Susan's Room was a mess. After releasing and promoting their second album 'Lion In The Living Room', the band took a break while Susan wrote and stockpiled songs. When it came time to record, Susan and producer/ guitarist/ husband Tom Manche realized that they had over two dozen songs. Susan and Tom sorted the songs into two piles: ones that would work for a stripped down project modeled after Joni Mitchell's 'Blue', and songs for a more eclecticly produced project. Thicker and Thinner were born. On both albums, Susan's dark, brainy lyrics abound. Who else would write a song about Custer's last thoughts before death? Or a gut-wreching tale of a suicidal mother? 'Custer' and 'Thank You Mom' found their home on Thinner along with other songs of love lost and found, all set off by the spare production. On Thicker, more left-of center themes appear. An obsession with Perry Mason, a vengeance-minded trespasser, and a woman driven crazy by the voice inside her head appear in 'Perry Mason', 'Trouble Now' and 'Hammerhead', respectively. These and other songs range stylistically from weird post-modern to straight-up rock to jazzy folk. Though a broad production mix, Thicker is held together by the songwriting craft that won Susan the 1996 Napa Music Festival Songwriting Contest, and her singing that the New Yorker called 'A soulful, commanding voice.' Both albums deliver pop music for adults. Born and raised in Berkeley, Susan had delivered singing telegrams, taught doo wop to Zen Buddhists, studied music at UC Santa Cruz and performance art at SF State, and played and sung in rock, Motown and jazz groups before moving to Los Angeles in 1991. There she met displaced Ohioan Tom Manche. They hooked up as Susan's Room and in 1993 released their first album on Zanna Discs. Bassist Ritt Henn and drummer Albe Bonacci joined them for the second album, 'Lion In The Living Room' Both albums received critical praise and aired on over 150 radio stations nationwide. Then Susan's Room created the new mess of songs. They know it's pretty strange to release two stylistically different albums at once, but it was the only way they could clean up their room.
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