What's In Your Fridge: Ida Nilsen

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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.

      Who are you

      Ida Nilsen, former snotty booker and take-no-prisoners door person at the (sugar refinery), former bartender at the Railway Club, former musician-about-town, current student, restaurant administrator, and singer-songwriter behind Great Aunt Ida, whose new album Unsayable was released on September 7. Details at www.greatauntida.com; listen/buy the album at greatauntida.bandcamp.com, zunior.com, Red Cat Records, or stream the f out of it at the usual places.

      First concert

      The Nylons at the Royal Theatre circa 1989 in Victoria, BC., I think; I may have just memorized the program from the family photo album. But I remember “Silhouettes on the Shade” and a long bathroom lineup.

      Life-changing concert

      Dixies Death Pool and Mexican Power Authority at the UVic SUB ballroom in Victoria, Feb ‘95. This was the early days of going to gigs for me and I was in awe of the DIY mandate. I think I spent a lot of time during this period pretending or trying to like hardcore, but MPA was something else, blew my mind. And this was the first time I saw Dixies Death Pool play; I’d never heard anything that felt so familiar and strange at the same time.

      Top three records

      Joni Mitchell Blue Coming up with top three albums is torture, but coming up with number one is easy: this one. I admit to skipping “Little Green” sometimes, but otherwise this album is flawless, cohesive, and somehow makes me feel like me.

      Cyndi Lauper She’s So Unusual This record just keeps getting better—the production has aged remarkably. I don’t usually like things that make me so happy but when the drums kick in at the chorus of “All Through the Night” I can hardly contain myself. For years I was embarrassed about how much I loved this record. Luckily it became cool again so I can admit it now.

      Vic Chesnutt The Salesman and Bernadette I miss Vic Chesnutt a lot and always loved his songwriting, but I didn’t love all of his records. Having Lambchop as a backing band was a brilliant idea, and Emmylou Harris on backup vox didn’t hurt either. Gorgeous.

      All-time favourite video

      Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark” Okay, there are way more exciting and interesting videos out there, but this fake performance vid is so killer. Springsteen is a god here and all I wanna do is look at him. It’s spellbinding.

      What’s in your fridge

      Seven different kinds of pickles. These are all active and have different functions: cornichons, sliced, babies, full size, extra garlic, onions etc… I love pickles a lot. They are the reason I have no enamel left on my teeth.

      An old pickle jar half full of bacon grease from two years ago. I can’t throw it out—I might need it for something.

      $600. I moved it here from the freezer after I heard on TV that the freezer is yesterday’s hiding spot for the savings account. I got with the times!

      Listen to Ida Nilsen's Unsayable here