Rockin' Alt Country & Whatnot!
Loud guitars and pretty much anything with a mandolin...
Steve Earle, Cheri Knight, Alejandro Escovedo, James McMurtry, Emmylou Harris, BR5-49, Jimmy Ryan, Drive-By Truckers, Fred Eaglesmith, Porter Wagner, Del McCoury, Wanda Jackson, Neko Case, Whiskeytown, Gram Parsons, and so on. And lots of music grown in Portland, Maine and around here. Occaisional live in-studio performances too.
Does your music fall somewhere in here? Send it to me: Ceci/The Kitchen Party WMPG radio/ 96 Falmouth Street/Portland, ME 04104.
Okay - here it is: "The First Annual Desert Island Discs Spectacular" to air May 22, 2008, on The Kitchen Party on WMPG Portland (Maine) 90.9/104.1 fm. Loads'o'musicians and music luminaries from the Portland, ME area sent me their lists. Here's what I came up with..... - Ceci
ADAM AYAN, Gateway Mastering
Beatles - "Rubber Soul": My all time favorite Beatles record. You can hear their progression from short pop songs to more experimental pop and rock on this album. It bridges those 2 different Beatles eras for me. BTW: it HAS to be the original UK sequence, which starts with "Drive My Car". This is the version that was released on CD everywhere in the late 80's. Capitol recently remastered and reissued the original US version (originally on vinyl of course), it just doesn't hold up for me compared to the UK sequence ('Drive My Car" wasn't even on the original US release!). Interestingly enough, Capitol originally attempted to market the album in the US as a folk/Dylan type album, so they included different songs to frame the album as such. Bad move!
Beatles - "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band": It's a masterpiece…enough said J
Metallica - "Kill 'Em All": I'm showing my metal head side with this one. I didn't hear this record until several years after it's initial release, I was pretty young when it first came out. It was the 1st Metallica record I ever heard, and it changed my life...made me go from fan to musician pretty quickly. I love the rawness and the crazy energy on the record.
Prince & The Revolution - "Purple Rain": Definitely not Prince at his funkiest (I like a funky Prince), but definitely at the top of his pop game.
Bob Marley - "Legend": I know it's a greatest hits album, not a proper studio album…but it is the best greatest hits album ever! I was fortunate enough to master the audio for the DVD release of "Legend". It is a documentary about and live performances by Bob Marley and the Wailers that has since been packaged with the Legend CD. I also spent several days in Kingston with the Marley family overseeing the digital transfer of various Bob Marley recordings that the family had in their archives. Pretty cool experience.
DARIEN BRAHMS, rocker
1.songs in the key of life-stevie wonder
how can i deny "sir duke" "past time paradise" "i wish"-pure genius that everyone else on the planet has tried to reproduce and failed....eat your heart out american idol.
2.entertainment- gang of 4"at home he feels like a tourist" "natural's not in it"-andy gill's stuttering guitar brings out the bile. great social commentary that i still find appropriate today
3. the white album-the beatles
it's all been said. there's a little something for everyone.
4. nocturnes – chopin -he makes me cry when i really need to.
5. at mister kelly's-.sarah vaughan
"be anything, but darling be mine"- this live recording is such a testament to the purity of her voice that i have to be careful about when i listen to it. sometimes it is so good that it makes me want to quit singing. she was too good.
6.exile on main st.- the rolling stones
this is rock and roll to me.
7. buena vista social club -not only does this record contain mind blowing musical performances but the sound recording is so delicious too. i can't sit down when i hear this record-it makes me dance and therefore makes me smile deep in my heart...
8. midnite vultures- beck quirky funk from a quirky guy...i feel lucky to have him around.
9.loaded- velvet underground the birth of alternative music for me.
