What's In Your Fridge: Laura Mitic of Carmanah

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      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

      Carmanah lead singer Laura Mitic.

      Who are you

      I’ve had the vocal line “Billy, don’t you run so fast” from Bill Withers’ song "Grandma’s Hands", stuck in my head for over a month.  I think it’s my subconscious trying to remind me to enjoy the journey a little more. Gearing up for an album release and touring this spring, I’ve been doing a lot of the prep work for the band from home. Thankfully my cat and my dog keep me in good company and join in on my dance breaks.  On a more serious note, I feel a responsibility to connect and reconcile with the land we live on and the people we live beside.  I'm a conservationist and strongly oppose fish farms on our coast (or any coast for that matter).  I love music for its power to bring people together in harmony, like the time I played at an open mic in Prague and a few dozen Czech people joined me enthusiastically in singing "Stand By Me", beer glasses raised and smiles all around.


      First concert

      When I was nine years old  my Dad took me to see Rain, a Beatles cover band, perform at a theatre in Victoria.  Although I can no longer remember all of the details, I do remember loving being in front of live music and using my imagination to pretend that these were actually the real Beatles.  The musicians were wearing boldly coloured vintage outfits and had done a remarkable job looking and sounding the part of the original four-piece, hair cuts, harmonies and all.  My Dad is largely responsible for inspiring me to start playing music so this is a particularly special memory for me.


      Life-changing concert

      One of the first times I went totally jaw-dropped at a concert was at Sasquatch Music Festival in 2011.  The duo Rodrigo y Gabriela took the stage and captivated the hundreds of thousands of people in attendance with their incredible guitar slaying skills.  Gabriela created the rhythm, hitting and tapping her guitar, as Rodrigo played catchy and complicated riffs over her intricate beats.  It was passionate, crazy and powerful.  They didn’t speak very much but when they thanked the audience it was humble and thoughtful, and then they launched into another song and we all went wild.


      Top three records

      Bahamas Barchords. This album, released in 2012, has been a consistent soundtrack throughout my 20s.  The sounds are rich and the lyrics are reflective and retrospective.  The title track "Lost in the Light" will always be one of my favourite songs.


      Carole King Tapestry. This album, heard many times when I was a kid thanks to my Mom’s musical influence, has always held a special place in my heart for multiple reasons, the biggest of which is that it simply makes me really happy.  I like it most in the morning, enjoyed with a fresh mug of coffee.


      The Chambers Brothers The Time Has Come.  When I was a teen, this album introduced me to that full band sound, with soulful melodies, layered harmonies, and an awesome rhythm section.  Blasting in my headphones, I paired it with music of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Yes, and Boston, to name a few.  At that point in my life I was convinced that I was born in the wrong decade.


      All-time favourite video

      Iron and Wine "Boy with a Coin"  In a dance studio, with old brick walls and big mirrors, a group of women dance flamenco as Sam Beam plays his guitar and sings this song.  It’s a simple concept but it remains captivating for the entire music video.  This compelling collaboration displays the power of art in bringing us together to create something beautiful.  


      What’s in your fridge


      Way too many condiments.  I’ve counted 10 different kinds of hot sauces and nine varieties of mustard, to name a few.  This is what happens when four people come together under one roof and share the same fridge.  We are trying to work our way through them but it’s a slow process.  If only there was a way to make a delicious soup out of only condiments...


      Peach and jalapeno chutney. Speaking of condiments, for my last birthday, I was given a dozen preserves, including this chutney from a few different friends.  It’s been a delectable adventure trying them all.  This one might be my favourite.


      Veterinarian prescribed cat food. Zeus, my cat, has to be on a special diet that minimizes the chances of him having another blockage in his urinary tract.  Shout out to all the pet owners out there who are reading this empathetically as they plunk down a similar meal in front of their furry friend.  You get me.


      Carmanah plays the Capital Ballroom in Victoria on March 9.  You can check out Carmanah's Speak in Rythms  here