Pazz & Jop Poll Results Announced… Yawn?

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The Village Voice‘s annual poll of music critics, “Pazz & Jop,” came out this week, and even though the format has always seemed designed for somewhat conservative outcomes, this year’s lists are just… boring. After one and a half months spent adding up the votes (why does it take so long, incidentally? Don’t they have Excel?) they come up with the same #1 album as Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan’s Modern Times. Wow. At least TV On the Radio’s masterpiece came in as a close #2 (apparently beating Dylan in number of mentions, in an event eerily reminiscent of Bush v. Gore). The only thing separating their albums list from every single other critical year-end roundup is… hmmm… the presence of Tom Waits at #10? Well, fine, I guess. The singles list is even more dull, with the typical Gnarls / T.I. / Timberlake / Furtado / Aguilera party posse sitting on top. It’s basically right, but jeez, Peter Bjorn & John all the way down at #25? For shame.

I used to check the Village Voice website obsessively, starting in mid-February every year, desperate to see the definitive year-end best-of list. There were always a couple surprises that would turn out to be totally right on, like Magnetic Fields’ toweringly great 69 Love Songs jumping in at #2 in 1999 based on far fewer votes than the #1 album, Moby’s Play. Perhaps something’s changed in the methodology: it looks like there’s over 300 fewer critics in the poll this year (2005’s 795 versus 2006’s 494). Where did everybody go? Perhaps they got their points-allocation jollies out over at music blog Idolator’s copycat/takeoff/nose-thumb “Jackin’ Pop” poll, whose results came out much earlier, and are somehow more satisfying. Plus Idolator’s faux-naive MS Paint drawing of TV On the Radio standing on a mountain of cookies is way better than the Voice‘s elaborate painting of Dylan running over Kyp Malone. Hate to say it, newspaper: the intertubes are totally beating you.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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