Emergency & I
I always thought of the Dismemberment Plan as a "local" band. Growing up in Norginia, I had a couple of friends who were big fans of "the D-plan," and they had this album on constant rotation. The band's members were all from Norginia, so there was a certain amount of pride in knowing they were "one of us." This feeling was compounded by the experiences I had at their shows. The fan base was rabid, and full of silly inside jokes. The band invited us on stage to dance during part of the performance, then they hung out with the crowd after the show, talking, drinking, and selling merchandise. The members of the band autographed my 7-Eleven shirt, and made me promise not to put it on ebay.
I was shocked years later to meet a guy from Minnesota who was a huge fan of this album. I didn't know anyone outside of Norginia knew about them. As it turns out, this is a little band that really made it big. I'll spare you the details of their career, but I'm sure if you're really curious, you can find a wikipedia entry or something. Trust me, though... They're huge.
This record is pure genius. Every song is right where it belongs. The album rocks, but not too hard. If I hear just one of the songs on this album, I need to stop what I'm doing and listen to the whole record. It's that good.
If I could only listen to ten records for the rest of my life, this would absolutely be one of them. Do yourself a favor and listen to it twice.