Frank Kogan’s 2021 ballot

Frank, from his 2021 ballot:

I joked that I was doing the Uproxx [critics’ poll] as a conceptual art piece, i.e., I knew my ballot wasn’t going to make an impact. But I was actually doing it to combat my alienation and to engage with some of my critic friends via email. Then when Chuck tipped me off to the P&J Rip-Off thing I jumped in further. I worry that this conflicted with my other listening and writing, and that I’m e.g. putting off writing about singles and about baile funk in particular ’cause I want what I write to be good and not too overwhelmingly ignorant, meanwhile I’m lounging around in album rabbitholes.

I am so far removed from all of these worlds—Uproxx, Pazz & Jop Ripoff, even Facebook at this point—but glad Frank and some others whose work I’ve felt a kinship with over the years (less because our tastes are closely aligned) are not (though I guess he’s also admitting he sort of is?). I will certainly try to listen to some of Frank’s list; always on the lookout for new, different wild things. (But am I really open to this? I don’t know anymore. It always sounds good to say that, but…)

P.S. Here’s the Uproxx poll results.


5 thoughts on “Frank Kogan’s 2021 ballot

  1. Thank you, Scott.

    The Pazz & Jop results are here; navigation guide is here.

    My post was deficient in that I didn’t say anything about the music, which is something I hope to do later (“hope to” “do”; “hope” “to do”; which verb will end up the effective one?). But I’ve been getting ever more lax about posting end-of-year lists not too far from the actual end of a year – or even in the following 24 months – so I felt like throwing one up quick on my LiveJournal, at least.

    A quick question, though – but not a quick answer, I’m sure:

    What do these end-of-year polls do? What do they accomplish? What have they done in the past? How do people use them these days, and how did they use them those days?

    Pazz & Jop took in a bit of the world and tried to engage the world. Maybe Uproxx hopes to. The Pazz & Jop Rip-Off is buried within a Facebook community – though maybe for those within the community there’s big engagement. It’s run by a couple of people in their spare time, so the resources don’t seem to be there to push further, at the moment.

    Anyway, haven’t read the Uproxx blurbs yet; the site feels uncomfortable, as if it wants to be on top of trends but doesn’t have a sense of where it itself trends. But I don’t know that, just a feeling from looking at titles without having read anything, so take my impression with a grain of salt.

    Don’t know if there’s a swirl of conversation and inquiry that is generated by either of these polls. I haven’t seen it, but would I?

    What population do they draw on, reveal (in their results), speak to?

    Not a lot of women participating.

  2. I don’t know what purpose these polls serve, or for whom. I figure a good policy is don’t vote in any poll you have no interest in reading after the results are posted, though I guess in theory at least you can’t always determine that in advance (though it’s not difficult to predict that most if not all publication-oriented polls will be boring), and anyway I broke that rule several times myself , being barely interested in the Voice, or what people had to say about it, by the time I was voting in pazz & jop.

  3. The music that used to be the essence of Pazz and Jop (I was an original contributor, since 1974) is disappearing: album artists, and albums. None of my students in my Writing About Music class at St. John’s U in New York even think in terms of albums. All depend on Apple Music or Spotify playlists; we’re devolving quickly to the point that they might not even know the artist, though they recognize the song.

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