I LOVE COUNTDOWNS. End of the year, end of the decade, end of the world, whatever. As long as someone is labeled the best or the worst, I'm happy. I don't have to think about it anymore; I have it on paper that this artist or release is better than anything below it. I can't think for myself, but I can count from one to 100, and I know that one must be better then 100. What's so wonderful about the end of the year is that there are countdowns for music all over the place. And the end of this year is the mother lode. Not only can you count down the best of the year, but you can count down the best of the '90s! Or even better, the best of the century. Sure Leadbelly, Elvis, Willie Nelson, the Beatles, and Nirvana seem very different, but someone somewhere will tell us that Elvis is better than Leadbelly and the Beatles are better than Willie Nelson and Sgt. Pepper's is better than Nevermind. And I won't have to form my own opinion. I like Ricky Martin, who is #19 of all time, so I must love Johnny Cash, who is #18. Simple. But who is it I have to thank for this system of telling me who is the best? Who votes for this? Who could possibly list the best artists or albums of the entire century! Who would be able to differentiate quality from popularity, and talent from hype? Who could look at an artist like Bob Dylan and say he is in fifth place while Prince is in fourth? Who cares! If it's on a list, it must be fact, and if you are asked to put something on a list, you must be someone who knows something about what the hell you're talking about. I've never been asked, but I've never claimed to really know something about anything.
As far as this year's countdown goes, local band Juno's this is the way it goes and goes and goes is at the top of the list. I'm not sure about the rest of the countdown, but I do know that if there is another release better than Juno's, I haven't heard it.
Tune into 90.3 FM KCMU's Best of the Decade countdown starting on John's show at 9am on New Year's Eve. But don't worry: It's a listener vote.