Monday, May 17, 2010

Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites

When Arlee Bird asked me to participate in the Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorite blogfest, I agreed immediately, mostly because of how much fun the A to Z blog challenge was. (It didn't hurt that this is a wonderful Music Monday topic, as well.) I had no idea how hard making these decisions would be! I kind of agonized over these entries... I didn't know how much music I had that I was unwilling to part with! I was strict on myself and insisted that I only pick one album per artist, and I didn't pick any compilation or greatest hits albums...ok, maybe I'm a little OCD. I hope you guys enjoy my list. Please pardon my formatting... I'm really bad at this whole html editing thing, and I hope the album artwork comes across all right without giving you a massive headache. I linked to at least one of my favorite tracks on each album, so give some of these a listen if you get a chance!

Oh yeah, don't forget to check out the Pay it Forward Giveaway while you're here! There's a link in the sidebar as well. My first ever blog contest is going great so far! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with to spread the goodwill around.

All right, without further ado, here are my Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites, in no particular order!

Funeral by the Arcade Fire
I mentioned the song "Wake Up" in an entry a couple of weeks ago. That song is on this album, along with Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), and Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels). It's a musical masterpiece with moving, epic tracks I would want to be able to listen to no matter where I was.

Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? by Murder by Death
This concept album tells the story of the Devil coming to a small town in New Mexico. One of MBD's most famous tracks, "Until Morale Improves, the Beatings Will Continue" is on this album. It's classic Murder By Death all the way, and if I have to pick just one of their albums to take with me, this is it.

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend
This is a fun, summer-type album. With great tracks like "A-Punk", I would party on the beach of my desert island 'til the sun came up.

Surfer Rosa by the Pixies
This is my favorite Pixies album, with the cool "Gigantic", crazy-genius "Vamos", and generational anthem "Where is my Mind?" (By the way, I loved that song BEFORE Fight Club. Sigh.)

Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) by Cloud Cult
The song "Journey of the Featherless" is one of my favorite tracks on this album; it sums up the optimism and love of the whole track listing. You should really give it a listen. If you get a chance, "No One Said it Would Be Easy" is amazing, too...

Give Up by the Postal Service
I became a Postal Service fan after hearing the song "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" off this album. The band is sort of emo-punk-techno... hard to explain, but I love it.

The Long Run by the Eagles
A huge influence on my current WIP MS, I can't leave this album out. It has some really great classic Eagles songs, like "Heartache Tonight", "Those Shoes" and "In The City". This was a really hard choice because I love the Southern Rock style of the Eagles so much (even though they're from California, ha!), but I had to go with this album out of all the rest, if for no other reason than "Heartache Tonight"... it's practically the theme song for my novel.

Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
Remember 1984? Members Only jackets? Parachute pants? Slap bracelets? Bruce Springsteen singing about being Born in the U.S.A.? About Dancing in the Dark? Remember Ronald Reagan trying to make this the theme song for his campaign? Yeah, I was only nine, but even *I* remember him getting shut down by The Boss.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran
Again, I had to go with a childhood favorite. My dad was Bruce Springsteen, but my mom was Duran Duran. She was in love with Simon LeBon, the lead singer. She and my sister followed them around the Southeast one summer! This album always makes me think of being a kid... so it makes me smile. My favorites on this one are "New Moon on Monday" and "Union of the Snake".

Ten by Pearl Jam
...but I had to grow up sometime. This album was my constant companion in my junior year of high school. GRUNGE ROCK HO!! Songs like "Jeremy", "Evenflow", and "Alive" made this album one of the most popular records of the 90's, but my favorite track off this album was "Oceans".

The Downward Spiral
by Nine Inch Nails
The song "Closer" is what made this industrial rock album a legend, but there are a lot of other amazing tracks like "March of the Pigs", "Eraser" and "Hurt". I've seen Nine Inch Nails five times in concert, and the tracks from this album are always the ones that satisfy the most.

Violent Femmes by the Violent Femmes
An indie rock classic, with songs like "Blister in the Sun", "Gone Daddy Gone", and "Add it Up". Grab your skateboard and your angsty attitude... we've made a half-pipe out of pineapple trees.

Swamp Ophelia by the Indigo Girls
There are a lot of Indigo Girls albums out there, but I think this one is one of their most well-rounded works. This is a folk-country triumph, with songs like "Least Complicated" and "Fugitive" setting the tone for the rest of the album - a unique flavor of bittersweet triumph.

