Mark Reaffirms and Rearranges Your 2010 – The Final Chapter

20. The DopaminesExpect The Worst : Midwest punk that’s more than a few steps above the typical beer blasting basement punk. Basically “FML” in musical form, but with fun and catchy melodies! (Paper + Plastic)

19. The Candle ThievesSunshine And Other Misfortunes : Solid collection of tunes that remind me of the Eels. A few gems hit me right away, and some of the other wavers between growing on me and pushing my patience in a healthy way. (Mercer Street)

18. MoondoggiesTidelands : It’s a bit of a re-write of the previous album, but I’m ok with that, considering Don’t Be A Stranger was one of the best Americana albums of the last 10 years. (Hardly Art)

17. Tame ImpalaInnerspeaker : Despite a semi-low ranking, this is the kind of album that I wish was topping mag lists instead of Arcade Fire. IMO it’s incredibly more creative and accessible. Has psychedelic pop/rock ever made a comeback? (Universal)

16. LibrariansPresent Passed : Another mysteriously underrated album. I thought for sure this would be the year a 2nd wave of Animal Collective bands would take over, but it wasn’t so. Really like the flow of this one. (Postfact)

15. Kate NashMy Best Friend Is You : I like my female vocals either really really cutesy, or really really strong. If it’s somewhere in the middle, then it’s just white noise to me. Kate Nash has a good portion of both extremes. This probably should be higher. (Geffen)

14. Chumbawambaabcdefg : Not as immediately wonderful as the previous two albums, but they “stay the course” and continue to be one of my all-time favs. This should probably be lower, though. (No-Masters Cooperative)

13. Teenage FanclubShadows : I’ve already resigned to the fact they won’t bring the 90s TF back. That being said, I think this is much better than Man-Made, and love this album like a great college reunion with old friends. (Merge)

12. Full of FancyLiquid Nature : Not only strong female vocals, but two of them! A great mix of Olympia grrl punk, Magnapop/Tuscadero alt-rock, and some Pixies-era Kim Deal. Best bang-for-your-buck release too, since the cd comes with 10 additional tracks of all their previous 7″ singles. (Don Giovanni)

11. StarsThe Five Ghosts : I’ve always loved the sound of Stars, but this is the best songwriting they’ve done since Nightsongs. I can listen to this over and over again. (Vagrant)

10. Black WineBlack Wine : My supergroup pick of the year. Featuring Miranda of Full of Fancy (see above), Jeff from the Ergs! (# 2 album in ’04) and J Nixon of Hunchback (# 2 album of ’07). All three contribute songs so it’s not easily summed up. I guess imagine all those late-80s SST and Sub Pop bands, but with songs that I would enjoy listening to. (Don Giovanni)

09. Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame : Bread, Band, Byrds, Beach Boys, Beatles, whatever. I love this fucking stuff. (Anti)

08. MixtapesMaps : Superb band from Ohio. Kind of like if you took the late-90s emo/rock scene and gave it happy pills. Perhaps a difficult band to google, here’s the convenient links, as the band has this stuff up for free. Check here and here (Self released)

07. J√≥nsiGo : Probably the best word to describe it is “beautiful.” Possibly wonderful and spiritual and pleasurable too. In retrospect, my fandom of Sigur Ros a decade ago was more of a bandwagon jump, but I’m glad I did because Jonsi’s output just keeps getting better and better. (Parlaphone)

06. Clem SnideThe Meat of Life : Another band I’ve always liked, and I was very pleased to hear it’s better than the previous two. You know what to expect from Eef these days, but it doesn’t make the music any less enjoyable or the lyrics any less clever. (429)

05. Dinosaur FeathersFantasy Memorial : Played this a ton in the spring and summer. Another surprisingly overlooked album, (see # 16). Poppy, layered harmonies, and fresh sounding. Kind of like Animal Collective, but here we have ideas that are actually constructed into songs, instead of just letting the notion float through the speakers. (Self Released)

04. The 20 BelowsFor Better Days : As soon as I heard it, I knew it would be my favorite pop punk album of the year. And then after 1000 more listens, I was like “fuck, this is better than most 2010 releases.” Easiest way to describe it is Dookie-era Green Day, except from the Netherlands. (Monster Zero)

03. Darren HanlonI Will Love You At All : Ex-Lucksmiths dude. There’s something really easy and familiar about the melodies here. Not obvious enough to put your finger on, but just enough to make you have that great nostalgic feeling. Pleasant Australian vocals, and the kind of variety that more singer/songwriter albums should aspire to. (Yep Roc)

02. Dead MechanicalAddict Rhythms : One of those bands that I dub a “product of geography” since they are from Baltimore and sound like a mix of NJ punk pop, DC’s Dischord output, and Chapel Hill, NC’s 90s indie rock scene. The quick RIYL is Superchunk and Jawbreaker, but to be honest I like these guys more. (Traffic Street)

01. Unwelcome GuestsDon’t Go Swimming : I’ve already said my piece about these guys. Americana pop punk I guess? The best albums always make for the worst reviews. I don’t want to talk about it, I want to listen to it and want you to listen to it too! It’s the best! (Kiss Of Death)

Here’s the last chunk of goodies for all your listening needs:

49-40 39-30 29-21 20-1

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