It's no secret that we love the tUnE-yArDs.
Not only did we name Merrill Garbus and Co.'s sophomore album w h o k i l l one of our top five Bay Area albums of the year, but we checked in with the Oakland transplant about the Occupy movement and where to find the East Bay's best Thai food.
It looks like we're not alone in proclaiming Garbus's radness to anyone who will listen.
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w h o k i l l has come out on top in the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll of hundreds of music critics working at publications around the country.
Traditionally released about a month after most places put out their own "Best Of" lists, Pazz & Jop was intended by founder Robert Christgau (aka the "Dean Of American Rock Critics") to give the broadest possible survey of what people who like music professionally really, really like.
Unlike last year, when Kayne West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was the runaway winner, tUne-yARdS only barely edged out British singer-songwriter PJ Harvery's excellent Let England Shake for first place. Harvey was followed by Jay-Z and Kanye West's gold-plated ode to excess, Watch the Throne.
Interestingly, w h o k i l l was the lowest-selling album to ever top the list, which is indicative either of the divergence between critical favorites and the tastes of the actual record-buying public or the industry-wide across the board nose dive in record sales--probably both.
Other albums from Bay Area artists appearing near the top of the list were Tom Waits's Bad As Me at number five and Girls' Father Son Holy Ghost at 25, both of which also appeared on our local "best of" list. Ty Segall's Goodbye Bread came in at 100 and Thee Oh Sees' Carrion Crawler/The Dream was three below that.
Sadly, Primus's Green Naugahyde placed a full 808 spots below Lou Reed & Metallica's LuLu. That's notable both for how most critics tend to ignore the Bay Area's premiere mushroom metal band and also that people somehow thought there were over 800 albums released last year were worse than LuLu.
Check out this slideshow of reasons why the tUnE-yArDs are awesome: