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The Baxters: Caught Somewhere In Time

Issue #3 | June 4, 2020 Do you remember the first song you both danced to? If so, tell us about that moment and the song. Kristin: I do not remember the song, but I…

Issue #3 | June 4, 2020

Do you remember the first song you both danced to? If so, tell us about that moment and the song.

Kristin: I do not remember the song, but I can almost guarantee our first dance was at our wedding.  

Matt: I’ve never been a dancer, and we got married eight months after our first date, so our first dance was at our wedding. The music that evening was poorly recorded on a cassette tape by me and two groomsmen the night before the wedding, so I’m going to say it was something sappy and slow and terrible, from the creative desert that was mid-80s music. I hope that no one was there with a camcorder to ever provide evidence.

What was the first concert you both attended together?

Kristin: It was either Adam and the Ants or Iron Maiden. I’m going to go with Maiden since we’ve seen them eight times in our 35 years together.  

Matt: Iron Maiden, March 21, 1985. Most recent, twice in 2019. Only group I’ve seen more in concert than Iron Maiden is the Choral Project!

What is your favorite Iron Maiden song and why?

Kristin: WOW! That is nearly impossible to identify! “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is one that encompasses the musical prowess (guitar riffs) and emotional breadth of this heavy metal band, including the long lines and soaring vocals of the lead, Bruce Dickinson. After forty years, this band is still relevant.  

Matt: Tough call after 40 years of them making music. I could pick many and have a solid answer. But I’ll go with “Revelations,” from the 1983 Piece of Mind album. I have seen it live three times and it opens with a quote from a G. K. Chesterton English hymnal and is haunting and fast-paced. Listen to it and you’ll understand that they’re much more than just your average heavy metal band!

Do you have a favorite performance space in San Jose? And is there a special place you both enjoy for things like live music or performances?

Kristin: Favorite? The obvious answer is wherever The Choral Project performs!  Having both graduated from San José State University, I guess our special place might be SJSU’s Music Concert Hall for a lunchtime recital called “The Listening Hour,” organized by the School of Music and Dance.  

Matt: The Shark Tank, otherwise known as the SAP Center at San Jose. Big arena for big shows like Black Sabbath on their final tour in 2016. As for San Jose-adjacent, the place Kristin and I go to most often where the acoustics are great, and the shows are phenomenal, is Mission Santa Clara de Asís for Choral Project performances. I’m in the audience and she’s on “stage” (looking great as always) and we’re there together-ish.

Who is the cook in the relationship? If you both share the title, who is the best cook?

Kristin: Matt is the cook, but on my few attempts each year I’d say that my presentation earns an A+. 

Matt: I’m the cook. Kristin is a good backup; her lasagna is great. But for throwing things together creatively and having everything ready at the same time (and remembering that someone better cook dinner or we’re going to go without), it’s me. 

Have you discovered or played with a new recipe while being in quarantine?

Kristin: I have made a new culinary discovery! While making a chocolate protein shake in my handheld blender, I added some Merlot; think liqueur desserts, like raspberry cordials.

As is typical of my kitchen moves, the outcome was not exactly as I envisioned it would be, although it did whip into an unusually stiff, yet pourable air-filled foamy creation. Here is a starter idea: wine latte… You’re welcome! 

Matt: I’ve been playing around with burgers like you find at the more creative burger restaurants. Adding almond butter, fried eggs, jalapeños and other hot peppers, roast beef, bacon, spinach, cottage cheese, curry, sausage patties, and different breads for buns. Not all at once!

(Click here to hear and enjoy this issue’s audio companion piece on YouTube.)


Photos were taken Friday, May 22, 2020 by The Choral Project Board Member, Nada Marriott, who observed all rules of social distancing using a long-distance camera lens. All photos © 2020 Nada Marriott.