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A nod to the underdogs in music

While most popular artists and mainstream musicians are usually covered in year-end reviews, we tend to overlook the achievements of lesser-known artists.

Perhaps one of the most accomplished artists of 2010 was Never Shout Never's Christofer Drew. Drew has come a long way since he began posting simple songs on his MySpace page in 2007. This year, he headlined the Alternative Press spring tour, as well as proving to be one of the most popular Warped Tour performers. Over the year, he recorded two full-length records, as well as one EP and one split EP with the Maine.

Speaking of album releases, in November, My Chemical Romance finally released its much-anticipated fourth full-length album, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys." In the months before the release, MCR hyped its fans with several teasers, including a series of short videos all under the name of "zone surveillance," music video trailers and preorder packages for the CD.

Also on the release list this year were new albums by Rocket Summer, Bring Me the Horizon, the Maine, Jimmy Eat World and Four Year Strong. Chiodos released its first album without Craig Owens. Escape the Fate accompanied the release of its self-titled album with a series of meet-and-greets and pictures with fans at various Hot Topic stores.

Fearless Records released "Punk Goes Pop 3" as part of the "Punk Goes --" series, featuring covers of songs such as "Hot 'N Cold," "Bad Romance" and "Bulletproof," by artists such as Artist Vs. Poet, Family Force 5 and Cute Is What We Aim For.

Along with new album releases came exciting tours. Warped Tour celebrated its 16th year, bringing in big names such as Sum 41, the All-American Rejects and Motion City Soundtrack. The Fearless Friends Tour by Fearless Records proved to be a huge success, with headliners Mayday Parade and Every Avenue, and the Honda Civic Tour put Paramore and New Found Glory in the spotlight. Alternative Press pulled off both a spring and a fall tour, the spring one featuring Never Shout Never, the Summer Set and the Cab; the fall tour taking a turn toward the screamo genre with Bring Me the Horizon, August Burns Red and Emarosa.

Green Day had perhaps the most exciting tour this past summer. What's more, the musical adaptation of "American Idiot" became a big hit on Broadway.

Canadian band Marianas Trench stopped at the Galleria in Cheektowaga to play for the grand opening of the new store Garage, and Hedley even made an appearance in Buffalo for the release of its album in the United States.

Unfortunately, 2010 also meant saying goodbye to some great musicians. Sing It Loud and Voxtrot called it quits, Fall Out Boy confirmed indefinite hiatus, and Josh and Zac Farro left Paramore. Aaron Gillespie, the last remaining original member of Underoath, left the band to pursue his side project, the Almost.

While several projects came to an end, many others flourished. Artists that made it on the radio include the Ready Set, Mayday Parade, Cartel, the Maine and Neon Trees.

Artist Vs. Poet, Breathe Carolina, the Summer Set, and English band You Me at Six made names for themselves and took a step toward greater popularity.

The Summer Set headlined its first tour, and You Me at Six drew energetic crowds on the Warped Tour.

Looking into 2011, many people anticipate new releases from All Time Low, Breathe Carolina, and The Academy Is --. Pete Wentz's collaboration, titled the Black Cards, is expected to release new music, as well as Patrick Stump with his solo project. The Alternative Press Tour with VersaEmerge and Black Veil Brides is already set for March through May, and several bands and dates already have been confirmed for Warped Tour. If the upcoming year in music is anything like 2010, we should be in for a great treat.

Alyssa Phillips is a senior at Immaculata Academy.

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