Playing LeBron’s desert island game: While We’re Waiting


Happy Tuesday, WFNY!

Every once in a while, I sit down to do a While We’re Waiting segment and realize I have absolutely nothing interesting to talk about1 that week. This is one of those times.

Sure, I could talk about the Cleveland Browns’ absolutely ridiculous decision to not make sure they re-signed Terrelle Pryor before he could talk to other teams. I could talk about Andrew Bogut’s injury or the Cavs’ pathetic defense. I could talk about expectations for the Indians. But I don’t know, none of those topics feel particularly inspired to me today.

So instead, I’m going to play a game with you guys. In fact, we’re going to play LeBron James’ game. For those who missed LeBron’s appearance on the latest Road Trippin’ episode, he brought up a game for them to all play.

The game is a basic desert island game. The premise: You’re stuck on a desert island all by yourself. You get to pick three things to bring with you. You get one CD, one movie, and one food genre. I’ll start with my selections, and then I’ll let you guys submit your selections in the comments below.



The contenders

Pearl Jam – YIELD

For pretty much all of my life since this album came out, it has been the album I would cite when someone asked me “What is your favorite album”. The band isn’t surprising. Anyone who knows me finds out pretty quickly that I am an insane Pearl Jam fan2. I promise you there is no other album that I have listened to as many times from front to back. There’s not a single thing out of place for me. It’s a perfect album in every way. I even have a 100 page PDF document from a message board discussion I once participated in with several other like-minded YIELD fanatics in which we broke down every last minutia of the album’s lyrics and music. We compiled a running narrative arc for the lyrics and gave it a narrative beginning, middle, and end, thus formulating an “accidental concept album”.

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

If ever there was a threat to YIELD’s throne, this album would be it. It is every bit as perfect of an album, it has a narrative aspect to it that drives the album through a clear concept with a beginning, middle, and end, and it, quite frankly, is the epitome of everything that punk music can be. It’s ambitious without being overtly pretentious, it’s sprawling and powerful and anthemic while sticking true to the raw, visceral edge of aggressive music, and it challenges the listener to think about themselves and the world around them. Musically, the guitars on this album just absolutely rip and Patrick Stickles’ solos and leads are off the charts. The reason this could be my pick would be because there’s not a more substantive album that I listen to regularly than this one. It eschews the common verse-chorus-verse format and instead plays out more like classical music with movements, phases, and returns. The songs build and release, wax and wane. It’s just a brilliant album and one that I never tire of listening to.

Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile

When considering desert island albums, an underrated route to go is to pick a double-album. Having a double-album gives me more music to listen to. It’s longer, there are more songs, I can divide my listens to disc 1 and disc 2 to trick my mind into thinking I actually have two albums to listen to. It’s a great strategy. And if I’m picking a double-album to bring with me, it’s definitely going to be The Fragile. Trent Reznor’s masterpiece, painstakingly put together in a dark period of isolation and dealing with addiction issues, The Fragile tears apart the human condition and lays our most basic fears and insecurities out on the table for public examination. And sonically, the album is almost like a composition with layers of sounds, textures, and instruments to create something totally unique.

The winner: In a bit of an upset, I’m taking The Monitor. It’s longer than YIELD and The Fragile has a couple imperfections that work against it. I will likely spend most of days on the island wishing I had YIELD with me, though.



The contenders

The Big Lebowski

This would be a hard one to go against. It has everything I want from a movie. Interesting writing, hilarious moments, incredible acting performances. It’s perhaps the movie I’ve seen the most times in my life. It’s just so great.


This movie absolutely blew me away the first time I saw it. The movie follows the story of a character with a condition that prevents him from making new memories. This leaves him often confused, stuck in a state of always wondering how he got to where he was. The movie actually plays out in reverse, showing the ending first and then go backward one scene at a time. This puts the viewer in the shoes of the protagonist. The first time you watch it, you don’t know how the protagonist got there. You don’t know what’s going on. You’re susceptible to suggestion and you’re willing to believe things you shouldn’t believe. Christopher Nolan is easily my favorite director and he’s the only director I will always make sure I see every movie of.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

If I’m stuck on a movie, I may just want a little theatrical soul food, a movie to just kick back and enjoy without having to think too much or be too invested in. Quite frankly, I might just want to watch a Star Wars movie. And if I can only bring one Star Wars movie with me, I’m going with Empire. Believe it or not, I actually gave a little thought to both The Force Awakens and Rogue One as my choices. I really, really enjoyed the new, modern Star Wars movies. But on a desert island, just give me the comfortable classic.

