How Far Did We Have to Scroll Down In the 2010 Pazz & Jop Poll to Find a Houstonian?

Categories: 2009 Rewind, Lists
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Congratulations, Slim Thug! Your album was Houston's biggest critical success last year... sort of.
Our sister paper in NYC's Cooper Square, the Village Voice, released its Pazz & Jop poll Thursday. The annual coast-to-coast survey of music critics ranks the previous year's best (according to them, anyway) albums and singles.

Rocks Off did not vote this year - as we wrote in the paper paper a while back, the only 2009 album we thought was strong enough all the way through to merit inclusion on any kind of "Top 10" list was the Decemberists' The Hazards of Love (which came in at No. 29). Plus, the week the ballots were due we were getting ready to take the next week off and... well, we kind of forgot.

However, Houston was well-represented by Rocks Off No. 2 (aka Craig "Hella" Hlavaty), our own "Classic Rock Bob" Ruggiero, the Chronicle's Andrew Dansby, former Chronicle music critic Rick Mitchell and Houston Calling chief/occasional Press contributor David A. Cobb.

Or perhaps we should say at least Houston was fairly well-represented among the 697 voters. Now, about that question in the headline...

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Lonesome Onry and Mean: Three 2009 Albums That Didn't Get Enough Love

A few more records from 2009 that deserved more mention than they got. Jesse Winchester, Love Filling Station: At 70 years old, the music industry's most notable Vietnam draft dodger delivered as soulful and wise set of songs as anyone on the scene. Love Filling Station has become some of our favorite late-night dinner music. It soothes, yet it digs deep. And when Winchester covers a song, it gets covered!More »

2009 Concert Rewind: ACL, Before, During and After the "Shit-Mud"

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Mark C. Austin

This is the very, very, very, very last thing Rocks Off has to do before we're off New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and the whole blessed weekend after that, so we'll tell you what: Click right here and feast on our copious ACL '09 coverage to your heart's content.

We are so outta here. Happy New Year!

The 11 Stupidest Events from the World of Music, 2009 Edition

Hi there, 2009. Please have a seat. Are you comfortable? Would you like some coffee, or perhaps a cigarette? No? Okay, good. Let's just cut straight to the point, then. You suck, and frankly we're sick of your bullshit.

You were an awful year, filled not just with economic collapse, scary right-wing backlash, and a multitude of celebrity deaths (some of whom we didn't even hate), but some of the stupidest music-related shit we've ever seen. Oh, you don't believe us? Well, that's okay, 2009, because you see, we've been taking notes. Here are all the dumbest events within the music community to happen during your irresponsible tenure.

No no, stay seated. Seriously, move again and we'll break your ankles.

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Beasting Off the Riesling: The Most Ridiculous Lyrics of 2009, Part 2

New Kids on the Block, "Dirty Dancing"

"It's so crazy/ She's like 'Baby'/ I'm like Swayze"

One would think that the last thing the somewhat revitalized New Kids on the Block (or is that NKOTB?) would want to do is remind people that it's not 1987 anymore. Perhaps, however, we shouldn't think of "Dirty Dancing" as an early-2009, anachronistic attempt by a bunch of 40-year-olds to stay relevant to teens. We should just think of it as a prophetic tribute to Patrick Swayze, sadly a ghost before his time.

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2009 Concert Rewind, September: Taylor Hicks, Chickenfoot, Abbey Road, Monotonix, Butthole Surfers, Happy Mondays... and Creed

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Craig Hlavaty

Collective Soul, House of Blues, September 1: "Collective Soul is no one's idea of a Southern Rock band, but the band did manage to prove a point or two. First, nostalgically speaking, the '80s are over. The '90s are where the money is. Second, Kings of Leon hardly sprung from a vacuum. Let's hope the Followill boys give credit where it's due, because their stringy-haired sex on fire owes an awful lot to Collective Soul." Chris Gray

The Box Elders, Mango's, September 2: "The Elders' set felt less like a show than five really killer and forgotten Nuggets-era 45s played in quick succession. Each song would have sounded amazing coming out of a tinny old portable turntable." Craig Hlavaty

