"It's a beautiful fucking day in Boston," says punk-cabaret performer Amanda Palmer from her home. Best known as half of the Dresden Dolls, she has a wildly popular solo career. Recently she's worked with the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit group created by the surrealist director, which teaches transcendental meditation to inner-city youth, veterans, prisoners and the homeless.
The foundation's newest venture is Download for Good, a 33-song compilation that features Arrested Development, Iggy Pop, Neon Trees and Tom Waits. Palmer's contribution is "In My Mind," and it's currently available as a free download on the West Coast Sound blog (laweekly.com/westcoastsound).
What's your viewpoint on meditation?
It's certainly not all light and flowers. It's about being present, to the moment, and that's incredibly important when you're an artist. You're making and creating a lot of dark material. You need that access to mindfulness so that you don't get thrown overboard.
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What's David Lynch like in person?
He's a friendly, Midwestern filmmaker with a dark, seedy undercurrent. He's a totally nice guy. ... [I'm also] the kind of artist who's had to shake the constant judgment of others, because I write really dark, intense music. I can empathize greatly with David Lynch, because although his art represents him as this twisted, seedy fuck, in the brief period that I met him, he seems to be a totally kind and friendly, balanced individual.
How's life with your husband, writer Neil Gaiman?
We got married on New Year's and have been married for about six months now. We don't live together. We see each other when we can. We travel around, we chase each other around. And this is one of the weeks he's come to visit me at my place in Boston. We're creating this bizarre new relationship model from scratch because we're basically two artists on the road all the time and we have to find a way to be together that's real. We're so in love with each other that it's not too hard. And we don't get sick of each other. People are constantly joking about it, like, "Your marriage is so ideal. You never see each other."