The winner: The Empire Strikes Back. I think Memento and The Big Lebowski would battle for the title of my favorite movie ever, but being stuck on a desert island, I just think I want something a little lighter and more consumer-friendly.



The contenders

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day. It’s also perhaps the most comforting and delicious. And the genre is so broad that you can have some serious variety. From cereal, to pastries, to fruit, to sandwiches, to bagels and muffins, to pancakes, french toast, and waffles. The possibilities are endless.

Mexican: I’m somewhat of a creature of habit. Most restaurants I go to, I tend to order the same thing or something similar. Mexican food is the exception. I often go all over the place when it comes to Mexican food. And I assume I’m getting endless chips and salsa, right? Hopefully, margaritas are included as well.

Burgers, fries, and shakes: Call it the Americana, if you will. The classic. The real hidden bonus of this one is I will probably die of a heart attack eating this for every meal, every day and will thus reduce how long I’m stuck on this island. But man, I sure do love a good meal of a quality burger, crispy fries (not a fan of the soggy ones), and a refreshing milkshake (I can go vanilla or chocolate here).

The winner: Breakfast. I just feel like this gives me the best chance of having the most variety and being able to mix up healthy options with gluttonous benders.


So there you have it, my desert island picks. Now I’d love to hear what you guys would pick in the comments below. And as always, have a great week here at WFNY!

  1. In before the “you never have anything interesting to say in WWW” jokes. []
  2. I should clarify, I am insane Pearl Jam fan in normal person terms. Relative to other hardcore Pearl Jam fans, I am rather pedestrian. That band’s fan base is intense on a crazy level that even I can’t keep up with. Though I wish I could. []

  • mgbode

    My tactic would be to realize that I’m going to dissect and harp in so much on any movie or album that it had better have some parts seriousness and some parts intentional/unintentional comedy.

    Album: totally cheating and going with Rolling Stones Stripped (best of collection – unplugged & some live)

    Movie: Matrix – oddly enough, more for the dialogue as I’ll be sitting around w/ plenty of time to think philosophically.

    Food genre: Wife’s cooking – is that cheating again? I don’t care.

  • maxfnmloans

    Album: Physical Graffitti
    Movie: Ocean’s Eleven
    Food: Can I just have a smoker barrel and an ample supply of things with hooves and/or horns?

  • mgbode

    Food genre: Texan BBQ – done & done

  • As long as you hunt the things with hooves and/or horns on the island, I’ll allow it.

  • Damn, I forgot to set the rule that greatest hits are not allowed.

  • maxfnmloans

    needs moar vinegar. Carolina style FTW

  • RGB

    CD: Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
    MOVIE: Big Trouble In Little China
    FOOD: Indian

  • mgbode

    Note: please ensure my island is not downwind of RGB’s, thanks.

  • mgbode

    I at least went with a non-studio variety one. I’ll take the Blue Brother’s soundtrack though if we think that is more fair.

  • Saggy

    is it me, or is The Matrix really becoming poignant? like, truly so. After reading a few articles, it’s amazing how easy it is to believe we are actually just part of a computer simulation. The Matrix has gone from Keanu Reeves action vehicle to sci-fi classic, to just classic.

  • RGB

    That’s still a little iffy. It’s a collection of great tunes by other artists.

  • mgbode

    Sure, but I’m taking advantage of the rules that Andrew didn’t set 🙂

  • mgbode

    It was always a classic. I happened to be in an advanced philosophy class and our professor “made us” go watch it so that we could spend three weeks that semester breaking down all of the different points.

    Regardless of the computer simulation aspect as the driver, the concepts of choice and motive and action/re-action, etc are all amazing deep-dives for a two hour film to have encapsulated.

  • Saggy

    Is it one CD or one album? maxfm can’t bring PG since it’s a TWO-discker. Unless it’s just one album. If so, great call on PG.