Elephant by the White Stripes
Jack White... how many ways can you rock us? How many, huh? This album has such great songs on it, like "The Hardest Button to Button" and "Seven Nation Army". I think it's one of their strongest pieces of work.

Synchronicity by the Police
Another remainder from my childhood. I love the Police - their strange mixture of musical movements has enchanted me for three decades. My favorite tracks off this one are "King of Pain" and "Synchronicity II".

Now it's time to scratch some records! We're having a coconut party by the fire tonight... wanna join?


Jessica Bell said...

Oh my goodness you have got a few that ALMOST made my list too! Pixies, Nine Inch Nails (PS, 'Filter' on my list's frontman is Richard Patrick who was a touring guitarist for NIN), Violent Femmes, White Stripes! Great list, B! Looks like we got some common music taste :)

Shannon Messenger said...

Ooo, we definitely have some musical taste in common. Awesome list!

Jo Schaffer Layton said...

Fascinating list! You are a mutifaceted dude.
Really like Postal Service.

Arlee Bird said...

Seems like a pretty good list--there are a couple I don't know anything about and several I've heard cuts from. Awhile back I saw a Vampire Weekend thing on IFC channel and then watched it on youtube over and over again it was so cool.

I have 5 of those albums. Pretty big fan of Police and the Femmes.
Once when my exwife and I were separated I took her to see a Violent Femmes concert at a cool theater here in L.A. At one point she went to go to the restroom and didn't come back for quite a while. I went to check and she was passed out on a toilet in the ladies room. I guess she was really drugged out-- probably one of the things that contributed to our divorce. Besides that, the concert was really great -- the Femmes were amazing.

Tossing It Out


Wow excellent job getting theem altogether, I knew a few, strange we all live in different parts but there is always one or two we know.
Others of course come from the are/country we live.
Thanks for an excellent expereience,

Lisa said...

Thank goodness for the 80s and your Mom and Dad's favorites, otherwise I wouldn't recognise your selection. Childhood music can really leave an imprint. And I remember The Boss / Reagan thing even though I was on the other side of the Planet. And I was Duran Duran too (a little, not too much).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great variety, Miller! I know most of those bands, too. Surprised you didn't select more Murder by Death albums.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have three of those albums - the Police, NIN, and Pearl Jam.

Tara said...

Nice! That's my fave Duran album, too. And, my 2nd fave NIN. Great list. Can't believe I forgot the Violent Femmes on mine - I would never survive with only 15 albums. Ever.

Christine Danek said...

You and I need to get together and talk music. I love vampire weekend--they are so awesome. The white stripes, NIN, THe postal service... Oh how I like your list. I wish I signed up for this blogfest. It seems like so much fun.
Great list!

Anonymous said...

Each list I read on this fest, I think, yes, that should be on mine too. It is hard to stay narrowed to 15 favorites. The Police and Bruce Springsteen are great picks. I don't know a few but will check out. Thanks for including the album art. Great idea and post.

Gregg Metcalf said...

I couldn't leave the Eagles off my list either. Other than Springsteen these are new to me. It will be fun looking up some of these bands and songs and taking a listen.

Candyland said...

Um Jack White ALMOST made my list. He's freaking amazing. Love NIN and Pearl Jam too. Great list!

Theresa Milstein said...

Duran Duran. That takes me back. That was my first concert. (And my second concert.) I love the White Stripes and The Police. I got to see The Police at Fenway a couple of summers ago, which was awesome because I'd missed them back in the '80s.

Unknown said...

Cool List...many I culled from my own line up, only because I had to...darn it!


Angie Paxton said...

I was a little worried when I started to read your list because I didn't recognize any of the the songs, but then I got toward the bottom and saw The Eagles and Violent Femmes. That is some music I can get behind. Especially VF. They've been favorites of mine since high school and there's no better sing along at the top of your lungs in the car music.

Jemi Fraser said...

I actually don't know too many on your list - but I love Springsteen - can't believe I forgot him...

Lisa said...

You're the first I've seen that listed Duran Duran! Love your list although there are some I've never heard of. But Springsteen, DD, Eagles, pure greatness!

Jen said...

Great list! I love Vampire Weekend but obviously I have cds that I love more than that one...but if I could sneak about 50 more cds on the island with me, some of your list would come along with me.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh yeah, great list! We have very smiler taste in music. (Except I am not a big fan of the Boss)

Nice job putting the album covers up!