32nd or 33rd Pizz and Joop Critics’ Poll
Well blows me down, Olive. Will wonders never cease? Christgau’s annual screed leading off the Village Voice’s Pazz/Jop thing is not only disconcertingly coherent, but he actually is right about most of the opinions he puts forth about the State of Music Today. He’s no radical demiurge, to be sure, but damn it if he isn’t spot on about how the MP3 blogs are not only flipping the Way Back Switch to a time when music was a singles commodity––the Brits have known this ever since they collectively put down their ceramic unicorn-cavorting-through-a-hedge water bongs and stopped listening to Pink Fucking Floyd––but he’s also pretty sharp w/r/t his take on the subsequent ephemeral nature of pop. Speaking strictly on the subjective tip, we’ve downloaded somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-500 free songs since we got our grimy little meathooks on that new video iPod** thing, the one where Bono comes to your house and thanks you for buying it while Steve Jobs waits out in the car, furiously masturbating into a bag of Combos,*** and we have to be honest here: Beyond the entire albums that we’ve boosted through the agency of places like this (we’re not going hand over pictures of Andrew Jackson for, say, Modern Life is Rubbish, but “Chemical World” and “Star-Shaped” are pop gems and we are nothing if not completists), many of the single tracks we’ve introduced ourselves to have a shelf life proportional to the size of the next batch that we download, divided by the time between thefts. Or something. Stephen Hawking’s in the basement working on a formula for that one. Right. And so.
What’s more, the Dean (we’re smirking while we type that, never you worry) ends his essay with a call for the mushroom-skinned blogouisie to hit up Nonesuch for a promo copy of the frankly indispensable Our New Orleans so that they can spread the love. Can’t argue with that.
Now of course, the list itself blows Handy Smurf––that’s Bricoleur Smurf to our French brethren––behind the nearest toadstool. We agree that the Kanye record is pretty fucking great, but given our longstanding aversion to 99% of whatever can be safely classified as hip-hop, that’s probably a sign that it’s probably not. Kill Whitey. But M.I.A. taking the #2 spot is like volunteering to read to that homebound elderly lady on your block because you really get off on hard candy and the smell of chicks who were alive when Herbert Hoover invented the armpit fart: Just Plain Wrong. Then there’s Sufjan, who was anointed King Jesus by the hive mind that is the Infobahn™, which brings the record down in our estimation––it’s not that great, people––and yeah, Sleater-Kinney rocked, but from there? Fiona? Baby, we love that you’ve discovered carbs and all and we’ve got an uncle who can right the wrongs you sang about so long ago in “Sullen Girl” ––call us, he does good, clean work––but, uh, no. And the White Stripes suck. And Antony and the Johnsons? Maybe if her out of Rilo Kiley were doing the singing, and even then, we watch football for fuck’s sake. Plus, everybody calm the fuck down about Jenny Lewis. Please. And so the Hold Steady punted rump, but only if you’re Catholic, and the New Pornos were utterly disappointing, and we don’t listen to Allman Bros.-infused jam rock because we’re not completely retarded, so My Morning Jacket can just stay hanging up in the hall closet of the world’s most ardent hackysack enthusiast for all we care, and we guess we’d dig LCD Soundsystem if we hung out at Misshapes and regularly applied glitter to our privates, and of course the Monk/Coltrane record is great, but doesn’t exactly travel well on an iPod, and we never even heard of Amadou & Mariam, but we suspect that they are the Ashford & Simpson of the macchiato set, based on little more than our abiding ignorance and our unwillingness to stoop to a Diallo joke, and yes, Spoon is pretty great, but they’re sort of like the way you’ll sometimes sniff your knee when you crouch down to tie your shoe––interesting, but always there, whether you notice or not. And Common doesn’t float our particular boat and he seems like he spends way too much time grooming that tiny beard of his, and fuck Conor Orbst for being a vagina filled with weepy marshmallow butterflies, and Beck hasn’t made a record worth listening to since Mutations, the reluctance of Geffen to promote standing as a schematic for why the music biz deserves to die, and horribly so, and we would say something about Bloc Party but we just passed out and there’s more, hell, we’ll even go so far to say Art Brut? More like Fart Brut, but here’s the kicker, and we say this without fear of losing our indie cred (bwah!), and fuck all y’all motherfuckers who disagree: “Since U Been Gone” was the greatest song released in 2005. And no, not the version put out by Ted “I’m a Ferret’s Cunt Hair Away From Being Emo” Leo, either.
Lastly, it has recently come to our attention that the superfantastic Maud Newton linked to our bloviating about that crybaby Harold Brodkey. If we had known that the astute and apparently miniature Ms. Maud actually read this garbage, we’d clean up our act a little. Knock off some of the swears, at any rate.
**Thanks, R–––; we know we shouldn’t have accepted it, but there’s a reason why we have the words “It’s free? Fuck it!” tattooed on our pancreas. In Latin.
***Here’s something we don’t get. We love us some pretzels. Favorite snack, bar none. Love cheese, too. Once made a tiny man out of a nice hunk of Stilton and had him do our taxes. Got audited that year, because bleu cheese knows fuck all about deductions. And yet, we hate Combos. Why?