First off I had trouble naming this post. At first I put “CDs” before realizing that might be a little outdated. I mean who buys CDs anymore anyways? It seems like more often than not our music is in digital form. But what do we call it now?? I settled on albums.
Anyhoo, I have been cranking the tunes full force on my long train/bus European adventures. It helps pass the time and ease my busy mind. It got me thinking if I was stranded somewhere….island, mountaintop, jungle, frozen tundra…what would I want blasting in my eardrums? Here’s what I put together…
1. The MVP: Bon Iver.Self Titled. Every song on this album makes my heart sing. It puts a smile on my face and makes me feel nostalgic at the same time. I could put it on repeat and blast it through cloud speakers and move my life to it. It is the closest to heaven that music has ever got me.
Runner Up: Journey Greatest Hits
2. All Star Champion: Coldplay.X&Y or Viva La Vida. Back when I had just started Teach for America my dear friend LP and I heard about a Coldplay concert in Vegas. We wanted to go more than anything but like people who are working 14 hour days we procrastinated and fretted and second guessed. By the time we got around to buying tickets they were sold out. We were devastated. And it taught me a life lesson to not wait around trying to make a decision. We still have a vow to see them live at one point and I know we will make it happen. In the meantime, cranking this album loud puts a smile on my face.
Runner Up: Dire Straits
3. Small Town Hero: John Butler Trio. Live at Red Rocks. I have seen JBT a few times at Red Rocks, a Colorado venue so beautiful I’d never do justice trying to explain it in words. But I’ll try. It sits nestled between large red (can you believe it?) rocks and the open air amphitheater overlooks all of Denver below. The sun rises and sets in front of your eyes and the stars watch over you when it’s dark. But that’s not the big focus here. John Butler. I once said his song Ocean was the number one way I calm myself. When he plays the guitar I feel at peace. He puts feelings to music without needing words. When he does sing, his voice soothes you and makes you want to dance. I love him and if he wasn’t already married I would’ve quit my job and followed him like a Dead head followed the Grateful Dead.
Runner Up: Gregory Alan Isakov
4. The Emo Waterboy: Taking Back Sunday. Tell All Your Friends. When I look back to my teenage years, they were filled with angst and emotional ups and downs. I cried and then I laughed hysterically in the same moment. I stayed up too late and my friendships and relationships were so monumental to me I thought that surely they would never end. If I could replay all the extremes of those years, the soundtrack for it would be this album. Screaming to whispers, horrible sound quality, and a rawness that throws my heart back into those moments every time I hear a song from it. If I am 80 and sitting in a rocking chair and this album comes on, I am positive it will make my heart skip a beat, remembering moments I swore to never forget.
5. The Rookie: Arcade Fire. The Suburbs. To me, Arcade Fire, represents a new generation of sound. They are creating not only music but visual forms of media that are rocketing us to a new generation of sound. If you’ve never done THIS, DO IT NOW. I ran across it at the Museum of Modern Art in NY and have never forgot it. They are making music interactive and in a world of a trillion bands, it’s working. Not only that, but their sound is unlike any other.