Thursday, December 18, 2003

The last couple of days, I've been looking at a whole lot of best-of-the-year lists. I loves me some best-of-the-year lists. I love the complete futility of the whole endeavor, the idea that we can quantify art and reduce the things that we love to math. And I guess I should begin to address the fact that I sort of love math, despite years and years of telling myself otherwise.

One thing that's occurred to me when looking at the best-of-the-year lists this year: I am totally ready. I'm ready to take it to that next level. I'm a good fucking writer. A lot of the people who write for nationally recognized websites or magazines or whatever are not as good as I am. Some of them are pretty good or OK or crap. I'm better than those guys. There are still a whole lot of people much, much better than me (some of them have blogs, and some of those blogs are linked over there to the left), but that doesn't mean I'm not ready. I've been kind of afraid of advancing lately, not letting myself believe that I can write on the level of the big dogs. I'm too young or inexperienced or whatever. But I'm getting older now; some of the people who write for the Voice are younger than me. (How old is Jess Harvell? He might be younger than me.) It's about time I start sending out clips or apply to write at Pitchfork. I'm there. I can do this.

The City Paper year-end top ten is out now. I don't quite get it. I haven't even heard half these albums. I'm glad The Black Album got the top honors, rather than the main consensus candidates like Elephant or Speakerboxx/The Love Below, which are OK but not great. But Little Brother? The Twilight Singers? Sean Paul? Best albums of the year? I dunno, dudes. The Sean Paul and R. Kelly albums have great, phenomenal, amazing singles, but they also have a lot of shit. I haven't bothered with Stephen Malkmus or the Twilight Singers because both of them had boring first albums. Nothing I've read about the Drive-By Truckers convinces me that they'd even remotely appeal to me. I like how anachronistic the list is, but wow, City Paper writers agreed on just about nothing this year. I suppose I'll have to pick up that Little Brother album, though.

Also in this week's City Paper, the top ten local records. I wrote the blurbs for half the list, but I didn't order them. I like Cex's Being Ridden better than any of the records in the top ten, but we still don't get to write about Rjyan because of his old City Paper connection. And "Uncle Fucker" is a lot of fun, but I wouldn't put it above Lungfish.

One list I quite like: Pitchfork's Top 50 singles. There's a lot of great songs on here. My computer won't pick up ILM anymore, which sucks; I'd love to see the inevitable thread that this list inspired.