Sometimes a simple premise can lead to much fun. When Andrew Schnitkey ventured to include LeBron James’ deserted island game for his WWW, the rest of us couldn’t help but get sucked in.
As presented in the 12th episode of Road Trippin’, the game is a basic deserted island game. The premise: You’re stuck on a deserted island all by yourself. You get to pick three things to bring with you: One album (excluding greatest hits and compilations and multi-disc sets), one movie, and one genre of food.
For those of you who missed Rock’s WWW on Tuesday, you can go and read the full post as linked above. If you’re too lazy to click a link and read the outstanding reasons for his selections, we lead with his final selections and follow up with our own.
Album: The Monitor by Titus Andronicus
Movie: The Empire Strikes Back
Food Genre: Breakfast
Reasoning: 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. 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. I just feel like Breakfast gives me the best chance of having the most variety and being able to mix up healthy options with gluttonous benders.
Album: Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie
Movie: Step Brothers
Food Genre: Italian
Reasoning: I have been in love with albums by Mineral, Pearl Jam, Deftones, Counting Crows, Guns ‘N Roses, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Mansions, and even Hop Along. I could pick probably 20 albums that qualify as “favorites” because they dominated a period of time. Transatlanticism is closer to my heart than all of them because of the point in my life that it hit. Only one is the one that I feel like I listened to while I dated my future wife. With Step Brothers I’m just going on first instinct. It’s not my favorite movie of all time, but it’s one I can watch over and over again. Italian is what I’m picking. I am guessing that I can’t take all Italian food and pizza as that might be cheating, but if I have to survive in the long run, I’m going with Italian food for sustenance. Breakfast was tempting, but it’s hard to get anything decadent in breakfast. I don’t want to live without culinary decadence if I don’t have to. If by “Italian” that means Ragu, I’m going breakfast.
Album: Continuum by John Mayer
Food Genre: Mexican
Reasoning: I’ve admitted my guilty pleasure love for John Mayer a handful of times here at WFNY, and I have no regrets. I’ve loved him (and his music) since college, and Continuum is, without a doubt, my favorite album. To me, the songs are soulful and moving and when I hear it, I find myself getting lost in a happy place. Could I have chosen a more basic movie? Probably not. But, you know those movies that, no matter what, you leave on when you come across them on a Sunday afternoon? That’s Bridesmaids for me. It doesn’t get old, and it makes me giggle. Are “french fries dipped in ranch dressing” considered a “food category”? No? OK… Then give me Mexican food all day. Plus, not only do I absolutely love it, I feel like choosing Mexican for my deserted island would give me the biggest variety of choices… tortilla chips and dips, tacos, quesadillas, burritos… and that’s just the tip of the enchilada. Plus, I could wash those choices down with a nice, tart margarita (on the rocks with no salt) while I look out on the ocean. Not terrible for a deserted island, right?
Album: Lost and Gone Forever by Guster
Movie: Grosse Pointe Blank
Food Genre: Chinese (the American version)
Reasoning: I wanted to choose an album that I can listen all the way through and love every song on the album, and it had to be an album with music for all moods. If I want to be happy, there are upbeat songs. If I want to be sad, there are melancholy songs. If I want to feel goofy, there are those songs, too. I realize that Guster was never really that popular and their heyday was 15-20 years ago as a college band, but whatever. It’s a great album. Grosse Pointe Blank is a hilarious movie that is extremely re-watchable. As a John Cusack fan and a fan of music from the 80s, I am always in the mood for that one. Also, a professional assassin going home for his high school reunion is an amazing premise. Finally, I just like the American version of Chinese food. I know it’s not authentic and I don’t care. I like eating it.
Album: Achtung Baby by U2
Movie: The Matrix
Food Genre: Wife’s cooking
Reasoning: Adding in the rules, U2 wins out pretty easily. Need something catchy that will not drive me mad upon hearing it for the millionth time but with enough complexity that I grow to appreciate the transitions and lyrics. Achtung Baby is my favorite from Bono and the gang as it is a bit before they smoothed out their sound. The Matrix for the philosophical dialogue that I’ll have plenty of time to think through. My wife’s cooking because it is fantastic. Plus, if the post-apocalyptic film genre has taught me anything, it is that you need something from your past to cling onto in order to survive into the future.
