Susie Asado

It is the last day of tour. I am not sure how this happened. But it did. Here it is. I am sitting at Franz Melhose in Erfurt where we got to spend the night and it is a misty day outside. I am a little bit sleepy, but determined to write a little. Hello. Our adventures have been wonderful. I would like to rave about Ravensburg. Now I know where it got its name. Not only is this a beautiful town with towers and lovely houses, but it is also where Ravensburger Spiele, the German game company produces all its board games and puzzles. This might also explain some things about the playful nature of its people. We played at Mäkinen, a kind of secret community space. A living room reserved for special occasions. Inviting and cozy and with the best kind of audience. Funny and playful, they make us all giddy and strange moves and I try not to trip over anything on the lovely small stage. Ariel eggs me on with her awesome voice and we bounce back and forth and I try not to fall apart laughing. I can’t believe how quickly Mathias has learned everything and smoothly lays down all bass and guitar parts as if he has been on tour with us for months. The best is when he plays bass and melodica at the same time at the end of “Monstera Deliciosa.” A proper acrobatic move. Oh. The next morning we go to the Ravensburger Museum to learn a bit about the board games and puzzles. Part of my wants to just get Malefitz and Scotland Yard and run off and play for days. But our journey takes us to Ampfing to the house of the Klien family. We eat too much food, meet the people from the neighborhood, play songs and eat more food. A proper music loving home. The next morning we end up going to a bath near Munich with slides and sulphur tubs that Ariel calls “old man soup.” It feels amazing to move, to be in water, to pretend fish for a while and forget the autobahn under my ass. Ariel and I wear matching bikinis. We are turning into quite the pair. At the end of our time at the swimming pool paradise I rest under a cloud with red warming lamps and feel like I am drifting off into all kinds of cloud dreams. Oh clouds. We do manage to go back to the autobahn. Mathias drives us through bavarian traffic jams to Nürnberg where we play at the elegant and arty Galerie Bernsteinzimmer. So wonderful. Another tour high-light. It feels like the perfect Susie space. I have a sweet memory of playing there in the December of 2011 and it is awesome to get to come back and play there again. Returning to venues is a bit like coming home. A bit of familiar on tour. Like staying at Franz Melhose in Erfurt. And now we are off to Leipzig, our last stop before Berlin. Tomorrow our CD Release party at Ackerstadtpalast. I am so excited. Whuiiiiiiiiiiiii!

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Tour blur is happening now. Everything so fast, a kind of roller coaster of packing unpacking arriving departing plugging cables, eating food, thinking about food and talking about food. In Zürich now. It seems to be cooling down and I wonder if I will finally have a use for the warm things at the bottom of my bag I have been schlepping around. It is November after all. There have been so many lovely nights I want to share some high lights. A cozy top-floor apartment in Biel that had lovely little plastic figures tucked between the bricks of the wall. A house show, that didn’t miss any details, even had perfect stage lights and a cat face with antlers above the stage. The next day we had a lovely walk along the hills of Biel and down to the lake and Ariel and I were transfixed by the waves. We would like to be by the water at all times. Oh water. I keep thinking people live like this. They can just hike along a ridge by their house and end up at a windy lake-front where seagulls hover in mid-air. After our walk we could have gone back to sleep or eaten more food, but we drove to Geneva to our next adventure. Our evening at Bibarium felt a bit like a secret basement show. A kind of speak-easy below room. We got fed tasty colorful food and were excited to play to the little dark room being smothered by stage lights and the warm sounds that occasionally bounced back during songs. We have decided we really like stage lights. There was lovely conversation and we would have liked to stay and learn more about this city and the sweet people we met. Oh. It is strange packing up just after arriving. We drove to Zürich in a blur. So happy to meet Mathias there fresh off the airplane from Canada and ready to rehearse instantly. Clearly this man is made for touring. Our afternoon show at Kafi für Dich turned a bit into a family affair of parents and friends and children and dogs. By the time I had sold the last CD I was a little overwhelmed from it all even though I couldn’t wish for anything sweeter. Now we are about to drive to Ravensburg. We will take a fairy across the Boden See. Anything just to take a fairy boat. Water boat seagulls wind. Wushhhhhh

