I recently commented about how my taste in music has largely been frozen in time. For better or worse these are the musicians who have embedded themselves in my memory.
  1. The Ataris
    Especially So Long Astoria. I was really sad when they started trying to write more "serious" music.
  2. Audio Adrenaline
    Growing up I was only allowed to listen to Christian music. Thank God for the handful of bands that didn't suck. Audio Adrenaline really nailed that classic rock sound.
  3. Bleach
    Cool, fun, unknown indie Christian band. I still love listening to them. They're lyrics often have nothing to do with religion and always strike me as genuine.
  4. Good Charlotte
    Ya'll. If you're going to judge me for loving pop punk just get out now. I mean this is a whole genre of music dedicated to being fun, high energy, and often eccentric.
  5. Jars of Clay
    THE Christian band from my childhood. Even when I thought they couldn't surprise me they rocked my world with "Oh My God." Still the most haunting and amazing song I've ever heard (listen to it). Bonus points for starting an organization to bring clean water and AIDS prevention to Africa before it was cool.
  6. Jimmy Eat World
    Every. Album. Every. Song. I don't have the words. I just love this group.
  7. Linkin Park
    I know kids these days may not get it, but combining metal and hip hop was a revelation. I still feel like I can take on the world when I listen to that first album.
  8. Mat Kearney
    My first real experience with hip hop and acoustic guitar. His lyrics are beautiful and descriptive. He makes me FEEL.
  9. My Chemical Romance
    They make epic narrative based albums with rich imagery that sound amazing. Also, I have a serious man crush on Gerard Way. I'm fairly certain there is no cooler person on earth.
  10. Norah Jones
    A voice that I could marry. Default "bedroom music".
  11. Porter Robinson
    Only electronic artist on this list. Inventor of Complextro and moving towards bringing musicality back to electronic music. Bonus points for being the cousin of one of @amieshmamie 's childhood best friends.
  12. Reliant K
    These quirky, goofy, pun-loving musicians kept me going through so much. If there is any sunny optimism left in me at all I'll give these guys credit.
  13. Something Corporate
    A PUNK BAND WITH PIANO?!?! WHERE DO SIGN UP?! Love this guy's voice too.
  14. Sum 41
    I can't honestly explain why I like them so much. High energy, great guitar tones, and just enough metal FU for an otherwise clean cut kid.
  15. Superchick
    Besides sounding great they go out of their way to encourage young women. They sing a lot about confidence and at their concerts even shared about struggling with bulimia. I don't know why I connected with them as a young man in college, but they mean so much to me. Can't wait to introduce Ellie to them.
  16. Switchfoot
    Jon Foreman is my Bono. He is well read, articulate, thoughtful, and an awesome rocker to boot. Another every album every song band for me. They're my desert island band.
  17. The White Stripes
    Everybody has to like one mildly insane creative type and Jack White is mine. It's like he can't help but pour out music. I don't like all of his music, but he usually has a few songs on whatever album he's made that I love.
  18. Yellowcard
    Punk music with violin. That alone would be enough for me. But I love their songs too. I'm not excessively patriotic, but their song about a firefighter during 9/11 gets me every time. Plus, they wrote one of the few punk songs about a dad worthy of admiration. Good on you guys.