Defend Your Ballot: Rob Harvilla, 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, former Village Voice music editor Rob Harvilla defends his ballot.

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- The Confounding, Inexplicable Splendor of Rapper Future

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Running The Numbers: The Four-Disc, 73-Track Bob Dylan Covers Comp With Miley, Ke$ha, Lenny, And Many Others

Today Amnesty International releases Chimes Of Freedom, a really, really huge compilation of bob Dylan covers by artists both canonized and obscure. Trying to analyze such a huge undertaking can only be done in one way: Mathematically.

Amount of music in this collection: 73 songs on four CDs, totaling 313 minutes and 24 seconds. (You get three additional songs if you buy it digitally, for an additional eight minutes' worth of music.)

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Underwhelmed And Overstimulated, Part I: Was 2011 The Worst Year For Music Ever?

A number one song from 2011. Not really helping the year's case, this.
Welcome to the 2011 edition of the Sound of the City Year-End Critic Roundtable, an epistolary back-and-forth about the year in music between five observers of the medium: Tom Ewing; Eric Harvey; Nick Murray; Katherine St. Asaph, also of Popdust; and me. We'll be discussing the year in pop over the course of the next few days, in hopes that a few healthy arguments (nothing too knock-down, drag-out) ensue, and that even if we don't figure out any answers, we'll pose a couple of new questions as the calendar flips to 2012. As was the case last year, when music editor emeritus Rob Harvilla launched this initiative, we are totally ripping off Slate's Music Club, which is currently ensuing with five different music smarties. (Read 'em all!)

To start things off, I'll pose the question in the title, which spins off the query Rob posed at the close of 2010. That is to say: Was 2011 the worst year for music ever?

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Ke$ha Works Both Sides Of The Pop Aisle

This morning brought the release of "Sleazy 2.0 (Get Sleazier)," the all-star remix of Ke$ha's Dr. Luke/Bangladesh banger about men who are a bit too impressed with their wealth "Sleazy"; the new version contains the quietly gut-punching verse that Andre 3000 added to the original remix, as well as contributions from Wiz Khalifa (decent), T.I. (Coming To America-referencing!), and Lil Wayne (2010-retro thanks to the name-drops of Black Swan and Kings Of Leon?). While the braggadocio on the new verses clashes somewhat with the don't-need-your-money declarations of the original track (Three Stacks, perhaps unsurprisingly, got what Ke$ha was going for with his contribution), all three of the new verses sound pretty fantastic over the booming beat. Then again, it's so undeniable that me reading the phone book in a fake British accent over it might sound not-half-bad as well. Clip below.

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Live: Ke$ha Brings Her Loft Party To Jones Beach

Categories: Ke$ha, LMFAO, Live

Ke$ha w/LMFAO, Spank Rock
Nikon Theatre At Jones Beach
Saturday, August 20

Better than: Watching a live-action recreation of Vampyros Lesbos in Bushwick.

I wandered the parking lot of the Jones Beach Theater on Saturday night covered in glitter, delirious, and hoarse. The past 90 minutes had been spent singing along with Ke$ha, a particularly hedonistic pop star whose lyrical specialty is her own enjoyment; the whole night I kept thinking of Kathleen Hanna, the OG riot grrrl who espoused "the radical possibilities of pleasure" on a 7-inch back in her Kill Rock Stars days. She did so on a song called "I Like Fucking," a sentiment which, judging by how Saturday night spooled out, I think Ke$ha would embrace.

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Here's Hoping That Christina Aguilera And Maroon 5 Kill The "Lazy Mick Jagger References In Lyrics" Trend Dead


I mean, oh, honestly:

Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine of NBC's talent show "The Voice" are putting their voices together on a new Maroon 5 single. Aguilera is featured with Levine and his band on the tune "Moves Like Jagger," which will be released next week on iTunes.

"Moves Like Jagger"? You mean, like in the video for his embarrassing version of "Dancing With The Streets"? (SOUTH AMERRRRRICAAAAAA!!!)

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Big-Name Remixes: The Sound Of Labels' Panic Buttons Ringing?

Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends," the Ke$ha-penned second single from her album Femme Fatale, hasn't been out for very long. (Six weeks, give or take.) But already there's a splashy remix of the tune featuring both Ke$ha and Brit's future tourmate Nicki Minaj, who seems particularly energized here, stretching and bending her voice like it's a Plasticman doll while making reference to fried chicken and Ricki Lake. (There's also a fantastic little breakdown near the song's two-thirds point that adds just the right amount of aural intrigue to the proceedings.) Will this added starpower elevate "World" to the top spot on the Hot 100? Well, it worked for the last two singles that have been No. 1 following the weeks-long reign of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

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The Six Most Decisive Wins In Pazz and Jop History

arrested development.jpg
Not quite
Having spent the last two weeks poring through Pazz & Jop 2010, I've learned everything from the two albums most statistically similar to a bootleg compilation of early Bob Seger (those would be Flockaveli and Ke$ha's Animal/Cannibal combo) to the number of writers who ended their comments with an ironic "Get off my lawn!" (surprisingly, only two). As fun as those pieces of information might be, the most significant statistic this year remains the record-setting margin by which Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy won the albums poll.

In 1971's inaugural P&J, Who's Next topped Sticky Fingers 540 points to 332, a margin of victory that would not be overcome until 1987, when Prince's Sign 'o' the Times accumulated 1.63 times as many votes as Bruce's second-place Tunnel of Love. That record survived the '80s, but the last two decades have seen it broken again and again. Below are the six most decisive victories in P&J history, charting each year's top 3, sorted by total points and, in parentheses, total mentions. (Thanks, of course, to Robert Christgau's P&J database.)

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