Today, hundreds of writers received invitations to vote in The Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop poll, a music journalism mainstay since its launch in 1971. Founded by Robert Christgau, the self-appointed but generally recognized Dean of American Rock Critics, the poll has been the most inclusive within the wide-ranging field of year-end lists, for the simple fact that it polls more writers than any other publication. (Our forthcoming year-end lists polled something like 30 writers, for example.)
One thing, though: The poll is no longer called Pazz & Jop. Instead, the poll has been renamed to the infinitely more boilerplate Music Critics Poll. It’s an unexpected break in tradition considering recently-installed owner Peter Barbey’s explicit overtures at returning the long-running New York alt-weekly to its former glories.
This is a really small thing to care about, obviously. The poll will be the same in every other way. Pazz & Jop, or the idea of it, still holds a certain kind of traditional acclaim within music writing. Even during the Voice’s fallow years, the poll remained something writers would eagerly vote for, in order to continue a decades-long tradition.
The Village Voice did not respond to our e-mail before publication. Reached for comment about the name change, Christgau told SPIN, “Wish they hadn’t. I still think it’s a cool name.”