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Monday, December 08, 2008 

It's a blue, bright blue Saturday

So the PopMatters top 50 singles list is up. I have one blurb, for #11 (found here). It's an interesting list, and well written, but I'm definitely feeling a little twinge of loss this time of year - I'd kill to see what Stylus' list would have been like.

And an excellent blurb it is too, for an excellent song.

Thank you, sir!

I wish I hadn't flubbed the apostrophe at the end there, though.

Nice job, Ian, very visceral. I find these short-short-short things sort of challenging, in a crossword puzzle way.

I didn't do any singles, because what I like mostly are songs that will never be singles. (though what "singles" means in the age of iTunes is anybody's guess. it's a long way from bringing your babysitting money to the JC Penney's on a saturday and buying one of those little records with a hole in the middle anyway.)

Hope all's well and you're having a not-too-frantic, enjoyable holiday season.



Thanks, you too! I feel like my blurb is almost cheating a bit because my take on the song is heavily influenced by my friend Will Swygart, whose blog post on the subject I read before I heard "A&E" and is also one of the better things written about music anywhere in 2008.

I always have a really hard time with singles lists just because, as you say, I no longer know what qualifies. I like them, but there's always so many that others vote for that I forgot or didn't think of that they're basically meaningless (although I'm feeling more and more like that about album lists too!). Did you get any blurbs for PM's album list? I didn't.

Things aren't too frantic yet, but I start my new job a week and a half before Christmas, so that's fun. I feel like I owe you an email, but I don't see anything likely in my inbox... am I just being forgetful?

I got a couple of reissues (Big Dipper, Roy Harper), but my main list was way too weird for them.

As am I...

I found that classic rock quiz sort of revealing actually...lots of pop people over there.

I definitely feel a bit less mainstream-y than much of PopMatters, which is weird because I always felt like one of the more MOR guys at Stylus. Man, you should have written for Stylus Jenny, you might have loved it there (the message board was always a bit of a locker room, though). I should remember to check the PM staff board again.

After Splendid folded, maybe a while after, when I'd been doing features for Justin for some time, I did get invited to write for Stylus, but I was just so overcommitted that I couldn't take anything else. It seemed like a really good publication, though. It's too bad it's gone. I miss Paper Thin Walls, too.

Dusted is really my favorite, even though I have extreme feelings of inadequacy there. You can listen to a show on WFMU and get all hyped up about some obscure reissue or new band, and then look it up, and mostly Dusted is the only one who's covered it.

Also, they don't feel compelled to write about things just because the bloggers are on them.

I know what you mean about it being a bit more "Pop" than Stylus would have been (and I wrote about #45 and #30!). Maybe it's just this year and the music that people could agree on? I feel like the "indie" or non-mainstream stuff has been so diffuse, there aren't so many obvious choices and you're not going to get a lot of albums or songs that unite people as "the best".

I respect the hell out of Dusted (and the same goes/went for PTW), but I've never really had time to read it. I used to read everything on Stylus, but these days I just skim PopMatters and check Pitchfork for the bylines of friends. It's kind of sad, but what are you going to do?

Dave, I think that's a valid point, but I did look over last year's list and I think I'd feel if anything even more out there in comparison. Good blurbs, in any case - I'd never heard of Ragnstam but he sounds interesting, and although I admit I've never gotten into Lidell yours is the latest in a string of writing by people I respect that makes me think I should try again.

It is so much more difficult now there aren't obvious singles as such as you say.

I think "A&E" would be top of my list though, excellent write-up and totally agreed on WBS's.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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