2005 Poll Results!

By shane

Ah, 2005, we hardly knew ye.

It seems like just yesterday we were tallying up the votes for the 2004 poll, blissfully unaware that we were mere months away from using the words "Arctic Monkeys" in everyday conversation. Yet 2005 arrived, Arctic Monkeys and all, in all its glory. We had some great records, we had some crap records, and we had a whole lotta inbetween. That's where our annual poll comes in, wherein we let the members of our e-mail discussion list sort the year out for us (basically so that we don't have to.) Hundreds of ballots later, we've got our tabulations and present to you once again the results of our 2005 Members Poll. (Click on READ MORE to, well, read more.)


2. The Magic Numbers
   The Arcade Fire
   Death Cab for Cutie
   The Decemberists
   Kaiser Chiefs
   Patrick Wolf

Wasn't even a contest. When was the last time that a debut band rolled around and so clearly took Artist of the Year? Not since Oasis have we seen such a feat. So great was the power of Bloc Party this year that virtually noone voted for anyone else - hence the umpteen-way tie for 3rd place. If you think THAT'S bad, you shoulda seen the 19-way tie for 4th (no joke.)


1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Doves - Some Cities
3. Sigur Ros - Takk
4. The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers
5. Gorillaz - Demon Days
6. Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth
7. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
8. Elbow - Leaders Of The Free World
9. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
10. Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
11. Ladytron - Witching Hour
12. Coldplay - X And Y
13. The Decemberists - Picaresque
14. Editors - Back Room
15. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
16. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
17. Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
18. Kasabian - Kasabian
19. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
20. M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
21. Stars - Set Yourself On Fire
22. Clientele - Strange Geometry
23. MIA - Arular
24. Raveonettes - Pretty In Black
25. The Go!Team - Thunder Lightning Strike
26. Supergrass - Road To Rouen
27. New Order - Waiting For The Siren's Call
28. Nada Surf - The Weight Is A Gift
29. Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
30. Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
31. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
32. Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
33. Idlewild - Warnings/Promises
34. Pernice Brothers - Discover A Lovelier You
35. Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll
36. Beck - Guero
37. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
38. Mark Gardener & Goldrush - These Beautiful Ghosts
39. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
40. The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
41. Hard-Fi - Stars Of CCTV
42. Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
43. My Morning Jacket - Z
44. Sleater-Kinney - Woods
45. I Am Kloot - Gods And Monsters
46. Patrick Wolf - Wind In The Wires
47. Metric - Live It Out
48. Mercury Rev - Secret Migration
49. Engineers - Engineers
50. The Tears - Here Come The Tears

Another fairly odd year. You've got Bloc Party CLEARLY having the year of their lives, nailing both Artist AND Album of the Year honors. You've got stalwarts that will always make the Top 10: Doves, Oasis, etc. And you've got perennial winners not even making the Top 50 this year (see: Super Furry Animals, who only managed to crack #57 with "Love Kraft." Oh, the times they are a-changin'...


1. Gorillaz - Feel Good, Inc.
2. The Bravery - An Honest Mistake
3. Doves - Black And White Town
4. Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch
5. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
6. Gorillaz - Dare
7. Magic Numbers - Forever Lost
8. Kanye West - Gold Digger
9. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
10. LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
11. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
12. Bloc Party - Banquet
13. Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body
14. Madonna - Hung Up
15. Coldplay - Fix You
16. Editors - Munich
17. Elbow - Forget Myself
18. Raveonettes - Love In A Trashcan
19. Doves - Snowden
20. Futureheads - Hounds Of Love
21. Pernice Brothers - There Goes The Sun
22. Radiohead - I Want None Of This
23. Depeche Mode - Precious
24. The Magic Numbers - Morning's Eleven
25. The Tears - Refugees

Otherwise known as the year that Top 40 was inescapable. We won't make the argument that Gorillaz count as "Top 40," because that's an example of a good song actually managing to make a commercial dent. BUT... Kanye West? Madonna? Kelly Clarkson? It can ONLY be pointed out that, despite our collective leanings that usually go faaaar left of the Top 40 dial, that Kelly Clarkson tune was probably the catchiest, most inescapable, can't help but jump up and down like a loon whenever it's on sort of songs that's ever graced the radio dial.


