i should tell you: she’s so rad

Well hello there, and welcome to chapter eight of I Should Tell You, where I interview cool musicians who will answer my emails. The same three questions about food every time, just to see what kicks we can kick up. This week it’s Jeremy Toy from the band whose name is also a lovely compliment: She’s So Rad.

I’m not even going near the hornet nest that is trying to write a bio, since I’ve seen them described as a four-piece and a duo but She’s So Rad definitely does contain Jeremy Toy and Anji Sami, and I definitely adore their music. You can listen to their album In Circles in its entirety on bandcamp, and you can even buy a copy of it on vinyl, which I totally intend to do soon. The whole thing is effing dreamy, although I do favour the track called Ice Block. Posssibly because I just really like ice blocks. Their single Confetti is all gorgeous too, all swishy and light-reflecting like taffeta. Just listen to everything, okay? But perhaps most of all I recommend losing yourself several million times over in their cover of that pinnacle of utter dreaminess, Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart. (From Twin Peaks, so important.)

They also have a new video coming soon and a fresh EP out on Japanese label Wonderful Noise ere long. What! Heard it here first. If you heard it here first. But till then…the interview starts now. Thanks, Jeremy!

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

I took a trip to LA with a couple of mates and one lunch they were on a mission to find this place I knew nothing about. What  we ended up trawling backstreets for (pre-iphone) was Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. This place is an institution and has fed many a celebrity (Kanye, Alicia, Biggie, Snoop). I foolishly ordered the chicken salad thinking it would be the healthy option however when it came out from the kitchen my initiation to Roscoe’s began as before me lay 2 deep fried chicken breasts sitting on a humongous bowl of lettuce and topped off with so much processed cheese that you could barely see the lettuce. My mate did a much better job of ordering and got the classic Chicken and Waffles, 2 pieces of fried chicken, whipped butter, maple syrup and 2 waffles. Amazing. I usually don’t like to entertain myself with the trash aspect of Los Angeles as there is so much more to the place than Hollywood and Disneyland but Roscoe’s is the one place I recommend to everyone going to LA as it is totally extreme food.

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

Bian at 183 Symonds St in Auckland is my go to place. They do a real good half serve of salmon and rice that gets the job done every time.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood? 

My old man used to do these amazing charcoal barbies. More often than not everything would come out looking like charcoal itself. After one night of brutal inedible sausage charring he took us on a mission with one of his charcoaled sausages and we posted it in his mate’s letterbox. 

i should tell you: hera and jed

Well hello there. Welcome to the seventh I Should Tell You, where I interview musicians who are both cool and answer my emails. Same three questions about food every time, just to see what happens. This week – in lieu of the so rad She’s So Rad who will now be next week – it’s Hera and Jed! I first saw Hera a million years ago in Christchurch in 2008 when I was working at the Southern Amp festival (it’s 6.30am, don’t make me do maths or logic please). She was making music long before then and has continued to work away making music ever since.

A fun fact about Iceland: sometimes, when things are all too much, Tim and I will say to each other (sometimes adorably/really grossly in unison) “let’s make a new life in Iceland”. Where no-one can call us on the phone and no-one can bother us and we won’t be able to read the horrible letters to the editor and everything will be wonderful. Another fun fact about Iceland: it’s where Hera is from originally. However Christchurch has become her home, as with Jed, who also plays with the band House of Mountain, and it’s from there that they’ve been making music together since 2011.

Their song Issues, which I adore, is out now. It’s sweet and spiky like a friendly cactus and the video is very endearing. I’m not just saying this so you watch to the end, but the end is my very favourite part.

Find ’em at Fledge.co.nz | herasings.com | facebook.com/JedParsonsMusic

Thanks Hera and Jed! The interview starts…now.

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

HERA: There are lots of really special places around Iceland that I love, Hotel Framtíð – in Djúpivogur (a little seaside village, about an 8 hour drive from Reykjavik) has the most amazing langoustine soup.. all garlicky and buttery and comforting.. 
I also had the most perfect meals while touring in Italy – not at restaurants, but backstage in the kitchens of a few of the venues I played, there would be a really big table and everyone would gather for a late dinner, amazing pizzas, salads and yummy cheeses…

JED: There’s a really lovely local restaurant called McDo Nalds, they serve delicious gourmet burgers. You have the choice to upgrade your burger to a “combo” (I think that’s Italian for “even yummier” or something) where you can get a bunch of thinly sliced potatoes and a freshly poured beverage of your choice. 