Fruit Bats, Walter's on Washington, September 3: "Plenty of 70's country-rock inflection, brightly chiming guitars, twangy pedal steel that somehow sounded breezy instead of mournful and Johnson's effortlessly lovely voice all came together for a set that could be registered with the FDA as some sort of over the counter anti-depressant." Nicholas L. Hall

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Beasting Off the Riesling: The Most Ridiculous Lyrics of 2009, Part 1

The lowest common denominator having been achieved in 2005 with the release of the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business, popular musicians have had to work extra hard in recent years to find new and inventive ways to be inane. They found great success in 2009, with artists as varied as Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and Royce da 5'9" making the nation collectively dumber. Here are the Top 10 most unintentionally hilarious song lyrics of the year.

10. Bruce Springsteen, "Queen of the Supermarket"

"I'm in love with the queen of the supermarket/ As the evening sky turns blue/ A dream awaits in aisle number two"

It was shaping up as a good year for Bruce Springsteen when the most cringe-worthy thing he'd done was stick his crotch in the camera at the Super Bowl halftime show. But then came "Queen of the Supermarket," which tells the story of a horny shopper having the most pathetic mid-life crisis imaginable. To fully appreciate it, watch this video of folks shopping for produce as you contemplate transcendent poetry like "Though her company cap covers her hair/ Nothing can hide the beauty waiting there."

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The Incredible Truth: The Best Southern Rap Albums (and Mixtapes) of 2009, Part 2

5. Z-Ro

Cocaine (Rap-A-Lot)

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With Z-Ro's long-awaited album Heroin delayed, Cocaine ended up as the appropriately named followup to 2008's Crack. Though Cocaine was originally intended to be a mixtape put out by little-known producer DJ Drama Queen, it more than holds its own as a proper album. Full of swirling, cinematic beats from Z-Ro himself, it's the latest from a melodic-flowing MC who still hasn't quite gotten his due.

4. UGK

UGK 4 Life (Jive)

Mostly recorded before Pimp C's syrup-related death in late 2007, UGK's probable swan song is a compelling testament to Pimp's skills, despite barely acknowledging his passing. There was never much room for downcast introspection in the duo's songs, anyway, and so it's probably for the best that the record focuses on what Pimp and Bun B always did best: rhyme about their whips and their dicks.

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2009 Concert Rewind: Backtracking to Free Press Houston Summerfest

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Craig Hlavaty
"Hippie Mike" may have been a bigger hit at Summerfest than any of the bands.

Craig Hlavaty: "The two-day concert reminded us of a fun-size Austin City Limits Festival, with the best bits of Westheimer Block Parties of yore thrown in for good measure, with sprinkles of Houston's best and brightest personalities sprinkled throughout. The biggest treat was the seemingly vegetarian crowd, meaning there was no beef.

"The norm for Houston festivals in the past has been a tornado of male angst and posturing. Hugs and smiles abounded as old friends became reacquainted or people bonded together over beers, body paint, sweat, and music...

"All told, Houston shone Saturday and Sunday. With each passing hour, smiles got bigger and expectations for next year's event began to grow."

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Lonesome Onry and Mean: This Is Not (Really) a Best-Of-2009 List

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Lonesome, Onry and Mean saw a great comment from Dave Alvin on Facebook recently that went something like this: "I do not do Best of lists or End of the Decade lists, the only lists I do are 'crap I have to do' lists."

We gladly second that, Dave, as there is nothing other than Christmas shopping that LOM would less rather do than make up a Best-of list. In fact, for the fourth year in a row we didn't submit our choices for either the Village Voice Pazz and Jop list or the Nashville Scene's annual Best of Country Music list. It's just too arbitrary and confusing, and to pretend that you've heard and understood and neatly classified all the music that is coming out is absurd on its very face.

Still, the editors scream for best-of lists at this time of year. [Ed note: Sue us. Lists are easy, and we need content.] So as far as we are concerned, what better way to end it than to do what we did last year: with a brief, very unscientific, very arbitrary list of the music LOM played the most in 2009.

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