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Time to report. Sitting on a red cozy chair in the Apartment in Biel where we will play tonight. Ariel and I are thinking about food. We can smell lovely food. So that hasn’t changed. We are changed though. You can’t have adventures without them changing you. Our nails are painted. Mine electric blue and Ariel’s black. Remnants of last nights Halloween concert in Alpiersbach. We played at a charming community movie theater that is inside an ancient monastery. The monastery being a bit creepy, as old structures with bats and dark hallways and secret passageways can be. But the movie theater Subiaco, was not creepy at all. A warm community of cinephiles running it. Before the show we went to a lady cafe in town, marveled at all the cute houses by the stream that goes through town, charming old ladies with amazing hairdos, and a glass blower making a wine glass. Again an unseasonably warm sunny day and we get down to our shirts and sit on top a hill gobbling up sun hoping that our bodies have figured out how to store this light somewhere to be used later on a gloomy day. It is Halloween. Ariel dresses up as a cat and I dress up as an electric blue ocean Susie Asado. I even paint my toe nails electric blue which looks cool and scary. We have a lovely show and then spend the night right at the foot of the foggy black forest which feels appropriate for Halloween. Tour has been going swimmingly so far except for one night after our Düsseldorf show where we couldn’t find parking and then finally arrived at the hostel realizing I had misplaced the keys somewhere. Eventually we did find the key in the car which was parked pretty far away . . . so the obstacle of entering our place of sleep was not quite as dramatic as we suddenly feared. That has been the extent of drama. Now we are in Switzerland. We crossed a border today. The houses look charming and inviting. We are sitting inside one of them. A top-floor apartment with a crooked roof and white painted brick walls. We have already moved in with all our little tour things and curious how the evening will unfold. So goes my report for now. Hello from our adventure!

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Oh Offenbach. Oh Hafen 2. How I love cranes, water ways, harbors, and the wind that blows around them. Clouds. Everything dramatic here. At the new Hafen 2, the old one being up stream, there there are again, the geese and the sheep and the general sense that all is well. We have a trailer as back stage and I get to live my fantasy of belonging to a traveling circus. We arrive hungry as always and get fed lovely colorful food. My brother Philipp joins us for sound-check and we are excited about out afternoon shows. My sister and her three kids turn up and we eat all the backstage food. More food. I feel like on tour much of what I think about is food. Like right now I am thinking about where to find a good lunch in Düsseldorf. It feels terrible to think so much about food. Especially when the car is filled with snacks. But there is something about tour and not really knowing when the next yummy warm meal will turn up, that puts me on edge about food and sets a hungry hamstering mood. Our show at Hafen 2 was wonderful and family style. Having been born on the banks of the river Main, I feel right at home here and then having my siblings around makes for a perfect tour day. That night we take Marko to the train station. This is as far as he goes with us. It is sad to part ways. Feels like after the first 6 shows we have melted into a perfect trio. And with this strange feeling of having left someone behind we go over our friend Boohoo’s house and watch Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown”. I love watching Sean Penn play all this fake guitar and I feel like I have been each of those girl friends at some point. Oh. At night we back track to the harbor, the dark along the Main, the old Hafen 2. I try not to have any Mac the Knife fantasies. But inside the band apartment I slumber off to a good tour-sleep. Tour-sleep like tour-food being essential. Now after a sweet show in Essen and more good tour-food and tour-sleep we had the shortest drive of our tour to Düsseldorf. The sun is shining and we have checked into our tour-sleep-station of the day. Ariel has found a place to eat lunch (more thoughts about food) and I am contemplating laundry. So things are on tour.

