Tuesday, November 6. 2012
I've been kicking this idea around for a while, and finally decided to commit to it. On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, I want to publish a "Turkey Shoot" Consumer Guide to recognize (or warn against) the most overrated and/or downright awful records released in 2012. (This was a longtime Robert Christgau tradition, one which lapsed when he left the Village Voice. A variation appeared on it last year in one of Michael Tatum's Downloader's Diary columns.) However, I don't want to write it all (or even much of it), and I especially don't want to have to listen to all the crap one has to sift through (especially the shit that turns out to not even be bad enough to write about). So my plan is to open this up to the masses, and hope enough of you will contribute a review or two (maximum four) to make this worthwhile.
I'll try to be flexible when I can, but the deadline is pretty tight, and my decisions, no matter how arbitrary, are final. The framework is as follows:
Anyone who wants to contribute should email me with their proposals no later than Sunday, November 11. (Email address is on the Contact page.) I should get back to you by the 13th. If accepted, your reviews are due nolater than Sunday, November 18. This gives us a few days to edit and circulate the reviews.
There are some minimal requirements for Turkeys. Records that are hopelessly obscure are uninteresting here: we'd rather shot a fat, overrated bird than a scrawny one, let alone a pigeon or a parakeet. There should also be some degree of consensus among the contributors that the record really is a turkey. Otherwise, we're likely to wind up with just a bunch of random contrarian statements, which may be amusing but would swamp each other out. Record significance is easier to establish than group consensus. Any of the following works to establish significance:
Everyone who submits a proposal will be added to a mailing list, and I'll circulate all of the nominated records (sometime shortly after Nov. 11) asking for an up/down turkey consensus vote. I'll decide then which (if any) proposed albums to exclude due to lack of consensus. (Not sure what the criteria will be until I see the data. I also might publish the grade info on excluded albums, if I decide that would be interesting and useful.)
It might be a good idea to avoid picking on records I've rated B+(***) or above. I won't automatically reject such a proposal, but that's one strike against establishing a consensus that the album is a turkey. (Same may be said for records graded by Christgau and/or Tatum.)
The jury will be asked to grade albums no later as soon as I have a proposal list, so most likely Monday, November 12. They will be able to revise their grades and add comments up to Tuesday, November 20. (I should be able to fix things later, even after posting, but don't rely on that.)
I won't set up a formal mailing list, but will use an alias within my local mailer to blast out frequent email notices on how this is coming along. The list will start with everyone who makes a proposal (at least one I deem serious), and may be whittled down to the actual contributors. Editing will be done via email. (Again, my decisions are final.)
Results will be published on my blog, and possibly on Terminal Zone (if I manage to get that up on time).
No one will be paid for their contributions. No one will make any money off this. Copyrights are retained by the owners. We assume that submission constitutes permission to publish. Any questions, ask me.
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