10 x 100, desert island discs x songs, ipickmynose’s 1000th post

(I didn’t intend to hit two milestones in one week, but what are you going to do?)

money (that's what I want), #2
I wouldn’t take “Money (That’s What I Want)”, but I would take some Motown. Photo by Adrian Bischoff

For my 1000th post, I’ve decided to compile some of my desert island picks: 10 albums and 100 songs that I’d take take with me if I had to pick some music for the rest of my life[1]. These aren’t necessarily my 10 favorite albums and 100 favorite songs but they fulfill some need. And they’re good.

Here they are, in chronological order.

The 10 [albums]:

  • Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend [recorded 1951-1964; release 2003]
    The man who invented soul, they call him. This is a great retrospective of his incredible music.
  • New York Philharmonic Bernstein Century – Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid [1960]
    Aaron Copland’s music is so grand and so American. Blending beautiful traditional songs with gorgeous orchestrations, this would fulfill my needs for classical music.
  • Beatles Revolver [1966]
    I’d have to bring one Beatles album at least, and this is my favorite. I love the harmonies and orchestrations they bring to the table here. “For No One” is probably my favorite Beatles song and its on here.
  • Paul Simon Graceland [1986]
    I loved this album when I was 12 and I love it now. Besides its warm nostalgia-value for my childhood and my parent’s country, it’s just a great album of pop music, blending Africa, Zydeco and American music effortlessly.
  • U2 Joshua Tree [1987]
    For all the musical revisionists and contrarians, I still think this is U2’s best album and I think it’s one of the best rock albums of the last 20 years. It’s not without false steps, but they’re so minor in the scope of this album that I can listening it front to back repeatedly.
  • Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane over the Sea [1998]
    I’ve already gone on at length about how incredibly meaningful this album is to me. An epic fuzz-folk masterpiece about Anne Frank.
  • Pedro the Lion It’s Hard to Find a Friend [1998]
    I don’t listen to Pedro the Lion constantly but I have seen Bazan a ridiculous amount of times live–are there such things as Bazanheads? not that I’d want to be labeled one of those–and I love his music, so obviously I connect with it. Sometimes Control best fulfills my Pedro-need but this is a more balanced effort in the end.
  • Notwist Neon Golden [2002]
    Part of this is nostalgia–it reminds me of my summer in Germany, where I bought this and listening to this constantly–and that is reminds me of the people and places I saw there. The other part is that it’s a great blend of electronic and organic elements into a fantastic album.
  • Sufjan Stevens Seven Swans [2004]
    Suf’s one of my favorite artists and this is my favorite album of his, so it’s got to come along. Beautiful, stripped-down (by Sufjan standards) folk with no less incredible songwriting behind it.
  • Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago [2007]
    It wasn’t all that long ago that I went all gah-gah over this album (again). Gorgeous and heart-wrenching, it’s a perfect example of what an album should be: greater than the sum of its parts.

The 100 [songs]:

  • Horton Barker Two Sisters [recorded around 1943, traditional song]


  • Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet Cherokee [1955]
  • Almeda Riddle Bury Me Beneath the Willow [recorded around 1959, traditional song]
  • Alabama Sacred Harp Singers Sherburne [recorded around 1959, traditional song]


Check out the rest of the list after the jump.


  • Darondo Didn’t I [recorded, 1973, widely released 2006]
  • Tommy Jarrell the Drunken Hiccups [recorded 1976, traditional song]



