I think I inherited my love of music and understanding of sports from my dad. I was a musical late bloomer, having spent my formative years as the antisocial kid who read a lot, who started playing guitar at 14, and discovered the joys of my dad's record collection and the Seattle sound that has stayed with me.
Being the late 90's early part of the millenium, I was also exposed to a lot of really bad grunge-lite in my formative years, but college radio most definitely improved my quality of life.
As I get older, I realize that we probably took the music we listened to way too seriously and used our obscure tastes often to overcompensate for a lack of social skills, or defined ourselves and our social group too often by a mutual appreciation of one icon or another, and probably spent way too much time debating the merits of one Led Zeppelin album over another.
One of my roommates once asked me if all my music had guitars in it and I couldn't think of much that didn't have it somewhere. I still have to thank her for making me CDs full of Common and Oumou Sangare and things I would maybe have missed on my own.
But hey, live and learn, right?
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River
My parents both loved CCR and I heard a whole lot of it growing up. Still one of my favorites.
On the way down to Case Western where I had my dental work done, my dad and I used to cycle between all the rock stations and the college stations looking for songs with varying results. This and hanging out in the music room in the basement was the foundation of my rock education.
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?
I don't know what else you can really say about him that hasn't been said.
Pearl Jam - Ten
I get kind of tired of hearing "Jeremy" on the radio, but this was one solid record and Eddie Vedder's voice just gets me.
Neil Young - Everyone Knows This is Nowhere
"Cinnamon Girl" was the first song I learned on the guitar.
Soundgarden - Superunknown
I cut class one night when I was in college and scored this one clear green vinyl from the Canton Record Exchange. I still find it hard to believe that the lame guy with the frosted hair and the bad wannabe top 40 singles used to be in this band.
U2 - Achtung Baby
I got made fun of by my Sepultura and Dead Kennedys loving high school friends for these, but I honestly like every phase they've been through. I own every U2 album except All That You Can't Leave Behind and Zooropa.
Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies
My favorite band when I was 15. One of my former coworkers refers to this as Camaro Rock. I beg to differ.
Arvo Part - Fratres - my favorite modern composer of all time. People say he's too depressing but the combination of Eastern Orthodox texts and the spare sound that is at once so modern and so ancient always does it for me.
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
I rediscovered this a couple years ago, but this was the only album that me and a friend of mine from high school could agree on, me because of the great music and the lyrics, her because it had a good beat and was played on KISS FM.
Fugazi - Repeater
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
I was a page at the public library and would check out stacks of CDs at a time. These have stuck with me the most.
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
In a perfect world, there would be less Candlebox and more Jawbox on alternative radio.
The Clash - London Calling
I am still a Joe Strummer fangirl. The Clash, Mescaleros, 101ers...
Love Battery - Dayglo
Best grunge-era band you've never heard of. Really.
The Pixies - Doolittle
Totally played this one all the time when I was living on College Street and had crazy neighbors.
Mission of Burma - Vs.
Saw these guys on their comeback tour. With the exception of the guitarist wearing too-tight pants, it was awesome.
Quicksand - Slip
Once had an art teacher threaten to destroy this CD.
Sleater-Kinney - All Hands on the Bad One
Throwing Muses - University
Made me proud to be a female musician.
I never got to start my long dreamed-of band in college, but I did download music like a fiend, trying to track down obscure Dischord Records releases and oddball punk covers.
DJ Spooky presents: In Fine Style 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records
This got me into good reggae.
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On?
Definitely the soundtrack to many nights lamenting the state of the world and trying to be hopeful.
Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche in Bamako
The first forays into world music, and an obsession with Malian guitar pop.
Mark Lanegan - Field Songs
I love everything he sings on. No exceptions.
Common - Like Water for Chocolate
This is just beautiful.
Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun
It's very rare that I do a show that doesn't have any Erykah.