Amanda Palmer is ready to resurrect The Dresden Dolls again — for a couple of nights, at least.
For the uninitiated, the Dresden Dolls is Palmer’s dark cabaret group formed with multi-instrumentalist Brian Viglione in 2000. Over the decade, the beloved duo performed piano-and-drum tunes with a theatrical, punk rock slant.
While the duo has mostly been on hiatus since 2008, Palmer and Viglione will reunite this weekend for at least a couple more “giant blow-out presentations.” We chat with Palmer about her musical relationship with Viglione, the upcoming shows and at least one new song.
Why are you reuniting with Brian for these shows?
We missed playing music together – having played with dozens of other musicians and drummers, I can know now with certainty that there’s nothing else like Brian Viglione… he and I have a psychic musical aptitude with one another that I have never found with another musician.
What’s it like playing Dresden Dolls songs like “Girl Anachronism” and “Coin-Operated Boy” so many years later?
It’s really satisfying. It’s like putting on a favorite old pair of pants you find at the bottom of the drawer you forgot that you had that you wore non-stop for two years and that you thought you lost. There’s just something really comfortable and wonderful about going back to these songs that I still totally believe in.
And so for the upcoming shows, you’re going to be playing a mix of older and newer material?
We’re going to be playing a bunch of old material and some lesser known Dresden Dolls b-sides that the fans will all know really well… Some brand new songs — or at least one new song — and some exciting covers. The Dresden Dolls are always excited about covering other people’s material because there aren’t that many piano and drum rock bands out there. In the past, we’ve covered everything from Fugazi to musical theater stuff to Black Sabbath.
Can you talk at all about the new song?
Well I have a bunch of new material that I just co-wrote with my friend Jason Webley… But I also write songs really quickly so I might bang out some new material just in the next [few days] so that Brian and I can put together stuff that feels really fresh.
One of the other reasons you decided to do these shows is because the Coney Island Amphitheater reached out to you. Why is Coney Island special for you and for the Dresden Dolls?
It feels like a no-brainer that the Dresden Dolls and Coney Island go hand-in-hand. We are the bastion of weirdness. We’re also bringing back the brigade which is our loosely organized troupe of performance artists and visual artists. Actors and freaky people are going to be doing sideshow entertainment as is super befitting for Coney Island.
Is there any chance that we’ll be hearing more from the Dresden Dolls in the future?
I would say that there is a high chance that the Dresden Dolls are too good to ever go away.
If you go:
Aug. 26 at 7: 30 p.m.
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
290 Northern Ave.
Aug. 27 at 8 p.m.
Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
3052 West 21st St., Brooklyn