What’s in your fridge: Suzie Ungerleider
What’s In Your Fridge is where The Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing gigs, favorite albums and most importantly, what’s next to Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20’s. , 6 cubic feet.
On the grill
Who are you
I’m a singer-songwriter who grew up in Vancouver in the 1980s, wore an old tuxedo jacket, and saw DOA a hundred times, but my music isn’t punk rock at all. My songs are intimate, melodic, and storytelling, but I still have a crush on Joey and saw him the other day in East Hastings and felt my face turn red and my heart skip a beat. Right now I have a new record called My Name is Suzie Ungerleider. After 20 weird years of playing under the nickname Oh Susanna, I thought it was time to debut as myself.
One of the first concerts I remember seeing was seeing American jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams when I was about six years old. My dad was a huge fan and wanted us to see this legendary musician who wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. You’d think the show would take place in a theater adorned with plush seats with a grand piano, but no, it was in a church basement with folding chairs, fluorescent lights, and an upright piano. There were probably about 40 of us watching his performance. It’s weird because around this time Williams gave a gig at Carnegie Hall and the White House for Jimmy Carter, so it’s a mystery why she was playing this weird little gig in Vancouver. At one point during the show, she asked if there was anyone who wanted to play something on the piano. I had just started taking piano lessons and my dad wanted me to play something, but I was way too shy. Instead, a teenager stood up and played a jazz composition, and Mary Lou Williams smiled and looked proud of him. It was a moving moment where it seemed like she was showing us that music should be shared and not just kept by a few experts.
Concert that changes life
Even though I had seen many shows and had been obsessed with music for years, one show came to mind when I saw Iris Dement at the Vancouver East Cultural Center. She stood alone on stage in the spotlight, closed her eyes and sang with so much passion and force, very raw and moving, weaving funny stories between songs. I felt like I was so close that I could touch her. It was in the mid 90’s and I wanted so badly to make music and write songs like she did and sing them clearly and no frills. Seeing her like that, alone, strong and vulnerable, brought me one step closer to getting on stage myself.
The first three records
Classifying music for me is difficult, especially since I have lived for five decades. Here are three records that always transport me when I listen to them:
Rolling stones Let it bleed My sixth grade teacher knew I loved the Stones, so he gave me his copy of Let it Bleed that my sister and I have played thousands of times. The record is incredibly eclectic and contains country, blues, gospel and rock. When I listen, I always feel these songs in my body and my head floats through the landscapes they evoke. I would say that this album was a bridge for me to connect to the pre-rock past of American music. Additionally, Jagger is able to create some amazing images in his lyrics. He can be a great lyricist and people forget about him.
David Bowie Hunky-dory I lived in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco one summer when I was about 20 years old. I was a little unsuited to gay culture but it was fascinating to be a fly on the wall there. I stayed alone with a friend of my sister’s and found this album in the apartment. I listened to it every day. I knew other Bowie records but I didn’t know this one and so it was a happy discovery of something I had never heard from someone I loved. The songs are sweet, especially the ones about Bowie’s son Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan. He is very affectionate and playful and warm. Like little love letters.
Kate bush Love dogs His voice, his eccentricity, his narration. She is so true to her vision and the images she has in mind. In grade 11, I went night skiing on Cypress and sang “Hello Earth!” as I rolled down the mountain.
Favorite video of all time
Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer has to be one of the best videos ever.
Claymation, pixelation and stop motion animation. Plasticine creations transforming in Peter’s head, dancing plucked chickens, toys and moving objects, and expertly illustrating the song’s lyrics with humor. Hasn’t anyone seen this? Probably the youngest. Please, if you haven’t, go watch it. And then watch it again.
What’s in your fridge
Pizza dough on day 1 of a 3-day fermentation. We have a portable pizza oven that makes great Neapolitan style pizzas. My husband has perfected making a light, chewy and delicious pizza dough so we have delicious outdoor pizzas on a regular basis.
Silky chicken. Again, something facilitated by Cam, my husband, who loves to cook. He decided to pick up this weird looking chicken where the bones and flesh are black and has an extra toe on each foot. It is a Chinese breed of chicken. Especially for the laying. It’s still in our freezer, but we’re going to make coq au vin with it.
Homemade miso chili sauce. I love making poke bowls, and going through it like it’s water. I made this batch myself, so I didn’t have to pay $ 10 a jar, which fancy sauces can cost. When we eat poke, we feel like we’re in Hawaii, which is never a bad thing.
Suzie Ungerleider Plays Live Side Door Record Release Show For My name is Suzie Ungerleider at 6 p.m. on Thursday (October 14). Read below, in her own words, why you should check it out, then click here for tickets and details.