Inspiring Music

Austin, Artist Matt Giles has been drawn to music and performing for more than 30 years. In Album Cuts, he takes some time to share what records he would most want on a desert island.

If you were alone on a desert island which five CDs would you most want with you and why?

Los Lobos
The desert island question is so tough. It’s really, what could you possibly listen to, over and over again without losing your mind? That being said, Kiko has gotta be on the list. This record has everything for me. Amazing songs, singing, music, and production. It’s so rich in its sound. Even the song order is perfect. More than anything, this record still hits me in the gut and soul. It’s like an old friend at this point. Also, Los Lobos is one of my favorite bands of all time.

Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway Live
This record is so groovy. Donny Hathaway is one of my favorite singers and this band is just sick. There’s some amazing audience participation on this record. It also has one of the greatest bass solos in history, played by Willie Weeks. It's recorded really well, too. Especially for a live recording. I could listen to it 1000 more times.

The Band
The Band
Great songs, of course. One of the greatest bands of all time, doing what they do best. Everything has such an amazing feel to it and they play so well together. It’s like everything I love about music on one recording. I think I could hang with it on a desert island.

Allen Toussaint
Southern Nights
Another masterpiece. It’s kind of a concept record with its theme. Allen Toussaint has his own sound. His imprint is on so much of New Orleans music, spanning decades. These songs are all great and unique sounding. It was made when studio recording was in its heyday. Gorgeous sounds, no digital anything. It also doesn’t hurt to have the Meters be your studio band. It’s another record I believe I could listen to hundreds of times more.

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black
I have to remind myself, this is the desert island scenario. What could I listen to over and over again? I never get sick of this record. Really, that's the ultimate compliment, isn’t it? I think like the world should feel lucky that this record exists for all of us to hear. She was amazing.

Husband and wife duo Blanca Cecilia González and Jesse Elder of the band Musiquita!, artfully combine language and culture in their music. They each recently shared their choices for music on a desert island.

Blanca Gonzalez:

1. Glenn Gould, Goldberg variations 1981 (I love the nice and slow, super healing interpretation of this collection. I have loved.

2. Carlos Vives, La tierra del olvido. This album goes back to my childhood. Carlos Vives is a Colombian icon. His music makes me dance and makes me imagine beautiful tropical landscapes.

3. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Vasos Vacíos. This is an Argentinian ska and. They are incredibly exhilarating. Their music makes me jump and sing with all my might.

4. Joni Mitchell, Blue. This. She. Oh, how I fell in love with her stories and melodies. I absolutely love this album. It makes me dive deep into my imagination.

5. Hiatus Kaiyote, Tawk Tomahawk. This band moves my mind, my body and my soul. Every time I listen to this album I find something new.

Jesse Elder:

This is extremely difficult. I had about 10 and had to mercilessly hack away at the list. Indeed, my answer would change depending on what day it is! Here are my 5 desert island picks (today):

Duke Ellington - Money Jungle

Nirvana - Nevermind

Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring & the Firebird Suite - London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Glen Gould - A State of Wonder