NPR “Best CD” Poll Causes Panic

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mojo-photo-nprpanic.jpgSorry about that headline but I’d like to remind everyone that I’m not a real writer. National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered blog had an admirable goal: turn to the public radio, er, public, to see what albums they thought should be included on a “Best of 2008 So Far” list. (Some of us can’t be bothered to ask anybody else what they think). Unfortunately, their poll seemed to get hijacked by internet-savvy emo kids:

Panic at the Disco put out a good record this year, and for a while they were in the lower end of the top 20. But less than a week before the polls closed, a banner went up on their MySpace page encouraging fans to vote. The website said, “they need your vote to help take the lead!” Within a few days, Panic at the Disco had almost 6,000 more votes than anyone else.

In the end, Panic at the Disco cemented their lead, coming out on top of the poll, and All Songs Considered also attributed part of Death Cab’s runner-up spot to internet propagandizing. Part of me finds this hilarious; like, I wonder what Carl Kasell things about it all? The full results are below:

1. Panic at the Disco – Pretty, Odd (9,615)
2. Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs (3,960)
3. Vampire Weekend – S/T (3,325)
4. Coldplay – Viva la Vida (2,615)
5. Various Artists – Juno Soundtrack (2,312)
6. Bon Iver – For Emma Forever Ago (1,989)
7. The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely (1,613)
8. Flight of the Conchords – S/T (1,602)
9. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges (1,584)
10. Fleet Foxes – S/T (1,478)

Not such a bad list, really, especially if you go down to the next tier, where Party Ben faves Portishead, MGMT and the Ting Tings show up. In any event, All Songs Considered seemed a bit troubled by the ballot-stuffing, asking for readers to submit ideas on how to change the poll’s methodology. But shouldn’t they be looking at this as a positive? Think about it: Over 10,000 Panic at the Disco and Death Cab kids came to the NPR web site! Hell, if we could get that kind of traffic on the Riff, I’d post a widget where you could click a little heart button to show how much you love Dashboard Confessional. Come to think of it, let’s just go ahead and give that a try.

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