Red Velvet Underground

Twenty-five years after she started playing in popular indie-rock bands, drummer Freda Love Smith tells the story of her evolving career and family life through the important role food has played in both her rock and roll past and her domestic present.

Red Velvet Underground intersperses forty-five recipes with the story of Freda Love Smith’s musical past—exploring cooking, eating, music, and family, and how each one has shaped her life over the decades.

This memoir is loosely framed around the cooking lessons Smith gives her eldest son. Along the way, she recounts stories of starting her music career, forming new bands (in one of which—Antenna— she met her future husband, Jake Smith), going on the road, and pursuing work in and out of music as she raises her two sons, Jonah and Henry.

Over the course of the book, Smith reveals how food has evolved into an important means for creativity and improvisation in her life, for taking care of oneself and others, for planning, and for maturity. Each chapter includes several flexitarian recipes that reflect the lessons contained therein. Red Velvet Underground will appeal to fans of Smith’s music career, parents, and home cooks alike. Recipes include:

• Vegan Strawberry Cream Scones
• Whole Wheat Bread
• New York Strip Steak
• Spinach and White Bean Stew
• Sweet and Spicy Rice Noodle Stir-Fry
• Blueberry Pie
• Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Freda Love Smith is a lecturer in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. She is the cofounder of the bands the Blake Babies, Antenna, and the Mysteries of Life, writes a monthly column for Paste, and has published short stories in journals such as The North American Review, SmokeLong, Bound Off, and Riptide.

Red Velvet Underground, Agate Midway, 978-1-57284-175-8, November 1, 2015 Biography/Cooking & Wine/Family & Relationships, $16; 208 pages


IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo Credit to Rebecca Dudley.


Freda Love Smith
Agate Publishing
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