Cabaret-punk singer/pianist Amanda Palmer does an onstage bit called "Ask Amanda," in which she reads and answers written questions submitted by the audience. She introduced it as "my favorite part of the show" Saturday night at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre. But she probably had mixed feelings about this edition, because somebody actually had the nerve to ask:
How's Ben in bed?
That would be old Chapel Hill hand Ben Folds, who produced Palmer's latest album. She seemed simultaneously mortified and amused at the question.
"I have no idea, he has a wife!," Palmer said in a tone just short of scolding. Then she smiled: "But... I'm sure Ben in bed would be just like Ben on-record -- geek chic!"
Palmer offered up plenty of geek chic herself with a very fine show that was long on dramatics. Helping things along there was the Danger Ensemble, a quartet of performers who acted out various songs. They were particularly effective on "Guitar Hero" (yes, about the computer game) and the very kinky "Coin-Operated Boy." But my personal favorite was a deadpan little piece of perfection called "I Googled You," a solo torch song that reimagined Frank Sinatra in the internet age. Very cool.