Friday, January 05, 2007

Words of wisdom from the world outside

The Idolator Jackin' Pop poll is finally up. It's a massive list, and I haven't parsed it all yet, but the various breakdowns in the demographics section are revealing. It's also nice to see some non-pop critics like James Hale and Alex Ross get in on the action, and that Christgau is as omnivorous as ever. NPR covers the Internet rebellion against the Voice, with Sasha Frere-Jones providing insight.

I've been channel surfing over the holidays, and sometimes land on the best-of/worst-of/encapsulate-the-year-in-an-hour shows on MuchMusic and its sister stations. One little bit struck me, from a MuchMoreMusic wrap-up, lambasting some starlet-du-jour and stating, "If talent actually mattered, everyone would love this guy!" I don't disagree - Ron Sexsmith is among the top songwriters in Canada - but it set me on a train of thought about the industry, reminiscing of the buzzwords from the Future of Music Coalition meetings in October.

If the kingmakers - or at least their writers and on-air personalities - prefer substance over style, then why isn't Ron Sexsmith given similar rotation to Fergie? Or even a fraction of it? (This is assuming music videos still made up the majority of programming, which is not the case.) A yearly tradition is Ed the Sock (a sock puppet meeting of Oscar the Grouch and Triumph, for the non-Canadian readers) openly mocking the fromage of whatever year, which usually happen to be the most highly played videos in MuchMusic's repertoire. I guess the 15 minutes of fame doesn't care if it's comprised of bad press.

Is the mainstream still really that commercial, or is it a case of all the alternatives in the indie world split the vote? With all the press and adulation Gnarls Barkley got, I still only saw the video twice, and have only heard "Crazy" on radio a handful of times.

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