The New York Times' Ben Sisaro on the latest attempt to supplant the Village Voice's venerable critics' poll — memo to Glenn Boothe, you've been ripped off, brother!
This week Idolator, a newish music blog owned by Gawker Media, seized on the outrage and disappointment felt by critics around the country who saw the recently fired Mr. Christgau (above) — and Chuck Eddy, the Voice music editor, who was dismissed in April — as a force of credibility and journalistic continuity, by announcing its own poll, Jackin’ Pop.
“For those who had long turned to The Voice to help guide them through the realm of pop, rock and hip-hop,” the announcement read, “the 51-year-old alt-weekly now had about as much musical credibility as, say, a three-month-old blog.”
The new survey will be organized by Michaelangelo Matos, a well regarded freelance writer who has served as music editor at the Voice-owned Seattle Weekly. (When New Times Media acquired Village Voice Media, it also took its name.) Jackin’ Pop will have some new technological bells and whistles, like demographic breakdowns of ballots, but will largely be modeled after Pazz & Jop. Mr. Matos, 31, said it was as much a homage to that model as a protest against the new Voice.
But based on an unscientific survey of far fewer rock critics than the 800 or so who usually contribute to Pazz & Jop — Mr. Matos said he was shooting for 1,200 — the presence of a rival is less likely to cause a rift among critics than a shrug, because of doubts about Idolator’s ability to match the quality and breadth of Mr. Christgau’s work and about the future of rock criticism itself.
I don't know if this qualifies as "a rift amongst critics", but the Idolators claimed yesterday that "an email is circulating among New Times staffers that not only talks up how great their poll is going to be this year, but also warns its staffers not to vote in our poll!"
Matador's annual round-up of staff and artist faves-of-they-year concluded will be running quite soonish, and I can make the following guarantees :
a) the diversity of the recordings chosen will make both the Pazz & Jop and Jackin' Pop polls look quite dull by comparison.
b) at least a third of the recordings selected will have actually been listened to more than once by the poll's participants
c) Not only are Matador staffers highly encouraged to vote in both the Pazz & Jop and Jackin' Pop polls if they are invited and/or eligible to do so, but the entire workforce is expected to turn up at the office this Saturday for a full day of online voting for the 2007 Plug Awards.