Friday, February 09, 2007

Pazz & Jop

I seem to remember really enjoying reading the Village Voice's Pazz & Job poll at some point not terribly long ago. It was one of those things I didn't know about until I moved to New York and I suppose that made it something worth taking notice of for me. So I was excited to see this year's.

Until I actually read it. At which point I got the distinct impression that is was every bit as worthless as any other list. Sure, I was momentarily comforted by the fact that I recognized the vast majority of the artists on the list. Well, I thought, I can't be that out of it if I know who all these bands are. Sure, maybe I didn't hear Hips Don't Lie but I'm not completely lacking in current musical knowlege. Hell, I even own some of those CDs.

Except, here's the thing. Of those that I own,I've only listen to two of them regularly (Regina Spektor, Tom Waits) and one of them intermittently (Cat Power).The others I listened to, thought Oh, this is nice. I really like it, and then forgot existed. And my guess is that I'd pretty much feel the same about most of the list.

The Voice doesn't even tell you anything about them, so why would you care or be interested in looking further? Am I just supposed to look at the list and decide that, because it's on the Pazz & Jop list I simply must check it out? Because I really don't think that way. I'm not even sure if the Voice wants you to think that way. I mean, sure, it's certainly possible. I don't even think it would be outside it's regular attitude if that were the case. One of the reasons I don't read the voice regularly is that I think they're rather more invested in a specific editorial outlook than they are in any kind of real thought. So the final question becomes: why did I even bother to read this thing?

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