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

HERA: I can be absolutely useless when I’m on my own, I forget to eat until I don’t function properly, then I eat badly.. but I do love to make pizza, and I have a few favorite salads (lentil and beetroot salads) and I really enjoy baking (much better at baking than cooking..)

JED: Luckily I still live at home and my mummy is the best cook in the world. However, If I’m home alone and I’ve managed to get over the tears and the fear of baddies coming to get me, I can usually nail a meal of 2-minute noodles. I prefer to put as much tomato sauce as possible over top, and then I like to grate half a block of cheese (edam if I’m feeling healthy – I find it is the lowest in fat out of all your standard cheeses) on top of that. 

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood? 

HERA: I’m from Iceland, where the traditional food is a little ‘’different’’ We eat dried fish and rotten shark (traditionally served with ‘’Black death’’ an Icelandic liquor) When I was very young, I’d prefer rotten shark over chocolate..  (it’s a pretty amazing thing, think strong smelly cheese but with the texture of squid.. sort-of) 
Also, summer trips to the swimming pool in Iceland were sometimes followed by Ice cream, dipped in licorice sauce and rolled in candy… 

JED: Alphabet spaghetti. That was only on very special occasions. I also ate 25 weetbix in one sitting once (with 2 litres of milk). That’s not really a favorite memory because I felt pretty sick, but I thought I should brag about it anyway. OH, one more… Santa used to bring my brothers and I a tube of condensed milk each and put them in our stockings, that was yummy! He doesn’t come anymore though because one of my brothers swore once. 

(HungryandFrozen’s note: omg me too with the noodles and the tomato sauce and the ton of cheese. And I mean like, tomato sauce that you put on a pie or a sausage roll or something, not even pasta sauce.)

i should tell you: Eva Prowse

Well hello there, and welcome to the sixth (what!) edition of I Should Tell You, where I briefly interview musicians who are both cool and will answer my emails, about food. Same three questions every time, but what will the answers be? Therein lie the mild thrills. So far I’ve been lucky enough to talk to Anna Coddington, Tourettes, Flip Grater, Dear Time’s Waste, and Jan Hellriegel. This week…well.

This week there was a total kerfuffle, which I guess I could blame on tiredness except I feel I should stop talking about how tired I am because it’s like, we’re all tired Laura, stop trying to replace your lack of zany personality with talking about your lack of sleep (NB: am so zany.) I usually post this on a Friday, and was planning an interview with Jeremy Toy of She’s So Rad, but totally forgot, and then they’ve got some delicious news which meant I’d be better off posting their interview next week anyway, so I brought next week’s interview with Eva Prowse forward a week. At which point I feel like I should link to a picture of Jesus with his thumbs up saying “cool story, bro“.

Instead, a picture of Eva Prowse! Wait, did I just imply she was better than Jesus? We’ll never find out, because I’m so not going there. Even though – nah, actually not going there. Will inevitably offend.

Apart from being friendly and obliging about me moving round her interview suddenly, what else can I tell you about Eva Prowse? Well, I love her music. Her album, the excellently titled I Can’t Keep Secrets, was released in 2010, filled with pretty, folky songs sung in a self-assured, gorgeous voice. You can listen to, and purchase, the entire album on Bandcamp, but if you’re looking for just one to start with, the lead single Youngest Child is instantly charming. Eva Prowse has been living in London for a while but is back and working on an album to be released later this year. And she has also been absorbed into the Fly My Pretties family, which is pretty fancy.

Also fancy: Eva drinking a coconut in South East Asia.

Thanks Eva! The interview will start…now.

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

Currently that’d be Vietnam – just the whole country really – although we did have some delicious vegetarian Pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup) at a place called ‘Pho Real’… 

Everywhere we ate the food was delicious and cheap – we mainly ate with the locals sitting on tiny plastic chairs on the side of the road. Noodles of any kind are always a winner for me, and the street vendors would sell an array of deep fried delights that I probably ate too many of. 

The bonus brag here would be that even though I ate a lot of food off the streets/local street vendors and had ice in my beers, I never once got a sicky tummy situation on the whole trip (I was in SE Asia for a month)! 

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

For cooking it’d be anything that’s a one-pot wonder, i.e. one pot to cook/make, same pot to eat. A vegetarian something or whatever with lots of chilli, spices, and salt.

Failing to cook (often the case) then it’d have to be toast – the best food platform of all time, with cucumber, tomato, avocado, and/or vegemite on top.

Oh and cereal for those hungry in between times…or anytime really…

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?

Fairy Bread – it was so pretty, had a magical name, and was full of refined carbs and food colouring – perfect.

