With just a couple days left in 2011, you’ve already seen every best album list and best song countdown. You’ve furrowed your brow over Pitchfork’s newfound AOR obsession, and guffawed at Rolling Stone’s inclusion of Turtleneck & Chain in their top 50. But there’s a whole host of lists out there uninterested in albums and singles, preferring to rank music’s ephemera instead. And we’ve waded through all most of them to give you the five best music wrap-up lists of 2011. What better way to crawl to the end of this purgatorial work week?
1. Flavorwire’s Music List Decoder
The folks at Flavorwire analyzed the outliers in the top ten lists of 10 publications like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Gorilla Vs. Bear to tell you which list is right for your tastes — essentially decoding the musical Rorschach tests of 2011. Takeaways: RS is for baby boomers trying to stay hip (uhDOY), GvB is for fans of hazy ’80s nostalgia, Wire is for the music that even Pforkers have never heard of, and Spin is for mainstream hipsters (a.k.a. “mipsters”…we’ll trademark that).
2. Clutch’s Top Juggalo Moments
Depending on who you talk to, 2011 was either The Year of Dubstep or The Year of Juggalos. Led by the Insane Clown Posse, the Faygo-chugging, facepainted hordes and their horrocore rap-rock made their mark this year, and our friends over at Clutch listed the five moments that prove it. When entries include Charlie Sheen, Jack White, and the FBI, you know it’s more than a passing Midwestern fad.
3. Stereogum’s Indie Crushes
Stereogum readers voted on the 20 most crushable indie babes and rocker dudes, including surprises like Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag, Casper Milquetoast James Blake, and Ryan Gosling. In an upset, Annie Clark of St. Vincent beat out Lana Del Rey’s pouty, buzzy lips for the top female spot, so head on over to argue about it in their comments section.
4. NME’s Best Quotes
The British hype rag collected the 20 best soundbites from musicians, featuring a predictably confusing Kanye boast, Tyler, the Creator’s shockingly empathetic take on Justin Bieber, and some trademark sniping from The Brothers Gallagher. The most headscratching entry, though, has to be Metallica’s Ayn Rand-like confession that they study emerging markets to maximize profit.
5. Hipster Runoff’s Top 10 of 2k11
Carles over at Hipster Runoff ran down the ten best things of the year, his hyper-insular faux list parodying our collective year-end listgasm. In the process, he basically unleashed the dirty secret that all these year-end lists are just a bunch of Mad Libs — you can rearrange the band names and adjectives, but it’s all the same crap surrounding them each December. And we can’t wait until next year’s batch.