In her native Philadelphia music scene, Amanda Blank has stood too long in the shadows. Her mile-a-minute raps and soulful vocals have complemented hits for M.I.A., Santigold, Spank Rock and Ghostface Killah. Finally, she bursts into the spotlight with her new punk-hip-hop debut “I Love You,” featuring cameos from Lykke Li, Chuck Inglish and Spank Rock. She opens for Peaches on Friday in The City.
Your mind seems to operate at warp speed. What hobbies keep it busy? I draw. I like to draw and sketch and doodle. I have a little book that I bring with me on the road, my idea book. But there are maybe five songs in there — the rest is all drawings. I usually work with pencils and colored pencils, and I also paint in oils. And I would liken my style to Precious Moments, those old funny drawings of kids who look like kewpie dolls.
Have you exhibited your art yet? Yeah. Last year I did my first show with my best friend Rose. It was half art, half performance art — kind of an installation piece — and they had a bunch of different artists, including Rebecca Maysles, whose father filmed “Grey Gardens.” So that was my first real show. But I’ve been asked to do another one that’s just my paintings. People have even suggested that I publish my books of drawings someday.
Do you have a favorite piece? They don’t really have any titles. But my favorite was one I made for Spank Rock, a Bible-inspired painting of us as children sharing a horse costume, in the Precious Moments style. He’s standing there in one half of the costume, like “What have I done?” and I’m stomping off in the other half like a bratty little girl. I didn’t want to give it up — it was so good I wanted to keep it!
You’re the queen of contradiction, though — your album says “I Love You” but in your cover photo you look uncertain, even disgusted. Yeah! And you should’ve seen the artwork it was supposed to have! It was so crazy the label said, “Uh, no. You can’t put this out.” So there are a few love jams on there. But a lot of the songs are angry, ’cause it’s been an intense couple of years working on this album. And I had my first really big love, and my first heartbreaking breakup, as well. So now I understand things about love and relationships that I didn’t three or four years ago.
IF YOU GO
Opening for Peaches
Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $25 to $27