Album: Aquemini by Outkast
Movie: Good Will Hunting
Food Genre: Breakfast
Reasoning: The album selection was easily the most difficult for me. Borrowing from Andrew (who borrowed from Allie Clifton), breakfast is easily my favorite meal, and it’s one that can be consumed at any time of the day. I love enchiladas, but not for breakfast. I love Italian, and veal parm is my favorite plate out of any, but again—I don’t see it as an all day, everyday type of option. Breakfast food is transcendent. Eggs can be mixed with several meats or vegetables; bacon or sausage can be consumed throughout the day; and the variety of breads—toast, bagels, English muffins—would provide enough variety. And anyone else short-changing breakfast as the option is forgetting its most important accoutrement: Coffee. Checkmate, folks. Good Will Hunting has been my favorite movie since it came out and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. The storyline is tremendous and Robin Williams’ character is magnificent. The “It’s not your fault!” scene is simultaneously chilling and heartbreaking, while the end (spoiler alert) is as feel-good as you can get. For the album, I pondered many directions. Abbey Road came to mind. As did My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I considered a Dave Matthews album (Before These Crowded Streets won out) due to the whole island, jam band thing. At the end, however, I settled on Aquemini as Outkast was revolutionary through their tenure and its my favorite album of theirs (barely edging out ’96’s ATLiens), mixing their incredible lyrical abilities with some brass, harmonica, acoustic guitar and more. Andre 3000’s second verse in “Aquemini” is, to this day, one of the best verses ever.1 That it takes me back to high school is all the better.
Album: Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem
Movie: Ocean’s Eleven
Food Genre: Tex-Mex
Reasoning: I think Sound of Silver is one of the best albums ever made and it has so many different qualities that if you were stuck with only one album, it would handle the duty of giving you something to dance to, and the ability to evoke all sorts of different emotions. I thought I was going to pick a sports-movie here, I love them, but when I look at what I re-watch more than anything it is Ocean’s Eleven. I love the style, it has a wonderful cast, it has humor, it has some action, and it has Elliott Gould in wonderful glasses. Food-wise, it has to be Tex-Mex, I can’t tell you how comforting it is to make tacos. They will always be how you think they should be. You can go quick and dirty with some beef and a seasoning packet, or you can get fancy with seafood (The lobster tacos at Lopez in Cleveland Heights are my favorite food of all time.) So much versatility, and it is also a broad genre which would include some breakfast stuff that everyone seems to like.
Album: Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix
Movie: The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Food Genre: Mexican
Reasoning: The album I would take to the deserted island would be Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. It’s probably not my “favorite” album ever, but it checks all the boxes: it’s a double LP so it has added length (unlike Led Zeppelin IV or Wish You Were Here), it rocks hard enough in parts to head bang the island-induced cobwebs out (“Crosstown Traffic,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “All Along the Watchtower”), is spacey and wandering enough in parts to allow me to contemplate my futile existence on a deserted island (“1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be…),” “Voodoo Chile”), and is variable enough to keep things interesting. And though I did not pick Electric Lady land for the original album cover (do not google that!), I imagine it could come in handy given my uhh isolation on this hypothetical island. I know what you’re thinking about The Fantastic Mr. Fox: “Are you cussing with me?” Sadly, I am not. My favorite movie is probably Pulp Fiction, but the subject matter is a little heavy. TFMF has all the Wes Anderson quirkiness I identify with, is beautifully animated with some shots composed like paintings (why not leave it on pause to decorate my hut when I have imaginary visitors?), enough dialogue to allow me to rediscover lines again and again (like The Big Lebowski), and has a potent combo of comedy, whimsy, and heartfelt sincerity to vary my emotional state. Plus, I get to vicariously live through George Clooney and Meryl Streep, a tough combo to beat. Mexican was easy as my food genre. I moved to California several years ago, and I eat no less than three burritos a week. I can’t imagine ever getting sick of burritos, and the only reason I don’t eat more is for health reasons. And that Mexican is versatile enough to cover Tex-Mex, platters, Taco Bell, and everything queso? I can’t wait to eat seven burritos a day on this island. (Editor’s note: Kyle died on Day 13 of living on the island.)