SARA COX, singer/songwriter
Revival, Gillian Welch
Plans, Death Cab for Cutie
All of our Names, Sarah Harmer
Ladies of the Canyon, Joni Mitchell
Old Black Kettle, Live
DJ DALE, (Ronda Dale Wingfield) "Whheee Doggies!" WMPG, Truth About Daisies
Music From Native American Flutes
artist: various (intertribal collection)
why: you must hear this to understand! it's beautiful music. the best for practicing yoga
Soundtrack from Jesus Christ Superstar (the movie)
why: love it love it, never get tired of singing along!
The Patsy Cline Story
artist: Patsy Cline
why: 'cause it's Patsy
Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be)
artist: Willie Nelson
why: Willie! 20 tracks including some of my very favorite Willie covers like "I'd Have To Be Crazy" "Railroad Lady" "If You've Got The Money"
Little Love Affairs
artist: Nanci Griffith
why: can't explain it but i have played this album more times than any i have, i bet. most are her tunes
Ronda's Song Picks Compilation artists various--see below
why: i must have a 6th cd! i simply must! it would contain the following songs or something from the artist, if no specific song is mentioned.
Aretha "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"
Ry Cooder "Fool For A Cigarette"/"Feelin' Good" from Paradise & Lunch
Allman Brothers "One Way Out"
John Cougar "Jack & Diane" or "Better Learn To Play Guitar"
Bonnie Raitt "Give It Up Or Let Me Go"
Billy Joel "You're My Home" live version
The Kendalls "Don't Call Me Your Only Sunshine"
Emmylou "One Of These Days"
Lyle Lovett "she's No Lady"
Gillian Welch "My First Lover" or "I Want To Sing That Rock & Roll" or "Everything Is Free" or "Elvis Presley Blues"
Linda Rondstadt "Different Drum"
Toni Price "I Wanna Do Everything For You"
Kevin Attra "Fire" or "Awful Mighty Chains" or "My Lady" or "Yodel Song" or "Terminal"
TOM FLYNN, WMPG emeritus, "Saltwater Farm"
(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Hands down, the best album of the past ten years. I never get tired of listening to it.
Backyard Barbecue Broadcast - Giant Sand
The album that introduced me to the genius of Howe Gelb. It's seamless, surprising, and sounds like what it is: a live broadcast of a backyard barbecue performance. Bonus points for being recorded and aired by a community radio station, the Mighty WFMU.
Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
Bob plugs in with a short, perfect album. Every track is a masterpiece.
Imperial Bedroom - Elvis Costello
The album that made me a Costello fan for life. It's magnificent musically and lyrically. I had every word of every song memorized within days of buying this one, because as soon as side 2 would end, I'd flip it back over and start again.
Anthology of American Folk Music - Various Artists
(compiled by Harry Smith)
The Rosetta Stone of American roots music. It's all here in all its warbling, spooky, raw beauty.
Rubber Soul - Beatles
Redheaded Stranger - Willie Nelson
On the Beach - Neil Young
Pet Sounds - Beach Boys
Live at Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
Sweetheart of the Rodeo - The Byrds
ROY DAVIS, Roy Davis & the Dregs
Whiskeytown: Strangers Almanac. Ahhh, perfect stoner country. There's nothing quite like listening to the acoustic guitar at the beginning of "Inn Town" or the pedal steel in 'Dancing With The Women At the Bar' and watching X-Files on mute while eating a whole bag of Oreos.
The Jayhawks: Rainy Day Music. Like the Beatles, but with more soul.
Pedro The Lion: Control. Things I'm a sucker for: Massive sounding drums, confessional lyrics (cheating on his wife, in this case), expensive guitars through tube amps, concept albums (divorce). Check, check, check, check. Super depressing.
Songs: Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co.'s self-titled album. Recorded by Steve Albini (sounds way good). I could listen to "Hold on, Magnolia" all day every day and not get bored. Spacey scary drums and reverbed-out slide guitar...and they know how to stay out of each others way. They must rehearse a lot...weird.
