by (@kat_george)

tUnE-yArDs, Adele Top The Annual Pazz + Jop Music Critics Poll

Pazz + Jop, The Village Voice‘s annual music poll that aggregates the opinions of thousands of music critics based on their votes for single and album of the year, has just been released, and it’s very similar to all the other ‘Best Of 2011′ lists we’ve read. That is to say, there aren’t really any surprises, maybe just a slight reshuffling of the order. In that vein, Adele appears on both lists, with 21 ranking at number 6 for albums, and “Rolling In The Deep,” and “Someone Like You,” featuring at number one and nine respectively on the singles list.

Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the lists is the order itself — while Adele sits snugly where she’s always sat, several pop stars have found their way into Pazz + Jop’s top ten singles, where other end of year lists had them pulling up the ranks much further down the line. For instance, BeyoncĂ©‘s “Countdown” makes it to number two on the singles list, with Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” at number three and Britney Spears’ “Til The World Ends” at number seven. All in all, however, the top 10 singles featured the usual suspects, from Azealia Banks, Jay-Z and Kayne West, M83, Lana Del Rey, Tyler The Creator and Foster The People, there was nothing particularly shocking about the ballot-topping artists.

It was a similar story in the albums list, which, as already mentioned, saw Adele near the top, followed closely by Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver at number nine. Perhaps of a slightly “buzzier” lien than the singles, the albums list saw critically acclaimed tUnE-yArDs‘, w h o k i l l come in at number one, with PJ Harvey‘s fawned over artwork, Let England Shake at number two, and Wild Flag‘s unexpected success, Wild Flag, at number four. Jay-Z and Kayne West, Destroyer, Drake, Tom Waits and Shabazz Palaces also make the top ten albums but again, no surprises other than ranking — these are names we heard all through 2011 and that at the end of the year were plastered across the lists we saw online in both blogs and music industry and expert websites.

Pazz + Jop [The Village Voice]

by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Kelly Clarkson Is Stronger On Saturday Night Live

This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Kelly Clarkson tore the stage down (not literally, that would be vandalism and so not cool) performing “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”. Glamorous as always in smoky eye makeup and a spangly tank top, our girl Kelly didn’t miss a beat as she belted out her latest hit. Taking the power anthem to another level, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” sums up Kelly almost perfectly — she’s our favorite soldier, and an inspiration to anyone who’s ever been down on love. We’re so proud of her for being the first musical performer on SNL for 2012 — it looks like this might just be Kelly’s year, as it’s already off to a roaring start!

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Death Cab For Cutie Get Emotional With “You Are A Tourist”

Death Cab For Cutie took to the stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live and it was a resounding “Awww, big cuddle!” from us to the newly single Ben Gibbard (give us a call, yeah?). From their latest album Codes And Keys, Death Cab played “You Are A Tourist” (above) and “Underneath the Sycamore” (after the jump). In the truest, most emotionally sentimental yet frank lyricism that Death Cab has adopted as their niche, “You Are A Tourist” has all the floating whimsy and grand cavernousness of “Expo 86″ and “Marching Bands Of Manhattan.” With a certain soaring hopefulness beset with often gnarly or despairing lyrics, Death Cab have the Robyn thing (happy sadness) down pat.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Pains’ Peggy Wang Picks Her Fave Acts


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are no strangers to SXSW. In 2009, they were one of the most buzzed-about bands in the lineup, thanks in part to a debut album that generated a home run in the press. The indie-pop act, including keyboardist/singer Peggy Wang, is releasing their sophomore album, Belong, on March 29. Early word on the street: It’s as catchy as the debut. Here’s the video for Belong‘s first single, “Say No To Love.”

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "Say No To Love" from Mixtape Club on Vimeo.

The Pains are performing several SXSW shows. After the jump, Peggy’s picks:

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