81. Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes (Slash, 1983)

Just like all other native Milwaukeeans, I have spot soft for these influential post-punks. They were our Replacements, our Smashing Pumpkins, our Guided By Voices. Even if none of their subsequent albums had half their debut’s spark, wit, and drive, they will never be forgotten, even outside of Milwaukee. Another generation of AV geeks, band nerds, drama club members and frat boys will inevitably discover these rowdy, vengeful expressions of arrested development. This is an embarrassment of pimply riches: “Kiss Off”, “Gone Daddy Gone”, “Prove My Love”, and masturbation ode “Blister In The Sun” among them. And then there’s “Add It Up”, possibly the most fervent, cathartic, off-the-rails ode to sexual frustration ever devised by what was initially an acoustic street corner trio.

82. PJ Harvey, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (Island, 2000)

Admirers of this trailblazer’s rawer, more confrontational earlier work probably viewed this as a sellout, but most critics loved it anyway, and you should too. I’m hesitant to make Patti Smith comparisons; put the two side by side in a room and generations aside, you’ll have no trouble telling the difference. But this has the scope and drive of Smith’s more mature, tempered work. As part of Harvey’s impressive catalog, this is where she’s at her most polished, content, and direct. What makes this her best album to date? She’s as passionate as ever, whether thinking about “A Place Called Home” or making a statement as simple as “I just want to sit here and watch you undress” (from the visceral “This Is Love”) sound so vital and profound.

83. Towa Tei, Future Listening! (Elektra, 1995)

He defected from Deee-lite when they were recording their train wreck of a third (and final) album, and good for him. The song “Technova” epitomizes what this first solo jaunt is all about, colliding electrobeats with Antonio Carlos Jobim. The cameos are impeccable and read like a who’s who of ‘90s bossa nova acolytes: Pizzicato Five’s Maki Nomiya, Arto Lindsay dueting with Bebel Gilberto herself (years before she made her own tech-nova album, Tanto Tempo). But the ringer is club diva Joi Cardwell and her delicate yet agile tone on the effervescent, eight minute “Luv Connection”, a lost mid-tempo gem that should’ve been another “Groove Is In The Heart”.