May’s Desert Island Discs come to you courtesy of my favorite May Birthday girl, and one of my very best girlfriends, Miss Sarah O’Brien. Jared thinks I like depressing music, but I’ve got nothing on Sarah. But depressing music is some of the best out there, and this list is no exception. And coupled with Sarah’s trademark wit, this is one of my favorite D.I.D. posts yet. Here’s what she had to say…
I’ve thought through this entire process it would be a lot easier if I could say I was bringing “Sarah Strickland’s Honeymoon Mix” from Ricky or the Original Mix CD from Beau. So many of these songs date back to the days of mix tapes traded between friends.
1) Sanguine by The Avett Brothers… I wish there were a way to calculate the hours/days/weeks I have listened to The Gleam on repeat in my car. This song, among so many gems from the band, is a personal favorite. It has a musical sort of Serenity Prayer quality, telling you to keep on going and give yourself a little damn credit now and then when you’re feeling low. Or maybe it’s a beautiful, beautiful song about “The Shining.”
2) I know it’s Going to Happen Someday by Morrissey… Choosing a favorite Morrissey or Smiths song has always been nearly impossible for me. I know some I don’t love, but whittling down to one great love is so hard. Maybe it’s the other pics I have so far, but I’ve always loved this one. Again, a hang in there, don’t give up song.
3) Breathless by Adorable… Against Perfection has to be among one of the best, most under rated shoegazing albums of all time. Trust me, when a fella sends the 19 year old you a song with lyrics like “My eager eyes came stumbling down/over this pristine view/my second-rate poetry/ just isn’t enough to describe you,” you’re going to remember it for life. It’s just the knee-buckling, story tale version of the way I would like to be adored.
4) Feels Like Home by Trio II… I’ve always imagined that Dolly, Emmylou and Linda called each other up and said “we’re not going to let those guys have all the fun with The Highwaymen, are we?! Hell no!” and formed their own ladies’ super group. Over two albums in the 90’s these ladies knocked it out of the park. I remember listening to the first Trio album in the car on long rides up to Dallas to visit family and also coveting all those outfits they wear on the album cover. Now, if you haven’t figured out that I’m a sad, sad sack with a hopeful heart for love, this will bring it home, as it were. “Feels like Home” is just that done/we’ve-found-it-after-all-
5) Blue Savannah by Erasure… I love erasure. Andy has the voice of an angel and Vince is a musical genius. Period. Again, it’s next to impossible to choose a favorite, but I’ve listened to both Blue Savannah and Chorus so many times for so many years. I flipped a coin and landed on this amazing song about finding love/home. I’m a broken record.
6) Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks… The Kinks in the late 60’s and early 70’s were amazing. Sure, they were great outside that, too, but when you can crank out “Days” and “Waterloo Sunset” two of the best songs ever written, that says something. Kirsty MacColl does a great version of “Days” you should all check out.
7) Perfect Day by Kirsty MacColl and Evan Dando… Speaking of days and Kirsty MacColl, she and Evan Dando did the most amazing cover duet of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” Great, great song; I love it more than the original.
8) Hang Loose by Alabama Shakes… Let’s wrap this up with something from this decade! Apparently I self medicate with music. See above and take a listen for a guess at why I love this. There’s a fantastic version of this song at the Live at KEXP Vol. 8 CD that’s even MORE soulful, speedy and rocking than the studio version.
Runner up: Sarah by Mojave 3… This is probably my favorite ever “Sarah” song, but who chooses a namesake song?! It just seems like me.