Tag Archive | The Village Voice (New York City)

Pazz & Jop 2016 – 44th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

pazz-jop-2016Pazz & Jop 2016
44th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

overview
the critics
my ballot

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

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We Are Living in the Golden Age of Band T-Shirts

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Today’s Band T-Shirt Trends Are Getting Ridiculous and Awesome
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Aug. 8 2014

Band shirts used to be a way to easily identify other members of your tribe. It was a method of claiming allegiance without saying a word, a way to help find other like-minded people. People wore their love on their sleeves, quite literally. Back in the day you couldn’t just creep on somebody’s FaceSpace profile or look up their online playlists to find out their tastes in music, so kids who wanted to rep their favorite band had to wear the dang shirt. I know when I was a young lass, I was certainly intrigued by any gentleman wearing a Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt. (Bad move. Most dudes who like Dinosaur Jr. are emotionally damaged beyond repair. I am prepared to argue this point at length.)

And while there were t-shirt ordering magazines (remember Rockabilia?), for the most part to get the dang t-shirt you had to go to the show. So the shirt didn’t just mean that you liked the band, it meant that you showed up for the band, which spoke even more to your devotion.

When I was a teenager, band shirts usually didn’t come in smaller sizes or tailored for women. Kids these days are so spoiled, I swear. We had one choice: wear the XL or nothin’, so we walked around like dopes with giant sheet-like T-shirts that draped from our collarbones down to our knees. The shirts were ill-fitting (especially if you’re like me and have a bountiful bosom) and of poor quality, but we walked uphill in the snow both ways to get get them, goshdarnit.

Nowadays I’m far too picky for such shenanigans. I’d feel dumpy in an XL sized men’s shirt and, well, I just don’t want to talk to strangers. Creeps often see band t-shirts as a way to make contact and I don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to talk to them about the bands we have in common and I don’t want to feel obligated to explain to them about bands that they don’t know. And I certainly don’t want to get trapped into having to give some stranger dude a high-five because we both like Echo & the Bunnymen or whatever.

You like whatever music you like and I’ll like whatever music I like and we can just leave each other alone. I’m old and cranky.

But sometimes I see a band shirt that makes me change my policy. Band t-shirts have gotten so much more interesting in recent years and there have been trends that I can totally get behind when it comes to band fashion.

Like all members of my generation, I’m a sucker for things that are clever and when I saw the Beach Boys / Black Flag one I had to buy it, even though I’m still not sure how to wear it.

It’s two bands in one, see?

I’m a big fan of the Black Flag logo. Probably a bigger fan of the logo than the band, even. It’s so great. It’s simple and unmistakable and representative and everything that a good logo should be and, man, there are a lot of Black Flag parody t-shirts and other items out there for sale. A small sampling from our friend Google:

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Another of the all-time great band logos came to us from the Ramones. Designed by graphic artist Arturo Vega (long time art director for the Ramones), it is a rip of the US Presidential seal and it has since been aped, itself, in various hilarious fashions.

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My favorite trend in music merchandise is this one particular style where a shirt appears to be advertising one entertainer, but is actually showing another. My winner in this category is the Nirvana / Rihanna shirt. It’s so delicious. Even setting aside my special interest in both Nirvana’s music and Rihanna’s life, this one still gets me. It’s that subtle little detail in the mark below the eye. Well done.

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Other stand-outs in this category include these purposefully (and hilariously) mislabeled shirts featuring Lou Reed / Iggy Pop, Bob Marley / Jimi Hendrix, RuPaul / Beyonce and Blur / Oasis. So cheeky. So trying-to-make-me-buy-them.

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And check out my friend Sam rocking the amazing Beyoncé / Misfits mash-up:

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Tons of band logos have also been mocked by genius specialty company Monsters of Grok. Here, you can find the names of all of your favorite scientists and philosophers presented on shirts in familiar logo form. Show off your smarts, rocker. Witness:

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The final greatest newer trend in band shirts is minimalist-designed apparel. It’s popular trend applied in many formats, but can be especially appreciated by music-minded architecture snobs and font fetishists. (I’ll admit: I’m guilty here.) These stylized screens are usually engineered to distill a band down to its essential core: its members. I’ve seen this style in person many times and just a few weeks ago a roadie for Veruca Salt smiled and pressed this guitar pick into my palm as thanks for supplying his singer with some ibuprofen.