Maceo Parker: Life on Planet Groove. Okay, I was in a funk band in high school. We drooled over 'Shake Everything You Got' and still do. Gotta give it to the drummer.
LIQUID AL (FREY), WMPG "Evenin' Sun"
1. Traffic's 2nd album (1968, RSO, I think, or Island) (1st was "Dear Mr. Fantasy"): pretty much every cut great, has 3 fine Dave Mason tracks: Pearly Queen, Feelin' Alright, and You Can All Join In, then 40,000 Headmen, Don't Be Sad, Cryin' To Be Heard, plus others that are great -- the whole album shows what Traffic could do as a fully collaborative 4some, plus it's really the only Traffic album where that actually happened (all 4 together, Mason was in + out).
2. Taj Mahal (1968, Columbia/Sony). Brilliant playing, Taj, Jesse Edwin Davis, Ry Cooder, essential blues tunes that must be learned if you're going to really play blues, perform it yourself, buncha Robt. Johnson numbers, plus "Statesboro," and more. Hearing these performances is the same pure joy they must have enjoyed while recording them!
3. The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Chess, 1971, I think; on Geffen CD, 2002; + there's a deluxe edition avail. on i-Tunes with alternate takes that's pretty amazing) -This is one of those every-cut-is-great marvels, plus the tracks are, again, all blues essentials any blues-joe must know. The playing is brilliant, it's Clapton, Winwood, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, other greats of bluesrock, real appreciators of "Founders" like the Wolf.
4. Willis Allan Ramsey, (1973, Shelter Records) 11 great tracks, great writing, plus amazing guitar playing AND vocals. Muskrat Candlelight was renamed Muskrat Love, and made millions for the Captain and Tenille AND for Willis, which partly explains this being his one and only album -- story goes the fabulously young and wealthy singer-songwriter high-tailed it to Scotland to check out his Scots relatives (The Ramseys), and to sponge up Scots and Irish and English traditional music. Around the mid-Eighties (?, guessing here) he returned to Texas, shows up now and then in Austin, wrote a few new tunes performed and recorded by Eric Clapton and Lyle Lovett and others (but apparently still no new full album, tho' there's been talk for years of such a thing). Satin Sheets is another amazing tune that Waylon Jennings and others have recorded, that goofs on the country-western music biz. This is a great tune that showcases Willis' great guitar chops, such that Windham Hill wizard guitarist Michael Hedges cited Willis as a big influence on him, and that's really sayin' sumpin'.
5. The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed (London, 1969; 2002 ABKCO Records CD): Midnight Rambler, You've Got The Silver, (a loving version of Robt. Johnson's) Love In Vain Blues, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Honkey Tonk Women, just what's not here?, and the playing is really, really great.
CHARLIE GAYLORD, owner/producer, Cornmeal Records; WBLM "Greetings from Area Code 207"
The Beatles-White Album
The Staple Singers-Amen
The Rolling Stones-Exile On Main Street
NRBQ- At Yankee Stadium
Jr. Walker And The All Stars-The Ultimate Collection
CECI GILSON, WMPG "Kitchen Party"
Led Zeppelin 1
Big part of my own private Dazed & Confused soundtrack and I like to time-trip back there on a regular basis. Turn it up to 11.
The Coming Grass - Beauty of a Heart
In the one year I've known about this disc it has gone straight to my alt-country-lovin' heart. Plus it's a two-fer; Nate Shrock's guitar driven grunge thing and Sara Cox's stellar country/singer/songwritery romps.
Cheri Knight - Northeast Kingdom
Cheri Cheri Cheri. Why the hell did you have to quit music??? She and I share the same deep vocal range so i am able to wail this one out from start to finish when no one's around.
Stones - Exile on Main St
Keith's disc and it shows. Always sounds so fresh because it's so ragged. Never tire of this disc.
