There is this poem “Susie Asado”, by Gertrude Stein. Years ago when I was studying poetry I mulled over it. I would read it aloud, I would recite it like a mantra. I did not know what it meant, but I did not mind. I took comfort in it and I knew this poem was speaking to me. The poem danced and it was like a song and it made me laugh and cry and it always got me as if it was a code to a part of myself I could otherwise not get to. When I started writing songs I knew this poem would be a guide and as time went on I started wearing her clothes, started drinking sweet tea and dancing around in her shoes.
I grew up in Frankfurt am Main and in the windy city of Chicago. I know how to dress for bad weather and how to pack properly for travels. Never forgetting my passport, that strange little document of supposed identity and geographic belonging. The last twelve years I have been playing house in the city of Berlin. I have a dresser and a kitchen table some chairs and shoe-boxes with letters and photographs. A proper home. And yes, I write songs.
It all started when my brother Philipp asked me to sing with him at a club in Berlin called King Kong Klub in December of 2004. It seemed like a fun thing to do. Little did I know that that one night would lead to many adventures and new friends and old friends and most of all to making music all the time. We started a band called Crazy for Jane. We played shows in Europe, the States and Canada and there were days when I thought that I must be in a movie or dreaming or both. And we were in a movie:”Berlin Song” by Uli M. Schueppel. This documentary screened at the Berlin Filmfestival and showed at some small arthouse cinemas in Germany. Anyways, here’s to little brothers and Jane and to doing things even though they initially made no sense. Certainly now they do.
Susie Asado started in February 2007. I was terrified of performing by myself, or revealing what a lousy musician I am without my brother next to me making everything sound good. So I challenged myself to do something on my own. Two fellow women musicians: Skirt and Music for your Heart invited me to do a show with them at Antje Öklesund in Berlin and it seemed like a good opportunity to make a fool of myself. To make sure that I would go through the night unscathed I dressed up as Susie Asado.
That is how it started and I am lucky to say that Susie Asado has grown into a family. I’ve been very lucky to get to collaborate and travel with some amazing musicians: Tomi Simatupang, Jason Levis, Marko Hefele, Mathias Kom, Kim Barlow, Ariel Sharatt and Noel Rademacher.
In 2008 the German label lolila released our debut album “Hello Antenna” It is about geography and love, about mothers and Mexico, about border patrol and borders and yes antenna. It is about listening to the universe, picking up on radio and sound waves, on stories and voices. And it is a calling out, a hello to the world to see if anyone is listening. Veronika Samartseva and Anna Bergmann made a beautiful music video for the title track. Click on VIDEOS.
In December 2011 KOOKmusic released our album “Traffic Island”. We did a wonderful tour with the Canadian band Spring Breakup following the release. You can read about the tour on my blog. Oh blog. We are always making plans. Want to be part of our plan? If we don’t have a show in your part of the world, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write our wonderful booker Sebastian Hoffmann at Paper and Iron Booking email@example.com and we will do our best to come visit and sing you songs la la la . . .