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What’s your favorite T-shirt trend? Are you a grown-up who still buys and wears new band T-shirts? They seem so much more fun now and I’d like to get with some of these new designs. Teach me how to wear these things again without having to do some complicated, elaborate upcycling artistry. Maybe pillow cases are easy enough to make, right? And buy me this because I need it. I don’t know why, but I need it:

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link: Riverfront Times
link: the Village Voice
link: Minneapolis City Pages

Pazz & Jop 2012 – 40th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll


Pazz & Jop 2012

40th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

Taylor Swift + Pizza = Synergy? Ordering Red From Our Local Papa John’s

If you get an extra pizza, make it into a Taylor Swift face!

Taylor Swift + Pizza = Synergy? Ordering Red From Our Local Papa John’s
By Jaime Lees
Tue., Oct. 23 2012 at 1:04 PM

When I found out that Taylor Swift’s new album, Red, would be available via Papa John’s Pizza delivery, I pretty much had the same thoughts that I had upon hearing the first single off of Red: The fuck? Followed by: Mmmm. Tasty.

Modern record labels are working hard to find new ways to get the product to a paying audience. From free promotional downloads to bonus gifts to direct crowd-sourcing, there are many inventive ways to advertise and distribute new albums.

Nobody wants CDs anymore, they want exclusives and some kind of novelty factor. Swift’s freaky-smart management recognizes this and promoted accordingly. In addition to the Pizza Party plan, this album is offered up in multiple formats by many different vendors. Four singles were digitally released in advance of the album, with some setting download records. The version of Red sold at Target includes six bonus tracks and a different cover photo. (This model also served well for Swift’s last album, Speak Now.) And even Walgreens is in on the action, selling everything from Taylor Swift notebooks to branded guitar picks, and all of this is available 24 hours a day.

And while I celebrate every hustler, this pizza thing has gone beyond slick and into just… weird. Still, I decided to play along. I called up my local Papa John’s to get the details and place my order. My Papa John’s worker, Melanie, seemed more than a little confused by the whole thing. She said that I was only the second person to order the Swift pizza/CD combo from her location.

When my driver arrived, I tipped him well and asked him a few questions about delivering the CD. In broken English he said, “Oh, yes, I deliver all the time! Everybody love it!” I’m not sure who to believe, but I think that he thought that I was flirting with him.

I brought the pizza inside to my waiting friends, and we got right to it. They gave me two pizzas even though I only ordered one, so we thought our party was on. As it turns out, Papa John’s pizza is kind of disgusting. Still, we chewed and we listened, making quick judgements on each song as my underused CD player kept stalling and threatening to skip.

Overall, the album is a lot like the pizza: cheesy, a little too sweet, and then unexpectedly saucy. I’d heard all of the pre-released singles, but the album as a whole was still a surprise. We were one-third of the way through the sixteen-song album before we heard anything that sounded even remotely country. Swift does seem to be expanding her sound, but not her topics. It’s all love, love, love, but I’m not sure why I expect something else from her, even at this point. What do I want her to do now? Write a political song? No. Hell, no. I don’t know. I just want her to be more subtle, I think, but it’s all right there.

The song styles and artwork are both varied to the point of schizophrenic, so the long album stays interesting. The pictures inside the booklet all look straight out of an Anthropologie catalog, and each song has a different photo of Swift to accompany the mood. The lyrics are all there, too, but with (annoying) seemingly-random letters capitalized. I’m sure the Letters contAin some kind of secret Message, but I can’t be arsEd to decode it. In addition to the light twang she’s known for, one song sounds like U2 (“State of Grace”), one song sounds like Jason Mraz (“Stay Stay Stay”) and yet another sounds just like a dreamy Mazzy Star tune (“Sad Beautiful Tragic”).

Like all Swift albums, I have my both my instant favorites (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) and songs that I immediately dislike (“The Last Time”). Still, the magic of Taylor Swift usually prevails, and even the songs that I’m not into always seem to grow on me after repeated listens. But do you know what I won’t be repeating? Eating a freakin’ Papa John’s pizza. Gross. Papa John’s, we are never ever getting back together. Like, ever.

link: The Riverfront Times
link: The Village Voice

Pazz & Jop 2011 – 39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

Pazz & Jop 2011
39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

 

Pazz & Jop 2010 – 38th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

Pazz & Jop 2010
38th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”

Pazz & Jop 2009 – 37th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

Pazz & Jop 2009
37th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll

“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”