1. The Specials - The Specials
    7th grade, 1981. First exposure to non-mainstream music and style.
  2. Fresh - Sly and the Family Stone
    Sparse and funky. Possibly funkiest album ever. Andy Fucking Newmark on drums. My favorite drum album by a longshot.
  3. Surfer Rosa - Pixies
    The sound of post-high school and burgeoning shenanigans.
  4. Bullhead - Melvins
    Dale Fucking Crover
  5. Dead on the Heavy Funk - James Brown
    The King. The. King.
  6. Double Live - Chuck Brown and Soul Searchers
    Unrelenting deep, deep groove for 4 album sides.
  7. Four and More - Miles Davis
    Best live album ever, featuring a more human than human 17 year-old Tony Williams.
  8. Out to Lunch - Eric Dolphy
    Beautifully fractured jazz.
  9. Kid A - Radiohead
    Cried at age 31 at this, let me know for the first time that music (and art in general) will continue to have this effect on me no matter how old I am. That realization made me very happy.