2004 Poll Results

By shane

Ah, 2004, we hardly knew ye.

It seems just last year we were like, "Franz WHO?"

Now it's a new January, and of course, time for us to get all music nerdy on ya with the results of our 2004 poll of the members of Excellent Online. Ready to learn what our top-voted album of the year is? Who the Indieboy of the Year could possibly be? Want to know how many times we can type the word "Interpol" in one news story? Then read on, dear friends... check out the poll results by clicking on "Read More" below!


1. Franz Ferdinand
2. Morrissey
3. The Killers
4. Trashcan Sinatras
5. Snow Patrol

The Mozzer sure gave the Ferd a run for their money on this category. But let's be honest, Morrissey could've released a belch and he'd probably still place in this category just for doing anything other than sitting on his clever arse as usual. And as happy as we are to see both of 'em in the artist category this year, the same could be said for the Trashies. This category, though, as you'll see in the rest of the poll results, sets the stage nicely for the other categories...


1. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
2. Interpol - Antics
3. The Killers - Hot Fuss
4. Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
5. Keane - Hopes and Fears
6. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
7. Snow Patrol - Final Straw
8. Air - Talkie Walkie
9. Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
10. The Libertines - The Libertines
11. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
12. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
13. Muse - Absolution
14. Trashcan Sinatras - Weightlifting
15. Kasabian - Kasabian
16. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
17. Brian Wilson - Smile
18. Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere
19. The Concretes - The Concretes
20. The Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy
21. The Dears - No Cities Left
22. Futureheads - Futureheads
23. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus
24. The Beta Band - Heroes to Zeroes
25. Dogs Die in Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself
26. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
27. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
28. The Cure - The Cure
29. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
30. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
31. The Delgados - Universal Audio
32. Ash - Meltdown
33. Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street
34. The Veils - Runaway Found
35. The Music - Welcome to the North
36. Stars - Set Yourself On Fire
37. Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
38. Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic
39. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
40. Graham Coxon - Happiness in Magazines
41. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
42. Hope of the States - The Lost Riots
43. The Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam
44. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
45. Pinback - Summer In Abbadon
46. PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
47. The Charlatans - Up At the Lake
48. The Faint - Wet From Birth
49. The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
50. The Zutons - Who Killed the Zutons?

Man. Freakish year. Okay, first off, every year we like to tell you guys what a heated race it is for #1. And usually, every year it IS. Not this time. Franz Ferdinand was the clear winner, taking the #1 slot by over 200 points... As per usual, there are a few repeat showings from 03 to 04 - namely The Dears, who barely cracked our poll last year as a Canadian import, and Muse, who actually went up from #14 to #13 with the US release of "Absolution." Perhaps most surprising is how low some of our usual chart-toppers ended up. Look at Ash all the way down at #32... or The Charlatans, barely making our list at #47.... And look at where Stereolab, !!!, and Razorlight ended up on our poll -- oh, that's right, you can't, because they didn't make the Top 50. Instead, we give kudos to most of the critically acclaimed yet NOT fan favorites of the year, like The Arcade Fire, Of Montreal, etc. Good diversity as always, but no hip hop to be found this year (closest were Madvillain and Kanye West, coming in at #88 and #89 respectively.) But boy, we sure do love our Franz Ferd, eh?


1. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
2. The Killers - Somebody Told Me
3. Bloc Party - Banquet
4. Morrissey - The First of the Gang To Die
5. Belle and Sebastian - Your Cover's Blown
6. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
7. Snow Patrol - Run
8. The Walkmen - Rat
9. The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love
10. TV on the Radio - Staring at the Sun
11. Interpol - Evil
12. Modest Mouse - Float On
13. Interpol - Slow Hands
14. Delays - Nearer Than Heaven
15. The Streets - Dry Your Eyes
16. Snow Patrol - Spitting Games
17. Secret Machines - Nowhere Again
18. Keane - Bedshaped
19. Muse - Butterflies and Hurricanes
20. Kings of Convenience - I'd Rather Dance With You
21. Franz Ferdinand - Michael
22. Morrissey - Irish Blood, English Heart
23. Interpol - Narc
24. Franz Ferdinand - Jacqueline
25. Annie - Chewing Gum

Well, we sure got rid of that nasty hip-hop element from last year, eh? Twelve months ago we had 3 hip-hop tracks in our top 20. This year we've reverted back to what we do best: being pasty-faced wussies and wussettes. Some might look at this list and surmise that only 3 albums came out this year...