1. New Order - Singles
2. The Fall - Complete Peel Sessions
3. Sonic Youth - Goo (Deluxe Edition)
4. The Cocteau Twins - Lullabies To Violaine
5. V/A - Help: A Day In The Life
6. Kraftwerk - Minimum:Maximum
7. Morrissey - Live At Earl's Court
8. Belle And Sebastian - Push Barman To Open Old Wounds
9. Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible: 10th Anniversary
10. V/A - One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost And Found

Very much a catch-all category this year. The New Order best-of probably ended up topping the list just because it came out so recently it's still in our minds (though, admittedly, it is one HELL of a compilation! Also making the Top 5 is the Cocteau Twins 2CD set that makes those of us mad who spent umpteen billion dollars importing every single and b-side all those years, and the new "Help" compilation, which might be the first chart placement from a record initially released just on the net (though the CD can now be bought in stores.)


1. Oasis
2. Radiohead
3. Doves
4. Blur
5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
6. Charlatans
7. Elbow
8. New Order
9. Supergrass
10. Depeche Mode

Well, well. Will ya look at this. For the past two years, Radiohead have won this award hands down. But lo and behold, the Gallagher brothers sneak their way to the top of the category. Perhaps it's cool to like Oasis again? Is the backlash over? If it is, you know it'll start back up again soon. And how about THIS one for ya: Last year's #2 was Belle & Sebastian; this year, they've disappeared from the Top 10. Perhaps people are still trying to make heads or tails of the rather "unique" sound of the band's new record that leaked all over the internet last month...


1. Interpol
2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
3. The Pernice Brothers
4. The Dandy Warhols
5. Of Montreal
6. The White Stripes
7. The Arcade Fire
8. The Dears
9. Sleater-Kinney
10. Nada Surf

Two years rolling for Interpol to top the list... yet look above, they don't make our top 10 favorite bands category? Odd... Who cares, though, because I'm happy -- it only took 4+ years of trying to tell you guys that they're the best band in the world for enough people to finally vote Of Montreal into a Top 10...


1. The Magic Numbers
2. Editors
3. The Fab Faux
4. Euromotion

And who WOULDN'T be happy discovering The Magic Numbers? They're like the feel-good pill of the year. And who'd have thought that some session musicians from Letterman and Conan covering the Beatles would turn into the cultural zeitgeist of the Fab Faux? (At least a zeitgeist if you live on the East Coast!) On the west coast, you've got EUROMOTION, who take German industrial art-dance parody to an artform in itself. Brilliant.


1. Coldplay - X And Y
2. Daft Punk - Human After All
3. Idlewild - Warnings/Promises
4. Babyshambles - Down In Albion
5. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have Had It So Much Better

Maybe another accolade for Bloc Party should be that noone voted for their album as Disappointment of the Year, as quite often our Album of the Year also ends up being our Disappointment. This year, people apparantly got tired of Chris Martin's love odes to Gwyneth and free trade... while also casting a scowl at Daft Punk's robo-obsession, Pete Doherty's heroin shambles, and Idlewild's record, well, I haven't met anybody who actually LIKES that record yet.


1. Patrick Wolf
2. The Arctic Monkeys
3. Johnny Boy

Now that Patrick Wolf's signed to a major label, maybe 2005 will be the year that everyone catches on to his greatness. As for Arctic Monkeys, the British press have all but crowned them Rules of Earth 2006 already, so their ascension should come as no surprise. Honestly, though, this category can be a BIG indicator. Who was our 2004 brightest hope for the future? Bloc Party.


