Pitchfork People's List: Minneapolis voters love Neutral Milk Hotel more than Radiohead
More like No Way Computer.
Earlier today Pitchfork unveiled it's grand social music experiment, The People's List, a reader generated ranking of the top albums during Pitchfork's first 15 years, 1996-2011. 27,981 music fans voted in the poll, which allowed them to vote for as many as 100 records in their individual lists, resulting in 116,009 total albums receiving votes.
Not too surprisingly, Radiohead's icy ode to both the benefits and ills of modern living and the technology that has permeated it, OK Computer, was voted in as #1, with their bleak but beautiful follow-up, Kid A, placing second in the poll. Arcade Fire's rousing debut full-length, Funeral, came in third, followed by Neutral Milk Hotel's idiosyncratic stunner, In The Aeorplane Over The Sea, and the Strokes feisty first album, Is This It, rounding out the top 5.
And while the overall list doesn't provide too many surprises, especially for regular Pitchfork readers (who consistently validated the indie tastemaker's Album Of The Year selections throughout), what is intriguing about the list is the various breakdowns of the patterns of voters, as well as the specific Top 20 lists of the 25 individual U.S. cities that Pitchfork provides, which includes voting statistics for both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
And what stands out most vividly is that Minneapolis is the only city in the U.S. (or the rest of the world, whose results are broken down by country) which didn't select either OK Computer, Kid A, or Funeral as our Number 1, as we instead went with In The Aeorplane Over The Sea (perhaps because we're all still reeling from Jeff Mangum's stirring performance at the State Theatre earlier this year).
So chalk one one up for Minneapolis in showing a bit of originality in our voting. We also snuck The White Stripes big breakthrough, White Blood Cells, in at #16, along with The National's glorious Boxer standing out at #19, followed by DJ Shadow's groundbreaking ...Endtroducing at #20.
St. Paul meanwhile, went with OK Computer and Kid A as their first and second choices, respectively, but also had both Bon Iver records in their Top 20, along with Belle And Sebastian's landmark, If You're Feeling Sinister, proudly sitting at #17. But overall, there isn't much difference between the tastes of Twin Cities music fans on both sides of the river.
Other interesting observations on the list is that a whopping 88% of those who voted (and chose to disclose their gender) were males. I'm sure that the overall Pitchfork readership doesn't skew that much towards guys, so what was it that kept the ladies from taking part in the voting?
Also, when taking into account Pitchfork's somewhat confusing Distinction Index (which incorporates various reader data--age, gender, location, genre preference--for each album and determines favorite albums that are specific to those variables), Tapes 'N Tapes raucous debut, The Loon, sits at the top of the Minneapolis list with Modest Mouse's odds 'n sods collection, Building Nothing Out Of Something, right behind it.
While in St. Paul they like things a bit louder, as the dynamic metal churn of Blue Record by Savannah, Georgia's Baroness comes in first, balanced out by the muted poignancy of Low's, Things We Lost In The Fire.
No matter what you think of Pitchfork's influence (or lack thereof) on the current musical landscape, or their somewhat self-referential People's List, it's gratifying to look back on the albums and artists that have made an impact on us over the last 15 years, and to realize that, no matter what Rolling Stone has to say, some truly groundbreaking, landmark records have been released as of late. And the People's List is just one small way to celebrate these albums and what they mean to us.
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