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We would have liked to stay in Pellworm. Get to know the dramatic movement of the water. Walk out with the tide. Watch the amazing cloud formations. Bathe in electric fall light. Learn Plattdeutsch. Visit lots of straw-roofed houses. And play more air guitar with our host’s kids Levin and Thede. Our show at Schipperhuus was so friendly and warm. We got to play two sets, so lots of songs. Schipperhuus is all Titanic pictures and sailor memorabilia. Loving details in all corners and cracks. A stack of games we didn’t get to play. I got nostalgic every moment. Wanting to draw them out. Stay a little while. Walk by the water. Visit the sheep. In the morning when I looked out of the window the sky was all red. A misty morning. We kept debating weather to take a later fairy, but I kept seeing the exclamation marks in the tour book to be sure to take the 9:40 fairy because of the tide. Because we are on tour after all and there is another show. There is Hannover and Karsten and all the sweet people of Oberdeck. So we took the fairy and visited some sheep on the other side of the water. Walked along the dykes. Jumped around all the sheep shit and then were back in the car to drive to Hannover. Hannover received us in all the lovely Hannover ways. There is something reassuring about coming back to places we have played before. The homey bench in front of Oberdeck. And the unbelievably mild balmy air. We sit outside and exchange stories. The evening continues familiar, cozy and playful. The show goes well even though I lose some words along the way. It is intense playing to an audience that is so close and attentive. Then Köln. Alice Rose opens for us at Die Wohngemeinschaft. She is all ballroom dress wrapped in security tape. She is funny moves and “mind the gap” and precise glances. I feel underdressed following her, but enjoy the lively atmosphere she leaves the room with. It is this kind of atmosphere that makes a good show. The audience bubbly and responsive. The attention, but also the energy. We transform into a Susie mega trio and enjoy all the sounds and details. After the show we sit out on the street in the strange unseasonably warm October air. It is Saturday night and there is a bustle of people drinking little beers. A man comes over and demands a cigarette, but fast. Another man hands us a cup of delicious ice-cream that we happily eat. Here we are in Köln and the city is all around us.

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I am sitting in the back of the car. We are leaving Hamburg. Another bright sunny fall day. It is the third day of tour. Already there is a rhythm to it. Is if this is always how it is. Packing, unpacking, setting up, sound checking, dinner, play show, sell CDs, conversation, find the place where we sleep, brush teeth, to bed, sleep, good morning, pack back up, and back on the road. Our first two shows were all wonderful audience and welcoming. In Braunschweig we played an unplugged show on the colorful stage of Kaufbar to a perfect group of strangers with kind faces and encouraging smiles. We were nervous at first to play, nervous to play in a fairly big room without amplification. But during the show we enjoyed the acoustics and the super attentive audience. The show ended with some questions from the audience and a conversation in the round. It is so sweet to actually meet the audience after a show. The next morning we walked around Braunschweig and were proud to have a few errands like mailing some Burning Hell records and stopping by a music store. Later in the day we arrived in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg. Sunny weather and a lively neighborhood bustle. Ariel and I had played Deichdiele last fall, so we were excited to visit a familiar place. We set up to all kinds of cables and nobs and turn up the mids and lows and it is all very busy doing our own sound. The show unfolds in lovely ways, the audience gets more and more friendly and we relax. Andreas, our host, unscrews more and more lightbulbs, so by the end of the show it is all shimmering low light. This morning we had giant croissants, or rather boof bombs (bombs for what they later do in your stomach). Marko and Ariel had the squished toasted version, which was probably a good idea. Then we drove back out of Hamburg, past the harbor, the giant cranes and shipping container stacks. Now we are on the way to Pellworm in the North Sea Yes, an island. And yes, we will take a fairy boat. Fairy boat! We left extra early to make the fairy boat. 2:40 p.m. Oh.