1. The Cure - Join the Dots
2. Supergrass - Supergrass Is 10
3. The Verve - This Is Music
4. The Clash - London Calling (Legacy Edition)
5. The Kinks - Are the Village Green Preservation Society
6. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
7. Various Artists - Garden State OST
8. Pixies - Wave of Mutilation: The Best Of
9. Mansun - Kleptomania
10. Brian Wilson - Smile

What? You're telling me that Ride DIDN'T win this category this year? But they've won the last 3 years! So what if they didn't release anything this year! You could've lied! Instead, this was the year of The Cure, with a new album, new box set, and finally the reissue of 3 Imaginary Boys late in the year. Though, for all intensive purposes, the REAL winner here is Brian Wilson, who found himself with a Top 20 record in both Album of the Year AND Reissue of the Year... we couldn't figure out what to do with Smile. Yes, the album was SUPPOSED to be out in '68... but it never made the light of day til 2004 except for the occasional bootleg. So do we make it a new album or a reissue? Feel free to argue this one to the teeth - even us three admins had markedly different views on it. Ergo, we just let the dice land as they may and accepted votes for Smile in BOTH categories.


1. Radiohead
2. Belle and Sebastian
3. Oasis
4. Blur
5. The Cure
6. The Charlatans
7. Doves
8. Morrissey
9. Franz Ferdinand
10. Interpol

Radiohead takes the category for the second year running. Interesting that 2 years ago, Coldplay won out. This year? 15th place. "But they didn't put anything out this year," you say. Seems to make sense... until you notice that Oasis moved from #6 to #3 this year without putting out a single cough of music... and The Charlatans put out an album that was a pretty universal flop (it barely made our Album of the Year poll,) yet they managed to rise from #7 in 2003 to #6 this year. Also bidding this category goodbye this year were Spiritualized (#13) and BRMC (#26)...


1. Interpol
2. The Killers
3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
4. Pixies
5. The Shins
6. The Dandy Warhols
7. The Pernice Brothers
8. The Dears
9. The Postal Service
10. Wilco

Every year, this category seems to change hands. Flaming Lips in '02, BRMC in '03, and now Interpol in '04. Death Cab for Cutie fell out of the Top 10, while Death Cab side project The Postal Service entered it. Most notable of all, however, is a sign that perhaps indiekids have finally ended their love affair with the White Stripes. Last year, they were Top 5 in this category. This year? They came in 85th.


1. The Arcade Fire
2. Bloc Party
3. Franz Ferdinand
4. Kasabian
5. TV on the Radio

And silly us, we thought only pretentious music critics had discovered The Arcade Fire this year... Imagine all the people flipping through magazines right now going, "The Arcade WHO?" I've yet to see an end of the year poll that hasn't had this band in their top lists. Not bad for a record that pretty much escaped everybody's radar when it came out. Good showing for Kasabian as an import-only band right now as well...


1. Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One Is One
2. Ash - Meltdown
3. The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
4. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
5. Interpol - Antics

Well, every year it never fails that our #1 album of the year also makes this list, and seeing Franz Ferd at #4 really shouldn't surprise anybody. Badly Drawn Boy, although "Year of the Rat" was a great tune, gave us an album that mostly missed all over the place... Ash came out like Bon Jovi minus the hooks... The Divine Comedy just made us yawn... and Interpol kinda sounds like a Joy Division cover band now.


1. Bloc Party
2. The Magic Numbers
3. Tears
4. Kasabian
5. Departure

Other than Bloc Party easily taking #1, this category was really tight the rest of the way, with only two votes separating #2 and #36. I think it shows us that our community is pretty wide-ranging when it comes to discovering new talent... 2005 might just excite us yet...