Emmylou - Wrecking Ball
A little variety is key on my island so I had to include a disc for the quiet moments. When I get bored I can study the fab drumming/percussion of Brian Blade & Adam Clayton throughout this all-round masterpiece. I think Emmylou & Daniel Lanois's interpretations of Steve Earle's "Goodbye" and Hendrix's "Waterfall" almost outstrip the originals.
HACHE, As Fast As
The Kinks - Village Green Preservation Society
Sly & The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On
Procol Harum - A Salty Dog
Spirit - The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill
Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
only on vinyl, of course.
MARK LOURIE, Skyline Music
The Submarines - "Declare a new state" – intelligent, mellow and soothing, but not afraid to push it sometimes towards indie rock also great lyrically. So many great songs, good luck choosing… Ready or Not, Peace and Hate, Brighter Discontent… and more are all brilliant songs.
The Decemberists - "The Crane Wife" - such a unique sounding band. I love the story telling and how they blend sounds as seemingly incongruent as Rennaissance , Kansas and King Crimson and more… as with all my faves, great songwriting and arrangements. Another one with so many songs how can you choose? I guess I'd recommend "The island" to illustrate my points.
Zero 7 - "when it falls" - my ultimate chill band. Great voices, strong songs for this genre, not just blips and beats. Totally chill. I recommend playing "summersault"
Susie Suh - self titled. Really compelling voice and powerful delivery. Beautiful songs from the heart with outstanding arrangements and production, and given that it was produced by uberproducer Glen Ballard, and had a huge Epic budget how the world totally missed this I will never know. I'd go with "won't you come again"
Teitur - "Poetry and Airplanes" who else but a guy who goes with a one word name from the Faroe Islands ?? Great prose, lovely melodies, great but simple production… a bit of a "chick flick" record, but all the more impressive that he can pull that off and still hold a spot in my player for ever basically. I'd play "Sleeping with the Lights On", but I dare you to find a song on there that isn't top notch.
My Morning Jacket - "Okonokos" - probably my favorite rock band of recent years. a bit of Neil Young, The Who, even Pink Floyd. Really unique sound, defies classification. I pick this live album cause the band kicks ass live because they understand the ultimate dagger to the heart of rock… dynamics! . I'd pick "Gideon" so you can hear Jim James go crazy toward the end.
Damien Rice - "O" - I finish with this cause basically it has my vote as the best record of the last 20 years, hands down. there, I said it.
MERRILL MARSH, WMPG, The Grassholes
Sweethearts of the Rodeo - the Byrds
At the time this was the seminal album that defined what was to become Country Rock. Nobody but nobody combined Country western, bluegrass, steel guitars, Bob Dylan, beautiful harmonies the way the Byrds infused with the likes of Gram Parsons (the southern rich kid , Clarence White ( the Maine bluegrass picker) with Roger McGuinn Rickenbacker and Chris Hillman whose roots was in the music to begin with. Those songs including and not limited to Hickory Wind, You Ain't Going Nowhere, Your Still on my Mind, I am a Pilgrim, Blue Canadian Rockies and Life in Prison. They nailed it.
Sketches of Spain - Miles Davis
Nobody evolved through a music career better than Miles – he touches a variety of styles while remaining...well Miles. Here he collaborated with Gil Evans to put out a beautiful album –one that I never gotten tired of and one I often put on early in the morning to ease myself into the day.
Moby Grape - Moby Grape
Unfortunately I could not live with myself on this island – with out the inclusion of this album. I don't necessarily say that this epitomizes what is considered the San Francisco sound it was put out during that period. But it was the musicianship of Mssrs Miller, Stevenson, Lewis, Mosley and the fanatical genius of Skip Spence that pulled this one off. They covered a lot of ground with beautiful vocals, five guitar players, folk, pysch, blues –they were to become the next Beatles in many people's minds. But oh what a disaster of a career they had. Forget that history and enjoy Sitting By the Window, 8:05, Falling, Mr Blues, and Omaha.
