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Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Highlighted Features, Sights & Sounds |



Stranded On A Desert Island…

We asked our PrevailPrevail contributors and staff to come up with the 3 books and 3 albums they would take with them if stranded on a desert island.  We are an eclectic bunch, and the choices reflect it.  Feel free to share your own choices in the comment section.



Prevail is the founder of, one third of Swollen Members, one half of Alpha Omega, and a fine ambassador for the city of Vancouver.


I'm going double soundtrack and then a full length album. At least that way I can visualize the movie as well as listen to the tunes.

Crooklyn Soundtrack – A mix of dope Motown songs and the intro jam featuring Special Ed, Masta Ace and Buckshot is a pure hip hop classic. And "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers is gritty as hell.

The Big Chill Soundtrack– Ok so it's not the worlds greatest flick but the soundtrack slams. With double Marvin Gaye hits it's a great listen.

AC/DC: Back In Black.  If you've heard it you know all the reasons why.


Once again, I'm doubling up. Two Herman Hesse books top my list. Followed by a mandatory style guide, because even if I'm trapped on a desert island, I still want to die as a gentleman.esquire

Herman Hesse – Siddartha.  I first read this while living in L.A. in 98. It's a thought provoking coming of age book full of colourful language and great characters.

Herman Hesse – A Journey To The East.  Extremely well written yet very cryptic. I know the premise but upon reading it you find yourself questioning if you really know what's going on.

Esquire – The Handbook of Style.  All the secrets of chivalry and gentlemanly decorum are presented in this book. All of them.


Christopher Ryan is the New York Times best-selling author of Sex at Dawn, a columnist for Psychology Today, the host of popular podcast, Tangentially Speaking, contributor to, and a pretty amazing fellow.


Mahler’s Second Symphony (conducted by Leonard Bernstein). I can’t think of another piece of music that so powerfully expresses such a wide range of experience, from sublime contemplation to sheer terror. Mahler was a maniac in the best sense, and Bernstein “got” him like no other conductor ever has, IMHO.  (

Beethoven’s Late Quartets. Just too profound for words. Dude was totally deaf and on his last legs. He says things so clearly that cannot be said in any other way, by any other man. (

Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. This has always been my preferred record when coming in for a landing after a long, strange trip. There are mushrooms on this island, right?  (


Herman Melville – Moby Dick. It’s hilarious, playful, profound, goofy, irreverent, moving, and full of magical prose. Plus, it’s longmoby dick enough that I’d forget a lot between readings.



The Collected Plays of Shakespeare. Every time I read him, I’m blown away, but there’s so much I haven’t read, and probably won’t—unless I’m stranded on an island with mushrooms.

Dee Brown – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Love this book, even though it pisses me off to no end.




NEPH is a talented local hip hop artist, graphic artist, and one half of the rap duo, Alpha Omega.


Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon.  After assessing the situation and realizing I was indeed, stuck. On a desert island. The first and most important mission would be to locate the specific species of toad that makes you hallucinate. Your gonna wanna trip out for a bit so you can get in touch with nature and let it speak to you & such. It will be much easier to build shelter and fire, not to mention the fishing benefits. Your gonna want some Floyd playing while all this is happening.

Michael Jackson: History: Past, Present & Future.  Hits. Then some more hits. And then a second CD of some hits that you didn't even know were hits.

D' Angelo: Voodoo.  I got a copy of D' Angelo's first album 'Brown Sugar' when I was 6 or 7 years old. It was one of the first CD's that I remember owning. I had stolen it from my mom's car one day on the way to school and remember having to listen to it quietly in my headphones so that she didn't hear me playing her CD. Long story short, she never got her CD back because I lost it. But the good news was that D' Angelo eventually made an album called Voodoo which ended up being a much better project and thus, we all forgot about the lost Brown Sugar album.

Books: harry-potter-series1627

J.K. Rowling – The Harry Potter Collection – If you haven't read Harry Potter there's nothing I can do for you.

The Dictionary – I would still rap, even if stuck on a desert island. In fact, I would do much, much more of it. In order to keep progressing, having a dictionary would be very beneficial because of the stuck on the desert island part. 

Encyclopedia of the World – Sort of the same principal as the dictionary. Plus learning is fun for everyone.


AlphaSiren is a local writer and contributor to, focusing on love, sex, and relationships.  She is also a strong, independent, heavily-tattooed woman.


Tom Waits: The Heart of Saturday Night.  This album was listened to a lot, the summer of ’94, when I returned to my hometown for the summer and met a long-haired guitar-playing songwriter, with whom I would spend most nights drinking red wine and watching the sunrise before sneaking back into my family home. He was my first real love and he broke my heart, but there isn’t a lazy summer day, or rainy winter night where I don’t think back to that summer and smile.

LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver.  Came on board a bit late to LCD Soundsystem, but as soon as I heard this album, I knew I was in love. James Murphy is a golden god and the way in which he was able to blend and marry various genres like punk, underground NYC dance music, modern ‘pop’ music and indie, was truly genius. If you haven’t heard the track ‘All My Friends’, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Listen NOW. A true anthem.

The Cure: Disintegration.  Forever to be the album I associate with my sophomore year of high school, I will never tire of it, for both the wonderful memories I carry of that time as well as the sweeping, modern symphonic aspects of Robert Smith’s music.


C.S. Lewis – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  As a little girl who lived almost entirely in her head, this was the first book to truly take me away into another place that wasn’t my own brain. I still read this book every couple of years and still enjoy it just as much as I did when I was a kid.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude.  This book is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful tapestries of emotion, experience and history, penned by an astounding storyteller.

Ayn Rand – The Fountainhead.  This book sat on my mom’s shelf for years before I finally picked it up at the age of 30. When I finally cracked the cover (and incidentally, read it in two days), I chastised myself for not having read it sooner. The themes of individualism and not compromising one’s vision and ideals for the sake of others, spoke to me loud and clear.


Tobin is the Managing Editor of, and a writer for the Gazette.


The Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique.  Even alone on a desert island, it would still take a few years to count all the samples.

Pink Floyd: The Wall.  Double albums are key on a desert island, and this will do just fine.

Sasha and Digweed: Northern Exposure.  On a desert island, I would crave electronic sounds, and this is the best and mos eclectic (double) electronic album I know.  It's the electronica version of The White Album.


1. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  With apologies to Ali, Jordan and LL Cool J, Shakespeare is the G.O.A.T. No one even comes close to coming close.,.

2. Miguel de Cervantes –  Don Quixote.  The greatest and funniest novel ever written.  It has Book 1 AND book 2: it's like the double album of classic novels, with no filler.

3. Haruki Murakami – 1Q84.  Huge, epic, brilliant, mind-tossing madness from one the world's greatest contemporary novelists.


Eric Kaczmarowski is the Technical Editor at and while he bleeds Green and Gold he is a proud native of Minnesota.


The Undertones: S/T.  The ultimate summer record.  I play this every day the sun is shining and have been for 10 years.  Never gets old.

Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited.  No respectable desert island playlist can leave out Dylan.  This was the first album I fell in love with as a kid and still the Dylan record I probably pull out the most.  Play it fucking loud!

9 Shocks Terror: Zen and the Art of Beating Your Ass.  Because sometimes you just need music that sounds like its going to hit you with a two-by-four in the face.


Don DeLillo – Underworld.  A 700 page love story to America from the 1940's up until 1997.  DeLillo builds a sprawling tale that is perfectly constructed and all centred around  "The Shot Heard 'Round the World."

Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  Probably the book I have re-read the most.  A thought provoking work of philosophical fiction that begins right in my backyard of Savage, MN.  Every time I pick this up I learn something new about myself.

Brett Easton Ellis – Glamorama.  My favourite of Ellis' novels it reads as almost two books in one.  A cautionary tale of the vanity we are all surrounded by.


James Gordon is a local media legend, PrevailPrevail contributor, CTV movie critic, and the host of Travel Guys.


Frank Sinatra: Live at the Sands

The Beatles: Greatest Hits, 67-70

Astrud Gilberto: Beach Samba


The Best American Short Stories of the Century (edited by John Updike)

Norman Mailer – The Time of Our Time

Richard Ford – Women with Men


Dave "The Honest Butcher" Ritzer is a local butcher, focusing on sustainability, and one of the coolest guys in Vancouver.


Rancid: Out Come the Wolves

Jay-Z: Reasonable Doubt

Paul Simon: Graceland


Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall – The River Cottage Meat Book

J.D. Sallinger – The Catcher in the Rye

Gary Larsen – The Far Side Gallery    




Jamie D. Grant is a local magician, TED Speaker, paramedic and Renaissance Man.


Nas: I Am

U2: Achtung Baby

Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out


James Jones – From Here to Eternity

Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea

Yamamoto Tsunetomo – Hagakure/Book of the Samurai



Tobin Wait

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