#5 Yes - "Heart of the Sunrise"
When I was growing up, the vast majority of the music that filled my house was Prog, considering my father was a keyboardist in a fairly prominent prog band in Argentina. I guess you could say this was the first song I ever heard that challenged my conceptions as to what "music" was. To this day, Steve Howe is my absolute favorite guitarist, and a huuuuuuuuuge influence on me as a player.
#4) Secret Shine - "Temporal"
This is one of the first "shoegaze" tunes I ever heard! We had this little record store across the way from my high school. We were just a bunch of little punk rocker kids, however a few of us had an ear for things outside of just punk rock. This is one of the bands the guy behind the counter made us listen to. This is one of those tracks that helped broaden my musical vocabulary; however, I didn't realize at the time just how much of a turning point that day was.
#3 Cocteau Twins - "Blind Dumb Deaf"
I will fully admit to "discovering" The Cocteau Twins faaaaar later than I'd like to admit. I had to have been around 24, and already had been listening to shoegaze for what seemed forever, and then by some random twist of fate (which I honestly do not remember), I landed on this song and was completely and utterly blown away. I remember literally spending the next day attempting to recreate it at work. It was a funny scene! I had a drum machine going half way across my store, I had looped the bass on the other side of my store, and I was playing the guitar part on top of it. To this day, this song is just so special to me. Oddly enough, it's not my favorite Cocteau Twins tune, but it's the one that started it all for me with them. Needless to say, every shoegaze musician can go on about how much they love this band, and how big an impact they had on us all. I am no different!
#2 Slowdive - "Brighter"Well, well, well! Anyone who knows me knows about my absolute and utter level of obsession with Slowdive, however it wasn't always that way! The first time I had heard Slowdive was once again from the recommendation of my local record store guy. I'll never forget my first listening of Just for a Day which was, and I quote, "What is this synthy goth garbage?" I remember bringing this record back to the shop, chastising my buddy behind the counter until he said "Man, those aren't keyboards! They're guitars!" I'll fully admit that in the beginning, I listened to them out of morbid curiosity. I wanted to know how they managed to get those sounds out of my beloved guitar. As some of you know (honestly, it's something I keep secret), I went on to start a band called A Place to Bury Strangers years later. You can blame Slowdive for this. This is the band that inspired me to REALLY start changing how I played the guitar, and to this day remains the single thing I judge my own music against.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, NUMBER ONE!!!
#1 Mogwai - "Mogwai Fear Satan"
Oh, Mogwai...I'll never, ever forget how I discovered you. We used to all head to this one Tower Records, partially because they would get some decent imports every now and again, and partially because we all were totally in love with one of the girls who worked there - haha. Anyhow, one day I decided to go check what imports they had gotten when I wandered upon a curious CD. It was by some random band called Mogwai, about which I vividly remember thinking, "What a neat name for a band, I'll buy this!" Back then I had this bizarre habit of ALWAYS starting a new record from the last track, which as we all know was "Mogwai Fear Satan" I eagerly ran to my car to give it a listen, and I will never forget having to pull over once the song punches you in the face out of sheer amazement. I cannot express just how influential Mogwai has been to me as a musician. To me, that song just absolutely defines the pinnacle of all the genres I adore so much. It's shoegazey, it's heavy, it's almost a piece of classical music! To me, it's just pure and utter genius.