I am a freelance author, writer, critic, artist, and entrepreneur living in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.
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On numerous occasions I've used this platform to talk about the things that interest me: art, psychology, movies, music & c, over the past few months I have been thinking a great deal about the albums that have not only had the greatest impact on me but that are, in their entirety, the best full length albums from start-to-finish. I've been working on putting together a list, and though it's not yet complete, and will likely never be, because I have not yet published a blog this month due to my SEO project, which is very, very nearly complete, I need to publish something so here we are:
While I was living in Santa Fe my girlfriend and I were invited to a small intimate show at High Mayhem studio; that particular night I wasn't in the mood to go out and though I tried to weasel out of it my girlfriend persuaded me to make the exception. It was the first time I heard the music of Brown Bird, David Lamb and MorganEve Swain. They were touring to promote the new album Salt for Salt, it was phenomenal, and over the night the band became my favorite with songs like Bilgewater, Blood of Angels, Fingers to the Bone, and Thunder&Lightning, every song on the album, from start-to-finish, is incredible. David Lamb passed away in 2014 after a battle w/ Leukemia, MorganEve, his widow, continues what they started together with her band The Huntress and the Holder of Hands. Brown released 10 albums, and all of them are unbelievable.
The summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of high school I was one of 17 students that went on an environmental science trip through the American Southwest. It was an awesome trip and I'm grateful to have been selected. On the trip I started crushing on one of my classmates, Lindsay. I had known her for a few years, but it wasn't until then that I really started getting to know her. She introduced me to the Hardcore Punk Band AFI or A Fire Inside. They had just released what would be their final album with Nitro Records before signing with DreamWorks, The Art of Drowning. The album was en-genius however the album released prior, Black Sails in the Sunset is one of the greatest studio albums ever recorded, and remained my favorite well into adulthood.
I was in middle school when my best friend Jason and I started to develop our musical identities; until then most of the music that I listened to I had grown up with, it was an extension of my parents though it continues to remain important to me even today. The music of The Rolling Stones, The Doobie Bro., Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Jimmy Buffett. The first time I can remember sitting down and having a conversation about music, well, about a band and specifically about a single album, the first time that the concept of a great studio album occurred to me was when Jason and I started talking about Eve 6's self titled album; the album that included Inside Out. Most people are familiar with the album, or at the very least a couple of the featured songs, however in it's entirety the album is amazing. It was unlike anything that I had heard up to that point, and it changed the way that I looked at putting together a record.
I cannot remember where, or when I was introduced to Andrew Bird. It just feels like his music has been a part of my life forever, though I'm fairly certain it wasn't until after high school that he first showed up on my radar. I'm grateful that he did. There is not a single album of his that I do not like, though The Mysterious Production of Eggs released in 2005 holds a special place in my heart. I have seen Andrew Bird multiple times, including one pop-up show at The Guggenheim Museum while I was living in New York City, The Twilight Concert Series in while I was living in Salt Lake City, and The Lensic Theatre while I was living in Santa Fe. He puts on an incredible show.
There is not a lot I can say that hasn't already been said about Fleetwood Mac's album, Rumors. In many ways I feel like including it on this list isn't fair to those that haven't been so collectively discussed, nevertheless Rumors is in incredible album.
In high school my friend Rick and I used to exchange music, we spent a great deal of our free time digging deeply into the world of Indie music and when we returned from the abyss we were better for it. It was in one of these trips that I discovered Bright Eyes, now a household name Connor Oberst exploded from the Omaha music scene with incredible haunting lyrics and brilliant yet simple guitar riffs. No one had heard anything since Elliot Smith, in the wake of lyricist Oberst is a member of a very elite list. His album I'm Wide Awake It's Morning is immeasurable, and genius.
My sister introduced me to Sufjan Stevens. Come on Feel the Illinois had just been released and he was the most discussed musician at the time. I was overwhelmed in awe. His music remains one of the most influential of my life, and he is still a favorite. I saw him play at The Paramount in Austin, Texas several years ago he and his band came out wearing wings, and Stevens was the Majestic Snowbird himself. It was an incredible show. My Brightest Diamond opened for him, in part because a number of the members My Brightest Diamond were also playing with Stevens—they were an introduction to an entirely new genre of music for me.
Thank you for sticking with me this far, I'm going to save the rest of the last for another blog on a later date. I was hoping to have this list published in January but time has become a very, very precious and scarce commodity. Look for upcoming continuations of both this list and my series on Communication.