Year-End Analysis: Alt-Weekly Chain Perfects The Art Of The Narrowcast

Dec 28th, 2006 // 8 Comments

That map to your right is an illustration of the reach enjoyed by mega-weekly chain New Times Village Voice Media; this week, the network’s music editors have been releasing their end-of-year package across the nation. (So far, we’ve seen pieces of it pop up in Cleveland, Kansas City, Miami, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Broward-Palm Beach.) Chunked up by genre before being dispersed across the country, the pieces, taken as a whole, don’t reflect a critical stance as they do a singular sentiment: There was a lot of music that came out this year. Who knew, right?

THE GOOD: The real metal vs. hipster metal fight between the list of “hardest, heaviest metal albums” and the list of “heavy rockers that will also make you see stars of the hallucinogenic variety” is, at the very least, sort of entertaining. Time for a throwdown at the bro-down!
THE BAD: Breaking the lists down by genre probably seemed like a good idea when these pieces were assigned, but the end result is a slew of neutered recaps that read more like newsy rundowns than critical analyses. It’s hard not to wonder what records each writer would have written up had stylistic restrictions not been placed upon their choices–perhaps it would have given the pieces a bit of personality. And hey, maybe this writer wouldn’t have felt the need to laud the pile of sub-Paula Abdul dreck that Gwen Stefani squeezed out a few weeks ago.
THE WHAAAA? “Ultimately, as any Pitchdork blogger or college radio DJ worth his salt could tell you, indie rock is a shape-shifting term that encompasses any and/or all of those things. And many of my favorite releases this year offer a pretty good reflection of that sentiment.” Seems like a bit of a long-winded way to say “Hey, I liked what I liked, and yes, that includes She Wants Revenge,” no?

Music [New Times Broward-Palm Beach]

  1. BillRocksCleveland

    I thought the Cleveland Scene’s year end list was lame, and that’s before I noticed the exact same list printed in Broward-Palm Beach. She Wants Revenge makes as little sense in Cleveland as it does in Florida or NYC. I have to ask (rhetorically) what’s the point of having local music writers when your big year end story is copied in each weekly?

  2. alex!

    Kudos on the inclusion of Celtic Frost on the list from the CityPages…but why are they including a live disc (Bodom) and a b-side compilation used as a contract fulfiller (Mastodon) is beyond me.

  3. Michaelangelo Matos

    The Jean Carey electronic roundup has about one error per graf, is horribly written, and its thesis stopped being news for years ago. Jesus H.

  4. hndinglove

    so the fact that i also talked about robyn hitchcock, AFI, CSS, thom yorke, the shins and the nelly furtado record — something you guys unabashedly like — doesn’t fit in with the whole thesis, eh?

    and in terms of gwen, it’s a fun pop record. i’m not going to write thousands of words on its brilliance, and it can’t compare to no doubt’s stuff, but as a full-length, it by and large holds together. if any other artist released it, i think the reception would have been different, as it wouldn’t carry the baggage and reputation gwen has.

    and i liked my chemical romance long before the black parade (which was a disappointment, IMHO). google it.

  5. Michaelangelo Matos

    (um, that’s FOUR years, not for)

  6. lucasg

    i really can’t understand why so many hipster-types are sucking mastodon’s dick about this new album they have out. i thought it was terrible! had to force myself to give it a few spins. is it just a metal album for people who don’t listen to metal? is it cute and ironic to like it?

  7. any such name

    rumor has it scene in cleveland is going under.

  8. any such name

    rumor has it cleveland scene won’t be around much longer…

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