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
I better answer this one literally, or else we'll be here all day. I'm Cassandra Maze (hi!), alternative-pop musician and live-loopstress hailing from Coquitlam. I write, record, perform and loop music for your listening pleasure, and I just released a new album entitled Asymmetry.
The first concert I attended was Jeff Beck at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, when I was seven years old. I wasn't a super hip seven-year-old or anything--it was my parents who actually took me to this concert. I was aware of Jeff Beck's music, though, and liked a few tunes. The show started way past my bedtime, so I fell asleep about three or four songs in. I remember we had amazing seats right up front, so I like to think that Jeff took notice of this little girl snoozing away during his performance, and it made him play harder.
Okay if I had to pick one, it would be seeing KT Tunstall at the Edmonton Folk Festival on a small stage, where she performed as part of a rotating lineup. The theme was "musical influences" and apparently all the other performers had received the memo, except KT. She started off by admitting that the set she prepared was all originals, not covers of her idols. But she was able to change her set list completely on the fly, and performed a version of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" from memory, nearly messing it up, but recovering and ultimately winning her entire audience over. Seeing that vulnerability and humility from an artist on stage was eye-opening, because first of all it showed what an immense talent KT is, but also that we're all human, and oftentimes it's the unintended mistakes that create meaningful moments between audience and performer.
Top three records
Jeff Buckley Grace I don't think I'll live to see the day when Jeff Buckley's Grace isn't my number-one album. Truthfully speaking, I've had this album on repeat ever since I first heard it at 16. Jeff Buckley was so underrated and for the most part unrecognized in his lifetime, but he's made such an impact on the next generation of artists and musicians since he died. What I admire most about Jeff and his music, is the sincerity and authenticity with which he did everything. When you put this album on, you feel like Jeff's in your living room—he's that in touch with the music and with what he's singing. I've bonded with so many people over this album over the years. It's a testament to how music can bring us together.
The Beatles Abbey Road Realistically, I could put any Beatles album released after 1965 in my top three, but listening from front to back, I think Abbey Road is my favourite. It takes me back to a very particular time in high school when I went through a serious Beatles craze (something I would wish upon everyone). Some of my favourite songs to perform and sing are on this album: "Oh Darling", "Something", and "Here Comes the Sun". Plus you've got the luxurious and harmony-drenched number "Because" on there, which gives me chills just thinking about! What else can I say? I want to go listen to the Beatles now.
No Doubt Tragic Kingdom Okay I know I'm supposed to talk about the album, and I do love this album—it's my favourite Gwen Stefani era, when she wore plaid and cargo with platinum blonde Marcel waves, and she would skank (that's a type of dance FYI) and do push-ups on stage. But the 10th song on this record, "Don't Speak", will go down in history as one of my favourite songs ever. Story is: Gwen Stefani wrote the lyrics after her breakup with No Doubt's bassist Tony Kanal, and they continued playing in the band together (P.S. I know what that's like!). Given those circumstances, there is so much beautiful tension and rawness in her vocal performance—my heart breaks in the best possible way every time I hear it.
All-time favourite video
Aha "Take On Me" I was learning this song via YouTube for a friend's wedding, and I was so distracted by the music video that I think I played it about 10 or 12 times before actually charting anything out. I love me some magic realism, so the whole narrative of real girl leaving the real world to enter some alternate comic-book world fantasy makes me happy.
What's in your fridge
Almond butter. It's so much better than peanut butter! I could eat this stuff by the spoonful, straight outta the jar. And I do. But I don't double dip. Most of the time.
Apples. Hands down my favourite snack. Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Results are inconclusive.
Two 1.2 kg containers of feta cheese. Because feta makes everything betta! So buy in bulk.
You can listen to Cassandra Maze's new EP, Asymmetry, here.