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Last updated: February 2, 2018

This list is by no means "complete" or "finished". It is merely a snapshot of my most admired albums at the present moment. If you are a casual music listener, you will have only heard of a handful of these. If you are a more serious music listener, many of these will seem like "classics" or "essentials". These albums are in order by how personally significant they are to me.

# Artist Album Year
1. Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane over the Sea 1998
2. Swans Soundtracks for the Blind 1996
3. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Trout Mask Replica 1969
4. Cerberus Shoal The Land We All Believe In 2005
5. The Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage: Animation Music, Volume 1 1999
6. Akron/Family Akron/Family 2005
7. Faust Faust 1971
8. Xiu Xiu A Promise 2003
9. The Residents Not Available 1978
10. The Microphones Mount Eerie 2003
11. Sun City Girls 330,003 Crossdressers from Beyond the Rig Veda 1996
12. Animal Collective Here Comes the Indian 2003
13. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico 1967
14. Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun 1999
15. Flotation Toy Warning Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck 2004
16. Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady 1963
17. Royal Trux Twin Infinitives 1990
18. Red House Painters Down Colorful Hill 1992
19. Jackie-O Motherfucker Flags of the Sacred Harp 2005
20. Joanna Newsom Ys 2006
21. Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven 2000
22. The Mothers of Invention We're Only in It for the Money 1968
23. Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space 1997
24. Lisa Germano Geek the Girl 1994
25. The Microphones The Glow, Pt. 2 2001
26. Slint Spiderland 1991
27. The Red Crayola The Parable of Arable Land 1967
28. Avey Tare & Panda Bear Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished 2000
29. Have a Nice Life Deathconsciousness 2008
30. Talk Talk Laughing Stock 1991
31. Astrobrite Pinkshinyultrablast 2005
32. Swans Swans Are Dead 1998
33. Flying Saucer Attack Flying Saucer Attack 1993
34. The Angelic Process Weighing Souls with Sand 2007
35. Mercury Rev Boces 1993
36. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967
37. The December Sound The Silver Album 2008
38. Pelt Ayahuasca 2001
39. Albert Ayler Live in Greenwich Village 1967
40. Nurse with Wound The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion 1985
41. Newt Grundy No Milk of Rodent Kindness 2017
42. Coil The Ape of Naples 2005
43. Carla Bley & Paul Haines Escalator over the Hill 1971
44. Foetus Interruptus Thaw 1988
45. Codeine Frigid Stars 1990
46. Duster Stratosphere 1998
47. Bark Psychosis Hex 1994
48. Burzum Filosofem 1996
49. Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom 1974
50. Pink Floyd A Saucerful of Secrets 1968
51. William Basinski The Disintegration Loops 2003
52. Pearls Before Swine Balaklava 1968
53. The Caretaker An Empty Bliss Beyond This World 2011
54. Flotation Toy Warning The Machine that Made Us 2017
55. James Blackshaw The Glass Bead Game 2009
56. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra The Jazz Composer's Orchestra 1968
57. cLOUDDEAD cLOUDDEAD 2001
58. Sunn O))) & Boris Altar 2006
59. Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel Nail 1985
60. Nadja Touched 2007
61. My Bloody Valentine Loveless 1991
62. Soft Machine Third 1970
63. The For Carnation The For Carnation 1998
64. Big Blood Big Blood & the Bleedin' Hearts 2008
65. Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity 1964
66. Low I Could Live in Hope 1994
67. Dedalus Dedalus 1973
68. Henry Knollenberg Uranian Outpost // The Odyssey of Johnny Cool // SUBJECT TITLE 657-681 2016
69. Scott Walker The Drift 2006
70. Mount Eerie Ocean Roar 2012
71. Sun Ra Lanquidity 1978
72. Tim Buckley Lorca 1970
73. Fishmans Long Season 1996
74. Major Organ and the Adding Machine Major Organ and the Adding Machine 2001
75. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King 1969
76. The Peter Brötzmann Octet Machine Gun 1968
77. Pärson Sound Pärson Sound 2001
78. The Spoils of War The Spoils of War 1969
79. Ween The Mollusk 1997
80. Xiu Xiu Knife Play 2002
81. Mercury Rev Yerself Is Steam 1991
82. The Mothers of Invention Uncle Meat 1969
83. Built to Spill Perfect from Now On 1997
84. The Angels of Light How I Loved You 2001
85. Neutral Milk Hotel On Avery Island 1996
86. Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head 2009
87. Merzbow Sphere 2005
88. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral 1994
89. Godspeed You! Black Emperor F# A# ∞ 1997
90. Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults in the Radio Age 2009
91. John Coltrane Ascension 1965
92. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 1965
93. Pharoah Sanders Karma 1969
94. Giles Corey Giles Corey 2009
95. Sun City Girls Horse Cock Phepner 1987
96. Negativland Dispepsi 1997
97. Frank Zappa Lumpy Gravy 1967
98. Field Rotation Acoustic Tales 2011
99. The Residents Eskimo 1979
100. The Knife Shaking the Habitual 2013

Honorable mentions:


 

... Daniel Johnston Don't Be Scared 1982
... Sun Ra Atlantis 1969
... Macha Macha 1998
... Moonshake Eva Luna 1992
... Boredoms Super æ 1998
... ROVO Tonic 2001 2002
... Nico Desertshore 1970
... Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come 1959
... Wild Man Fischer An Evening with Wild Man Fischer 1968
... The Music Tapes Mary's Voice 2012
... The Mars Volta Frances the Mute 2005