  • Paul Simon the Obvious Child [1990]
  • My Bloody Valentine Sometimes [1991]
  • Seamus Connolly & Brendan Mulvihil The Salamanca/ Trim the Velvet [recorded 1991, traditional songs]
  • Sebadoh Brand New Love [1992]
  • Archers of Loaf Web in Front [1993]
  • the Magnetic Fields Fear of Trains [1994]
  • Weezer My Name is Jonas [1994]
  • the Mountain Goats Cubs in Five [1995]
  • Palace New Partner [1995]
  • Rachel’s Those Pearls… [1996]
  • Apples in stereo Silvery Light of a Dream, pt 2 [1997]
  • Ben Folds Five Brick [1997]
  • Elliott Smith Say Yes [1997]
  • Yo La Tengo Autumn Sweater [1997]
  • Belle & Sebastian Sleep the Clock Around [1998]
  • Modest Mouse Never Ending Math Equation [1998]
  • Seam Get Higher [1998]
  • Beulah If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart [1999]
  • Built to Spill The Plan [1999]
  • Jimmy Eat World Goodbye Sky Harbor [1999]
  • Damien Jurado Ohio [1999]
  • Pedro the Lion Be Thou My Vision[3] [1999, traditional song]
  • Pinback Loro [1999]


  • Cat Power I Found a Reason [2000]
  • Mark Kozelek Bad Boy Boogie [2000]
  • American Analog Set Punk as Fuck [2001]
  • Low Sunflower [2001]
  • Mogwai 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong [2001]
  • Seldom Can’t/ Must [2001]
  • Johnny Cash Hurt [2002]
  • Death Cab for Cutie Wait [2002]
  • Iron & Wine Lion’s Mane [2002]
  • the Mountain Goats the Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton [2002]
  • the One AM Radio All I Can Recall is the Haunting [2002]
  • P:ano All of November, Most of October [2002]
  • Sigur Ros Untitled #4 (a.k.a. “Njósnavélin”, aka “The Nothing Song”) [2002]
  • Songs: Ohia Blue Chicago Moon [2002]
  • Sufjan Stevens Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing[3] [2002, traditional song]
  • Explosions in the Sky Your Hand in Mine [2003]
  • Four Tet My Angel Rocks Back and Forth [2003]
  • Jose Gonzalez Crosses [2003]
  • Jens Lekman Black Cab [2003]
  • Sufjan Stevens Romulus [2003]
  • Heiruspecs 5ves [2004]
  • the Mountain Goats Against Pollution [2004]
  • John Vanderslice Pale Horse [2004]
  • Madvillain Money Folder (Four Tet remix) [2005]
  • Kanye West (ft. Lupe Fiasco) Touch the Sky [2005]
  • the Acorn Dents [2006]
  • Beirut Postcards from Italy [2006]
  • Beirut Scenic World [2006]
  • Dert the Light (Common & Erykah Badu vs. Jose Gonzalez) [2006]
  • Fionn Regan Put a Penny in the Slot [2006]
  • Sarah Siskind Lovin’s for Fools [2006]
  • Sufjan Stevens Sister Winter [2006]
  • Swan Lake All Fires [2006]
  • Two Sheds It’s Hard [2006]
  • Beatbeat Whisper Lulu [2007]
  • Coconut Records West Coast [2007]
  • the Lightning Bug Situation Message To Myself After Franny Was Born [2007]
  • Magnolia Electric Co. Shiloh Temple Bell [2007]
  • Mobius Band Friends Like These [2007]
  • the National Fake Empire [2007]
  • Or, the Whale Call and Response [2007]
  • Candie Payne By Tomorrow [2007]
  • Sigur Ros Heysatan [Hvarf-Heim version] [2007]
  • J Tillman Crooked Roof [2007]
  • Kanye West Everything I Am [2007]
  • Horse Feathers Curs in the Weeds [2008]
  • the Rural Alberta Advantage Don’t Haunt this Place [2008]
  • Tallest Man on Earth the Gardener[2008]

[1] Let’s be honest. Though I’ve tried to take a longer-term view of this list, it is pretty highly influenced by what I like right now.

[2] The Apples in Stereo’s Tone Soul Evolution was a close runner-up here. It’s a magnificent album, close to the perfect pop album.

[3] These two old hymns are some of my favorite songs. The versions are nice but the versions here are secondary to the songs.

2 responses to “10 x 100, desert island discs x songs, ipickmynose’s 1000th post”

  1. Emily says:

    You have far too much time on your hands, my dear. That said, good list. :)

  2. Taylor says:

    I am on board with about 95% of this list. Great stuff…

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