1. Air - Talkie Walkie
2. Orbital - The Blue Album
3. Annie - Anniemal
4. Various Artists - DFA Compilation #2
5. The Orb - Bicycles and Tricycles
6. Junior Boys - Last Exit
7. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
8. Felix Da Housecat - Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever
9. Zero 7 - When It Falls
10. Sasha - Involver

The usual suspects all present? Air? Here. Orbital? Here (but for the last time.) The Orb? Here. Felix? Here. Chemical Brothers? Oh yeah, we'll have to wait til '05 on them. Not too many new faces on this chart, other than Annie and Junior Boys and the fantastic second compilation from the DFA gang.


1. Orbital
2. Air
3. The Aphex Twin
4. LCD Soundsystem
5. M83
6. Felix Da Housecat
7. Fatboy Slim
8. DJ Shadow
9. Junior Boys
10. The Orb

Let's give it up for Orbital. Splitting up earlier this year probably gave them a few votes, but their final album, "The Blue Album" was a brilliant send off. We're only sad that they didn't have a final US tour to mark the occasion.


1. Mick Jones
2. John Leckie
3. Trevor Horn

...and your three favorite producers of the year pretty much produced, well, one album each this year. Mick Jones taught us how to do old-school lo-fi with The Libertines, Leckie manned the boards for Starsailor, and Trevor Horn... well, I suppose Belle & Sebastian DID put out one EP this year, eh?


1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Garden State
3. Fahrenheit 9/11
4. Kill Bill Vol. 2
5. Shaun of the Dead
6. Napoleon Dynamite
7. The Incredibles
8. Motorcycle Diaries
9. Sideways
10. Closer

Our money would've been on "Shaun of the Dead," but cooler heads and Charlie Kaufman prevailed with "Eternal Sunshine." Meanwhile, "the kid from 'Scrubs'" is now Zach Braff, Indie Bo-Hunk thanks to "Garden State," and you either love Michael Moore or you hate him, and enough loved him to send "Fahrenheit" to #3. Also good to see stalwarts like "Sideways" and "The Incredibles" (Sarah Vowell would smile) in the Top 10.


1. Lost
2. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
3. The Simpsons
4. Arrested Development
5. South Park
6. The Office
7. The O.C.
8. Scrubs
9. Desperate Housewives
10. Six Feet Under

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Ladies and gentlemen, you've been fad-ded. Last year our mailing list picked "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" as their #1 TV show. This year? Errr... 60th place. In its place for 2004 is the crack of the fall season: the addictive, and let's admit it, not altogether THAT good, "Lost." And look, we're not ripping on the show... because we're JUST as addicted as you are. What I WILL rip on, though, is "Scrubs" at #8?! Look, just because Zack Braff made one of the greatest indie flicks of the year doesn't mean his sitcom's any good...? ;)


1. Jon Stewart, America: The Book
2. David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim

Proving that, despite our wide collective intellect and better-than-the-average-bear musical taste, what we really want out of life is to see the justices of the Supreme Court naked. Stewart's book, actually written by the entire staff of "The Daily Show," is a fantastic skewering of American politics and should be a must-own on your shelf. Meanwhile, if you want to know why we're only displaying two finalists, it's because there was a 24-way tie for 3rd place. We are some seriously finicky readers, it seems.


1. Eminem, "Mosh"
2. Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"
3. Kings of Convenience, "I'd Rather Dance With You"

Wow. I really MUST be hallucinating. Did I just see Eminem top one of the poll categories? OUR poll? Surely we're all too intelligent, pretentious, and artistic to give credit to Eminem...? Who are we kidding, SURE we are. What we're giving credit to here isn't the blond bombshell himself, but to Eminem's fantastic animated anti-Bush clip for "Mosh."


1. Verve - This is Music
2. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
3. Kasabian - Kasabian
4. The Cure - The Cure
5. Manic Street Preachers - Lifeblood

The Verve artwork was the work of Brian Cannon from Microdot who designed tons of your favorite discs back in the ninties. The singles collection featured a mo dified version of the "She's A Superstar" cover which naturally put it on top of our list. Sadly we hear that the neon sign broke years ago. :(


1. The Pixies
2. Franz Ferdinand
3. Morrissey
4. Muse
5. Interpol
6. The Cure
7. The Dears
8. Radiohead
9. Trashcan Sinatras
10. The Polyphonic Spree

A no-brainer, really. When the Pixies reunited for their 2004 tour, it was a shoe-in that they'd win this category (now how's about a new album??) Another most-missed live act, The Trashcan Sinatras, also deservedly show their heads here. And hrrm, loads of people voted for Morrissey -- they must've been at one of the gigs he actually decided to show up for, eh?


