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Last updated: March 22, 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. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico 1967
13. Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun 1999
14. Flotation Toy Warning Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck 2004
15. Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady 1963
16. Royal Trux Twin Infinitives 1990
17. Red House Painters Down Colorful Hill 1992
18. Jackie-O Motherfucker Flags of the Sacred Harp 2005
19. Animal Collective Here Comes the Indian 2003
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. Slint Spiderland 1991
25. The Microphones The Glow, Pt. 2 2001
26. The Red Crayola The Parable of Arable Land 1967
27. Avey Tare & Panda Bear Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished 2000
28. Have a Nice Life Deathconsciousness 2008
29. Talk Talk Laughing Stock 1991
30. Flying Saucer Attack Flying Saucer Attack 1993
31. Mercury Rev Boces 1993
32. Lisa Germano Geek the Girl 1994
33. Astrobrite Pinkshinyultrablast 2005
34. Swans Swans Are Dead 1998
35. The Angelic Process Weighing Souls with Sand 2007
36. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967
37. The December Sound The Silver Album 2008
38. Fishmans 98.12.28 Otokotachi no Wakare 1999
39. Pelt Ayahuasca 2001
40. Albert Ayler Live in Greenwich Village 1967
41. Nurse with Wound The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion 1985
42. Coil The Ape of Naples 2005
43. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra The Jazz Composer's Orchestra 1968
44. cLOUDDEAD cLOUDDEAD 2001
45. Sunn O))) & Boris Altar 2006
46. Newt Grundy No Milk of Rodent Kindness 2017
47. Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom 1974
48. Pink Floyd A Saucerful of Secrets 1968
49. Carla Bley & Paul Haines Escalator over the Hill 1971
50. Foetus Interruptus Thaw 1988
51. Burzum Filosofem 1996
52. Bark Psychosis Hex 1994
53. Codeine Frigid Stars 1990
54. Duster Stratosphere 1998
55. Flotation Toy Warning The Machine that Made Us 2017
56. Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel Nail 1985
57. Tim Buckley Lorca 1970
58. My Bloody Valentine Loveless 1991
59. Xiu Xiu Knife Play 2002
60. Soft Machine Third 1970
61. The For Carnation The For Carnation 1998
62. The Angels of Light How I Loved You 2001
63. Big Blood Big Blood & the Bleedin' Hearts 2008
64. Scott Walker The Drift 2006
65. Robbie Basho Zarthus 1974
66. William Basinski The Disintegration Loops 2003
67. Pearls Before Swine Balaklava 1968
68. Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity 1964
69. Low I Could Live in Hope 1994
70. David Grubbs The Thicket 1998
71. Henry Knollenberg Uranian Outpost // The Odyssey of Johnny Cool // SUBJECT TITLE 657-681 2016
72. Nadja Touched 2007
73. Mount Eerie Ocean Roar 2012
74. Sun Ra Lanquidity 1978
75. Pärson Sound Pärson Sound 2001
76. Earth Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version 1993
77. Dedalus Dedalus 1973
78. The Caretaker An Empty Bliss Beyond This World 2011
79. Major Organ and the Adding Machine Major Organ and the Adding Machine 2001
80. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King 1969
81. The Peter Brötzmann Octet Machine Gun 1968
82. The Spoils of War The Spoils of War 1969
83. Ween The Mollusk 1997
84. Mercury Rev Yerself Is Steam 1991
85. The Mothers of Invention Uncle Meat 1969
86. Built to Spill Perfect from Now On 1997
87. Neutral Milk Hotel On Avery Island 1996
88. Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head 2009
89. Merzbow Sphere 2005
90. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral 1994
91. Godspeed You! Black Emperor F# A# ∞ 1997
92. Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults in the Radio Age 2009
93. John Coltrane Ascension 1965
94. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 1965
95. Giles Corey Giles Corey 2011
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:


 

... Sun Ra Atlantis 1969
... Macha Macha 1998
... Moonshake Eva Luna 1992
... ROVO Tonic 2001 2002
... Nico Desertshore 1970
... Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come 1959
... The Music Tapes Mary's Voice 2012
... The Mars Volta Frances the Mute 2005