Sean’s Five Artists For A Desert Island

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Here at The Alternative, we enjoy having the ability to embalm ourselves in a variety of music every single day. We also enjoy being able to discuss what music we love and why. I personally enjoy talking to myself and others about certain scenarios to be trapped in and how I would cope with the certain situation. It’s been a topic I have had in classes, conversations and even with my notebooks on what music I would need if I was stranded on a deserted island, Castaway style. I hope this is as fun to read as it is to try and figure out, this is just the first in multiple posts to come from fellow contributors. Mind you, this includes entire discographies if need be.

1. Converge

Face it, this band has been the band to look up to in terms of pure, aggravated hardcore. Even when they are building an inspirational message to keep pushing on in life, it just sounds dissonant and destructive. Converge is a band I have been stuck on for years and even 24 years into the game, I cannot wait to see what comes next. It’s my belief that Jane Doe is the best hardcore album to ever be released, and I am not certain I have been proven wrong in terms of how an album sounds or even how poetic an album can be written. Having their entire discography would help me let out as much of my inner raging emotions about not being able to talk to anyone, with ‘Last Light’ probably leading the way of outbursts, along with the rest of fucking fantastic releases this band has had. 

2. Anything by El-P

This might seem like a bit of a cop-out, but I just need his music and all of it. A few years ago was slated to be one of the best years in the underground rap scene because of El-P releasing three, count them, THREE absolutely mind blowing albums in one year. His production skills are unmatched in terms of creating what a trip feels like, with countless hours of my life being in an altered state pushing repeat on Cancer 4 Cure. The words he spits are pure poetry, with an insane flow and phrasing to really add to his talents. His work with Killa Mike started as just his producer but then beautifully blossomed into Run The Jewels. This rap duo has taken the world by storm and certainly would be needed to embrace the shitty hurricane I will inevitably be going through, if only just to feel something different besides pure panic.

3. Anything touched by Keith Buckley

I promise this is the last cop out I do here, but screw it if I am getting stranded on an island I’ll need all of the work done by the vocalist of Every Time I DieThe Damned Things, and whatever the hell this Tape project is he’s been brewing up lately. Every Time I Die is my favorite band and I love all of their work as small nephews of mine. Every release singe Last Night In Town has delivered in my eyes, with From Parts Unknown being the best cohesive release to date. I know all the lyrics, most of the guitar parts and would be able to lose my voice every day to the wit of a great lyricist. The rest of the work is just to add some variety in genre and sing-ability. Yes, I am cheating at my own created staff blog, fuck off. 

4. Elliott Smith

This one really was created by the movie Good Will Hunting and an old friend of mine by the name of Robert. He introduced me to ‘Say Yes’ and then I kind of started discovering more as I went along. To take all of Elliott Smith’s music (yes his solo stuff) to an island would be the most emotionally distraught and possibly suicidal thing to do, but I was watching Up In The Air the other day and ‘Angel In The Snow’ came on during the movie. I was laying there and said out loud, “yea, he’s coming with.” Not to mention any George Clooney movie would have to come with me too, but that is for another day and another list. What I would do to hang out with this man for even one day.

5. Queen

I was going to have The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me occupy the last part of this list, but if I am stranded on a deserted island, I guess I don’t need to worry about my own struggles with other people. Thus, I opted for my favorite and probably only band I listen to that made music before 1991. This is also the happiest music I can pick with enough variety to keep me sane in between the rest of the tunes. Freddie Mercury has the greatest voice known to man and Brian May has the most original guitar tone to ever occupy a band’s sound. I’m even happy just imaging being on an Island, with a sand castle sitting next to me as I am singing ‘You’re My Best Friend.’ 

Well, there you have it. We have two hardcore bands (basically), a multi-talented producer/rapper from Brooklyn, a singer/songwriter worthy of any motion picture musical score and the best band in the world. This has been an experience trying to narrow the very, very broad musical perspective I have into just five names that might just end up in a cupboard at the local goodwill store. At least my photoshopped picture of myself will go down in history, right?