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

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...

Not counting the two misguided souls who voted for Beyonce's I Am... Sasha Fierce, good enough to place an album released in 2008 at No. 565, the first Houstonian we found was all... the... way... down at No. 898. Critics are asked to distribute 100 points among their 10 choices for single and album (albeit no more than 20 or less than 5 for any one), and someone gave Slim Thug's Boss Of All Bosses 12 of theirs.

So congratulations, Houston musicians - rockers, rappers, honky-tonkers, blues cats, all of you. You are officially off the national musical radar. All the way off. But we're OK with that if you are - personally, we kind of like having the country's best-kept secret of a music scene down here on the bayou.

The 2010 P&J big winners should surprise absolutely no one who even remotely pays attention to these sorts of things (a constituency that is, Rocks Off is fairly certain, mostly other music critics). The top three were Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion (meh), Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (which we did like) and Neko Case's Middle Cyclone (which we kind of liked).

Texas' 2009 champ turned out to be St. Vincent, who lives in Brooklyn now but whose Actor placed No. 12. Miranda Lambert's Revolution came in at No. 25, and would have placed higher had either Rocks Off, our buddy Lonesome Onry and Mean or the Chronicle's Joey Guerra voted, probably the only time ever in the history of humanity such a statement is true. No other Texans placed in the Top 100.

On the singles side, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" won in a walk. The only Texans in the Top 50 were St. Vincent's "Actor Out of Work" at No. 42 and Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" at No. 47. So... yeah.

See everything you could possibly want to know about the 2010 Pazz & Jop poll here.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray