Desert Island Discourse



Two struggling writers/music-obsessives explore the art of the discography. Once a week, we examine a band's entire recorded output, and try to determine which album to enshrine in our desert island.


  • Episode 63: Modest Mouse

    Episode 63: Modest Mouse

    04/12/2019 Duration: 02h34min

    Like a rickshaw being pulled around by another rickshaw, we have arrived, slowly, painfully, awkwardly, to our promised destination: an episode on the discography of Modest Mouse. It’s 2 and a half hours long and took us nine months to make. I think it’s our best episode yet. I know that Cover magazine editor/man about town Ryan Shea is in it. This is a band that saves lives. Let’s kick this season off with a bang.

  • State of the Island

    State of the Island

    02/12/2019 Duration: 06min

    Wow, has it really been nine long, excruciating months since we completely dropped the ball on our passion project? Good lord. Well, we're back, baby. Or adult. Or whoever is reading this lone missive in the maelstrom of internet detritus.

  • In Memoriam: Mark Hollis and Jackie Shane

    In Memoriam: Mark Hollis and Jackie Shane

    01/03/2019 Duration: 35min

    We remember the lives and musical legacies of Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis and Jackie Shane.

  • Episode 62: Bill Evans

    Episode 62: Bill Evans

    19/02/2019 Duration: 01h23min

    To those of you who think of us as Indie Hipsters who refuse to break out of our safe zones, we say HA! You’re only mostly right, because on this episode we’re doing something we’ve never attempted before–an episode on a jazz artist, namely, Bill Evans. Not that we don’t love jazz music–the subject of…

  • B-Side: Solo Monk by Thelonious Monk

    B-Side: Solo Monk by Thelonious Monk

    05/02/2019 Duration: 28min

    Philip Larkin called him "the elephant on the keyboard." Everyone else with even an ounce of taste calls him one of the most idiosyncratically joyful jazz pianists/composers of all time. That's right, this week we're covering Thelonious Monk--specifically, his 1964 masterpiece Solo Monk. Slam your keys in celebration!

  • Episode 61: Songs: Ohia

    Episode 61: Songs: Ohia

    30/01/2019 Duration: 01h31min

    This week, Caroline Rayner is back on the island to help us talk about the devastating folk-rock stylings of Jason Molina’s first project, Songs: Ohia. For some reason, it’s our most contentious episode yet. Music: PassCabwaylingoHot Black SilkBlack CrowLionessLightning Risked it AllOceans NerveTwo Blue LightsFarewell TransmissionJohn Henry Split My HeartCherubs – Arab StrapHold On MagnoliaHow…

  • B-Side: Spiritual Machines by Our Lady Peace  blink-182 by blink-182

    B-Side: Spiritual Machines by Our Lady Peace & blink-182 by blink-182

    23/01/2019 Duration: 35min

    On our latest Nostalgia Check episode, we talk Our Lady Peace’s Spiritual Machines (AKA Diet OK Computer) and blink-182’s 2003 self-titled “classic.” FEATURED SONGSAsthenia – blink-182 Right Behind You (Mafia) – Our Lady Peace In Repair – Our Lady Peace Feeling This – blink-182 Always – blink-182 The Wonderful Future – Our Lady Peace

  • Episode 60: Silver Jews

    Episode 60: Silver Jews

    15/01/2019 Duration: 01h24min

    Happy Jews Year! Is what I would be saying, except that a combination of terrible illness and just bad timing ended up delaying this episode for like, two weeks. It’s been 2019 for ages now. But that’s ok, because if anything’s worth the wait, it’s the world’s best band (fight me): Silver Jews. Music: Self…

  • 2018 Year In Review: Part 2

    2018 Year In Review: Part 2

    26/12/2018 Duration: 01h55min

    We conclude our review of 2018’s musical output with a rundown of our favorite songs and albums of the year, along with a guest appearances by past and future guests, the Carolines Rayner and Belle Stewart. FEATURED SONGSNew Year – The Breeders Sugar and Spice – Hatchie Heat Wave – Snail Mail Old Town –…



    19/12/2018 Duration: 48min

    Join us as we begin to dissect the year that was! In this episode: our disappointments and surprises, plus a very special appearance by one of our most very special guests. Part 2 forthcoming on December 26th, a.k.a. Boxing Day.

  • Episode 59: Flying Nun Records

    Episode 59: Flying Nun Records

    12/12/2018 Duration: 01h27min

    This week, we tackle a survey of albums from Flying Nun Records, New Zealand’s pre-eminent indie rock label. FEATURED SONGS What Was That Thing – Able Tasmans Tally Ho – The Clean Getting Older – The Clean Anything Could Happen – The Clean Death and the Maiden – The Verlaines C.D., Jimmy Jazz, and Me –…

  • B-Side: A Christmas Gift for You From [REDACTED]

    B-Side: A Christmas Gift for You From [REDACTED]

    06/12/2018 Duration: 32min

    To celebrate the holiday season, we meet in person(!) to discuss the greatest Christmas album of all time: A Christmas Gift for You From [REDACTED]. We talk Darlene Love, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and everything in-between. FEATURED SONGS White Christmas Sleigh Ride I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Santa Claus is Coming…

  • Episode 58: R.E.M. Pt. 2

    Episode 58: R.E.M. Pt. 2

    30/11/2018 Duration: 01h34min

    NovembeR.E.M. is finally coming to a close as we work our way from R.E.M.'s breakout success in the early 90's to their honestly quite bleak and depressing decline right up to their breakup. It's a real rollercoaster ride, this one, full of harsh truths, stark revelations, and ill-advised rapper cameos. But it also has "Nightswimming", so it isn't all for naught. Plus, at the end, we finally reveal our top five R.E.M. albums, as well as the very exciting lineup we have in store for the end of the year, so stay tuned, and we'll all get out of this feeling the reason for the season.

  • B-Side: “Dead Letter Office” by R.E.M.

    B-Side: “Dead Letter Office” by R.E.M.

    21/11/2018 Duration: 31min

    This week, we dissect the odds and sods of Dead Letter Office, R.E.M.’s 1987 collection of b-sides. FEATURED SONGS Walter’s Theme Voice of Herold Ages of You Crazy King of the Road

  • Episode 57: R.E.M. (Part One)

    Episode 57: R.E.M. (Part One)

    14/11/2018 Duration: 01h23min

    Ring in the month of NovembeR.E.M. with us, as we explore Athens, Georgia’s finest export. We cover band’s 1980s career, from the I.R.S. records years to their criminally underrated major label debut. FEATURED SONGS Radio Free Europe (Hib-Tone Version) Wolves, Lower Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars) Moral Kiosk Perfect Circle West of the Fields Harborcoat…

  • B-Side: Suspiria (2018)

    B-Side: Suspiria (2018)

    07/11/2018 Duration: 50min

    For the second year in a row, we’re talking witches, dance, and singular soundtracks. It’s Suspiria, this time the new remake by Luca Guadagnino, as well as its Thom Yorke-written score.

  • Episode 56: Scott Walker

    Episode 56: Scott Walker

    04/11/2018 Duration: 02h23min

    Oh god, it's our greatest fear come true: a SpoOoOoOkiLy late episode! So late, in fact, that we missed both Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos. Like this is actually 4 days late. We're terribly sorry. But in a way, that perfectly fits the subject of today's episode, Scott Walker, who's made a habit of going upwards of 11 years between albums. And, y'know, he's pretty scary in his own right.

  • B-Side: The Girly-Sound Tapes by Liz Phair

    B-Side: The Girly-Sound Tapes by Liz Phair

    24/10/2018 Duration: 39min

    This week, we talk Liz Phair’s legendary Girly-Sound demos, which launched a thousand ships–or at least three seminal indie-rock albums–in the 1990s. FEATURED SONGS Go West Dead Shark Fuck and Run Bomb Soap Star Joe Ant in Alaska Polyester Bride Flower

  • Episode 55: Liz Phair

    Episode 55: Liz Phair

    16/10/2018 Duration: 01h38min

    We’re joined this week by returning guest/champion Caroline Belle Stewart to discuss indie rock legend Liz Phair. Come for the strange, entrancing song structures, stay for dissections of the patriarchy, rock criticism, and impossible-to-replicate guitar chords. FEATURED Blood Keeper 6’1” Strange Loop Canary Divorce Song Support System Nashville Shane Supernova whitechocolatespaceegg Perfect World Uncle Alvarez…

  • B-Side: “I Am the Cosmos” by Chris Bell

    B-Side: “I Am the Cosmos” by Chris Bell

    09/10/2018 Duration: 25min

    This week, we talk about the late Chris Bell’s lone, posthumous release, I Am the Cosmos. If you thought the Big Star story was sad before, strap in, folks. FEATURED SONGS I Am the Cosmos Speed of Sound You and Your Sister Get Away I Got Kinda Lost

page 1 from 6