Defend Your Ballot: Dan Weiss, Pazz and Jop 2012 Contributor

Pazz and Jop
You can't really know where you're headed unless you know where you've been. For that reason, we're taking a look back at Pazz & Jop 2012 to drill down into the ballots of contributors and voters who participated. Maybe amongst the rubble we'll find clues about what lies ahead for music lovers in 2013. Here, music writer Dan Weiss defends his ballot.

See Also:
- Pazz and Jop 2012: Top Albums

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Oddsmaking: Is The Best Dance Recording Grammy Basically Skrillex's To Lose?

If you think the opinions of critics and passionate fans of rock and rap and pop and country mean nothing to the Grammy Awards, being a dance-music fan widens the gap that much more. Essentially, if you're allergic to bottle service and/or newbs with glow sticks, you're better off crying into your pitch-shifter. The bulk of this year's Best Dance Recording roster is out to party like it's 1999—specifically, that year's Ministry of Sound compilations, only dumbed further down. Yet that's notable in itself—part of a shift exemplified last December, when I this Top 40 back-announcement: "I heard that overseas three years ago. That's how far ahead of the curve Europe is when it comes to dance music." That pronouncement is this category—which has six nominees instead of five—in a nutshell.

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20 Questions Brought Up By The Grammy Nominations

The Album of the Year nominees, as presented by Katy Perry.
Last night's Grammy nominations show was full of pomp, eyeliner, and people on Twitter becoming very confused. Here's the complete list of nominees; below, 20 questions that we're still wrestling with some 14 hours after the broadcast signed off.

1. "Super Bass": Robbed or totally robbed?

2. Now that Rihanna is officially an Album Artist thanks to her Album of the Year nod for Loud, are critics going to rush to reevaluate Talk That Talk before they file their Best Of '11 lists?

3. A song from freakin' Family Guy gets a nod in the Best Song Written For Visual Media category but the Lonely Island's "Jack Sparrow" doesn't? Come on.

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Live: Katy Perry Is Soaking In It At The Prudential Center


Katy Perry w/Robyn
Prudential Center
Sunday, June 19

Better than: Being sent to bed without dessert.

Pop music can be a funny thing sometimes. So often, the factors that divide fandom from outright loathing can be completely extramusical, yet they can still inspire frothing at the mouth/keyboard over the "realness" of performers and songs and such—look at the gallons of virtual blood that get spilled when you dare to compare Beyoncé to Gaga, Rihanna to Ke$ha, Britney to anyone.

It was with this in mind that I went to see last night's concert by Katy Perry, who has been a particular bane of my existence since "I Kissed A Girl" dropkicked itself into the national consciousness in 2008, and who many of my colleagues have tried to convince me to come around on. She was taking Robyn on tour! She was promising a trip to Candy Land with the purchase of each ticket!

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A Brief List Of The Things That Entered My Brain While Watching Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" Video

Categories: Lists, Robyn, Video

• "Dancing On My Own" (duh)
• Flashdance
• Herry Monster

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Live: Robyn Turns Radio City Music Hall Into An Epic Dance Floor/Mosh Pit

Radio City Music Hall
Saturday, February 6

Better Than: Any DJ that played "Dancing On My Own" on Saturday night.

"This is the biggest crowd I've pulled myself! Ever!" squealed a thrilled Robyn at the end of the first of two encores during Saturday night's sold-out performance at Radio City Music Hall. The last time we saw the Swedish gem perform, the night turned into a screaming, dancing mosh pit. Tonight was no different.

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The Ballad of 2010: A Journey Through the Insipid Year That Was

As previously noted, the pop-house that dominated the charts in 2010 was really fucking insipid. So to see this boneheaded year off, here's an anti-poetic tribute comprised of over 30 hits, misses, and album cuts that came out (or flourished) this year about going to the club, taking shots, dancing, and generally being as mindless as possible. If things continue on like this, you may not have to use your brain whatsoever in 2011. Fingers crossed! (Click on the line for its source track.)

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Rob Harvilla's Top 10 Singles of 2010

cee lo fuck you too.jpg
Not every great song this year was released by Katy Perry. From a snarling avant-electro NPR lecture to a haunted-house posse cut to a ludicrously profane viral sensation, here are 10 examples. "Teenage Dream" might still be better than all of these, though. Better get this started before I change my mind.

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Was 2010 The Best Year For Music Ever? Defending Taylor Swift And Hailing The-Dream

Welcome to Sound of the City's year-in-review rock-critic roundtable, an amiable ongoing conversation between five prominent Voice critics: Rob Harvilla, Zach Baron, Sean Fennessey, Maura Johnston, and Rich Juzwiak. We'll be here all week!

vibe dream cover.jpg
Happier times for us all
My friends,

It's the conflict-averse, namby-pamby Midwesterner in me that's triggering this urge to defend every artist this panel has so far attacked. Quite a list we've got going so far, guys!

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Was 2010 The Best Year For Music Ever? House Music vs. Hashtag Rap

Welcome to Sound of the City's year-in-review rock-critic roundtable, an amiable ongoing conversation between five prominent Voice critics: Rob Harvilla, Zach Baron, Sean Fennessey, Maura Johnston, and Rich Juzwiak. We'll be here all week!

The most important artist of 2010.
Hi everybody!

To completely gloss over the Taylor Swift effect (I listened to 30 seconds of Speak Now and thought, "Uh, no," and never looked back), and get to what actually matters: despite Sean's prediction, I don't even care enough about Dr. Luke to defile him. His is the sound of now, and that means so much more than what's actually going on within most of his producing. I think most of Teenage Dream is ingenious, though. It's an album of power ballads with house beats and rave sounds and blood-curdling yelping. We know the ingredients of this frothy girly drink well, but they've never quite been blended like this. Objectively, it rocks and knocks harder than Robyn's output this year, which may be precisely why those people who enjoy Body Talk would avoid it. Wimps.

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