Ten Albums for a Desert Island

I have been writing about so much heavy stuff lately — budget cuts and education woes — that I wanted to think about something more whimsical, more personal for a minute. I have loved music most of my life, and when I tell you that I love music, I don’t mean that I just don’t care what’s playing. I love music! Well, most of it . . . the truth is that I’m picky and kind of snobby about music.  I can’t stand pop-R&B and pop-country; corporate-formula hip-hop is total garbage, although really honest hip-hop can be incredibly powerful. And that post-grunge crap that came out in the mid- to late 1990s, why did they defile a great short-lived moment in American music? So what do I like . . .?

Here’s my Ten Albums for a Desert Island list, in no particular order:

1. “Trace” by Son Volt
2. “Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan
3. “Walk Among Us” by the Misfits
4. “C’est Si Bon” by Louis Armstrong
5. “Loose” by Victoria Williams
6. “American Beauty” by the Grateful Dead
7. “Velvet Underground and Nico”
8. “The Fillmore” live double-album by the Allman Brothers Band
9. “Goo” by Sonic Youth
10. “Ain’t Life Grand” by Widespread Panic

And if the evil genius who was sending to me to this desert island (that has an electrical outlet for a CD player) were to take pity on me and allow ten more, I would gladly take him up on it. For the first ten, I would go for variety – I wouldn’t want to get bored on my desert island – but for the second twenty, more of my favorites could coming along, too.

(again, in no particular order)
11. “Music from Big Pink” by The Band
12. “Crosby, Stills & Nash” (debut album)
13. “The Notorious Byrd Brothers” by The Byrds
14. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken III”
15. “Document” by REM
16. The “Into the Wild” soundtrack by Eddie Vedder
17. “It’s A Shame About Ray” by the Lemonheads
18. “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes
19. “Weld” by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
20. “The Seeger Sessions” by Bruce Springsteen

I could gladly live without a cell phone, and I could live without TV (though not movies), or probably even without a computer, but not without music. Sadly, this list of my twenty must-haves doesn’t even come close to naming all the ones I would never want to live without . . . Ray Charles, The Black Crowes, Phish, R.L. Burnside, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drive-by-Truckers, Tom Petty . . .

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