Thursday, June 26, 2008

Main Event...

This took me quite a while. On one hand, I didn't want to qualify my choice. If I would have, my choice was going to be Game 7, World Series, Wrigley Field. Cubs win the World Series. Followed by me crying for about a week, in a drunken, elated stupor. But that's probably against the rules.

For someone who watches a lot of movies, and will actually be studying film for the next 2+ years, it may be odd that I refuse to watch the Oscars. I just don't care for them. They rarely nominate the best performances/films, and I couldn't care less about the fashion. Plus I absolutely hate Ryan Seacrest and Joan Rivers. There are also the MTV Movie/Video awards and the Grammys, but I haven't watched those in years, as they grew increasingly boring and became extended promotions for a new film starring Will Smith.

That said, my choice is the....

The World Cup
Anything that invites drunken hooliganism is my kind of party. I don't even watch soccer, and haven't played since grade school gym class. (Although Whitney, myself, his brother and a few others did watch the last final, and agreed to do a new shot for every goal. It ended 1-1, which was disappointing, but then we decided to extended the rule into penalty kicks. And that went to something like 9-8. It was a rough Sunday.)

Plus you'd meet so many people, and catch a glimpse of many cultures, without having endure shitty bus-rides or food you're not sure is actually dead. In addition, I could pick a team (not the US), and learn their cheers, and befriend their hooligans, and maybe get adopted. I'd be the token American. How often does that happen?!Maybe Paraguay will have me!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Please Don't Stop the Music.

This has been my hardest category to date. By far the hardest category. So I'm going to talk about my difficulties a little bit before I make any choices.

First of all, I can't really wrap my head around only hearing 3 things for the rest of my life. For some reason picking the only 3 spices I'm going to eat for the rest of my life, or the only 5 kinds of beer, or anything else we've decided on here were approachable problems. I could think about them, and then come to a conclusion. And usually feel really good about my decisions. Not with this music deal. I can't even think of a reasonable place to start. My only consolation is that Rihanna will be there to take requests.

Secondly, it seems obvious that your best bet is to be choosing albums here. You want to be getting as many songs as possible right? Well, I don't really know my albums. I somehow managed to skip the entire CD age growing up continueing to use a walkman throughout high school. My collection of tapes was made up mainly of classical music copied from my parents record and CD collection, the muppets, and a random assortment of things taped off the radio. So by senior year when most of my friends had amassed huge CD collections that they schlepped around with them wherever they went, I had a pile of bootleg tapes that I keep in the Blue Minivan. Then I went to college in the fall of 1999 just as Napster broke onto the scene. Later, when Napster started falling apart, Rochester had the cif server. It was run by the Computer Interest Floor and was only accessible from an IP address of the subset of upstate NY/New England Universities that had been connected to each other via fiber optic cables. These were the glory days of file sharing, and I built my musical collection accordingly. Song by song.

Lastly, there just seems to be so much more riding on this than our other categories. I can say confidently that I will never tire of eating pepper on my island, or drinking Spotted Cow. But as much as I love it right now, I just don't feel comfortable claiming that 5 years down the road I'll still want to listen to 'Shut Up and Let Me Go' by The Ting Tings on a regular basis.

OK, I feel better now. The Music:
1. Canciones de Mi Padre - Linda Ronstadt
That's right, Linda Ronstadt. Linda Ronstadt doing mariachi. This was the go-to album for parties at The Barnebey House between roughly 1987 and 2006. I grew up associating it with good times; it needs to be on my island. I will enjoy this over Negra Modelo's with Rihanna. In the later years of our life we will compose a set of songs inspired by this album.

2. Trouble in Mind - Hayes Carll
I may be running into the same trap as Joanna with her Bon Iver pick here. It's new, but I really feel like it's going to stand the test of time. It's country-ish with a good amount of twang and some rock influences thrown in for good measure. I can't wait to listen to this while lying on the beach drinking Coors Lights. I assume that Gabrielle Reese will be into Hayes Carll although I'm not sure exactly why I feel that way.

3. ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits - ABBA
I debated my 3rd album for a long time. Finally accepting that on a desert island there would be no need to be hip and trendy with my music choices, I decided I needed something outright fun. And something that Heidi would get really excited about. Hello ABBA. And you can't deny that this album is just fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


1. The Tragically Hip - Yer Favourites. I know, lame because it's a greatest hits album with 37 tracks, but most of the good stuff is in there (except my favorite live versions). I don't listen to The Hip very often anymore but I've seen them maybe ten times and when I need a fix, nothing else will do. I tried but I couldn't not bring it.

2. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago. Risky because I've only had this album for a few months but I can't seem to shake it. Appropriate because Justin Vernon supposedly wrote it while isolated in a snowy cabin in Northern Wisconsin. And so far I'm the only one here. I really need to nail down my sexy time picks.

3. Blood, Sweat & Tears - And When I Die. Just this one song beat out Neil Diamond - His Twelve Greatest Hits. That's powerful. I have a thing for dramatic tempo swings. On my island, it's what we play when we push the sick and elderly down river in a canoe without provisions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


1. The Dears: Gang of Losers
The Dears are from Montreal and this album is fantastic. Their lead singer, Murray Lightburn, has an amazing voice. He is married to one of the band members, who has white hair. That makes her a little punk in my eyes, which is awesome. I have yet to see them in concert, but they are on my list. My favorites are track 2: Ticket to Immortality and track 10: Ballad of Human Kindness

2. Sufjan Stevens: Come on Feel the Illinoise!!

I recently learned that his name is pronounced even more strangely than I could have imagined. He has quite ambitious project, which is making albums for every state. At this point he only has two, but both are quite good. His brother, Marzuki, is a pretty good marathon runner. I love the instrumentals in this album and his song about John Wayne Gacy. I could listen to it at any time. It is good for the island.

3. Kings of Convenience: Riot on an Empty Street

They are from Norway. They are chill. Their albums are chill. I have them all. My favorite song on this album is: Love is No Big Truth. It is great to drive or study to, but I think it would also be good music to make coconut bras to.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Main Event

On your island, you get to know the outcome(s) and see coverage of one event (they'll mail you the DVD via Netflix). You can have all the pre-event coverage, event coverage, and post-event coverage. This does not mean that you get to watch the entire Football season if you choose the Superbowl - but it does mean that you get all the pregame coverage and analysis and post game celebration.

Feel free to choose an event that's not annual - up to you.

I choose the Oscars, including the red carpet. I considered the Golden Globes so I could know what's funny on TV, but the show itself is not nearly as entertaining. The Oscars are - plus, all the up-and-comings are there presenting awards. Mostly, I just love the gowns and the snotty comments from those who could never pull them off.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Jams

1: Silent Steeples, by Dispatch.
(With the version of 'Questioned Apocalypse' from disc 2 of their 'Gut the Van' album substituted for the one on this album.)
Dispatch is probably my favorite band of all time. This album has been in regular rotation since it came out in 2000. I listened to this album through Australia and most of Europe. Every song reminds me of at least one person important in my life in one way or another. It has some quicker songs (Flying Horses, Questioned Apocalypse) some instrumental (Season; Movement 3, Walk With You) and some live (Elias, Other Side, Craze). Songs that are great to belt out with feeling.

2: As the Eternal Cowboy, by Against Me!
T.S.R. (This Shit Rules) is one of the greatest first songs in the history of time. So much so that I believe it is the ringtone that plays when I call Sugar Bear. I don't think I need to talk this one up as I'm sure anybody that has ever met Tommy has probably heard it all already. I would also be able to trade this album back and forth with Tommy for his Bright Eyes album which very likely would have been in my top three had in not made his.

3. Live and Direct: Acoustic Roots, by Slightly Stoopid
This is my go-to snowboarding music. It perfectly compliments being in nature. Slightly Stoopid usually plays harder electric guitar type music but for this album they unplugged the axes and sing quasi-rasta music. I find it very soothing; it would most definitely be the background music for hammock naps and sunset walks with my sexy time three. It also contains island appropriate lyrics such as:

But when the sun is shining
But when the weather is sweet
You've got to get up off the floor
And move your dancin' feet

The icing on the cake is their acoustic cover of Guns ‘N Roses 'I Used to Love Her'. As this photo indicates, I was pretty upset when this disc didn’t make the journey from Dubai to Rome unscathed. (Yes, that is my sad face.)