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

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.

  • Nicolars

    Yay! I wouldn’t trust that weenie Rob Harvilla to edit an 8th grader’s research paper, let alone Pazz and Jop.

    Matos will do a great job (and I’m not saying that because I’m fishing for a chance to vote — I would only vote for Jordan and Peter Andre anyway).

  • Ned Raggett

    Yeah, Matos in charge = everything’s in very good hands. A fine public service yer all doing.

  • Catbirdseat

    T-minus 10 seconds until there’s an elbo.ws/vanilla thread filled with bitching by bloggers who don’t get invited.

  • Poubelle

    This excites me in ways I cannot possibly describe.

  • Jon W

    Matos, have you given any thought to a web based home for this poll? It is important to have the results preserved for perpetuity and it’d be really cool if all the voting data were available so people could play with the data. I seem to remember someone on ILM tallying the female critics votes….

  • cganz

    No reason to hate on Rob Harvilla, friends, but congrats to Idolator for nabbing Mr. Matos to helm this thang.

  • slutsguts

    great idea!!

  • Dickdogfood

    I don’t think having a “seventh-rate American Idol nitwit” on the cover of the VV is by itself a bad thing. Theoretically somebody with enough talent and insight could write an absolutely scintillating article; thing is, NOTHING in the article gave any reason why anyone should care about the guy.

    But YAH on Idolator jackin’ the P&J. (I woulda called it the Jack & Coke poll meself.)

  • Clare

    This is a great idea. I love year-end polls. I look forward to the (undeserved) critical drubbing Nelly Furtado’s record is going to get.

  • djp

    This is going to be really great and really overwhelming and awful to tabulate.

  • janine

    I loved the American Idol article, but I also enjoy schadenfreude. That mess was delicious.

  • yetimike

    Hooray, *my* all important top ten list will have a home this year (assuming I’m invited)!!! Matos is of course the perfect person to be in charge of this thing, too — good call there.

    Am I the only one who thinks the name, while cute and yes I ‘get it,’ sounds like the result of a (usually solo) sex act? That’s not in any way a bad thing, of course. Nor is it the first/ last time onanism and music crit. have met. (I think they know each other rather well…)

  • gorillavsmarykate

    I was involved in

  • gorillavsmarykate

    I was involved in Jackin’ the King of Pop, does that make me elligible to write?

  • Tracer Hand

    This new poll sounds like Tony Toni Toné album!

  • jyanosik

    i hope Xgau contributes his annual “Dean’s List”….that would be the best!

  • mackro

    yetimike is right, except replace onanism with acid house music.

  • AndrewTaylor

    Hey … you jackin’ it?

  • SlimShadenfruede

    Why the fuck do I keep ending up here? there is some serious wacky shit going on guys. I also see articles completely underlined in red. finally pissed off some powerful nerds huh?

  • bedpan

    i love the harvilla. hate on the voice if you want, but don’t hate on him unless you’ve got a reason, and i can’t imagine one.