Illustration: David O’Keefe
Hello, fellow Internerds. It’s Pazz & Jop 2006 week here at the Village Voice‘s embryonic music blog, Sound of the City. Amid the dangerous mouse-hustle of all those Fluxcasts and Stereobelles and The Catchdubs Are Killing Us, you’re probably already sick of MIA’s “Bird Flu” even though it just materialized yesterday. LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver? So last leak-season. The new !!!? Old old old.
So we ask a favor. Just chill. Let the Undulating Curve flatline for a few days. Neon Bible will still be there tomorrow.
Yeah, we know. It’s nearly impossible in this age of bloggy-style circle-jerking. Year-old critical reflection seems counterintuitive to this whole YSI-first, think-later mindset, especially when we’re too busy wondering if Canadian Fuck bands are better than Canadian Wolf bands or whether Air will sufficiently redeem post-Jarvis Jarvis Cocker enough for us to go common-people broke to see him in April. Don’t even get us started about what side of the love-hate wagon that little Bright Eyes will fall, come Cassadaga. But right now, let’s look back on 2006.
Logistics first. There’re gonna be countless MP3 links and YouTube embeds posted in this space for the next few days; they will nearly all be hosted off-site, so the Voice takes no responsibility for whatever content they serve. (When first posted, they were all functioning and relevant.) If you try to download Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push” and instead get an audio file of “Peanut Butter Jelly Time,” get ready to dance with the banana.
Also, there will be a master blog-link list of sites we’ve linked to posted later on this week. Even if the authors didn’t vote in this poll, they more than likely do this for the same simple, posi, let’s-hold-hands-and-skip-around-in-a-circle reason you too are scrolling through this: love of music. Plus, the RIAA eats babies, which makes the MP3 bloggers our Robin Hoods.
Most important, this year’s poll is the culmination of a lot of. . . er, how do you say. . . okay, we’re gonna let the Voice‘s venerable music editor Rob Harvilla field this one:
In a perfect world, we could fixate entirely on the narrowest and gnarliest finish in Pazz & Jop history: Bob Dylan by 14 points and -4 voters. He is George W. Bush. Lost the popular vote, but prevailed via the fine print. TV on the Radio, doomy dilettantes in the realms of love and theft but indisputable masters of war, captured more minds but failed to completely win their hearts. With fellow New York dynasties Ghostface Killah and the Hold Steady—representing the siren songs of snow and the amorous anthems of alcohol, respectively—lagging respectfully behind. And a pair of flagrantly deranged movie buffs (whose skin tones are awfully difficult to recreate in MS Paint) rounding out the Top Five and, over in the singles category, beating their competition like gongs. Plenty of fodder for discussion and conjecture and wankery there, but alas, first there is virulent rock-critic infighting to be done, much of it in the name of a guy who seems to enjoy it the least. That other Bob.
“Do you have any more questions?” he asks. “I have to get on with my work.”
—Conclusion of a popmatters.com interview with Robert Christgau
More:Pazz & Jop