Desert Island Discs

Author: Riley Urbano

Desert Island Discs is one of the better programs ever to come out of the BBC. Guests are invited to enumerate the eight pieces of recorded music (as well as one book and one “luxury item”) that they’d want to have with them if they were stranded on a desert island; the answers are frequently fascinating. On one hand, a lot people go on, and are exactly the type of person you’d expect them to be: Ed Sheeran’s luxury item of choice was literally ketchup, and, in an unbelievably stupid coincidence, Boris Johnson’s pick was mustard.  On the other hand, you’d never expect a guy like Christopher Nolan to be passionate about the works of Jorge Luis Borges, or Margaret Thatcher to actually be able to name eight records – the format is just weird enough to bring out interesting quirks in anyone who goes on. As someone who will almost definitely never be asked on to Desert Island Discs, but who has entirely too much time on their hands, I kinda figured, why not? Here are some selections from me, my family, and a few friends of mine.

My Picks:


Playlist version (no Joanna Newsom, sorry):

Alice Coltrane – “Turiya and Ramakrishna”

Autechre – “Drane2”

Björk – “Possibly Maybe”

Bob Dylan – “Girl From The North Country”

Fela Kuti – “Water No Get Enemy”

The Flamingos – “I Only Have Eyes For You”

Joanna Newsom – “This Side of the Blue”

Sweet Trip – “Fruitcake and Cookies”

Literature – Susan Sontag – Essays of the 1960s and 70s

Luxury Item – A nice chair

My Brother’s Picks:


Sufjan Stevens – “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”

Vampire Weekend – “Step”

Wilco – “Jesus, Etc.”

Joni Mitchell – “Big Yellow Taxi”

Morning Benders – “Excuses”

Dirty Projectors – “Two Doves”

Ambulance Ltd. – “Anecdote”

The Avalanches – “Saturday Night Inside Out”

Book – Susan Sontag – Essays of the 1960s and 70s

Luxury Item – Coffee

My Dad’s Picks:


Grant Lee Buffalo – “Happiness”

Tori Amos – “A Sorta Fairytale”

The Guggenheim Grotto – “Philosophia”

Damien Jurado – “Museum of Flight”

The Decemberists – “Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect”

Big Thief – “U.F.O.F.”

The National – “Fake Empire”

Josh Ritter – “Southern Pacifica”

Book – Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 

Luxury Item – Wine

My Mom’s Picks:


The Police – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”

Joni Mitchell – “Free Man In Paris”

Tears for Fears – “Sowing the Seeds of Love”

Björk – “Army of Me”

Andrew Bird – “Fitz and the Dizzy Spells”

Stevie Wonder – “Living For The City”

Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me”

The Weepies – “Take It From Me”

Book – Haruki Murakami – Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Luxury Item – A Tent

Jack’s Picks


The Vaselines – “The Day I Was A Horse”

The Velvet Underground – “Rock and Roll”

Peter Tosh – “Stepping Razor”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Sense”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Stoned Mullet”

Thee Oh Sees – “The Dream”

Chuck Berry – “You Never Can Tell”

Al Green – “Take Me To The River”

Book – J.R.R. Tolkein – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (“can it be a trilogy?”)

Luxury Item – A weed plant (if that’s allowed, if not, a surfboard)

Lily’s Picks


Pond – “Dig Brother”

The Clash – “Straight to Hell”

Horace Silver – “Song For My Father”

Cibo Matto – “Sugar Water”

Orb – “General Electric”

Dry Cleaning – “Magic of Meghan”

The Damned – “Anti-pope”

The Specials – “Little B*tch”

Book – Søren Kierkegaard – Either/Or

Luxury Item – A surfboard

JB’s Picks:


Trudy and the Romance – “Ruff Rider”

Iggy Pop – “Lust For Life” 

Gang of Four – “Ether”

Gorillaz – “To Binge”

Tropical F*ck Storm – “Braindrops”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “The River” 

Silver Jews – “Trains Across the Sea”

STRFKR – “Born”

Book – John Irving – The World According to Garp

Luxury Item – My Blundstones


Riley Urbano | talking to people about music = content? | KXSU Music Reporter

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