What's in Your Fridge?: Trevor Risk
What’s in Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators.
On the grill
Who are you
We actually don't have enough space here to tell you everything Trevor Risk does, but here's a short list of some of his many jobs: frontman of dream-pop band Sunshine; freelance writer; club-night promoter and DJ (Come Friday, Ice Cream Social); and project manager, brand ambassador, and all-around arbiter of cool at Light Organ Records. In other words, Risk basically runs this town.
My first concert was Sloan, but I wasn't there to see Sloan. Like many teens my age and my disposition (awkward, alienated, bad hair) I spent my Friday nights watching The Wedge and became pretty into the east coast indie scene, which turned me on to Eric's Trip, and The Super Friendz. Matt Murphy from the latter had a new band called The Flashing Lights and I was pretty into their single, "Highschool" (one word). I had been waiting to choose my first show for a while, because i had some notion that it was like punching your V-card (which i think we referred to as "Popping one's cherry" at the time). Sloan were terrible that night, but the Flashing Lights destroyed the Ottawa venue's stage, with keyboard player Gavin Dianda breaking a tambourine from playing it too hard. During Sloan's boring set, Matt Murphy was roaming around the floor and my friends and I all got him to sign our CDs, and after I told him how much I loved his last band's single "Karate Man" he signed mine "To my Judo Man" and I'm sure I still have that CD somewhere.
I've seen a few concerts that will forever stick with me. The Super Furry Animals played Richard's on Richards once, and they had a laptop guy sync all their songs with projected Pete Fowler cartoons to illustrate the lyrics. The laptop guy took their last song and started blending it into a breakbeat track while the band went backstage to change into their furry costumes, and by the time they came back the song had morphed into their encore number, which they picked up into it live. There was the time Soulwax played the Plaza and didn't do their mashup DJing, and didn't do their originals, but rather played all their remixes as a live band and blended them all together like a DJ set. Guided By Voices was the first rock show the Drink had in almost a decade and they played four encores while Robert Pollard kept giving me beers and high kicking in front of me, ending the show with a personal handshake and telling me he thought i was cool. But my life changing one would have to be Belle & Sebastian at the Commodore. As they sometimes do, they invited someone up on stage and I got to go up. I had downed a full bottle of brandy beforehand, and when i tried to climb the barrier, i went ass over teakettle. Stuart Murdoch said that the song he was about to do was about bosses and asked if i had anything to say to my boss, and I responded with "I'm an entrepreneur" which made him laugh. He got me to sing a line, and was impressed enough with my pitch to let me sing half the song while he played tambourine. A few years later, John Collins introduced me to Stevie Jackson, and when i told him i got to sing for his band once, he said "Oh I remember you. You were druuuuuuuunk!"
Top three records
3. 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields. Most double albums don't have enough material to even warrant putting it out as an EP ("remember the Foghat rule: Your fourth album should be DOUBLE LIVE." but we'll get to that reference later) but this TRIPLE album is so good that if i listen to one song, i have to listen to all of them. Seeing them live is both wonderful and awful. People yell idiotic things out to the band about Peter Gabriel and their wedding song, but Stephin Merritt makes fun of them in his baritone voice.
2. Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian. When this band met in school while on the dole, they had to put out an album. They pressed one thousand copies of it, and nobody cared, and most of them ended up on the floor of the venue at the release party. Now, it's considered a holy grail by record collectors and I have one. They sell for around one thousand pounds sterling.
1. Teenager of the Year by Frank Black. If you tell people that you prefer Frank Black's solo output to the Pixies, first they get confused and then they get mad. Part of growing up in the middle of nowhere means that you don't have too many peers to spitball on music with, so you just buy what you like and get told later in life that you're wrong. I also prefer Mojave 3 to Slowdive. /ducks bottle thrown by John Lucas. Frank Black's second solo album is a combination of Pixies energy, the rhythm's of Iggy Pop's under-appreciated Party, and better lyrics than any album I know of, even though I don't really give two shits about lyrics. If you take the first letter in each line of the song "Speedy Marie" it creates and acrostic for his then-girlfriend's name, Jean Marie Walsh.
All-time favourite video:
"Sugarcube" by Yo La Tengo. It features Bob Odenkirk and David Cross right in the middle of their Mr. Show run, acting as professors in a school that the band has to go to because they made a depressing performance video. It features someone passing a note saying "Do you like trip hop?" with "yes" and "no" being options for circling, Odenkirk reading "Closer to the Heart" as poetry in the quad (which inspired my current band's first promo shot), and one of the students having to sing the Doobie Brothers' "Blackwater" during the breakdown of the song. It's perfect. Indie rock and indie comedy have always dovetailed (Shadowy Men and KITH anyone?) and it's a fun relationship to have seen develop over the past few years.
Honourable mention: Gleaming Spires "Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?" It's from the Revenge of the Nerds OST, and the concept is this: the band lip syncs the song while making a pie in time with the music. They just make a pie from scratch.
Second honourable mention: any video from an OST that either has the band dressed like they're from the movie, includes clips from the movie, or both. E.g. Jude Cole's "Back To School", most of Kenny Loggins' output, and that Smashing Pumpkins Batman thing where Billy Corgan might be wearing a skirt. Video directors should start doing that again.
What’s in your fridge?
My mother- and father-in-law just moved to Calgary so they came over and gave us all their groceries. They were feeding three kids, including a 15 year old female volleyball player who is like 6'3", so they were buying en masse. Basically I have a shit tonne of condiments and frozen food filling in the spacial gaps of my regular diet of fruits and vegetables and meat, with some beers tucked in the back that Michael Mann brought over a long time ago, that haven't been touched because I don't drink beer because I'm not 16.