Which poll is the real music scribes' poll?

by Jason Gross

30 November 2006


In light of the upheavals at the Village Voice, Idolator has taken upon itself to start up its own year-end poll of music journalists.  Previously, Chuck Eddy and Robert Christgau had run the famed Pazz and Jop poll at the Voice for years but as you know, the management there foolishly decided that neither of them had a place at the Voice anymore (Eddy is now at Billboard, Christgau is now at NPR).  And now, Idolator has its own version of P&J where they’ll be collecting the massive wisdom of hundreds of scribes.  However, the Voice itself is still doing the P&J poll regardless- that means that they’ll be competing polls.
As a New York Times article details, Michaelangelo Matos will be running the Idolator poll while Voice music editor Rob Harvilla will be running P&J.

It’s not that I haven’t had issues with P&J myself- hell, I had plenty of complaints about it (see Pazz and Jip) when Eddy and Christgau were running it.  But nevertheless, I participated in it.  I liked the idea of figuring out some sort of barometer for music and where it was heading, even if many of my own faves were left out. 

It was tough enough to decide to still write for the Voice after Eddy and Christgau were dismissed but now some writers are wondering if they should still support P&J or go with the Idolator poll.  I’ve written for the Voice for a while myself and haven’t been happy about the recent changes there though I still pen an article there now and then.  Also, I’ve known Matos for a while (we used to be roomies) and I have a lot of respect for his work and his seriousness when it comes to the idea of music scribing tradition.

As noted in the Times article, Christgau himself has already decided that he’ll participate in both polls.  To me, that seems like the most sensible thing to do.  There’ll be some people who’ll think that they have to side with one faction or another but I don’t see any reason not to be involved in both, seeing as they both have the same goal (and assuming that I’m invited to participate in both or either of them this time). 

As it stands now, I’ve already voted in two year-end polls and it ain’t even December yet.  That’s not to mention my own poll that I’ll be putting together for my zine in the next few weeks.  And you thought we scribes were crazy about lists…

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