My limited experiences of recording tell me the following -
Don't listen to any other music untill your doing your mixing, because it could confuse you and make you make spur of the moment changes to things based on something you hear. It's good to listen to something you like the production of during the mixing though, so you can aproximate the mix and see what you like about it and what you'd change.
Oh, and use as many mics as you can. On everything.
And dont be afraid to experiment with stuff like broken/cheap ****ty mics, putting things through other things etc... Those are the things that people will say "how did you get that sound?'', and usually the more ridiculous or elaborate explanation, the cooler the sound is.
Hope you have fun, and I look forward to hearing yr new tunes.