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October. This is my favorite month of the year. Because of the O and the colors. The mild misty air gloom, the trees. Today is the 11th of October. This is the official release of our new album “Onward Aeropuerto”. It is a quiet birthday. I am sitting on my couch wondering what it all means. How making things changes things. How suddenly there are these songs that climbed out of me and that got transformed by the hanging out with them, the elaborating of the bones with my friends, Marko, Tomi, Noel, Ariel, Mathias, Matt and Alex. Norman recording and taking care of all things frequencies and knobs. The songs are about con artists, spies, getting older, starting over, about Susie, plants growing, growing, immigration officers, about clouds and a calling out to the life of it all “onward aeropuerto”! This year has propelled something inside of me to I’m-not-sure-where-yet, but it all started with these two words. The best of it so far has been a trip to Buenos Aires. I took a very long plane ride to the country of Asado and came back even more Asado. I am growing into my name. I am growing into words. And they are growing out of me. Ok, I am feeling sentimental right now, birthdays do that to me. I don’t always talk like this. Just right now for the “O” of it. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this album with me, who helped make all the plans and made sure people will find out about it. Who made videos and took photos and made beautiful packaging. Thanks to KOOK, Broken Silence, amSTARt and Paper and Iron Booking. Here is a list of some of the awesome people who are part of the “Onward Aeropuerto” mission. I write some, because there is a list much longer and far more tangled, but I will start here, with these lovely people: Marko Hefele, Tomi Simatupang, Noel Rademacher, Ariel Sharratt, Mathias Kom, Matt Colbourn, Alexander Paulick-Thiel, Norman Nitzsche, Bo Kondren, Daniel Nenwig, Sebastian Maschat, Philipp Conrad, Ran Huber, Florian Aumüller, Anja Conrad, Jannis Kilian Kreft, Franziska Morlok, Till Beckmann, Falk Quenstedt, Emily Poel, Donna Stonecipher, Lisa Birman, Jonathan Peters, Helga & Michael Conrad, Jan Böttcher, Alexander Gumz, Charlotte Bartels and the wonderful Sebastian Hoffmann. Thank you!

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Waking up from deep sleep. Dreams. There is a corridor, there are wardrobes. Each time I enter a wardrobe, duck my head through the door, a new room reveals itself. A kitchen, A library, a dressing room of costumes. Pablo and I are at the Platforma Lavardén in Rosario and have just climbed through one of the wardrobes. Games are waiting for us. Is this a test? Is this where we finally battle each other? Table soccer, a game withe coins and a frog, boule, and ping pong. We end up playing ping pong with a broken ping pong ball. It bounces funny, but for a while we keep up with the strange game. I continue to feel as if entering wardrobes. Ducking my head. Time scrambles. The day before at Malba in Buenos Aires our backstage was a library of art books. I am nervous and start horsing around and loose my balance tumbling backwards I knock my funny bone. Everything is wobbly and exciting. Right before we go on stage Pablo also takes a fall down some stairs with guitar on his back. Nothing broken, no scratches. Clearly we have entered something unpredictable. Our first show ends up sweet and awkward. I am still discovering new things inside the songs and searching for chords as if trying to catch flying balls that zoom past me. When I look out into the audience I realize that in just this short time here I have made friends. This isn’t a room of strangers. When I look to my right there is Pablo, a proper song and dance man elegantly sitting on a high chair sending his voice into the microphone. It is all so very real and unreal and I feel so grateful to the people who have brought me here: Carla, Hendrik, Stephan, the Goethe Institute, the sweet people from Filba, Amalia, Patricio, Pablo. Suddenly it is Saturday morning. I scrabble out of bed. I haven’t slept much. I pick up Pablo and we head to the bus station. We duck our heads into the bus. I knock my head above the seat. Another wardrobe. We tell stories and translate another song: Retrospective. It is as if the song too is entering a wardrobe, putting on a new dress, revealing itself inside another world. So much joy speaking Spanish with Pablo. Everything so familiar and unfamiliar. Always searching for words and my mind doing summersaults. It is not as disorienting as the first days being in Argentina, I have started to enjoy teetering through sentences and laughing through phrases. We arrive at the Festival de Poesia in Rosario to a building full of poets and poetry hungry people. We are at the Platforma Lavardén, the place I was writing about earlier. I am making a circle in time. I hope this isn’t too confusing. But confusing enough so you get some of my drifting through time and place and wardrobe after wardrobe. We are back stage. Pablo writes out the set list in his bottom up painterly handwriting. I bounce around again not being able to sit still. We practice “Retrospective” and enjoy the reverb room. In the pauses Pablo reads the translation. Suddenly everything is strangely doubled and the sound and images become ghostly. The show in Rosario is calm and we climb into the songs, the wardrobes, easily in and out. There are surprises and there is something familiar. Something has settled and we have turned into a duo: Asado Dacal. The beautiful room is filled with a generous attentive audience. It is very late at night, but I feel awake and happy. The next morning we leave a city I have barely seen. We tumble back into the wardrobe that turns into a bus. We read the paper and tell stories, I draw our feet resting on the wall in front of us and occasionally glimpse at the movie that is playing. Back in Buenos Aires I head back to Malba to participate in the Bitácora, where a group of authors were sent on adventures to write about. A visit to Borges library, a tango class. Federico Falco and I read from our excursion to the closed Reserva. The ecological reserve that is right in the city. Below you can read my text. The evening continues with all kinds of magic. I watch completely spellbound the collaboration between Leticia Mazur and Alexander Gumz. Words into strange movement illuminated by lights strapped to the dancers head. I am all goosbumps and dizzy and feel thrown back out into the world at the end. I would have liked to hover there a bit longer. Watch elbow and hand and eye and flickering lights shadows and sure feet. But there is more. Daniela Seel’s poetry transported into a world of fable creatures in a fairy tale forest with twin musicians clad in school uniforms wearing bird heads, by Emlio García Whebi. Here is another wardrobe that opens into a kind of chamber of marvels. Oh. And now I am sitting here sipping tea. A wardrobe opens to another few days in Buenos Aires. Vamos!

