For the second straight year someone has reminded me in December that Mylène Farmer put out music this year, and of course I have to scramble to figure out where it goes on my end-of-year lists. Mylène, you have once again made a monkey of me.
(Two other tracks on Monkey Me are at least as good as this one: "Monkey Me" and "J'ai Essayé de Vivre...")
I like voting in it — stayed on board for the Jackin’ Pop year (voted in both polls) and have thought about staying on this year, since for better or worse it’s the only huge critics poll. Glenn McDonald is still doing stats, which alone kind of makes me want to participate. Just wondering if anyone is staging a parallel poll or “vote for Hinder” style shenanigans.
I'm voting (also voted in '06, when they fired Chuck and Xgau and, not incidentally, shut the door on me, too). The poll obviously doesn't mean what it once did: it's not going to reveal many surprises, since these days polls and wrapups and sum-ups are all over the Internet weeks and months prior. Also doesn't have the brains on call it once had. But it's the only place where ballots and writers show up in bulk, and it can provide an excuse for mass taking-of-stock all over the Web, not just at the Village Voice site. I remember some exciting ILM back-and-forth back in the day. Better some chance for a mass taking-of-stock than zero chance of a mass taking-of-stock, and there's no good reason for me not to be part of it.
What Is A "Single," And, By Negation, A "Nonsingle"?
Something's a single if it acts like a single or gets treated like a single, no matter what it is (even if it's a 50-minute webrip of a symphony). So "Gimme Shelter" is a single, "Stairway To Heaven" in its long version is a single, "Takeover" is a single, though none of those three was on an actual physical single. And certainly if it's promoted by the label as an album's or EP's "emphasis track" or "focus track" it's a single.
My attempts at affirmative action in support of vocal cords of the nonyoung, the non-Korean, and the nonfemale haven't netted me much beyond Neil Young, though I'll admit that those attempts were half-hearted. My exploration of the nonmainstream was even less-hearted and, not surprisingly, less successful — except that the never-predictable indie-rapper E.via reverted to a gem of a failed attempt to crack the mainstream (on this list at 26, though never higher than 100 on Gaon).
In the meantime, my respect for the power of human stupidity was reaffirmed by the viciousness and hysteria with which the Internet mob scapegoated T-ara, none of which has changed my limited understanding of the group. Over the last three years, T-ara have made the most consistently good music in earshot. I wonder if now, going forward, cuteness will feel like less of an option for them, and what the result might be. I was listening to Pere Ubu's "Heart Of Darkness" the other day and tried to imagine what it would sound like with Jiyeon singing; had the fantasy that people thirty-seven years ago who were like what I was like thirty-seven years ago might be able to speak across time and say something more helpful to Jiyeon than what the world around her is currently offering.
Here's a list that isn't much different from the previous one, or the one before that, and so on. I don't believe my tastes are narrowing, so I think this says something about the world, too. But it is true, for instance, that I haven't been diving into the tributaries and sidestreams and backwaters of country these days, being so disappointed with what's occupying the main lake that I'm letting the whole genre slide by. What's Willie Nelson doing these days? He's always up to something.
A peculiar thing happened over the last eight months, while 2NE1 was being my official favorite band in the world, which is that T-ara became the group I actually listen to most. That's one effect of T-ara being worked like dogs: they're always doing something — songs being performed to death, new versions of songs that are three weeks old, videos, sequels to videos, and on and on. While 2NE1 are calibrating their impact, T-ara are flooding the market.