This is a band from Houston who I’ve been paying attention to for a while now. The Texas music scene is so massive but they are managing to stand out and grow quickly in the post hardcore/alternative area of music. But their sound has so much more to offer. The diversity of influence that goes into Nowhere Is Home‘s songs is apparent and that is exactly what Josh and I discussed as they are currently writing new material:

As Cities Burn- Son I Loved You at Your Darkest
“This record is the reason I got super into music. You can feel the emotion and power they put into the record and that’s what I strive to put into the music I play. Yes, the musicianship isn’t the best and their later records have outstanding musicianship, even the band members themselves admit that, but I’ve only come across a few other records with this much raw, unharnessed emotion. Without this record I wouldn’t be playing music and I wouldn’t be so passionate about music in general, whether it’s the music industry, music business, or the actual music itself.”

Radiohead- In Rainbows

“My front man and best friend, Ken, basically shoved this record down my throat. I didn’t have a car at the time and Ken did so he drove me around quite a bit and this record was all he would play in the car no matter how much I complained. What sold this record to me was buying it on vinyl. Hearing it through my dad’s old, top quality speakers and vinyl player changed my perception of the record. Soon after that my music teacher, Glen Ackerman, told me how much he loved Radiohead so I began studying this record (since it was and still is my favorite Radiohead record) and the more in depth I got with it, the more I fell in love with it. This record introduced me and got me hooked on softer, indie music (like Local Natives).”

Wes Montgomery- The Complete Riverside Recordings

“This collection of tunes is what made me interested in jazz. I heard this massive index of Wes Montgomery tunes and immediately fell in love with jazz. I wanted to learn every thing I could about the genre and it has made me a substantially better player. The tunes on this record range from bebop to swing to blues to Latin and hearing one guitar player play so many styles so successfully blows my mind. I could listen to this 12-disc anthology for the rest of my life.”

Grant Green- The Complete Grant Green Quartet with Sonny Clark

“Grant Green is up there with Wes Montgomery for me. He’s an insanely talented player just like Montgomery but I feel like Grant Green is more if a group player than a jazz soloist. While Wes Montgomery made me want to study jazz guitar, specifically, Grant Green made me want to study jazz in general. This collection of tunes and The Complete Riverside Recordings had immense influences on my jazz playing and study of jazz. I should probably mention that Glen, my aforementioned music teacher, also has played a huge role in my jazz playing. Gotta give credit where credit is due.”

Stan Getz- The Girl From Ipanema

“While I’m not a huge fan of the rest of Stan Getz’s works, this record never ceases to amaze me. It’s such a relaxing, calming, gentle record. Jobim’s comping is perfectly in the pocket and Getz’s melodies and solos are melodically genius. This record hit me like a calming ocean breeze on the shores of Hawaii and the more I listen to this record the deeper I dive into the clear waters. It’s my favorite and, in my mind, one of the most definitive latin jazz records out there. Astrud Gilberto’s vocals on it are not only haunting but also unbelievably calming and memorable.”

Anthony Green- Avalon

“This record along with In Rainbows helped move me towards softer indie music. Anthony’s emotional vocals and hard hitting lyrics on top of a fat drum groove with perfect chord choices make this record outstanding. Anthony recently put out another record named Pixie Queen and I feel that it’s his best work since Avalon. But I digress. Avalon came to me during my stoner days (so did In Rainbows but that was towards the end of those days) and it sent me into a world of dancing and joy. It still does.”

Paul Gilbert- Fuzz Universe

“When I first started playing guitar, virtuoso’s like Paul Gilbert were practically all I listened to. But this record stood out to me. It seemed more controlled, more focused. Upon further study, I discovered a record that takes guitar and makes it almost a completely different instrument. Paul Gilbert plays these complex jazz chords similar to what a jazz pianist would play and he constructs perfect melodies to highlight the sounds and notes he wants you to hear. Sometimes he’s playing 3 note chords over blazing riffs, other times he’s playing full, 6-note chords over slow, melodic licks. Paul Gilbert doesn’t think of guitar as an instrument, he thinks of it as a tool to convey a musical idea.”

Lydia- Illuminate

“This is another one of those records that really made me want to listen to softer indie music. What makes this album stand out for me is the drumming. The drums on this record are what made me want to play percussion instruments. At the time I was in the percussion section of my high school marching band. The drums on Illuminate have an intense groove while maintaining a powerful sense of emotion that matches the rest of the instruments on the record. There’s not much I have to say about this record other than that. Without it I wouldn’t be the drum nerd I am today. Period.”

Copeland- Eat, Sleep, Repeat

“When I first started playing music this record hit me like a brick. It was kind of like a precursor to Avalon and In Rainbows. In my mind, it’s less of an indie rock/alternative record as it is a jazz record. Yes you could argue that it doesn’t have all the staples and defining factors of jazz but I beg to differ. This record focuses on drum and bass groove with vocals on top, trading melodies with other instruments. In my mind, that’s what modern jazz/fusion-jazz is. For me personally, it was a gateway drug to jazz.”

Herbie Hancock- Empyrean Isles

“This record is loaded with fantastic jazz tunes and has a stellar lineup. Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, AND Tony Williams. These guys are the creme of the crop when it comes to jazz musicians. All of these guys have played with the top jazz players and it really shows on this record. Hell, Tony Williams is in the Modern Drummer hall of fame. I think this record really exemplifies jazz and has some of my favorite jazz tunes on it.”

“This list was actually really hard to come up with. There are a lot of albums I really love but to put into a top ten list they have to be very special to me and not all of the records I love fit that category for me. Here’s some honorable mentions”

Artifex Pereo- Time in Place and Passengers
Eidola- Degeneraterra
Emery- In Shallow Seas

Alaska- Shrine
Underoath-Define the Great Line
Dance Gavin Dance- Acceptance Speech
The Fall of Troy- Doppelganger
From Indian Lakes- Able Bodies

I the Mighty- Satori
Icarus the Owl- Self Titled
Letlive- Blackest Beautiful

A Lot Like Birds-Conversation Piece
The Mars Volta- Bedlam in Goliath

Mew- A Triumph for Man
Mewithoutyou- Pale Horses
Oh, Sleeper- Son of the Morning
Pianos Become the Teeth- Keep You
Say Anything- Hebrews
Sparta- Porcelain
This Town Needs Guns- Animals
Thursday- Full Collapse

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