100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

The Dismemberment Plan

Guest Spots: The Dismemberment Plan’s top Gladys Knight songs

The Dismemberment Plan: “Academy Award (Cex Remix)” (A People’s History of the Dismemberment Plan, DeSoto, 10/6/03)

The Dismemberment Plan: “Academy Award (Cex Remix)”

Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan is a huge Gladys Knight fan. Though his band’s dance-punk sound doesn’t overtly reflect Knight’s timeless recordings with The Pips, some influences are a bit more subtle. Below, Morrison shares five of his favorite Gladys Knight songs. And in case you were wondering, yes, The Dismemberment Plan is back together. The band is set to tour the US in support of Barsuk’s upcoming vinyl re-release (1/11/11) of the 1999 album Emergency & I.

Gladys Knight

1. “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)”

Such a great description of shared heartbreak, shared failure at love. I always loved songs that never placed blame when things went wrong. Kind of a companion song to “It’s Too Late” by Carole King. But in this song, the narrator is still in the mix, still not quite giving up. It usually makes me tear up — takes me back to a few situations in my life, I admit.

Menomena: Peculiar Pop Perfectionists

Menomena’s enthusiasm to put out a new record couldn’t overcome its penchant for precision, and with Mines, its newest recording, the idiosyncratic trio delivers a restrained yet unorthodox pop gem.

Feature: Ra Ra Riot Overcomes Tragic Loss

Syracuse indie-rock outfit Ra Ra Riot talks about the tragic death of its drummer and lyricist and how its members have pushed forward to make music better than ever in his honor.

David Bazan Preps for New Album with Nationwide House Tour

Walking through a quiet neighborhood in Portland, my friend and I come across our destination, a nondescript house — seemingly empty. A few folks nearby on the sidewalk encourage us.

“Just go on in,” they offer. We accept. Approaching the porch, I see a sign on the door with two words: “David Bazan.” Bazan, the former frontman of Pedro the Lion, has arrived here as part of an intimate nationwide tour.

Mates of State Live on NPR

Married pop duo Mates of State recently traveled around the country for National Public Radio’s This American Life, providing the program’s musical accompaniment. The two also just played a live set for NPR, belting out their lighthearted piano-and-drums creations.

Follow this link to hear Mates of State live on NPR.