Spoiler: Fleet Foxes ftw! I’m excited to see ’em win (and my album of the year, Cut Copy, in the top five) and a little shocked that No Age didn’t take the top spot — I figured they’d be a lock for it, given the band’s blend of post-Sonic Youth experimentalism and vegan cookie-eating. (Though talented, they will not be on my list.)
(Photo by Frank Chromewaves)
I won’t go into the rest of the list, which you can see here, mostly because nit-picking anyone else’s list but your own is a fool’s errand, but, An explanation: Pitchfork gets a lot of play here, much more so than any other music publication. Why? I grew up reading the site; in high school, their ’90s lists and early ’00s picks — back before they grew infatuated with hip-hop, expanded the staff, and started breaking away from the guitar-centric indie rock that initially defined them — helped shape my taste. For a while, they were exceedingly trustworthy for my weekly record store trips (minus Neon Golden, ugh). So it’s been fascinating and occasionally disappointing to watch them expand their range of coverage and adapt to the shifting currents of what’s left of indie over the years. (I think “indie” has about as much meaning left as “alternative” did when we started using it in reference to Nickelback, but that’s another post.)
Anyway, folks, chime in — as indie’s biggest arbiters, where did Pitchfork go right and wrong? I’m not happy about the absence of Okkervil River and Lambchop, especially given how boring that Bonnie “Prince” Billy album that made the cut is, and I was crossing my fingers for Gentleman Jesse. (Another thought: As good as Fleet Foxes are — and I love ’em — does their album even come close to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or You Forgot It In People or Alligator or any of the decade’s best? Nah. Bum year.)
And since I know you’re wondering: The Rawking Refuses To Stop!‘s top 50 songs list will be posted on Tuesday. The best non-2008 discoveries of the year goes up Wednesday, and in a Christmas miracle, albums of the year will be posted on Thursday. I’ll see you then.