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
For years I have operated on the fringes of Vancouver music as a multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, composer, and engineer—although I haven’t been particularly successful at any single one of those things. After years of people calling my creative endeavours “childish”, I decided to go all in and so now I entertain kids as Mr Doug. I write fun songs for children, but I produce the music with style—for the parents who have to hear it over and over and over. My latest EP Responsible Songables is written to help kids learn about the responsibilities that we all share, regardless of our age.
Harry Belafonte @ Centennial Auditorium, Saskatoon, SK (1988). Growing up in Saskatoon I wasn’t allowed to listen to any music outside of my father’s record collection, and this is where my love for Harry Belafonte began. The day I found out he was coming to town I decided to sell a bunch of toys I thought I had outgrown (Star Wars toys!), so I could afford tickets to surprise my dad with on his birthday. The show was amazing, as Belafonte is the epitome of grace and talent—the consummate performer. He had this running joke; between songs while bantering with the crowd he would sing the word “Saskatoooooooooon”—it just kept on getting laughs. After the show I convinced my dad to help me and my friend sneak backstage (to this day it’s the most badass thing he has ever done—thanks dad!). As soon as Harry showed up, my friend and I loudly sang, “Welcome, Welcome! Welcome Harry to Saskatoooooooooon” to the tune of “Day-O”. Belafonte broke out laughing and gave us a round of applause, and promptly came over to chat. He spent the next 10 minutes ignoring everyone else in the green room while genuinely engaging us. I was 11 years old at the time, so making my musical hero laugh and applaud for me was, quite literally, the highlight of my life.
Plant and Page @ The Palace At Auburn Hills / Detroit, MI (1995) As a teenager I was enraptured with Led Zeppelin, so the day I was offered last minute tickets to see Plant and Page I knew exactly what I had to do: quit my job, drop out of school, and jump in my friend Zak’s truck to drive non-stop from Saskatoon to Detroit. You know, your average “coming of age” road trip. They performed with a full string section, and an eight-piece percussion ensemble. I had never heard anything sound so rich and enormous in my life, and I’m pretty sure I cried at least twice. Robert Plant saw me freaking out on the balcony and waved at me. That moment then become the new highlight of my life.
Top three records
Harry Belafonte Calypso This was the first album I ever became enamoured with, and after all these years I love it more than ever. I just recently found out it was the first album ever to sell more than one million copies! If you’ve never heard it, I can promise you this; there is never a bad time to play it. For example, right now.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II At this point I’m probably coming off as slightly obsessive/compulsive, but there will always be special place in my heart for this album. Whether you’re on acid and hearing the middle section of “Whole Lotta Love” for the first time, or getting beaten up at a party while “Moby Dick” plays in the background, there’s something on this record for everyone.
The Smalls To Each A Zone The Smalls are the greatest Canadian band ever, and I credit this album with exposing me to the DIY mentality. It’s such a phenomenal record. Not too long ago I was waiting at a red light when a young girl drove up beside me rocking out to it. In that moment I was overwhelmed with hope for the future of mankind.
All-time favorite video
I honestly struggled with this, because it really made me ask the question “What do I love in a music video”? Do I love watching musicians lip sync? Do I love scantily clad women? Do I love Christopher Walken’s dancing? As it turns out, I love Dan Deacon performing on an NBC morning show.
What's in your fridge
Hot Sauces (20+ different brands). Because I am a fiend with a troubling addiction, we have a full shelf devoted to nothing but hot sauce. As far as I’m concerned, the hotter—the better. I don’t consider a meal a success unless I have either sweat profusely or cried—ideally both.
Ice Cream (preferably Earnest). It doesn’t matter how old you are, ice cream is one of the best things in the world. Anyone who says differently is a liar with a devious and hidden agenda that you absolutely should not trust.
Liquor (lots). Because life.