When I was living in London last year, I told my workmate all about fairy bread (and other NZ whitebread party treats e.g. asparagus rolls) – she’d never heard of it, no one had over there had in fact. So when it was my last day of work, she made it for my leaving do. Only a handful of workmates tried it, and they all thought it was just weird and the texture was uncomfortable. I thought it tasted like a blissful memory, so I basically polished off the plate and was on some crazy sugar trip for my last few hours of work. 

I’ve just now realised that reading this interview a couple of weeks ago when Eva sent it to me was probably-definitely what influenced my subconscious to want Fairy Bread myself last week. So, double thanks, Eva! Also, thanks to Jeremy Toy from She’s So Rad for being understanding about my forgetfulness. His interview will be next week, hooray!

i should tell you: Jan Hellriegel

Well hello there, and welcome to the fifth installment of I Should Tell You. Every Friday I ask three short food-related questions of a cool musician who will answer my enthusiastic emails. Just to see what happens!

This week I am so happy to be interviewing Jan Hellriegel. She has been in what I (and…nearly everyone) call The Industry for a long time. And yet though I’ve always been aware of her music – to the point where I distinctly remember years ago, being a young intern and impressing a somewhat older member of staff simply by knowing who she was, what? –  it’s only relatively recently that I’ve been listening to it properly. And it is excellent. If you’re new to her stuff, I am sincerely obsessed with her 1995 song Pure Pleasure. It belongs in the canon of songs that I can and will listen to twelve times in a row without them losing their lustre. If anything: ever more lustre with every listen. I also recommend 2×2 from her recent album All Grown Up and It’s My Sin from her 1993 album of the same name. 

Jan is touring the North Island with Greg Johnson and some others in March – details here.  

Thanks, Jan! Here is the interview…here. 

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

When I was recording my first album It’s My Sin with American producer J.D Souther at Airforce Studios he had food brought in from The French Café every day. I don’t know if they would do this now. It was brilliantly decadent and I was convinced my life as a recording artist would from then on would be a never ending parade of gourmet cuisine …boy was I wrong. Parkside Café in Mt Albert is a recent discovery I’m sharing. Such a wonderful surprise – by day a regular suburban Eggs Benne-style café, but at night, the most delicious and authentic Vietnamese in Auckland.

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

I am rarely on my own but when I am it’s sardines on toast. That ensures I will be remain on my own for a few hours. I can only remember eating alone at a café once in the last few years and that was Selera in Newmarket, Auckland near where I work  – they make the best laksa ever and I just had to sit down and have one for lunch one day recently.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?

My Dad makes the best tripe and onions ever. When I was a student or feeling a little down in my 20s – I would ask him to cook some for me.  For many it may be chocolate  or ice-cream but for me, comfort food is Tripe and Onions.  Because life is pretty  sweet these days I haven’t indulged for a really long time. My fiancé promised to learn how to make it for me –  I am still waiting. 

i should tell you: Dear Time’s Waste

Well hello there, and welcome to the fourth installment of I Should Tell You, the new-ish blog segment that I’m gradually becoming more comfortable with instead of overexplaining, now that it has been going for a while. Nevertheless, if you’re new to these parts: every Friday I ask a cool musician who will answer my emails three short questions about food. Just to see what happens!

This week I talk to Claire Duncan of Dear Time’s Waste, whose music I want to describe as Cocteau Twin Peaks – but mostly because I really enjoy slightly forced portmanteaus. In fairness to Claire, I will be a little less self-indulgent and simply say: I love her songs with their push-pull between intensity and lightness, unsettling and swoony. Her videos are stunning as well, all cinematic and shadowy, and you can watch every last one on her site, starting with her latest release, Heavy/High.  You can also find Dear Time’s Waste being excellent on Tumblr.

The interview begins…now. Thanks, Claire!

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

I’ve never had spare cash to eat anywhere particularly flash, but I used to review hotels for a living which involved a fair amount of restaurant-dining and room-service. Eating potato gratin at three am in bed at the Museum Hotel in Wellington while watching Food TV is a personal highlight. Another favourite was banana and tomato pizza on an island in Vanuatu during the local village’s night-time celebration of thirty years of independence from Britain. 

