On MyRadar

Mu­si­cian, per­for­mance artist and author Amanda Palmer

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - PATRICK FREYNE -

Cur­rent favourite co me­dian

Michelle Wolf. Amer­ica des­per­ately needs peo­ple like her right now, to speak truth to power and be god­damn hi­lar­i­ous at the same time, be­cause we are quickly los­ing our sense of hu­mour. Trump is killing our spir­its and some­times it feels like hu­mour is the only thing that will keep us afloat. When I watched her White House Cor­re­spon­dents Din­ner video I wanted to stand up and cheer about four times.


At the mo­ment, Lau­rie An­der­son. I just saw her in con­ver­sa­tion with Neil Gaiman, my baby daddy, and it re­minded me of her awe­some­ness but I’ve been fol­low­ing her since I was 18. She’s an art-life Zen mas­ter. Her new project is about los­ing the en­tirety of her base­ment archive to the hur­ri­cane flood­ing in New York – she’s such an ad­vanced soul, she man­aged to make in­cred­i­ble art out of the tragedy.


Cafe Pam­plona, Har­vard Square, Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts, USA. I still go to Bos­ton on oc­ca­sion to visit my old crew and my old apart­ment. Cafe Pam­plona feeds my soul and I go out of my way to get there. You go down a set of six nar­row stairs to a base­ment with a low ceil­ing, there is no mu­sic play­ing, al­most no light, there are nine lit­tle mar­ble ta­bles, peo­ple from Har­vard speak­ing in four dif­fer­ent lan­guages, there’s a killer old-world Span­ish gar­lic soup, and the decor hasn’t changed since 1952. There’s no bet­ter place on earth.


That’s a toss-up, it’s ei­ther New York or Mel­bourne. New York, even while gen­tri­fy­ing, still has more di­verse, crazy-em­brac­ing, ac­cept­ing, open-hearted and hon­est hu­man vi­tal­ity per square inch than any other place I know. I just love walk­ing down the street, my heart re­laxes and I feel among my brethren. And Mel­bourne is hum­bler, but it still has this elec­tric en­ergy and let’s-just-do-shit at­ti­tude that I’ve al­ways been in love with. And Mel­bourne’s cof­fee kicks ev­ery­body else’s cof­fee’s ass.


Bry­ony Kim­mings. She cre­ates these in­cred­i­ble theatre shows, turn­ing her life ex­pe­ri­ences – fear, de­pres­sion, can­cer, you name it – into the most mind-blow­ing stage shows. If you ever get the op­por­tu­nity to see any of her shows, go, blindly.


I al­ways feel like a bad po­etry fan, be­cause I fuck­ing love po­etry but find so much of it te­dious. Then I dis­cov­ered the po­etry of Wis­lawa Szym­borska. I have yet to read a poem by this wo­man that I don’t like. It could have to do with how raw and emo­tional I’ve been these past few years. Af­ter go­ing through a few years con­tain­ing two abor­tions, the death of my best friend to can­cer, a birth and a mis­car­riage,- in that or­der, I was just done with fic­tion. I needed the sto­ries of real life, of truth, of hu­man pain and strug­gle in its most di­rect dosage. I wasn’t find­ing that in fic­tion; I was find­ing it in non-fic­tion, in time with my friends, and then in the po­etry of Szym­borska.


Af­ter that, about six months ago, I picked up a copy of All the Light We Can­not See by An­thony Do­err. It’s his­tor­i­cal fic­tion and fol­lows two con­cur­rent sto­ries of the sec­ond World War. I don’t know ex­actly how or why, but it was the work of fic­tion I needed at the time. I loved this book so much I slowed down to five pages a night to­wards the end be­cause I didn’t want to leave the world he cre­ated, and I ran to the book­store the week I fin­ished it to buy ev­ery novel he has ever writ­ten – there was only one, and I de­voured that too. All the Light We

Can­not See is just one of those per­fect books, so sear­ingly painful and beau­ti­fully con­structed I hope they never make it into a movie.


The Dance of Re­al­ity and End­less Po­etry by Ale­jan­dro Jodor­owsky, which came out as two parts of a tril­ogy over the past few years. I don’t un­der­stand why all movies aren’t like his movies. They are like gor­geous, truer-than-life mov­ing paint­ings of what it is like to be a hu­man. I just par­tic­i­pated in his crowd­fund­ing cam­paign for his fi­nal film in the tril­ogy, and I’m look­ing for­ward to it in the way other peo­ple look for­ward to West­world or Game of Thrones.

■ Amanda Palmer ap­pears with Lau­rie Penny at the RDS, Dublin, on May 26th as part of the In­ter­na­tion­alLit­er­a­tureFes­ti­val.Sheal­soap­pears with spe­cial guest Andrew O’Neill at the Na­tional Con­cert Hall, Dublin, on May 28th

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