1. The Beatles 1962-1966 Album.
My dad got this sort of on a whim to show my brother and I The Beatles, and I got completely obsessed. I’m not sure the obsession has ever really ended. It was definitely the first thing that made me want to play music forever.
2. Weezer – Pinkerton.
This inspired another obsession. Aside from learning to play all the songs and singing at the top of my lungs constantly, I went on the message boards for hours every day, chatted with other weezer fans, and in general thought about nothing but weezer for years.
3. Brian Wilson – Smile.
I really love the version of Smile that came out in 2004. In addition to being really incredible, just the sound of his voice with age, and the knowledge of the backstory makes it really inspiring and even more gorgeous. The Beach Boys definitely impacted me learning about harmony and texture in music, but aside from just educational things, it’s always just made me happy.
4. The Rentals – Seven More Minutes.
In addition to the weezer fixation, I got really into The Rentals. Seven More Minutes and “Return of the Rentals” are great records, and really helped me learn about clashing notes, and just playing on pure feeling and guts instead of worrying about every note being exactly in tune. The lyrics on 7MM are heartbreaking and perfect.
5. NOFX – The Decline.
I remember getting this in high school and just being floored. I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe how complex, interesting, catchy, and all around perfect it is. It’s such a ridiculously great song/record.
Andrew “plays keys/arranges/does a little singing for the band FUN”, as he puts it in his own words. He has also released a musical called “Columbus” through Paper and Plastick records and is currently finishing a solo release for the label called Wasted Miracle.