1. Ladytron - The Witching Hour
2. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
3. M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us
4. Fischerspooner - Odyssey
5. Gorillaz - Demon Days
6. Ellen Allien - Thrills
7. Royksopp - Understanding
8. Boards of Canada - Campfire Headphase
9. Chemical Brothers - Push the Button
10. Lemonjelly - '64-'95

It's almost starting to feel outdated, isn't it, this category? Electronic music has melded with the mainstream to the point that it's hard to merit it on its own anymore. The vintage greats -- the Orbitals, the Ultramarines, etc. -- are all getting dusty. Daft Punk, we're starting to believe, really WERE talented guys now taken over by mindless robots. Basement Jaxx, let's admit it, are all but an R&B band now. And speaking of hip-hop, what to do about a band like Gorillaz? Are they Top 40? Hip-hop? Electronica? Genre defying? This category felt a bit like Go Fish this year, and we fished for Ladytron & LCD Soundsystem almost universally in 2005.


1. Ladytron
2. LCD Soundsystem
3. M83
4. Chemical Brothers
5. Gorillaz
6. Basement Jaxx
7. Royksopp
8. Fischerspooner
9. Nine Inch Nails
10. The DFA

It's almost like an exact replica of the electronic album category, innit? The only thing to note here is that, without prompting, our members have, for the first time that we can recall, voted in a pair of PRODUCERS - namely the DFA - into the Top 10. Despite having never released a proper album under "The DFA" name, these 2 guys were responsible for a great deal in '05. Even though many magazines called them sitting ducks at the beginning of the year, the duo defied critics and rolled out both the LCD Soundsystem and the Juan Maclean albums, two of the danciest things to hit the airwaves in ages.


Chris Walla

Otherwise known as the guitar playing dude from Death Cab for Cutie, Chris Walla has made a name for himself as producer extraordinaire, helming the Decemberists, Nada Surf, and Death Cab albums this year.


1. Batman Begins
2. Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
3. Sin City
4. Brokeback Mountain
5. The 40 Year Old Virgin
6. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
7. Walk the Line
8. King Kong
9. March of the Penguins
10. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit

A year ago, if you'd have told me that a battle among our year-end films of the year would be between a movie about gay cowboys and a documentary on penguins, I might have just scratched this category right off the bat. Despite winning the hearts of everyone, though, not even gay cowboys could pull "Batman Begins" from the #1 slot. The winged wonder won by a mile this year, easily beating such heavyweights as Star Wars, Harry Potter, & King Kong. Shane thinks it's all 'coz Katie Holmes is a hottie.


1. Lost
2. Arrested Development
3. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
4. The Office
5. Family Guy
6. 24
7. Project Runway
8. The Simpsons
9. Six Feet Under
10. Gilmore Girls

Okay, so it's public apology time. Last year, "Lost" swept this category in its debut season on ABC. And, yeah, me the non-watcher made a crass crack or two about it being, umm, less than good. That was before I watched it. Now, after a mere 30-some odd episodes, am convinced that it's the best thing to hit our airwaves since "Twin Peaks." At least it's the most addictive, that's for damn sure. And nobody's arguing with me, because "Lost" took this category by a wide mile over #2 "Arrested Development."


1. Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live
2. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
3. Nick Hornby, The Long Way Down

Reading Chuck Klosterman is creepy, one of my friends told me. I was about to battle my friend to the death for his insolence when he explained. Reading Chuck Klosterman, he said, is like reading thoughts stolen from my brain before I could think them. I say that's a valid point. I've never met Chuck, but I'd like to consider him one of my closest friends, because when you crack open a new chapter, it's like any other discussion between me and my music nerd friends. It really IS kinda creepy, I guess. All I know is that if the world was needing a travelogue guide to dead rock stars, it needs no longer. What starts as a simple ode to rock and roll hedonism becomes a transcendent look into the life and times of the ultimate music nerd anti-hero. Everybody needs to own it.


1. Elbow, "Forget Myself"
2. M83, "Don't Save Us From the Flames"
3. R. Kelly, "Trapped in the Closet"

Hehehe. I'm really happy that R. Kelly made the list. Could there have been a more public crowning of a complete and total nutbag this year? NOTHING, and I'm serious, NOTHING has brought me more amusement this year.


