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Balaclavas, Moccs, Fat Tony Place In Pazz & Jop Poll

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Music writers all know that once they get their Village Voice Pazz & Jop ballot in their e-mail inbox, that it's time to tally their loves from the last year. It's sort of like the leaves changing or the first freeze of winter coming. You get a message from Voice music ed Rob Harvilla and it's time to get to work on your lists of best albums and singles of the year.

This year the big album winners were Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem, and Arcade Fire, following the lead of most other 2010 lists. On the singles end, we loved Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You" almost unanimously.

West would end up taking three slots himself in the singles chart. The only West albums not to top the P&J poll have been Graduation and 808s & Heartbreak. He seems to be a critical darling, if not for his communication skills.

Rocks Off has been voting in the P&J for forever now, it seems, or at least since we first put out our shingle here at the Houston Press and Village Voice Media. Each year it's fun to see what all the other taste arbiters in your world were listening to all year, and judge whether or not they are just putting them on their list to look cool.

Since we know how much you love looking at year-end lists almost a month into a new year, here's ours. As you can see, in 2010 we were very high on the Rolling Stones, LCD Soundsystem, Beach House, Justin Townes Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Murder By Death, Jamey Johnson, Kings of Leon, Burzum, and yes, even Kanye West. "Runaway" is still a jam.

The fun thing about the P&J is that you can see how many others critics voted for your faves. Only three of us were into Burzum's first album in 11 years, Belus. Hopefully Varg Vikernes will be sending us flowers and beautiful note. Or a bloody ram's head.

Nobody else liked Murder By Death's Good Morning Magpie, which is a shame. The 11-track disc was a pleasure, and the whiskey-laced album was a great traveling buddy. Just check out the cut "Foxglove" to see for yourself.

Texas artists were scattered on the list, with former Woodlands cats Win and Will Butler coming in at No. 3 with Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Of the 1,844 albums on the list, Texas made a great showing.

Three standard-bearers of Houston's ongoing indie onslaught - Balaclavas, Fat Tony and the Wild Moccasins - all garnered mentions as well.


3. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

23. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part 2

28. Spoon, Transference

81. Roky Erickson & Okkervil River, True Love Cast Out All Evil

88. Jason Moran & Bandwagon, Ten

112. Patty Griffin, Downtown Church

152. Midlake, The Courage of Others

179. The Sword, Warp Riders

269. Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, Junky Star

274. Terri Hendrix, Cry Till You Laugh

295. Old 97's, The Grand Theatre Vol. 1

299. Black Angels, Phosphene Dream

345. Jon Dee Graham & the Fighting Cocks, It's Not as Bad as It Looks

407. Bun B, Trill OG

420. Ray Wylie Hubbard, A) Enlightenment; B) Endarkenment; Hint: There Is No C

470. Shinyribs, Well After Awhile

537. Strange Boys, Be Brave

649. Willie Nelson, Country Music

681. Dax Riggs, Say Goodnight To the World

689. Meat Loaf, Hang Cool Teddy Bear

761. Guy Clark, Some Days the Song Writes You

816. Ghostland Observatory, Codename: Rondo

860. Indian Jewelry, Totaled

886. Sarah Jaffe, Suburban Nature

894. Octopus Project, Hexadecagon

906. Jimmie Vaughan, Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites

909. Shearwater, The Golden Archipelago

963. Mother Truckers, Van Tour

979. Sahara Smith, Myth of the Heart

1067. Fat Tony, RABDARGAB

1145. Wild Moccasins, Skin Collision Past

1175. Mel Waiters, I Ain't Gone Do It

1400. Balaclavas, Roman Holiday

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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