by Dave Segal
on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM
The results of Pazz & Jop, the Village Voice’s annual music critics poll, hit the WWW this morning, and .007 percent of the world’s abuzz over the outcome. Josh Bis broke the news earlier, and in this space I’d like to elaborate just a tiny bit about my ballot. 2011 was the year I contributed a minuscule speck of gray matter to the music-journo hive mind with my inclusion of Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up, which placed #10 in the album poll. I am a shameless sellout. But I don’t feel bad about it, because Black Up is a once-in-a-lifetime explosion of hiphop genius that deserves every iota of hype it’s garnering.
My next flirtation with being in lockstep with my colleagues occurs at #74, with Demdike Stare’s Tryptych, an epic, hauntological electronic masterpiece making a surprisingly high appearance. I am a shameless sellout. It was also fulfilling to see such near-misses from my list as Danny Brown’s XXX (#28), Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica (#35), Clams Casino’s Instrumental Mixtape (#61), and Peaking Lights’ 936 (#106) come in at fairly lofty positions.
Surprisingly low on the scale were such worthies as Ty Segall (#100), Thee Oh Sees (#103), the Field (#111), Rustie (#113), Battles (#122), and the Dirtbombs (#170). (If you’re into schadenfreude, the Head and the Heart’s self-titled album limped in at #172. Even my beloved weirdos Psychic Paramount (#132) and Andy Stott (#157) ranked higher. Booya! If you’re into WTFs?, Sun Araw’s monumental Ancient Romans checked in at #276. Outrageous!)
As for the “Singles” chart, my top one was #68, Burial’s “Street Halo.” I am a shameless sellout. Other than that, though, my top songs of 2011 didn’t share much overlap with other music scribes’. Shabazz’s “Swerve” only reached #226, and shit gets really long-tail-y with this chart, as any song qualifies as a single in VV’s game. Most of my babies tied for last with one vote each at #604. Boo hoo.
Scanning the top 20 albums, I see a handful that I wouldn’t kick out of bed (the Roots, EMA, Kurt Vile, PJ Harvey, St. Vincent, Shabazz, of course), but most of the entries leave me apathetic. However, looking at the P&J top 20 singles, I feel as estranged from the mindset of my peers as I’ve ever felt. (Are we even the same species?) Still, ultimately, I am a shameless sellout. (Please read my motherfuckin' ballot, kthxbye.)