Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Best of 2011" preparation

We're confused about how to handle our "Best of the year" bullshit that we usually do every year...

#1 2011 was the first year that simply made want to give up on searching for new stuff from the same resources we've used in the past, such as the music journalism blogosphere, major websites such as Pitchfork, music criticism forums such as ILM, or the "Best albums" and "Best singles" sections of RateYourMusic.Com. For the past 8-9 years, these resources have helped tremendously. However, in 2011, this was not the case.

#2 2011 was also the first year where the music made by people we know in real life was good enough to take up 30-40% of our "2011's Greatest Hits" mix, which we've usually avoided in the past because it feels like cheating. (2010's Greatest Hits included Merchandise in our top 10, as well as Pet Milk, a Philadelphia band who currently has about 280 Facebook fans. We don't know these bands in real life, and so our opinions on those bands are unbiased.)

When we used to read Buddyhead back in 2001-2003, their "Best of the year" purposely avoided the writers' own bands because their readers complained after they tried to sneak in stuff like The Icarus Line or Shat. And similarly, I think it's kind of cheap and big-headed of Paul McCartney to list "Hey Jude" and "Strawberry Fields" in his 10 best 60's songs. We don't wanna be like "that guy"...

We considered ranking a top 10 or top 20 only made up of our friends bands, except that would be sort of like going through your friends and ranking them from best to worst. This isn't MySpace.

#3 We've also been struggling to find our place amongst the music-bloggers, which was never the intention of this website when it launched. We're not supposed to be a music blog. We've been accused of this more and more as of late, because people see "blogspot" and see that we're writing about music, and then assume that we're trying to do the same thing as gorillavsbear or whatever the fuck people are reading these days... The "bloggers" do their thing way better than we do their thing. In fact, we don't do their thing at all. This website is its own thing. It's not really a music website. But we usually end up writing about music. We don't want to fit in. We are not hipsters. We don't wear skinny jeans and we hate big black glasses. We listen to Pearl Jam. HIPSTERS DON'T LISTEN TO PEARL JAM.

This is not supposed to be a music website. It's more of a journal, and we'd like to make more of an effort to write about TV or politics or whatever, but the "write about what you know" thing points us in certain directions more than we'd like.

#4 Because of these reasons, 2011 might be the last time we do a big huge "best of the year" thing. In fact, it might not even happen this year. A similar thing happened in 2007, because we simply weren't feeling the music of that year. And it's happened again. It was a brilliant year for albums... An amazing year for unsigned rock and young rappers... But our thing is singles. We love radio singles. And this year, there was like, nothing.... So we're not sure what's gonna happen just yet, but it will happen soon enough...

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