Country Casanova - Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen
In their day – no one could swing like this band – if you saw them – they tore the house up –in college before we'd get ready to party –the dorm would turn this up full volume. I defy you not tap your feet to Rock that Boogie. They were proponents of Western Swing – Smoke Smoke Smoke. Their vocals between Tichy, Farlow,Kirchen (not to mention his guitar work)and Frayne (aka Cody ) would melt ya. Despite playing concurrently with Asleep at the Wheel who were runners up in the category – it was the old Commander that would get me to tap my foot forever on that island.
Happy Trails - Quicksilver Messenger Service
If you want to experience the psychedelic ballroom feel of San Francisco in the sixties- sit back in a chair turn the lights down low and listen to Who Do you Love. The guitar slinging of underrated John Cipollina and Gary Duncan is superb. The inclusion of Bo Diddley's Mona is just a stellar the rest of the album is purely a trip . While I enjoy their first al bum just as much… it is this album that represents the period piece. Not to mention the artwork done by George Hunter (of the Charlatan's, another SF band s fame)..
Ok so the you have it…..don't make me do it again ……I left out to many……and it's hard on my brain
What about the Grateful Dead (Live Dead), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (The Circle be Unbroken), Jefferson Airplane (Surrealistic Pillow),George Jones (The Grand Tour),Sir Douglas Quintet (Mendocino),Dave Brubeck (Take Five), Country Joe & the Fish (Electric Music for the Mind and Body), The Cream (Wheels of Fire), Bob Dylan (Highway 61), Electric Flag (Long Time Comin),Asleep at the Wheel (Texas Gold),Sons of Champlin (Loosen up Naturally), Willie Nelson (Phases and Stages), Brother & Holding Company (Cheap Thrills).Blue Cheer (Inside Outside),The Derailers( Full Western Dress), Canned Heat (Living the Blues),The Specials…………., I'll stop now
TAYLOR MESPLE, owner, The Maple Room; InnerCircle Productions; musician
1. "Like a River" - Yellowjackets. My musical mentor Russell Ferrante's group for the last 20+ years. Their CD's have ranged from smooth contemporary pop radio instrumentals or even vocal tunes with guest singers, to very angular and raw modern and traditional jazz aimed at purists. In every context these guys are simply the highest calibre. Bassist Jimmy Haslip, drummer William Kennedy and saxophonist Bob Mintzer my mentor (piano player) Russell Ferrante on this disc. This disc is a great mixture of serious raw musicianship with some cinematic moments of production and "gloss", right down the middle of the road of what they're capable of. "Man Facing North" is an amazing song in so many ways.
"Toy Matinee" - Toy Matinee. An unbelievable studio collaboration from 1990 featuring the late Kevin Gilbert (writer in Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Music Club) on vocals and keyboards, Patrick Leonard (producer for Roger Waters, Jewel, Madonna, etc.) on keyboards and vocals as well, LA studio guitarist Tim Pierce and killer drummer Brian McLeod. These guys really sat in a studio for 6 months and crafted/recorded this music. It's sophisticated "thinking man's" pop at its best. The DTS surround remix by Elliott Scheiner is truly incredible as well, I almost like it better than the original studio recording!
3. "Plumb"- Jonatha Brooke. "All things being equal, her beauty was not her fault, and it was not her only advantage..." are the kind of epic lines that knock you down as opening lyrics in these songs. And not only are the songs impeccably crafted, Jonatha's voice is like a mesmerizing jazz horn player that understands pop music. Is it pop? Jazz? You decide. It's somewhere in between and a true desert island disc for so many of my friends. My buddy Abe Laboriel Jr. plays drums on this CD and Duke Levine plays guitars. What more could you ask for?