    * I would have to bring Italian food, but Mexican would be a close second.

    * Movie would probably be The Godfather. I can watch that a million times and see something different each time. You’ll have a hard time convincing me there is a better movie out there.

    * Album would be a ridiculous ask. Especially if things like greatest hits or best of collections are out the window. Dylan’s Royal Albert Hall concert would be in the mix, as would Zep III, Floyd DSOTM, and Metallica Ride The Lightning. Pearl Jam Ten might be the album I would take, though, as it has both rockers and ballads.

  • Saggy

    One of the few films that could have been longer. Watching the Animatrix really enhances The Matrix, as it gives tons of backstory.

  • Saggy

    oooh. I might need to change my choice.

  • mgbode

    Watching the following films that they rushed and didn’t stick to the ethos of the original film though – does not.

  • Saggy

    Well how would I hunt for pasta?

  • Saggy

    No question. A very disjointed trilogy. They could have done away with a lot of the characters – who are obviously just there to provide action/conflict – and just stuck to meat and bones of the story. That would have been the better avenue.

  • RGB

    The County Line Original sauce was not bad. I like sauce a little sweeter. I assume that will be their Wild Pork sauce.

  • mgbode

    indeed the Wild Pork has a sweeter flavor

  • This is turning out a lot like Trump’s first travel ban….

  • If only Use Your Illusion I and II were a true double-album.

  • LeBron said one CD, but I think he meant album. That seemed to be the context they were using it in.

  • mgbode

    The courts knocked it down due to the rules that were set? I suppose you should have expected such marooning people on desert islands though.

  • Garry_Owen


  • Garry_Owen

    Album: We Can’t Dance (Genesis)
    Food: Italian (which, fortunately, includes pizza, along with all of the other good stuff)
    Movie: This is the hardest. In a battle royale between The Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, and A Few Good Men, I think the winner has got to be O’ Brother. (The Big Lebowski is also a great choice.)

  • Garry_Owen

    Whose wife?

  • Garry_Owen

    Yep. Of all of the things I could imagine living without, pasta was not on the list. If I can’t have pasta, I’d better be stranded on an island with huge herds of pasta creatures.

  • mgbode

    I’ll stick with my own.

  • maxfnmloans

    by being vewwwy vewwy quiet…you’re hunting Fusilli hahahahahahahahaha

  • chrisdottcomm

    CD: Taking full advantage of the fact that Andrew failed to set the ground rules; David Bowie’s “5 Years” which is actually a 12 disc or 13 LP collection of his work between 69-73. However if I must play by the intended rules it would be “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” winning out.

    Movie: similar to Garry a knockdown street fight between all of Terry Gilliam’s movies due to the insane layers he places on his films giving them the ability to be rewatched and picking up new pieces each time. Ultimately “Brazil” wins.

    Food: Chicken wings….All. The. Chicken Wings.

  • NankirPhelge

    No books? . . . Sigh.

    I’d take the entire unabridged Encylopedia Britannica (remember those?)

  • Chicken wings is a great choice. Can mix up flavors, dry rub vs sauce, bone-in vs boneless, fried vs baked. A lot of variety is possible here.

  • maxfnmloans

    I had to buy them together at Camelot. For $23.99 (which was a lot in 1991 and I was 13). They count as 1

  • Lucillessnyder

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  • CD: comes down to Tupac’s Me Against the World, Middle Brother’s self-titled, and Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. This is the most painful choice of the three, but I think I’m going with Middle Brother. Ask me five minutes from now, though, and my answer may change.

    Movie: final three are Tombstone, A Few Good Men, and The Godfather. Tombstone wins by the slightest of margins.

    Food: final three are tacos, sushi, and breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite, but the versatility of tacos wins out.

  • Garry_Owen

    Forgot about Tombstone. Good choice. If my island is located near yours, I’ll be making the swim every now and then.

  • Deal. If this is a desert archipelago we could put together quite the community for ourselves. I’ll be over for some lasagna at some point.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’ll make a taco pizza, too. (This is the brilliance of selecting Italian, IMO. There’s a way to get every possible food genre on a pizza.)

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