If there was any doubt or confusion in your head that the end of the year is approaching, the oft-maligned "best of..." lists are starting to sprout like daisies all over the internet. God knows that much of the WFMU staff will be hitting you with their own versions soon enough. Consider yourselves warned.
Two rather ambitious lists were recently brought to my attention: Detroit's Metro Times alt-weekly offered up the "100 Greatest Detroit Songs Ever" and Blender.com compiled the more worrisome "100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever".
I'm always suspicious of these kinds of lists because I can't help imagining that numbers 5 through 100 are assigned completely at random, and then the top picks get argued over just before presstime. In the interest of fairness, it should be stated that I'm not from Detroit and I'm only peripherally interested in most of what gets called "indie rock". But I'm compelled to add that I was more inspired by the Metro Times' irreverence, shameless genre-hopping, and up-front admission that there was no science to their methodology. That's the kind of "best of..." list that I can get behind! The indie rock list mostly reinforced my fervent wish that people my age would knock it off with the ceaseless Pixies worship. Although they didn't take Blender's top position, the general vibe of their countdown is one I associate with people who regard the Pixies as my generation's Led Zeppelin. ("Pixies revisionists", a friend recently called them.) Lots of great bands, but when all grouped together as a "canon", not as much fun to think about. And really, if I thought it would make the slightest bit of difference, I would climb up to the roof right now with a megaphone and yell the following: [MP3]