It's been called our beauty pageant, our popularity contest, our way of crowning a homecoming queen, and our attempt to maintain our own legitimacy. But our annual Picked to Click poll is not about feeding anyone's vanity. It's about democracy, people—about the peaceful transition of power from one governing buzz band to the next. Many of you are too young to remember the chaos and bloodshed that once marked a new band's ascendancy to local popularity, but I can assure you, the streets were an ugly mess of maimed limbs and crimson-stained flannel.
This year, we celebrate the 17th lawful transfer of authority from one reigning band to another. Alarmists fans are, at this very moment, taking their much-loved copies of the Detail of Soldiers EP down to trade-in centers our volunteers have set up in grade-school gymnasiums across the metro area, where they will be exchanged for CDs of Mouthful of Bees' The End. It is a proud moment for everyone who believes in Western civilization and wouldn't mind a bit of a break from tightly written Brit-pop.
Here's how we built our musicocracy: We sent out ballots to as many scene citizens as we could track down. If you book a club, or write about music, or run a label, or send local spins out over the airwaves, you were probably sent a ballot. Your ballot was then f^*$!ng bounced back to me three times before you actually received it. And when ballots were returned, points were tallied thus: For lists of five bands ranked in order of preference, the top band received five points, the next band received four points, and so on down the line. For lists of five bands without any rankings specified, each band received three points. Lists with more than five bands got crumpled up and stuffed down my shirt. Ooooh la la, I'm a sexy laaadyyyy. The band with the least points won! Just kidding, Shoveldance. Better luck next year.
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