1. John Peel
2. Johnny Ramone
3. John Kerry

Just for the record, John Peel received NINE times as many votes as the 2nd place Johnny Ramone. Rest in peace, the both of you. And we're still too distraught over the Kerry thing to even make a smug comment here.


1. The death of John Peel
2. 2004 Coachella Festival
3. The Pixies reunion tour
4. Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler reunite & form The Tears
5. Bush defeats Kerry

It's mildly interesting that I'm using 2003's poll results as a form to fill out this year's results, and all I had to do in this category was switch "Elliott Smith" to "John Peel" in the #1 slot, and change "2003" to "2004" for Coachella's placement this year. Bask in the glory that the #1 news story of the year involves the passing of a DJ that most of our list members never even had the pleasure to hear on-air. What us Yanks DO know, though, is that John Peel was the reason that most of us even HEARD quality music for the first time... whether it was from his show for those lucky enough to hear it, or whether it was his show providing a litmus test for future success. If Peel picked up on a band, people noticed -- from UK music fans to US record labels. The radio dial's a whole lot emptier without you, John.


1. www.pitchforkmedia.com
2. www.nme.com
3. www.myspace.com
4. www.airamericaradio.com
5. www.theonion.com

And here we are, back to fads. This is brilliant, kids. Last year, the winner of this category by a clear mile was Friendster. This year? Not ONE vote was counted for it. Most of the Friendster kids have moved on to Myspace, which accounts for their #3 placing on this year's poll. We'll expect to see them in roughly 78th place next year, should this trend continue...


1. Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand)
2. Morrissey
3. Pete Doherty (Libertines, Babyshambles)
4. John Peel

This is getting embarassing. Hi folks, it's Shane your friendly admin here. For THREE YEARS now, that's THREE YEARS, I've been begging for your votes in this category. Two years ago, I get nothing. Last year, I get beat in votes by my fellow admin, Ajay. That was perfectly insulting and unacceptable, and quite likely one of the lowest periods of my life. This year? I GET BEAT BY A JUNKIE AND A DEAD GUY. You're doing LOADS for my self-esteem here, folks.


1. P.J. Harvey
2. Charlotte Hatherly (Ash)
3. Neko Case
4. Kathleen Hanna (Le Tigre)
5. Sarah Cracknell (St. Etienne)

Aww... PJ didn't even make our poll last year, and this time she wins out by a WIDE margin. It's enough to give us all warm fuzzies. (Though Shane would like to point out that his vote for Gemma Babyshambles went virtually unnoticed.)

(henceforth otherwise known as "The Liam")

1. Pete Doherty
2. George W. Bush
3. Jack White

Finally, a reward well-deserved. So all you need to do around these parts to get labeled a twat is to do loads of drugs, nick all of your band's equipment for more drugs, give up rehab not once but twice, flee a rehab monastery in Thailand and shack up in a hotel to do smack for a week, get arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and then break up your band while they're on the verge of stardom to start up a new band. Easy peasy. Meanwhile, Jack White didn't do ANYTHING this year except produce a Loretta Lynn album, and he's STILL somewhat of a twat. Go figure.



Well, Gene breaking up this year pretty much ensured their inclusion into the Hall of Fame. Personally (this is Shane speaking, by the way,) I was turned off on Gene the moment that Rossiter signed my copy of "Olympian" as: "With love to young Shane." That was enough to make me step slowly away. But you've got to admit, even those of you who laugh off Gene as aged Britpop casualties, "Olympian" was a pretty brilliant album. Derivative, sure, but brilliant. And if derivative were a BAD thing, every band on this list should be mocked. Meanwhile, the psychedelic haze of Spacemen 3 make their much belated debut on our Hall of Fame, after maaaany years of coming painfully close.

Thanks as always to everyone who participated. Contest winners will be notified via e-mail. Now don't just stand there, we've got 2005 to get to, GET A MOVE ON!