FROM SUMPF TO CITY UND ZURÜCK

swamp sumpf pantano laguna de los coipos
donde tortugas con sangre frio
are hiding and a bird stretches
its stoic giraffe neck next to the reeds
camouflage, no puedo ver te sin gafas
ich sehe was was du nicht siehst
a shiney cowbird hiding eggs in anothers nest
lazy lazy songbird

ich höre was was du nie sehen wirst
el tick tick tick-a-tick del junguero
wren like rushbird der so tut als ob das hier
der jungle, jungle swamp sumpf pantano
dentro de la ciudad
donde el pico de plata con ojos blancas
parece como un clown
y un arbol con orejas negras
parece come un arbol
con orejas negras

ich höre was was du nie sehen wirst
the sound of a city collected by the colectivos
the drone, the tack tack, the brrrrrrrrmmmmmmm
traffic of a million taxies
amarillo y negro con motorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
flotierende platik flaschen
and little candy wrapper memories

eso son los cuentos que te diga
soy una paloma domestica
vive en buenos aires
swaping one nest for another
just as I have stolen this nest
little cozy places in denen
die stadt kurz verschwindet
ich sehe eine stadt die du nicht siehst
tiene rojo y amarillo and tiny gray dapples
an den federspitzen
und den kopf under the giant planket
of el swamp sumpf pantano

el arbol con los orejas negras
listens to my thoughs
reconstructing the sound of numbers
reconstructing the limbs of dogs
reconstructing el balneario
reconstrucing the seconds missing between
the blurred movements of a hummingbird
donde los lenguas scramble
und ich mich immer wieder
zwischen den palabras finde
und doch wieder verliere

I sink my cuerpo dentro los abrozos
of this city, walk across a map until my legs buckle
lauter unsichtbare fussspuren vom sumpf zum beton
vom beton zum rascacielo
von brücke zur carratera
von semáforo zur verkehrsinsel
bis ich wieder von vorne anfange
und zurück will to the silver river
el rio de plata
where the city ends
and the water begins