4. "Lux Aeterna" - Morten Lauridsen. The composition chair at the University of Southern California is one amazing contemporary classical composer. His name is Morten Lauridsen. I heard his "Lux Aeterna" late at night on public radio while driving many years ago, and had to pull over to hear this masterpiece. The DJ commented as I picked my jaw up off the floor that most people associate "modern classical" or "contemporary classical" with bizarre and cerebral music... but Morten proves that this is not always the case. This piece is somewhere along the lines of Handel's "Messiah" or Barber's Adagio for Strings... a big choral piece with orchestral accompaniment... and will go down in history as one of the truly great compositions in classical music- that's my prediction.
5. "Twisted" - Del Amitri. This Scottish rock band is just amazing... the songs are memorable and hooky... the vocals are incredible, and sonically this CD just blows me away. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig... can it get any better? The sounds are raw, spitty, in your face and gritty, but SO RIGHT. A true masterpiece of songs and sound.
6. "Venus Isle" - Eric Johnson. These mixes must have consisted of hundreds of tracks in places... and yet the mix is clear and beautiful and his guitar tone is smooth as buttah. The soundscapes on songs like "When the sun meets the sky" are so epic and groundbreaking I couldn't live without this CD on a desert island. Eric is known for his guitar genius and even eccentricity, taking speaker cones out of amplifiers and tapping them with his finger next to his ear, and trying out different brands of 9v batteries in his guitar pedals for which one sounds better. His technique and finesse on the guitar are legendary and so is this fine CD.
7. "Go On" - Mr. Mister. After hits like "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings", pop supergroup Mr. Mister "went on" to record "Go On" which was a less commercial but even deeper record. It's a phenomenal CD - Richard Page's vocals are power beyond belief, and the songs are very well written for the genre. "Healing Waters" is a must hear.
8. "Spirit Trail" - Bruce Hornsby. This CD is a great collection of songs ranging from the uptempo BURNING groove of "King of the Hill" to gorgeous and tender solo piano pieces like "Song C" and "Song D". I think this CD shows the depth and range of Bruce's artistry in a huge way. And his hands must be on fire at times. This musician never stops practicing and striving to new heights... last time I saw him play in Maine, he was "practicing" his Glenn Gould Bach Goldberg Variations on stage to keep up his chops in between songs.
9. "Unknown" by Unknown. There is a CD in my collection that I have never learned the origin or identity of, but I couldn't be on a desert island without it. All I know is that it's allegedly a French Algerian Cellist playing most of the melodies... accompanied by a jazz drummer, an upright bassist and a virtuoso accordion player.
10. "Meanwhile" by 3rd Matinee. What a crying shame that this record sold so few copies and got so little attention. It's truly not fair.... but it's truly great. Mr. Mister vocalist Richard Page replaces the late Kevin Gilbert, in a sense, in "Toy Matinee" with Patrick Leonard from the original TM. These songs are memorable, the production is great and Richard's voice is once again amazing.
How on earth could I forget "Soul Cages" by Sting? My favorite Sting CD and another sonic masterpiece mixed in "Q Sound" which no one knows what it even is/was, at least not anyone I've ever talked to. Whatever it is/was, it's a 3 dimensional mix and a fantastic collection of deep and mysterious songs about ships, sailing in dark waters, and questions.
BOB McKILLOP Editor, MaineFolkMusic.com; singer/songwriter
Carol King – "Tapestry": because it's just one of the best albums of songwriting that was ever created.
The Beatles - "Love": because the Beatles' material is a bedrock of modern culture, and because this album demonstrates that editing and production are an art form too.
Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer - "Drum Hat Buddha" : because Dave Carter was a freakin' songwriting genius
Steely Dan – "Aja": Do I really have to explain this one??
Lionel Ritchie - "Dancing on the Ceiling": if it weren't for Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie would have taken this album to super-stardom
SAM PFEIFEL, music writer, The Portland Phoenix; The Grassholes
1. Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs: I'm going to do a lot of this sort of cheating, big "albums." This disc has a great selection of many flavors of indie rock and I'm a sucker for love songs.
