Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: #20-11

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For the past 18 years, faithful readers of the OC Weekly have counted on our music section for the continuous cycle of sniffing out the local albums. It goes something like this: We search for them (yeah, we get a shit ton in the mail too), we listen to them, separate the wheat from the chaff, remind you of their release dates, champion them when they sell a bajillion copies and remind you who told you to give them a listen in the first place. Along the way, we've also made sure to pay tribute to the classic albums that paved the way for OC music culture as we know it. Though there are literally thousands of OC-based offerings worthy of our admiration, there are always going to be a handful of albums that immediately pop into our brain when someone asks us to rehash the best albums that define OC music and also represent both a time and place in our native sound. Love it or hate it, this is what we came up with. Without further ado, here is our list of the Top 20 Greatest Albums of All Time.--Nate Jackson

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20) LD & Ariano, A Thin Line (2006)
Few artists have done as much to bring major label talent into the fold of OC hip-hop as LD and Ariano. A quick scan of their discography uncovers featured verses from names like U-God of the Wu Tang Clan, Chali2na of Jurassic Five, RBX and Snoop Dogg as well as local legends like LMNO and DJ Rhettmattic. But none of these artists would've co-signed this duo without the deft lyrical chops and baritone hooks of Huntington Beach rapper Ariano and the turntable wizardry of his DJ, LD. It all started with their 2006 debut A Thin Line, which boasts catchy underground beats inspired by everyone from DJ Premiere to Madlib. Aside from the fact that it still holds up seven years after its release, this album--the beginning of an unbelievable avalanche of material--is one of the best entrees into OC hip-hop we can think of.--Nate Jackson

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19) Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, First You Live (2007)
Nothing says "Fuck you" to rock-n-roll conventionalism like a curly-haired guy with an accordion. In that regard, its really no surprise that a band like Dusty Rhodes and the River Band created such a cult following in the mid-2000s. With a mix of classic rock gumption, knee-slapping folk, proggy complexity and the irreverent soul of squeeze box-playing frontman Dustin Apodaca, the band reached the height of their popularity with their 2007 SideOneDummy debut First You Live. Produced by former Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens, the album's gritty aesthetic, musical complexity, reliance on multiple vocalists and heartfelt lyrics helped make this band the talk of OC's music scene for several years. Though the band officially played its last show in 2011, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the Fullerton/Anaheim music scene that will hesitate to raise a fist to the chorus of "Street Fighter."--Nate Jackson

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