Desert Island Discs

Dean Young

In no particular order:

Tales of Topographic Oceans by Yes.

I know it's not 1974 anymore so you can't listen to this in Ken's dorm room that had a parachute on the ceiling so it was like getting high in a cloud but this is an absolute hightide of prog-rock, marvelous musicianship, complex arrangements, wild mood swings, plethoras of melodies.

Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett.

You can hear Jarret listening on this record, probing and suspending time, and viscerally discovering gorgeous melodies.

Secrets of the Beehive
by David Sylvian.

A beautiful record that is nonetheless strange and experimental. Sylvian put a super-group of oddballs together for this, most notably the adventurous, otherworldly guitarist David Torn. I'm still kicking myself for missing this tour.

Come on feel the Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens.

It's wonderful to have counterpoint so lovingly rendered in pop music again. Revivifyingly sweet while being resourceful and surprising.

Kaya by Bob Marley.

I can't live without his voice.

More Desert Island Discs

Jennifer L. Knox

Full disclosure: despite my seven-year stint as a third-chair clarinetist, my musical vocabulary is limited to simian gestures, deep nods, and stink-face grimaces. No doubt, if I could describe, in proper terms, how music does what it does, I would be a phenomenally wealthy woman.

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Jen Benka

My great-grandmother Phoebe was French-Canadian. My mother, who was named for her, studied in Quebec for a spell, and eventually became a French teacher. She had several albums by Edith Piaf that she acquired in the 1950s and 1960s, and certain Piaf songs—like the plaintiff yet commanding "Mon Dieu" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien"— are part of the soundtrack of my childhood.

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