1. Sigur Ros - Takk
2. The Cocteau Twins - Lullabies to Violaine

Only two to list this year, because we couldn't make up our collective minds on artwork. There was like an umpteen-way tie for 3rd. (Though we sincerely DO concern for and question the sanity of the lone voter who picked the rechid Coldplay album cover for this category.)


1. Doves
2. Sigur Ros
3. Oasis
4. The Magic Numbers
5. Kasabian
6. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
7. The Decemberists
8. The Dears
9. The Hidden Cameras
10. Super Furry Animals

I've never met anyone who's been disappointed by a Doves gig. I remember the first time I saw them and looked down at the floor of the stage to see a veritable garden of guitar pedals -- distortion, flange, funky looking things that I still don't know what they did -- and knew right away this was a live band for the ages. Years later, they still bring the heat. Oh, and look there at #10, it's one of the few times you'll see the name Super Furry Animals on the poll this year. Usually the Welsh wonders top many a category, but this year found them slipping through the cracks a bit.


1. Robert Moog
2. Hunter S. Thompson
3. Peter Jennings

We can never listen to an abrasive keyboard noise the same way again. Nor can we pay attention to ANY journalism, be it gonzo or mainstream. Losing people sucks.


Live 8

Hey, when Bono gets his mug onto the cover of Time as Man of the Year, you can't deny his impact on the world. Live 8 brought Bono together with Bob Geldof, Chris Martin, and a slew of concerned musicians who really, really wanted all of us to spend one weekend thinking about debt relief. Which we did. And then promptly forgot about again. But it WAS a heck of a gig, eh?


1. www.pitchforkmedia.com
2. www.nme.com
3. www.myspace.com
4. www.britishaccents.org
5. www.defamer.com

Barely had to type anything different this year, as we practically just reprinted last year's list.


1. Mark Gardener
2. Sufjan Stevens
3. A 25-way tie for 3rd (no joke)

Hey, it's Shane, and I'm a bit emotional here. Sniff. It finally happened. For years, I've been complaining that I was the only Excellent admin NOT voted as either Indieboy or Indiegirl by someone on our list. Well, I'm here to proudly announce that -- you see that #3 there? -- one of those 25-way ties was ME. I'd like to thank the academy, God for making me so hot, Ali G for keeping me real, and Morrissey for giving me the early inspiration to go home and cry and want to die (which is, after all, the innate thread that bonds the indie community.)


1. Leslie Feist
2. Annie Hardy (Giant Drag)
3. A 20-way tie for 3rd!

Wow, a Canadian indiegirl of the year. I think that's a first, innit? Me, I voted for Annie Hardy, she's my new queen of cool. Any girl who can write a song like "You Fuck Like My Dad" while playing guitar like Kevin Shields gets my vote.

(henceforth otherwise known as "The Liam")

1. Pete Doherty
2. Gary Glitter
3. A 13-way tie for 3rd!

Last year, we decided to rename this award "The Liam." I'm starting to think that it should be re-renamed "The Pete." Doherty pretty much spent 2005 pushing everyone's patience more than we even thought capable. Whether it was getting arrested, getting poor little Kate Moss in trouble, or pulling the trifecta of actually managing to look MORE foolish than Elton John while onstage at Live 8, ol' Pete's still been newsworthy this past year... but are his 15 minutes running out? Meanwhile, Gary Glitter went from "The Leader of the Gang" to the "Most Likely To Be Gang Raped in a Thai Prison" category, thus eternally answering the question, "DO YOU WANNA TOUCH ME?" Quite simply: eww, no.



Even when Britpop was in its final moments, we were campaigning to get The Kinks into the Excellent Hall of Fame. Why it took this long, we don't know. We're just happy that it happened. As for The Ramones, they should pretty much be in EVERY Hall of Fame everywhere, no? Gabba gabba hey.

Thanks as always to everyone who participated. Contest winners will be notified via e-mail. Now don't waste time, we're already a month into 2006, LET'S GET TO ROCKIN'!