For the first time in about a decade I didn't vote in the Pazz & Jop poll. The deadline was last Monday (Jan 3) and on Sunday I started thinking about it but eventually left it alone. There are a couple of reasons: The first is that this is also the first year in about 22 or 23 that I didn't publish anything about music (except a bit on this blog which doesn't really count). Sorta connected to that I didn't completely keep up with current musical events, at least not in the P&J-accepted way by contintually reviewing new stuff, checking out radio, reading magazines, etc. I actually listened constantly but when one of my faves of 2004 was Mahler's First Symphony, well, I haven't been exactly on the cutting edge.
If I had voted I probably would have included Goodbye Babylon, Franz Ferdinand, the new Sonic Youth, Mekons and Fennesz albums, maybe the Bad Plus or Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia, probably recent Matthew Shipp but I couldn't find my copies to double-check those, maybe Isaiah Owens, Caetano Veloso, that live Hound Dog Taylor, etc. I'm still sifting through Smile which didn't entirely convince me the first couple of listens and raves from other critics that I thought very uneven were Madvillain, Eminem, N.E.R.D. The Gray Album and the Streets.
Actually for me the most important musical event of the year was Kyle Gann's Postclassic Radio which at times edgec out my beloved WFMU for time. Postclassic has been a continual revelation with an unusually high percentage of music I'd want to hear again.