I first started listening to mewithoutYou my senior year of high school. It was a period during which I would buy and listen to pretty much any album released by Tooth and Nail records. As a result, I have a lot of really crappy CDs (Does anybody want my copy of Hawk Nelson's Letters to the President? I've been trying to ditch that thing for two years now...)
mewithoutYou's three albums, though, are the highlight of that period.
Falling somewhere between modern Sufi music (lead singer Aaron Weiss's mother was a Sufi) and post-alternative-hardcore (a catch-all category for music that is beyond simple classification) with elements of Roma/Eastern European folk music, mwY is one of those bands that has a very distinct style, but avoids the trap of repeatedly making the same album.
The first album of theirs I bought was [A->B] Life, which is much closer to their hardcore roots. Their second LP, Catch for Us the Foxes might be my favorite (the videos posted below are both from Foxes), though Brother, Sister - their third release - is what got me through freshman year of college.
I was fortunate enough to see mwY in concert at the 40 Watt, but I've already written about that.
As far as musicians go, the guys from mewithoutYou are out there; Aaron Weiss has taken vows of poverty and chastity, and the bus is run off of used vegetable oil. But for all of their eccentricities, or perhaps because of, their music stands out in a world where rock is finally starting to become innovative again.