Friday, December 21, 2007

Compentent Things Come to Those Who Wait

I bet you opened up this envelope just before or after New Year’s Eve. And you’re probably thinking, “What the heck took so long? Did you get the flu again?” No, no flu this time. But I did come with a multiple choice list of ready-made excuses:

a) I threw out my back singing Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” bunch of hot drunk chicks.

b) It took three weeks for me to realize I wasn’t a member of the Writer’s Guild of America East and that striking against Steve Reynolds was kind of idiotic.

c) My 16 year old sister got pregnant and it caused a nationwide controversy.

d) First I had to finish writing this long overdue term paper called the Mitchell Report.

The real answer? I got tired of missing things that happened in December. Invariably some compilation would be released, some film would come out or I’d go to a Figgs Christmas show—and immediately regret not having that event or album on the list. When the Figgs announced three nights of shows in New York December 14th through the 16th, I realized that I need to push back my own deadline.

Now the Top 20 deadline hasn’t always been right before Christmas. The second list I did I sent out in mid-January 1992. And the 13th edition some people didn’t see until just before February because of that dreaded flu and writers block. At first this list was my cheap way of doing a Christmas card, so it needed to go out by December 15th. Then when I moved to New York and made friends in the record industry I needed to ship copies out even earlier because record companies closed up shop the last two weeks of the year. Now that the record industry barely exists and I don’t giving a flying fuck about December 25th because the tourist season has made me one jaded bastard, I have no reason to get this out until the very end of the year. So I set my deadline to get it all done for December 22nd, which is the day after my Top 10 albums and singles were due in to both the Village Voice and Idolator critics’ polls.

There’s something else I considered with this list—doing it online only. It would save a whole shitload of time copying, doing layout, labeling, sealing envelopes. And that’s not counting the numerous paper cuts on my fingers and all the trees and staple plants I’ve killed the past 18 years. I thought about either making it a downloadable PDF or just posting it straight to the Top 20 blog (home of the trademark pending Song of the Week). Once I finished writing the list I could have been done with it for the year just an hour or so later. In the end I decided against it—for this year.

So what I’m looking for is a little feedback. Email me at and let me know—do you prefer paper, or would you like for the Reynolds Top 20 list to go ahead into the 21st century?

Speaking of the 21st century, I did decide to cook up a podcast for this year’s list. Starting December 31st you’ll be able to download me talking about this year’s music and playing some of the best tracks at the Reynolds Archives. It won’t be as slick as the 15th Anniversary Special, but it will still feature my hungover soaked pipes.

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