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I’ve been wanting to write. Hola, me llamo Josepha. Hola Susie, how do you feel now that you are in the land of Asado? Yes, I do feel home. That’s the strange thing about names. They give you a sense of belonging. I arrived last Friday in the in the magnificent city of Buenos Aires and I fell right into its arms. The bustle and warmth is intoxicating. Well, not warmth literally. It is a chilly spring over here and I didn’t pack quite right for the weather. I usually pride myself on packing well, but on this occasion I failed. But that doesn’t matter, because this crazy city makes up for it. I am preparing two shows with the Argentinian songwriter Pablo Dacal. One in Buenos Aires, at Malba and one in Rosario. We’ve been learning each other’s songs and speaking funny Spanish. Well, I speak funny Spanish and Pablo laughs with me. His songs are beautiful and being inside them singing and jumping through the chords (sometimes they do feel like a bit of a juggling act for me) is like sight-seeing. Many are inspired by Buenos Aires and I run into them at street corners. I am also doing proper sight-seeing. Walking my feet silly. Yesterday I managed to walk so far that when I later looked at the map it didn’t seem possible. I also managed to get a proper sun-burn in my face. So today I’m going to look for a sombrero. Yesterday Carla Imbrogno from the Goethe Institute took me and the Argentinian writer Federico Falco on a walk to the Bitacora, the ecological reserve. Francisco Gonzales Taboas came with us to tell us stories about the local trees and birds. Unfortunately the reserve was closed, but there were plenty of trees and birds right outside in the swampy waters of the Laguna de los Coipos. Francisco was able to spot many different birds, I would have never noticed. See birds necks camouflaged by the reeds. And little red birds flicker flackering between branches. My favorite bird was the pico de plata. A litle black bird with white eyes and white in the insides of his feathers. He looked like he had a clown costume on. A little Susie bird. I was also very inspired by a tree with black ears. I will have to go back and photograph it for you. I stole one of its ears. Curious if it will help me hear things. Supposedly it makes soap. It is called Oreja de Negro. Black ear. Oh. Later I walked all through the city and to the Cementerio de la Recoleta. A grave yard with lots of little tombs, houses for the dead. Some of the doors and windows were broken. The insides of the tombs all in crumbles and caskets cracked. The stairs that go to the below, inside of the tombs, often littered and clearly visited at times. Perhaps looted. Perhaps the dead having escaped. There were some ancient looking scraggly cats that added to the atmosphere. It was a life sized sculpture of of young woman with a dog that gave me the rest and sent me off feeling terribly melancholy. I regained my sense of humor at a playground nearby climbing around on twisting and turning structures. Then I walked walked walked and made it to the Japanese gardens where I watched giant gold fish lazily float while sexy girls in skimpy dresses posed near a water fall. I meant to make it too the Aeroparque, the airport right next to the Rio de la Plata, but I will leave that for another day. Supposedly it is a very Susie Asado kind of place. So much for now my dear firends. I will continue on my adventure. Ta ta!

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It is amazing how things continue. How there seems to be a motor inside it all doing its motor thing. The last few years were rocky and I’ve had many moments of doubt and cold feet. I would call out “Onward Aeropuerto” to get myself through traffic jams, creepy nights, my taxes, dizzy spells when thinking about the future and when on my bike racing the rain. I also called out “Onward Aeropuerto” after an awesome night of dancing, when I saw bunnies in Tiergarten, sitting around a campfire with friends in the forest of Darmstadt last weekend, when I jumped around Tempelhofer Feld during sun set, and after speed cleaning my closet this morning at a ridiculously early hour. It’s a good slogan. A good one to keep handy for special moments. So now I want to call out “Onward Aeropuerto” to you. “Onward Aeropuerto”. There is a new album coming out. And guess what it is called. Yes, “Onward Aeropuerto!” It’s been an amazing summer of recording and imagining the onward of things. The album will be released on October 11th and on the 22nd of October we go on tour. October! Tour! In September I will also take a trip to Buenos Aires and find out more about the Asado of Susie. I will be sure to report all adventures and moments of “Onward Aeropuerto” right here. At the end of the week I will also post our new video and a teaser track. So look out!

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