I enjoy classical music, jazz, even classic rock now and then, but when it comes to my own listening, I love indie rock/pop stuff. Here are some of my favorites. I've tried to pick selections I think are good recordings in addition to being quality music.
A few are available on vinyl (a vinyl copy of Loveless is definitely in my future), but it may take some digging to find good copies. Any other fans of this stuff out there?
The New Year - Newness Ends
Excellent songwriting and a nicely textured, dynamic recording by Steve Albini.
Vic Chesnutt - The Salesman and Bernadette
Vic backed by the sprawling alt country band Lambchop - Great songs and lots of strange sonic goodies.
Mark Eitzel - The Ugly American
Recorded in Greece with producer Manolis Famellos. Amazing string arrangements and vocal performances on some of Mark's best songs from his long career with American Music Club and his previous solo albums.
Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly
Dark and lushly arranged with some very nice drumming. The vocals are definitely an acquired taste.
The Stone Roses - S/T
Amazing solid rhythm section with a complex tapestry of guitar tracks. A good one to play loud.
Tortoise - TNT
There were a lot of mediocre bands lumped into the unfortunate "post rock" sub-genre of the late 90's. This album is proof that instrumental rock with some electronic touches can actually be interesting.
Swervedriver - Ejector Seat Reservation
Another great ear candy recording. Lots of variety in sounds/textures from track to track. Picture The Beatles if they listened to the Stooges a lot.
Slowdive - Pygmalion
Probably my favorite "chill out" album of all time. The whole recording has a gauzy, unearthly feel.
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Still as startling as the day it came out. A dizzying wash of guitars one minute, sparse and dissonant the next.
Massive Attack Vs. Mad Professor - No Protection
Massive Attack's album "Protection" given a mind bending techno-dub treatment by reggae artist Mad Professor.
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
I have to admit this recording can be a little grating at times (hello, midrange!), but all in all the pared down sounds fit the songwriting aesthetic perfectly. It's ridiculously catchy.
Idaho - Levitate
Kind of an obscure one, but possibly my favorite artist ever. It's hard to pick a favorite. Jeff Martin makes really engaging recordings. This album is more on the ambient/synth side. Three Sheets to the Wind would be more the ticket for guitar fans. I believe that one is in SACD format too.
Fugazi - Red Medicine
If your idea of "punk" is 70's 2 chord sludge or sanitized 2000's teen fodder, listen to this immediately. Creatively and sonically this is my favorite Fugazi recording. Love it or hate it it will make your heart beat a little faster.
Four Tet - Rounds
Sample-based electronic music with a human heart. In this era where it's possible to make electronic music "perfect" where everything lines up just so, there's a playful randomness to this album that makes it lots of fun.