I posted this elsewhere, but it may be interesting.
1. Weezer/The Blue Album – This was the first album I ever really loved. I learned to play every song on the guitar while spending my 8th grade summer at Matt Gilbert’s house.
2. Jimmy Eat World/Clarity – This is an incredible album that I bought my senior year on a whim from a mall CD store. It was this or Texas is the Reason. Boy, did I make the right decision. This is one of the best albums ever written and to top it off the final song is about my favorite novel. I have listened to “Goodbye Sky harbor” on the way to and from every graduation I have been a part of.
3. Juliana Theory/Understand This is a Dream – Wow. Wow. The album is incredible and the show at the State theory was one of the most memorable nights of my life.
4. Blink 182/Enema of the State – I don’t know what is more memorable here, the first time I heard this in high school or singing it at the top of my lungs at the old days of Hope Prevails.
5. 3rd Eye Blind/Self-titled – This was the album that got through my first break-up and the second hardest summer of my life. I can remember laying on the floor of Sean McLawhorn’s house listening to it as he talked to his girlfriend Francis on the phone.
6. Arcade Fire/Neon Bible – This was the album that helped get me through the “Summer that God Hated Me”. You know, the one where I lost my job, blew out 3 tires, my iPod died, I went over my cell phone bill $500 killing my chance for getting an iPhone, and I had to move out of the city I love. O yeah and the album is pure genius.
7. Ben Folds Five/Whatever and Ever Amen – A gift from Eddy and Natalie that I wore out my junior year
8. Dashboard Confessional – I will never forget listening to Brandston on a slurpee run my freshman year when John Thornley says, “You gotta check this out”. He was right. I think I memorized every word of the album within a week. It was just so catchy.
9. Get Up Kids/Something to Write Home About – O so good. I love almost any thing Matt Pryor has done. Conner’s first album will be the Terrible Two’s.
10. Derek Webb/She Must and Shall Go Free – This is all about the Abbey at Shawn’s. This album was so provocative in its time and so tied to my spiritual formation.
11. FiveIron Frenzy/Upbeats and Beatdowns – The show at the Cuban Club where everyone got crazy sick (Leila even lost her spleen) and we paid partially in old socks to get in. That night and that album were amazing.
12. Zwan/Mary Star of the Sea – I know it is low level sacrilege to leave the Pumpkins off this list, but this album (essentially Billy’s solo project) still gets much more play than Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness
13. U2/All That You Can’t Leave Behind – This is probably the best album by one of the best bands. EVER.
14. Sufjan Stevens/The Christmas EP’s – From Thanksgiving til New Years Day, this is just about all I listen to.
15. Radiohead – OK Computer – What an album. Everytime I listen to it I find new layers and nuances.
16. Deathcab for Cutie/Transatlanticism – This is another one of those front to back great albums
17. Pedro the Lion/Control – The night this CD came out, Matthew Leahy, Charlie Williams, and I sat and listened to it straight through. Twice. In a Winn Dixie parking lot in Hudson. It was the most memorable night that an album came out for me.
18. Manchester Orchestra/Mean Everything to Nothing – This is a new one, but man is it good. I don’t know if there has been a better album in the past few years.
19. Zao/When Blood and Fire Bring Rest – Though we didn’t sound like them, this always reminds me of my time with Left Shoe Untied. Luke and Kyle played it for me and I was hooked.
20. Anathallo/Sparrows – This is probably the full length album ever created, lyrically speaking, ever created.