My 1999 Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll Ballot

Written for the Village Voice on January 06, 2000

Sigh. Just a few years of realizing a life-long goal of actually voting in this thing, I just couldn't get myself focused enough to scrape together a list. Dunno why: cept that for maybe the first time ever, (though, now that I think of it, 1990, was like this too) there wasn't any single record that emerged from the continual musical datastream I surround myself with and shook me to the core. I'm assuming that the problem is me, and not the current TRL-dominated popscene, which seems to full of nothing but sunny pop aimed at teenage girls or doomy rap-metal aimed at teenage boys.

Well that, and the .mp3 revolution, which has had the curious effect of narrowing the range of music I'm listening to, rather than widening it. Forget weeding through the vast obscure fields of, I'd much rather download another Dylan or R.E.M. bootleg from some outlaw Web site. Which, of course, cuts down on the amount of time I have to get into new music in which I am interested.

So I feel even more out of touch, and as a post-punk vet -- who self-identifies as at least somewhat adventurous -- I am probably embarassed that much of my list is full of faves that I've enjoyed forever. Good god -- the Too Much Joy outtakes album?? Gimme a break. And yet, I'll swear that it's funny, smart, melodic and rocking all at once, which is all I'll ever need from music. So that said, I'm willing to give myself the benefit of the doubt, and vote already:

Matthew Sweet In Reverse 15
Wilco Summer Teeth 14
Guided By Voices Do The Collapse 13
Old 97's Fight Songs 12
Gomez Liquid Skin 11
Beck Midnight Vultures 09
Robyn Hitchcock Jewels For Sophia 08
Too Much Joy Gods and Sods 07
Dan Bern Smartie Mine 06
Various Artists Grevious Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons 05

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I was listening to Son Volt -- Radio Sessions 1995-1996