All the artists below have been around since at least 2000-02, about the same time I started getting seriously interested in music. I was very young, only about 10 or 11, but through the power of an older brother I was introduced to the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control and Elf Power (he was obviously a huge fan of the Elephant 6 Collective). Having grown up with Motown in my mom's car and classic rock in my dad's, the transition to the indie/underground scene was seamless, it just took time. I always loved music, but never had any idea how much was out there and how many different styles there were. 

These 10 artists make up a solid part of the foundation of my music tastes. They are the reason I do what I do now. They were my start.