Critics Poll XXVI — Singles

I used to think of Pitchfork as the critical equivalent of the Outback Steakhouse — not a destination in itself, but a place you might wind up at for reasons beyond your control. There you’d be served up something thick and oily, overseasoned yet somehow bland, and you’d consume it joylessly. At the end of your visit, you’d wonder why […]

Critics Poll XXVI — My Ballot

KRS-ONE once said that he didn’t understand how a person who didn’t know hip-hop could call himself an American. This is the sort of inflammatory (not to mention self-serving) rhetoric we all expect from the Teacher, but I expect you know what he means, and you might even agree. Hip-hop is American culture. If we didn’t have hip-hop, […]

Critics Poll XXVI — My ballot, part II

Single of the Year 1. Ezra Furman — “Lousy Connection” 2. Chvrches — “Clearest Blue” 3. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment — “Sunday Candy” 4. Tame Impala — “Cause I’m A Man” 5. The Decemberists — “Make You Better” 6. Drake — “Hotline Bling” 7. Kendrick Lamar — “King Kunta” 8. Natalia Lafourcade — […]


Although his killing made the news and was officially acknowledged by the President, I’d wager most Americans don’t know who Ahmad al-Awlaki was. Members of our government sure did, though: before al-Awlaki’s death by drone strike and maybe even after, he was counted among the most dangerous people in the world. The San Bernardino mass […]