I first learned about the legendary Su Tissue (born Sue McLane) from her cameo in the 1986 film Something Wild. She plays a nerdy housewife in the film, and I was immediately intrigued by her unique charisma. I then discovered her post-punk band, Suburban Lawns, which is what she is most known for. Suburban Lawns formed in 1978 and stood out for their Avant Garde weirdness and absurdist lyrics.
Apparently, the lyrics of their most popular song, Janitor, "were derived from a real-life conversation between Sue 'Su Tissue' McLane and friend Brian Smith. According to Smith, the two were conversing in a loud room when they first met. She asked me what I did for a living. I said 'I'm a janitor,' and she thought I said 'Oh my genitals.' [Richard "Frankie Ennui" Whitney] overheard this and wrote the song." (Wikipedia)
The band's sole album, titled Suburban Lawns, is one of my all-time favorites and leaves me wanting more every time I listen to it, so I was thrilled when I discovered Su's 1982 classical record Salon De Musique. This surreal, mostly instrumental record features 3 minimal, post-modern tracks. My favorite track on the album is the hauntingly beautiful piano composition, 2nd Movement. This youtube video paired the song with this psychedelic footage of a carnival, "Decomposed Carnival" from the Prelinger Archives. I love how dreamy both the song and video are together — I often put this on repeat while I draw and get lost in a trance.
Su Tissue's current whereabouts are a total mystery, and this has made her cult following even crazier about her. Even her former band members claim to have no idea what she's up to nowadays; "I myself have not seen nor heard from Su since the suburban lawns split, says" Chuck Roast, drummer of Suburban Lawns. Searching For Su Tissue is an interesting read by Scott Beauchamp, if you want to know more about the obsession people have with trying to find out who and where Su is now.
I have a deep appreciation for Su's originality, amazing fashion sense, and outstanding music. If you're reading this, Su, thank you for everything!