Thursday, April 29, 2010

Desert Island Discs


Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 program that invites guests to list the eight pieces of music they'd take with them to the proverbial uninhabited island. One of the longest-running radio shows in history, Desert Island Discs has been on the air since 1942. The guests - or "castaways" - are a diverse group: from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, to EGOT Whoopi Goldberg, to singer Morrissey. The concept itself is hardly specific to the radio-show. You've likely had similar discussions with friends. Something along the lines of, "If you were stuck on a desert island, and you could only listen to one song," etc. Setting aside the practical concerns of how you'd be listening to this music (Is there an MP3 player and power outlet on this island?) and how you'd be feeding and sheltering yourself for the duration, it's a fun exercise. It raises the question of how many times you can bear to listen to your favorite songs, as well the relevance and durability of the selections themselves. Here are eight pieces of music that I think I'd be pretty fortunate to have along, should I be foolish enough to hitch a ride on Oceanic Airlines.

John Coltrane: "My Favorite Things"
Find it in the catalog!

Rev. Gary Davis: "Candy Man"
Find it in the catalog!

Red House Painters: "Instrumental [demo]"
Find it in the catalog!

Otis Redding: "A Change is Gonna Come"
Find it in the catalog!

Nina Simone: "I Loves You, Porgy"
Find it in the catalog!

Patti Smith: "Gloria: In Excelsis Deo/Gloria"
Find it in the catalog!

Trio Wanderer: "Piano Trio No. 2" composed by Franz Schubert
Find it in the catalog!

Tom Waits: "Anywhere I Lay My Head"
Find it in the catalog!

I should add that this isn't exactly a list of my favorite songs of all time, though some of these songs would surely be included on such a list. Rather, this is a track-list tailored to my indefinite residence on the desert island.

1 comment:

  1. For me desert island picks are akin to comfort food. They aren't necessarily the hippest or even the best songs you like, but the ones that stick with you. I'd choose:

    1). Waterloo Sunset- The Kinks
    Find it in the catalog.

    2). Graceland- Paul Simon
    Find it in the catalog.

    3). Geese of Beverly Road- the National
    Find it in the catalog.

    4). These Days- Nico
    Find it in the catalog.

    5). That Summer Feeling- Jonathan Richman
    Find it in the catalog.

    6). Maple Leaves- Jens Lekman
    Find it in the catalog.

    7). Once in a Lifetime- Talking Heads
    Find it in the catalog.

    8). Good Girl/ Carrots- Panda Bear
    Find it in the catalog.

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