Feature: Wednesday, January 2, 2003
List Me, List Me, List Me

For some reason, every time the holidays wrap up, folks begin wanting to look back on the past year. Anyway, HearSay usually watches its blood pressure skyrocket as your faithful columnist takes in all the anodyne lists that pop up everywhere. (Sarcasm incoming.) The “best” lists are usually those that have anything to do with that façade of a public radio network NPR. It wasn’t long ago, remember, that the NPhaRdly goobers threw together some sort of list of the Top 100 movies of all time — according, of course, to voters. Voters as in a bunch of Joe Publics. Now, any media type with a brain in his head knows that Joe Public doesn’t know shit about shit; least of all, shit about art — that’s why he’s Joe Public! A good, worth-a-damn arts and entertainment list should be constructed by good, worth-a-damn critics — smart people who spend every waking moment observing and thinking about art — and should be as subjective as possible. None of this “let’s let the people decide” bullshit. In case HearSay didn’t make the point strongly enough: People don’t know shizzit. After all, they’re the reason Friends stayed on the air for more than a day!

Critics know a lot, but crits come in good and bad sizes, too. Many of ’em (and HearSay knows of many) merely parrot what’s said by the real critics at The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times — what else can explain suck-boy Eminem’s popularity and critical success? The thing about getting a bunch of crits together to vote for their favorite hits, is that, like an NPRUserious endeavor, the result is surely to be predictable. But that’s exactly what the Voice does every year, and has been doing every year for the past 29 or 30 calendar flippings, through its “Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll” — getting crits together to vote for their faves. Why did HearSay and fellow Weekly scribe Ken Shimamoto participate in the poll? Obviously, because it’s a chance for us to tell everyone The Indubitable Truth.

So here’s HearSay’s list of its Top 10 singles and Top 7 albums (that’s all we could find) of the past year or thereabouts (in no particular order). Singles: “Hot in Herre” by Nelly; “The Rising,” Bruce Springsteen; “U Don’t Have to Call,” Usher; “Pass the Courvoisier,” Busta Rhymes; “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” Kylie Minogue; “Fell in Love With a Girl,” White Stripes; “Country Boyz,” Nappy Roots; “Just a Friend,” Mario; “Move B***h,” Ludacris/Mystikal/I-20; “Happy,” Ashanti. Albums: The Rising, Bruce; Power in Numbers, Jurassic 5; Largo, Brad Mehldau; Rock Steady, No Doubt; White Blood Cells, White Stripes; The Philadelphia Connection, Joey DeFrancesco; I Get Wet, Andrew W.K.

So there. Remember that this list is not up for debate — these are the best popular music products of the past year. What you say doesn’t matter, because you! are! wrong!!! Furthermore, HearSay isn’t sharing its prime space with Shimamoto, either. To view his list, either e-mail him at kenshimamo@hotmail.com or check out the Voice the week of Feb. 12 at www.villagevoice.com.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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