For the past 20-odd years I've been a "rock critic" voting in the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll of the year's releases. A few hundred rock critics vote in this ballot started by rock and roll writing guru Robert Christgau.
I try to keep a running list each year and what I end up with each January is my final ballot.
Unlike some folks who use the points system (100 total points to be divided among 10 releases) I just give everything 10 points, so placement in my numbered list is meaningless.
Below is my current list, which as you can see, goes to 11 (respect due, Nigel Tufnel). I'll sort that out when I'm forced to.
My hope is that you will alert me to any amazing records I might be missing.
I do have a fairly large stack of CDs to spend more time with, including stuff from Blitzen Trapper, Phosphorescent, Wolf Parade, Band of Horses and others. So, any of those might sneak in and oust some of these folks ...
- Justin Currie -- The Great War (Ryko)
- Alborosie -- Escape from Babylon to the Kingdom of Zion (Greensleeves/VP)
- Jaill -- That’s How We Burn (Sub Pop)
- Tracey Thorn -- Love & Its Opposite (Merge)
- Roky Erickson -- True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti-)
- Nathaniel Rateliff -- In Memory of Loss (Rounder)
- Stars -- The Five Ghosts (Vagrant)
- Paul Weller -- Wake Up the Nation (Yep Roc)
- Kings Go Forth -- The Outsiders Are Back (Luaka Bop)
- Stereophonics -- Keep Calm & Carry On (V2)
- The Acorn -- No Ghost (Bella Union)
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.