Time To Raze The Village: Announcing Idolator’s 2006 Jackin’ Pop Critics Poll

Brian Raftery / November 28, 2006

For the last three decades, the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll was the premier music-critic survey in the country. Overseen since the early ’70s by Robert “The Dean” Christgau–and co-edited in recent years by Chuck Eddy–Pazz & Jop was a godsend for those in need of intelligent cultural criticism, a bellwether of the musical tastes of the nation’s critics, and a testament to the power of the independent press.

And this year, the Voice completely blew it.

A quick recap: Last fall, the Voice was acquired by Arizona-based publishing company New Times Media; it took only a few months for everything to go higgeldy-piggeldy. Christgau and Eddy were canned (along with several other respected critics and writers), and a seventh-rate American Idol nitwit went on the cover. For those who had long turned to the Voice to help guide them through the realm of pop, rock, and hip-hop, the 51-year-old alt-weekly now had about as much musical credibility as, say, a three-month old blog.

Which is why we’re proud to announce the Idolator Jackin’ Pop Critics Poll. Edited by Michaelangelo Matos–a Seattle-based music critic and author of the 33 1/3 book Sign O’ The Times–Jackin’ Pop will maintain the Voice’s thoughtfully anarchic approach to music criticism, merging it with the technological reach of Gawker Media. In the coming week, more than 1,200 critics, writers and editors will be sent ballots, and results will be announced Sunday, Dec. 31st.

As for who will be voting, we’ll allow Matos to explain, because he’s the only one crazy enough to take this on: “The Pop Poll is open primarily to people who write regularly about music in print, for broadcast, or on the web,” Matos says. “That means ‘regularly’–if you haven’t been writing lately, or limit your writing to discussion groups, we’re probably going to pass. All requests will be considered, though.” To be considered, send an email to matos@idolator.com
and include your name, your email, links to your blog and/or some pieces you’ve written during 2006 (if you primarily write for print, the name of your outlet(s) and a short list of recent work would be great; URLs to web-available work is even better). “If you write regularly already, we may well have your info,” Matos says. “But a quick double-check never hurts.”

Look for more Jackin’ Pop updates here on Idolator.com, where we look forward to analyzing, debating, and thoroughly mocking the results well into the new year.