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

I almost always cook on my own. I often make spiced lentil/bean/brown rice dishes with heaps of fresh spinach, yoghurt and cucumber…that sort of thing. Otherwise, soups in winter (tomato and capsicum with fresh goat’s cheese is a favourite) and salads in summer (chickpeas, onion, whatever kind of vegetable is on hand). I like making unfussy dishes that can be easily amplified to involve extra people. I’m also a sashimi fiend so if I’m lazy/hurried I’ll often get Japanese either from Bian (near home) or Haru No Yume in Mt Eden (near work). Or, if I’m in the region, the lemongrass Bun Ga from the Vietnamese place at Ponsonby Foodcourt goes bloody well with a cold beer and there are a lot of solo diners to be communally alone with.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?

I was obsessed with macaroni cheese; I learnt to make it from the back of the diamond pasta packet when I was about seven years old and practiced it whenever I got the opportunity; it was all the more fun if I had an audience. We started cooking very young with minimal instructions, as a result I would make ‘everything stir-fry’ which involved chucking whatever was in the fridge in a pan and sizzling the sh*t out of it.

i should tell you: flip grater

Welcome to the third installment of I Should Tell You, the still new-ish segment of my blog where I briefly interview musicians who are both really cool and also reply to my earnest emails, about food. This week it’s supercool Flip Grater, who I discovered years ago while reading an article where she talked about how she was collecting recipes while on tour and I thought: I’m going to like this lady. I own and love her Cookbook Tour cookbook but I’m not sure you can buy it around anymore – luckily there is a second one, The Cookbook Tour: Europe. And of course, her music: I recommend the lovely and cautionary Careful from her album While I’m Awake I’m At War, and This Road Leads Home from her debut, Cage For A Song.

(Flip Grater’s latest album While I’m Awake I’m At War, released on her own label Maiden Records)

And, say what? Flip’s on tour right now around New Zealand. Yay for us.

Feb 8th – Chicks, Dunedin
Feb 10th – Federal Diner, Wanaka
Feb 14th – The Old Library, Whangarei
Feb 15th – Sawmill, Leigh
Feb 16th – The Whiskey, Auckland

Thanks Flip Grater! The interview starts…now. (PS if you read the very first interview I did with Anna Coddington, there may be some, um, parallels between their answers to question one. Spoiler alert?)

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

This is more embarrassing than impressive but I love to tell this story to see people’s faces. I was entertaining a certain vegetarian Kiwi singer-songwriter in Paris (who is far too horrified by this story to be named) and suggested we go to Alain Passard’s L’Arpege on the left bank. It’s a 3-star restaurant famous for its treatment of vegetables. Most famous places will cost around 100-150 Euros for a degustation, which is a heap of money but we wanted to splash out so we each took 150 Euros out of our fairly empty credit cards, dressed up and wandered down to the basement restaurant. The service was amazing. The food very, very good (although I wouldn’t say it was mind-blowing) and the final bill: almost 700 Euros! We both looked at each other silently contemplating running out but instead tearfully pulled out our credit cards and spent the rest of the week in shock and trying to figure out how I would pay my rent that month.

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

I’m a little obsessed with soups. I could (and do sometimes) eat soup for every meal. Especially happy noodles. Good Asian food is hard to find in Paris – especially vegetarian Asian, so when I discovered a great noodle soup joint called Happy Nouilles I started referring to all noodle soup dishes as ‘happy noodles.’ It takes me 5 minutes to make a bowl. I use flat rice noodles and make a super sour, super spicy broth with plenty of greens and herbs. If I need some extra happy I add homemade shiitake gyoza.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?

Baked bean pizza with a layer of cheese you could peel off.

i should tell you: Tourettes

Well hello there. This is the next installment of I Should Tell You, my new weekly-ish segment where I interview musicians (criteria: I like them and they respond to my earnest emailing) about food. Now that it’s in its second week it feels like it’s a real thing, not just an awkwardly brief one-off idea. Imagine how insufferable I’ll be by week three. If you’re still all “help, what?” I explained some more about this caper last week.


Tourettes is a rapper whose compelling music and poetry and writing I’ve been a huge fan of since I discovered it all in 2009, via a website which I won’t name on here since I tend to keep this thing swearword-free, out of a vague sense that I’ll get in trouble with someone if I don’t. Anyway: a fun mix of alluring and uncomfortable, caustic yet sweet (like a grapefruit?), you can find more of his words of all kinds at filthyandbeautiful.net. For new people, I recommend Out Of Water from his album Who Says You Can’t Dance To Misery (coincidentally, featuring last week’s interviewee, Anna Coddington. Doesn’t that just put the “gee!” in synergy.) He also sent me some photos which is really cool. So here he is and here’s some food he fixed up.

