50. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast- So many rock sub-genres have found a homes as influences in 21st century alternative rock, so it was really just a matter of time before surf music had it's- ahem- day in the sun. Surfer Blood doesn't infuse surf music as much as other acts do, but it's definitely there. Sunny and bright, but with an occasional flash of toughness and a touch of feedback.
49. Nocando - Jimmy The Lock - Famed L.A. battle rapper Nocando comes out swinging on his debut, mixing street cred and intelligence for a solid start to his recording career.
48. Sleigh Bells - Treats - A male/female duo that has more in common with M.I.A. than White Stripes- in fact, Sleigh Bells is on M.I.A.'s label. There a lot od the simple, playground-style chant found on M.I.A.'s records, but with a loud indie guitar base and N.Y.C. hipness replacing the London/Sri Lanka/global influences.
47. Deer Tick - The Black Dirt Sessions - Rhode Island's Deer Tick mines Americana like so many other acts today, but sharp songwriting sets them apart.
46. M-Phazes - Good Gracious - M-Phazes own website declares him "Australia's #1 hip-hop export", a claim that's a potent as saying the "America's leading boomerang manufactuer." The music speaks for itself- M-Phazes is the producer, crafter of catchy tunes and driving beats, and this album has a lot of nice- if unknown - guest rappers and singers from down under.
45. John Grant - Queen of Denmark - The former singer of The Czars teams up with Midlake for an 70's influenced singer-songwriter collection that has a fair share of old school synths and occasional resemblances to Rufus Wainright. Not everyday listening- it can get really moody at points- but occasionally funny and often quite striking.
43. The Duke and The King - Long Live The Duke and the King - So I use the terms "rootsy" and "Americana" a lot and that certainly applies here, but I can get more specific here. Think Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with a twist of soul, harmonizingand strumming on their front porch.
From their previous album, which I never even knew about (after 30 seconds of applause for Gladys Knight)
43. The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelions - Of the many consistencies on the Timmy lists year in and year out, there always seems to be at least one catchy as hell 60's garage rock revivalist band. Meet the 2010 version, led by the head of The Reigning Sound (see last year's list) and Coco Hames of The Ettes.
42. The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream - Wait, I did say at least one 60's garage rock revivalist band, right? Meet #2, The Black Angels. The song "Telephone" is one of my favorites for the year, and could fit right in on the Nuggets compilations. They leave the garage for the stratosphere with more than a passing hint of psychedelia- call The Parting Gifts mid 60's garage, and The Black Angels late 60's.
41. Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be - OK, while we're on the 60's throwback kick, let's squeeze in Dum Dum Girls. While the last two were revivalists, Dum Dum Girls are two noisy to be taken as authentically 60's. Think girl groups meet the Ramones meet Jesus and Mary Chain meet Vivian Girls. Sloppy but melodic.