I've got a whole city to hold down

December 16, 2004

Greg Kot responds to year-end list debate

From: Chicagomuzik
To: Greg Kot
Subject: You've got fur flying at Chicagomuzik


We posted your year-end lists to the blog this week, and like any list that matters they've started a heck of a debate.

Thing is, the debate is not about WHAT you included, but WHY you did so. Or put another way, the debate is about you and your motives, not the music and its merits.

So while on the one hand we could certainly understand it if you'd rather not get down in the mud, on the other hand we wanted to give you the consideration of a chance to reply on the blog.

In service of doing so, what follows are the comments posted so far. If you'd like to reply via e-mail, we'll publish your response on the blog as we did re your Wilco book - and as we've also done this year in conversations with the likes of Clarence Page, Empty Bottle and MP Shows reps, and more.

In rock (oh no maybe i'm not supposed to say "rock" for fear of being branded with the R word),
Jack Flack


From: Greg Kot
To: Chicagomuzik
Subject: Re: You've got fur flying at Chicagomuzik


Appreciate the head's up, and I welcome the dialogue.

Each of my top 20s (15 and counting, I think) has been guided by the same criterion: These are the records that entertain me the most at the end of each year. The "best examples of vitality" line was the conclusion of a long introductory essay to this year's list that was cut for space reasons at the 11th hour. A better way of saying that is that these records are vital to me: I played Kanye, Madvillain and Streets (as well as Isis and Fiery Furnaces) more than any other records this year and I still haven't tired of them. When I road-trip cross-country next week, they'll be the first three in the CD player. What makes a record resonate? If I can keep coming back to it and be dazzled each time by something new. I like records that seem to expand with repeated use.

Re: Wilco. As I've said/written several times this year, A Ghost is Born is Wilco's third best album, behind Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth. For my money, Fiery Furnaces made their Yankee Hotel Foxtrot this year.

I'm not particularly aware of what the "insider's darlings" are each year. If I am an insider, it's by accident. I have yet to see any year end-lists besides my own. I do know that I enjoyed the Gris Gris record, which I picked up at a show they played in LA last spring, a lot more than Arcade Fire, which I hear everybody except me loved.