for many months, it's a wonderful time to be alive.

By David Malitz |  November 25, 2008; 4:18 PM ET Randomness , Underwear
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