Thanks Tourettes! The interview begins…now:

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation?
when i was in cambodia my friend took me out to diner with his cousin who’s father is high up in the military. the restaurant was at the top story of this 80’s looking sky scraper. on the way in there was a sign at the door that said no machine guns, no drugs , no body guards. even though the restaurant was on the 30th floor you could open he windows. this made me quite nervous. because of Cambodia’s lax laws on prescription medicine i couldn’t tell you what our meal was like but if the rest of the food i ate over there was anything to go by, probably not so flash.

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?
I wish i could say it was something exciting but usually its just sandwiches. when I’m cooking for a living the last thing i want to do is cook some more, and when im not im too poor to aford anything else. I do make good sandwiches though. the trick is two sauces. but never three.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood? My dad used to make deep fried chicken wings. they were really good. although sometimes they were quite pink inside but he’d always insist this was fine. i now know this isn’t true. 

i should tell you: Anna Coddington

Welcome to this new segment of my blog! What?
  • Weekly, or fortnightly if I can’t get my act together, I’m interviewing musicians who I like but who also respond to my very earnest emails (it’s a genre unto itself) about food.
  • Each person gets the same three questions. 
  • I post their responses verbatim here. 
  • We all learn a little something about the musician, and maybe even ourselves.
  • My usual recipes and finding-myself will still continue as reassuringly weekly-ish as ever. 
But why? Well, I thought it up one evening and wanted to see if I could make it happen, plus I thought it might make this blog a little bit more sparkly and new after five years. In case you’re hissing “so off-brand” in a stage whisper, hungryandfrozen.com has always been full of music, plus I find interesting people talking about food to be doubly interesting – so maybe you will too. Just like this blog itself, I’ve named this thing after a quote from the musical RENT. The quote appears in several different numbers. My naive hope is that you’ll go listen to the whole thing and fall in love like I did. 
I am super happy to be starting it all with the bodacious and talented Anna Coddington. If you’re after a bio the one on her website is plenty comprehensive. What I will add is that I love her music – it’s breezy and gorgeous and snappy and as a starting point I recommend Little Islands from her latest album Cat and Bird, and Never Change from her 2008 debut The Lake. 

Thanks Anna! And now the interview will begin…now.
Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 
This story started out as one I didn’t want anyone to know- ever- but now that I have enough time between me and the event, looking back at it the hilarity finally outweighs the horror. Just. 
I was staying with my friend in Paris. She’s a fellow musician, a big time foodie, and a vegan, and she was excited that a vegetarian (me) was in town because she’d been wanting to try this fancy pants restaurant called L’Arpege that apparently specialised in vegan degustation. I thought, “treat yourself”, and mentally prepared to spend maybe 100Euro on a nice Parisian dinner. Outrageous. 
My friend went online, entered her credit card details to get a reservation, and we taxied there in the evening. We were seated and as I looked around I immediately got the sense that someone like me didn’t belong somewhere like that. My friend ordered two vegan degustations and we were served course after course of ummm… vegetables. Some delicious. Some meh. Here’s some turnip. Here’s like 3 beans. Here’s one tiny beetroot. Etc. Couldn’t eat the last couple coz I was too full. Finally they brought us the bill: 600Euro. (That’s 300Euro each aka about NZD$500.) I wanted to spew. I glared at my friend across the table- had she known it would cost this much? She didn’t even flinch. 
The waiter told us we got to keep the knife we ate our meals with and I felt like saying “how about you keep the fricken knife and knock 50Euro off my bill?”. Didn’t though. We paid (it hurt my feelings so bad), left, and held each other as we shrieked in disbelief along the streets of Paris at how lolz and silly we were. She’d had no idea. Luckily coz I would’ve killed her if she did. My friend’s solution to her feelings was to go drink whiskey that night and we stayed up till 4am talking about money management and general musician things (musicians always talk about their careers, you see). 
My solution was to go running the next morning which I made us do despite the hangovers and we found a pretty flower park that made everything seem slightly better. We found out that day that L’Arpege has 3 of them Michelin star things. 
The knife from that restaurant is still hiding in my sock drawer as my secret shame. 
What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?
I make “Make-do special” when it’s just me because it’s a good way to try use all the food that need using and doesn’t matter if it doesn’t quite work out coz only you have to eat it. Usually it’s some kind of stir-fry or salad or hot-pot type thing, and usually it’s pretty good. Also at the moment it would incorporate something from my garden which is going nuts. Cooking something from my garden makes me feel like a real human in the world of nature. 
What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood? 
Our parents used to give us Pelion kalamata olives in our christmas stockings. I still love them. Have a can in my fridge right now in fact.
Thanks Anna Coddington! You rule.