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Freda Love Smith is a lecturer in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. She is the co-founder of the bands The Mysteries of Life and The Blake Babies, who were regulars on MTV and critically applauded in The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and Spin. Her songs have been licensed widely, from the 2003 Disney film Freaky Friday to American Airlines in-flight entertainment programs. She has a monthly column in Paste and her short stories have appeared in journals such as The North American Review, Smokelong, Bound Off, and Riptide. She lives in Evanston, IL, with her partner, Jake Smith, and two sons.
Praise for Freda Love Smith's Red Velvet Underground: "These are sweet, unsentimental scenes from the ever-evolving life of a woman of many shifting and balancing roles: mother, wife, drummer, student, teacher, friend, daughter, food enthusiast. It's all tied together with tantalizing recipes that have been lovingly improvised and tweaked into a life-affirming doneness." -Juliana Hatfield, musician "Red Velvet Underground is not only a rock memoir and recipe book but also a poignant work of personal self-discovery and the challenges yet joys of parenting." -David Chiu, Huffington Post "This memoir is filled with twists and turns, rises and falls-all chronicled with Freda's characteristic charm and seductive wit. You might call it Eat, Play, Love... a wealth of road stories and recipes to share." -Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone "Thoughtful and wry, [Smith]'s a storyteller who doesn't scrub out blemishes but reminds readers just how much being an individual still matters, even in adulthood." -Mark Guarino, Chicago Tribune "Freda Love Smith and I share three great passions: music, writing, and food. She deftly combines them here, adding an incisive view of motherhood, an inspiring capacity for joy, and a winning dash of Midwest humility. Love and deliciousness suffuse every page of this tender, delightful book." -Ira Robbins, music journalist and cofounder of Trouser Press "Freda Love Smith titled her memoir Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir, with Recipes, and it's hard to imagine a better one for this rock musician who became a mother and dedicated home cook." -The Boston Globe "In the quietly compelling Red Velvet Underground, Freda weaves together stories of her salad days as a musician, reflections on raising her two sons, and meditations on how the act of cooking can heal and nurture. Anyone who can come off with such lovable sincerity while describing searing and eating her own placenta is a winner in our book." -Paste Magazine "The book is a surprisingly heady mix of omnivorous backstory and refreshingly unfussy recipes that managed to bring me out of a serious pre-empty nest cooking funk." -Lisa Bralts Kelly, Innocent Words "You will find yourself literally and figuratively hungry for more after every chapter." -Len Kasper, broadcast announcer for the Chicago Cubs "Red Velvet Underground covers a lot of ground... in a poignant and elegant voice. It's just another example of how food not only sustains us but also finds a way to weave into our lives and connects us with other people." -David Chiu, Brooklyn Based "Freda manages to elevate the personal to the universal with deeply relatable stories. Themes of food, family, and music are woven artfully together with wisdom, warmth, and humor. I found myself alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) inspired to cook, play guitar, kiss my kids, and call my friends. And eat!" -Tanya Donelly, musician "The former Blake Babies drummer's stories of food, music, and family resonate with warmth and humility." -largehearted boy "This book has a lot of heart, capturing what it's like to be caught between the nostalgia for the life you led in your 20s and the sobering responsibilities of being a parent of a kid now reaching that same golden age." -Bill Janovitz, musician and author of Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones "A gritty rock club and a modest home kitchen might seem like opposite ends of the earth. But in Freda Love Smith's new book, Red Velvet Underground, the two are deliciously twined." -Susannah Felts, Chapter 16 "An appealing choice for readers who are looking for a humorous take on parenthood and food." -Derek Sanderson, Library Journal "Her book deftly stitches together family life, stories from her stints as the drummer in The Blake Babies, Antenna and The Mysteries of Life, and personal food-related memories." -InsideToronto.com "Smith shares her own story with honesty and integrity." -Frank Valish, Under the Radar "Just like flavors in a recipe, this book is an interesting fusion of ingredients that make up the life of [Freda Love Smith]." -WGN-TV Lunchbreak "We're digging Freda Love Smith's Red Velvet Underground super hard." -Emily Taylor, NUVO "Freda Love Smith writes an honest and moving memoir about the very food of life-the music, meals, and mistakes we make; the roads we do and don't take; the lessons we give and receive; the people we love, lose, find, and become along the way. Both on the page and behind her drum kit, Love Smith is a subtle yet powerful keeper of the time." -Chrissie Dickinson, music journalist and former editor of The Journal of Country Music