8 Questions With: Laura Palmer
1. When listening to your debut album, Johnny Cashin' In, I can't help but think you'd be a perfect fit in NYC's anti-folk scene. What genre do you think your sound would fit best within (past or present)?
When people ask me what kind of music I play, I usually say "off beat folk music." I'm not anti-folk. I'm totally pro-folk. I'm a big, huge fucking folk music fan. I like Kris Kristofferson, Harry Nilsson, Bob Dylan (duh) and on and on. I like songs that are for the people. We all should be bummed that we're not living in the 60's. That was a good time to be weird.
2. With the success of the Juno soundtrack, it seems as if there's a sudden resurgence of female-fronted quirky acoustic music. What are your thoughts on this? Also, if Kimya D. invited you to tour with her, would you accept?
Am I the only one that hasn't seen Juno? She has the baby and drowns it, right? I guess there is some kind of a resurgence in the quirky lady acoustic music. I hope so. That'd be awesome for me. Judy Tenuda's got to pay her rent, too. And if Kimya Dawson asked me to tour with her, of course I'd accept. This ain't my first rodeo.
3. The vast majority of your songs rest on the fine line between brutal honesty and hilarious sarcasm. Is this an intentional or subconscious writing style?
Totally intentionally subconscious. It's a way of looking at things. I take humor pretty seriously. I think sarcasm's really serious. The only way to write is honestly, but the best way to get honest & still be fun to listen to is sarcasm. That line is an interesting puzzle.
4. Although you currently reside in Dallas, you've received a degree from NYU in 2001 (and consequently spent a good deal of time in New York). Can you tell me some of the things you miss most about living in the city?
Jewish people. They don't have those in Texas. Multiple vegan restaurants. Parades. The sense of history. World class museums and theater. The architecture. The cocaine.
5. If you had to name a handful of musical influences, whom would you select?
Do you mean besides R. Kelly? Violent Femmes, Jonathan Richman, Johnny Cash, Tiny Tim, John Prine, Dr. Hook, Paul Williams (especially the songs he wrote for The Muppets).
6. The lyrics to 'Ain't No Faggot' tell the story of a brainless frat boy (with homosexual tendencies) out to ridicule, tease or even physically hurt a gay classmate. Can you elaborate on the origin behind the tune?
You've actually created a very specific story from it. To me, it was really about 2 different kinds of homophobes: the secretly gay super homophobic rapist frat boy and the honky-tonk, shit-kickin', drag you behind his truck, Texas secretly gay homophobe. I guess y'all don't have those in New York. Anyway, my husband and I wrote it one night together after quite a few beers. We were ridiculing the sort of person the song is about, and the jokes just poured out. Those people always have some homosexual tendencies. Why else would they become so enraged by the idea of homosexuality? Absurd.
7. Your drummer, James, is quite the character. How did you two find each other and does he always wear the (genius) flower headdress?
He's been drumming with me for the better part of a year now. We met through my husband, who is also in a band with James. He doesn't always wear "the flower". Sometimes he wears "the boy scout". I generally wear "the sailor" or "the Hitler".
8. Any slutty advice for our dear readers as we enter spring?
Dear readers: If you choose to be a slut this spring (and it is your choice for now), do protect yourselves. You don't want to end up like Juno, blind with madness as a consequence of postpartum depression, raving about St. Michael The Archangel as you drown your bastard child in the bathtub. And you definitely don't want to get herpes, either. All the dudes in New York have it. Seriously!
Learn more about Laura Palmer at her official MySpace page.