2. Rolling Stones, 40 Licks: Early Stones is the best Stones, and 40 Licks has all their best singles.
3. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: The best album by my favorite band. I never get sick of this disc.
4. The Smiths, Louder than Bombs: The biggest collection of the songs that got me through high school. A huge nostalgia fest for me.
5. Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park: This just seems to be the LP I put on the turn table the most, so there must be something to it.
AIMSEL PONTI, music columnist, The Portland Press Herald
Jane Siberry- When I was a Boy. Because this is one of the most gorgeous, amazing, devastatingly beautiful and emotionally rich records ever made by one of the greatest singers and songwriters of our time.
Rolling Stones- Let it Bleed. Because I'll never tire of "You got the Silver" and "You Can't Always get what you Want" is a nice long song to help pass the time away on my island.
David Bowie – The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars because my god, every single song on this record is so freaking good and I'm gonna need to feel the Bowie love during my island stint. I mean come on, does it get any better than "Oh you pretty things!"?
10,000 Maniacs- In my Tribe because I have fond memories of this record and think that "Campfire Song," and "Verdi Cries" are still superb songs.
The Smiths- The Queen is Dead because Frankly, Mr. Shankly, I am already going to be moderately depressed marooned on my desert island so why not add to the fun with some Morrissey gloom! Actually, this is a sensational record. The Smiths in their prime!
Honorable Mention: Garden State movie soundtrack because it's one of my favorite movies with such a killer soundtrack. The Shins! Nick Drake! Etc Etc Etc!
RON RAYMOND, jr., WMPG Music Director, "Stuck in the 80s"
GORECKI - SYMPHONY NO. 3, (also known as the SYMPHONY OF SORROWFUL SONGS) (1992, Nonesuch Records) A classical piece of work that was only 15 years old in 1992, this version became a rare million-selling classical album, and despite its title, it doesn't make me feel bad or sorrowful at all, but actually, rather at peace with everything.
CHET BAKER - THE BEST OF CHET BAKER SINGS (1953-56) (1989 collection, Pacific Jazz) When I think of Chet Baker, I don't try to think about his drug addiction or how he died in 1988 by falling out of a window. I'd rather remember him for what he was - a brilliant vocalist and even better trumpeter. "Let's Get Lost" is simply one of the best pieces of music, jazz or otherwise, for all time.
CYNDI LAUPER - AT LAST (2003, Epic Records) As Cyndi Lauper is my favorite recording artist, this was a hard decision, because I love all of her work. I chose this Grammy-nominated covers album because of her fun cover of "Makin' Whoopee" with Tony Bennett, and because of comforting versions of Etta James' "At Last" and Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose" and the beautiful "Hymn To Love."
MADONNA - COFESSIONS ON A DANCE FLOOR (2005, Warner Bros. Records) Another of my favorite artists, and one of my 3 favorite albums from Madge. Quite frankly, if I was ever stuck on an island, I would want to keep this album merely to keep dancing. I still had this CD in my car stereo nearly a year after its release if that tells you anything.
KATE BUSH - HOUNDS OF LOVE (1985, EMI Records) Discovered by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour in the mid-70s, this brilliant and beautiful album may have been her most commercial release, but to me it's just absolutely lovely, from "Running Up That Hill" to "Cloudbusting" to "Watching You Without Me." If you can find the 1997 import reissue, it has 6 bonus tracks, from remixes to B-sides, including the gorgeous "Under The Ivy."
DURAN DURAN - RIO (1982, Capitol Records) I was 15 years old when this record came out, and it's enamored me ever since. This record is so much more than the title track or "Hungry Like The Wolf." From "Save A Prayer" to "Last Chance On The Stairway" to "Hold Back The Rain" to "The Chauffeur," this album was kind to me when high school wasn't as kind.
