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
Richie Felix Alexander.
Who are you
Hi, I’m Richie Felix Alexander. Singer/songwriter in sonic-alt-gazers Did You Die and founder of Blew//Rose, a record label. Blew//Rose is releasing Did You Die’s brand new album, Royal Unicorn, digitally and on vinyl worldwide, October 16th, 2018. "Royal Unicorn" was taken from the now defunct venue which kids commonly refer to as Fortune Sound Club these days! I’m also the songwriter/producer of an '80s-inspired club group called Dream Girl 88. We just released our debut mixtape, Kelly on Blew//Rose in August.
Most kids experience their first concert with their parents. That was not the case for me. My parents forbid me to go to shows because back in the '90s, Chris Cornell’s vocal power and Kurt Cobain’s rumoured heroin habit scared the shit out of Mom and Dad.
That didn’t stop me from sneaking out to catch the Melvins with Eric’s Trip and Godheadsilo down at the Opera House in Toronto around 1994. And in true teenaged-indie-snob form, although I wasn’t aware of that at the time, Godheadsilo (the opening band) impressed me the most that night! Eric’s Trip was a super emotional experience, and by the time the Melvins went on the entire venue was filled with cigarette and marijuana smoke. Something I wasn’t able to handle that young and it somewhat ruined my experience because of the headache all the smoke caused me.
Seeing Mystery Machine in 1995 at the Molson Amphitheatre, for Edge Fest 3. This show was very significant because it was suppose to be Sloan’s last show. The entire morning it rained and poured. By the time Mystery Machine kicked into "Valley Song" this hazy, humid, southern Ontario sun started to appear in the sky behind them, as their swirly guitars mesmerized the thousands in attendance. They were mind-blowing. By the end of their set, most people, including me, forgot about the openers and it was like Sloan who? Did you just see Mystery Machine?! I went home and begged my parents to get me a wah pedal after that show. My dad thinking I was going to play it like Jimi or Zeppelin, little did he know that I picked up how to learn the distored-noise-wah solos Mystery Machine perfectly executed (a la Dino Jr, Esq.) on the song "Underground" which was off their Glazed LP. Sorry, Dad!
Top three records
My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything From the first second I heard the drum intro to the very first song, "Soft As Snow", I was hooked on the giddy momentum. Not to mention how Kevin Shields perfected concise vocal melodies over the such a weird, noisy, guitar riff. As I delved deeper into the album, the intensely dreamy “Lose My Breath" or intensely frantic feel of "Feed Me With Your Kiss" hooked me further. In speaking with other like-minded musician, and bands I looked up to at the time like Tristan Psionic, I started to realize that this album hit everyone pretty hard. Well not everyone, just the musicians that heard it. The moment I realized the vocal line from Sloan’s "I Am The Cancer" was adopted from "Sueisfine" off Isn’t Anything, really made me understand the deep-reach of this album. I was no different and I am still somewhat enamoured, and at times obsessed with this album.
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation From the first note of "Teen Age Riot", Daydream Nation felt like something much more. Sonic Youth’s typical punk meets avant guard on a perverbial tight-rope was still there, but this was much more dreamy. The reverbed-chorus soaked clean guitar intros themed throughout the entire album, are what ties the whole experience together. That’s truly what this album is, an experience. It’s felt like a psychedelic-blissful experience one would have in their dreams. It takes you somewhere else. As a teenager, I listened to this album everyday for almost a year. It really pissed off my brother who hated Sonic Youth. Daydream Nation is still probably the best holiday gift I ever received. Mainly, because it was better then what I was expecting it to sound like. It highly influenced my guitarmanship and how I approach songwriting.
Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe Devonté Hynes seriously caught my attention with Cupid Deluxe. I played it for everyone I knew when I was mildly obsessing over it ;) I felt all alone as I was experiencing this amazing album I just couldn’t turn off, all by myself. Eventually, others in my group of friends started joining the cult of Devonté Hynes. This album uplifts me. There is a dreamy component to all the songs. It also gave me the courage to explore writing music I always loved, but never attempted to write before. It was very scary, everyone I was playing music with at the time, didn’t understand why or what I was doing, but I can say I am extremely happy with how Dream Girl 88’s debut turned out. Devonté Hynes is on another level people and he’s just getting better. If you’re looking for something to inspire you, move you, give you a feeling of something more, I highly reccomend his Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe album. It will change you, forever.
Dinosaur Jr., "Out There" When I first saw this video I loved it right away. How did they get J Mascis on top of a mountain that looks like Mt. Everest and film him from what looks like a drone, that surrounds and pans all the way around him. They really nailed the visuals perfectly as the longish, Neil Young and Crazy Horse-esque guitar solo blasts in the intro. As the video continues it ends up in a snowy mountain party freak out. I’ve probably watched it close to 500 times. It’s like that favourite movie you’ve watched over and over from ‘back in the day’. Highly inspirational.
What’s in your fridge
Ginger-infused kombucha. I’m literally obsessed with with ginger-infused Kkombucha. I had to start drinking it due to a stomach ailment I was going through. At first, kombucha was highly intense for me. I couldn’t get through an entire bottle for at least two to three days. Over time, I started seeing the healthy results from bringing it into my diet. The ginger component is also highly important if you are looking to cleanse and health your stomach. Now I just drink ginger kombucha because I’m obsessed with it. You will always find a bottle or two on the inside of my fridge door.
Arugula. When I started looking into changing my diet, arugula was top of mind. The health benefits are incredible as it’s been found to lower blood pressure, a certain chemical in arugula may help slow the progerssion of cancer and it tastes amazing. Arugula is like the bacon of vegetables. Whatever you put arugula on, makes it better. Much better. It’s just something that I loved from the moment I tried it and it’s always in my fridge.
Chicken Soup. One winter my friend Johnny Matter (vocalist in noise-rockers MESS) was staying at our place. He’s worked in kitchens for years and I’ve always salivated over his food. This Xmas, myself and my parter Katherine were sick. Johnny made the most incredible chicken soup to help with our colds. He made the broth from scratch. It tasted just like Grandma’s chicken soup! I observed his technique and started to perfect my own. Since then I’ve purchased an instant-pot that can help anyone make the most incredible chicken broth from scratch. We always have a batch of home made Johnny Matter–inspired chicken soup in the fridge (and the freezer!).