With 10 years and over 50 releases to their name, it's an impossible task to single out the finest work to ever be tagged with the Magic Marker logo. But, what the hell, we're going to try anyway. The following are our favorite releases from the label's catalog:

Dear Nora

We'll Have a Time

A love letter to Portland, best friends, youth, an unnamed crush, or something else entirely... I'm not sure, but Dear Nora's We'll Have a Time is a perfect slice of the most heart-warming indie pop you're likely to come across. Even at its most depressing and angst ridden, the record (released in 2001) still manages to ooze wistfulness, due in large part to pitch-perfect harmonies and the sugar-sweet vocals of Katy Davidson. With a lo-fi garage aesthetic—chockfull of jangly guitars and simple upfront drumming—We'll Have a Time is just about perfect; its only downside being that it clocks in at an-all-too brief 26 minutes. ROB SIMONSEN


Let's Drag Our Feet

Showcasing the smart-alecky but heartfelt songs of frontman David Crane, BOAT's second full-length, Let's Drag Our Feet, is a series of single-serving pop packets that come at you one after another. Even the between-song interludes are awesome. The rock swagger of "Come with Me, We'll Win" is matched by the syncopated chug of "The Whistle Test," and the falsetto-and-organ combo of "A Phone That Rings for Free" adds surprisingly emotional nuance to BOAT's bratty delivery, like an older brother who gives you dead arms and noogies, but who also keeps the bullies from messing with you on the walk to school. If you've ever felt betrayed by Weezer—and who hasn't, really?—BOAT is there to tend your wounds with utterly irresistible songs like "(I'm a) Donkey for Your Love" and "I Really, Really Think You Should Rethink Your Life." NED LANNAMANN

Kissing Book


Indie rock and jazz should be like oil and water, yet somehow on their second full-length album Kissing Book found a way to make the two genres sound pretty damn good together. Still rooted in Lucksmiths-esque pop, (s) was a bit more restrained than anything the band had previously done, with a soft Wurlitzer organ, subtle drumming, and Andrew Kaffer's gentle croon holding down the somber, intimate, and reflective affair. While it may not have been as much of a crowd-pleaser as their earlier Lines & Color, (s) captures Kissing Book at the top of their songwriting game, producing a dozen solid tracks of jazzy pop goodness. RS