PETER GABRIEL - SO (1986, Geffen Records) and PASSION (Music From THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST) (1989, Geffen Records) These two albums are quite different but both so very good to have, in an island collection or otherwise. SO may have given Peter Gabriel his 2 biggest hits, but gave me the still-beautiful "In Your Eyes" and the inspiring "Don't Give Up" (with the lovely Kate Bush), while PASSION dips even further, bringing African rhythms to a new level of inspiration for me. And I still can't believe he isn't in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
TODD "THE ROCKET" RICHARD, Sumner McKane, Miss Fairchild; co-founder, WePushButtons.com; Maine Modern Academy of Music
Please note that these aren't in numerical order. They are all equally ranked in my book...
Gangstarr - Moment of Truth
A monumental album from one of hip hop's most well-respected duos. A great album from start to finish with some of their most memorable hooks. It frames in a wonderful period in my life, as well. 1997 baby. Ward Street Represent!
Michael Jackson - Thriller
I might just owe my entire career to this album.
Steely Dan - Aja
For me, this is one of the best examples of their work. I think this album embodies the reasons why you either fanatically love or feverishly despise this band.
Radiohead - The Bends
The best guitar album of the 90's, save for some of Soundgarden's work. Gorgeous songs and vocals informed by Thom Yorke's fascination with Jeff Buckley.
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark
This album breezes by altogether too fast. In the span of a breath, she conveys complete vivid thoughts of love and longing, presented with her illustrative style and quick wit.
JIMMY RYAN, Mandolinist extraordinaire, Blood Oranges emeritus, Ceci's mandolin hero (ok –I cheated here, he's from Boston)
1.) Fairport Convention /Full House, Everything about this record is great. The grooves .It was a template for alot of the stuff I get into musically .Combining folk and the rock.Mandolins w/ Drums etc.
#2) Bob Marley /Rastaman Vibration. The first reggae record I ever heard. My first encounter of the Rasta kind.
#3.) Ernest Ranglin /Memories of Barber Mack. Ernest is an incredible Jamaican guitarist. This instrumental/Jazz record is so deep in many ways. He plays very "mandolinny" for a guitarist.
#4). Hotrize /Any of their records!!. That was a great band. Good everything. Singing ,picking .The works.
#5.) Bill Monroe /Any of his records would be awesome to be stuck with for eternity!!!
NATE SHROCK, The Coming Grass
Exile on Main St. , The Rolling Stones
Joe Strummer, Streetcore
London Calling, The Clash
Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland
Kaya, Bob Marley and the Wailers
PUTNAM SMITH, singer/songwriter
1. Robyn Hitchcock -- EYE
I never seem to tire of this album -- every song is amazing, and each has its own slice of absurdly beautiful Hitchcockian insanity; which, oddly enough, should serve to keep me sane on a desert island with only 5 records...
2. Fuzzy Mountain String Band (self titled)
This album would serve two purposes on a desert island: 1) would bring me right to the heart of the Old-Timey Appallachia 2) would allow me to have my own little barn-dance, right there on the island!
3. Richard Buckner -- Devotion/Doubt
I neglected this record, until one drive back to Maine (up north, in Maine!) from NYC -- played it once through, then couldn't take it out of the CD player, until I got home. 8 hours straight. It hasn't left my Car CD wallet since.
4. Uncle Tupelo -- Anodyne
I'd have to have at least one good rock album -- and this alt-country classic would do the job even better. Another album that satisfies with every repeated listen.
5. Joni Mitchell -- Blue
It was either this or Tori Amos' Under the Pink. I love them both, and turn to them both for consolation when things get rough -- but I suspect that Joni would prove a better mate on a desert island than Tori. Just a hunch.
Yee-haw! How much fun was that??? Stay tuned til next year (or maybe I can't wait that long....). Next time around, we'll alter it a little - maybe do a Dozen or 1/2 Dozen Best Songs or maybe Your Favorite Stones Song & Why or whatever.....If you live in Maine, Go directly to Bull Moose Music and buy some new stuff if you're curious! Send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.