Best CD Poll Results and Rallying the Fan Base

Our poll on the best CDs of the year (so far) sparked a lot of listening and discussion. For me these polls are about discovering what others love and what I've never heard. For some, however, it's about winning. That was certainly true for fans of several bands, like Panic at the Disco and Death Cab For Cutie, who marshaled their forces to vote en masse for their favorites.

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.

I'm wondering how you feel about this type of campaign. Forget about who did it. Think of your favorite bands of the year and imagine that they launched a get-out-the-vote campaign.

At the end of the year we'll ask you to do this again — to vote for your favorites for the year. We want our poll to be credible. So tell us what you think:

Is this the best way to get a cross section of listener opinion?
Should we keep poll the same?
If not, how should we change it?

Thanks, and take a look at this list and catch up on your listening!








Quizzes by Quibblo.com

Comments

 

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I liked the poll system. I'll repeat what I said in the other post, which is that I like seeing how people are voting. I just would have it so that people submit their votes via a post on the blog and someone (an unfortunate soul, to be sure) tallies up the votes into a chart that the viewers can see. The biggest problem I noticed with the poll was that (1) people were likely voting more than once and (2) people were not following the assignment. The assignment said to "Choose five of these, or submit a write-in for whatever isn't on this list, but in the end choose only five total CDs." People weren't always choosing 5 cds, they were often choosing only one, which raised the number of votes for one band and depriving the same privilege to others. So, in sum, here is how I'd do it:

1) Have people submit in post form five of their favorite cds.
2) I'd encourage people to write an optional sentence or two about why they liked the band
3) I'd figure out a way to chart everyone's votes

Sent by Pablo | 1:47 PM | 7-7-2008

One possible way to get a better cross section of your readers/listeners is to require registration prior to voting. Granted, it's easy enough for a determined group to register once for the sole purpose of moving a poll, but it might weed out a portion who don't wish to provide personal information.

I do care that this poll isn't merely a fan movement. My interest in the results is finding new things to listen to. I don't really want to waste time listening to the next big screamo band that the kids like these days when I could be listening to something that readers/listeners independently all decided that they loved.

Finally, I love albums. I'd rather find an amazing album by an artist that had one great piece of work than sit through a bunch of spotty songs in search of quality. That's why I'd rather see this poll reward great albums rather than artists that may have a great career, but haven't produced an album worth the "best" title.

Sent by Sheila | 2:06 PM | 7-7-2008

Maybe the way to go is to have the polls balanced by an editorial board of sorts. It's a good idea to let the listeners have a say, but it's too easy to let popular mainstream bands suck all meaningfulness out of the polling process (as has happened here) by just using the poll alone.

Sent by Nick | 2:06 PM | 7-7-2008

Good question to ask, Bob. Another follow up question would be: should a band even care? Where is the artistic integrity? This was a nice opportunity for a band to see where they place among a certain group of listeners but they skewed the results. Why would Panic at the Disco (or any band that encouraged their fans to vote) want to stroke their own ego? Does topping this list really sell more records? I don't know - I'm not in the industry. But for me, I'd lose respect for the bands that got behind something like this. It's so pointlessly narcissistic.

Sent by David | 2:08 PM | 7-7-2008

I understand being a die hard fan, and wanting to win, but truly it isn't a consensus of the listeners to your show, which is what I and i believe others who value what All Songs Consider podcast brings to our lives- an outlet where we can find what is new and different, which may or may not get another outlet in the mainstream. Maybe, to prevent this sort of thing happening we should have to register an email address and activate a link in order to vote. It stinks giving out your email address, but when one band won by 2 times the number of votes, something is wrong with the system.

Sent by Josh | 3:33 PM | 7-7-2008

At least Panic's CD is an interesting CD. What in heaven's name explains how Coldplay's new album reached #4? What an indictment of NPR listeners, that such an album rates so highly!

Sent by Yoshi | 4:44 PM | 7-7-2008

Any band trying to be heard above the din of the others vying for listener attention would want to gain some publicity through NPR. It's a high-profile outlet with a lot of listeners, and for bands, management, street teams and fans, it's too good an opportunity to pass up. Especially when there is a really simple cut-and-paste widget that keeps it so simple you don't even have to visit the NPR site. I agree with Sheila's comments above. You have the emails of registered listeners and could use it the same way fansites do for pre-sales and other announcements. Send out a voting blast to your listeners and make an announcement on the site that if you want to vote, you have to be registered on the site. Then put the voting on a secure page that only registered users have access to. It would get a better cross-section of the actual listeners of the show.

Sent by Andie Reid | 4:54 PM | 7-7-2008

Regardless, you introduced me to MGMT. Thanks!

Sent by Aaron | 4:55 PM | 7-7-2008

Nah, this is b.s. I know, because Panic at the Disco sucks. Now if a bunch of Bon Iver fans had done this then I might change my tune...hey now, that gives me an idea...

Sent by CMojo | 5:09 PM | 7-7-2008

It's kind of crappy that Panic did that but there is not much you can do about it. I guess they are not quite the band I tought they were. I voted for their album as one of my favorites of the year but I actually listened to many of the others in the poll. Perhaps to prevent a 'one-click smash and grab' you could have people sign in the same way they do to comment.

Sent by Scottie | 5:10 PM | 7-7-2008

Wow. I don't agree with ANY of the poll results.

I don't think 2008 has been a stellar year for music, but Fleet Foxes, REM, Tokyo Police Club, Sigur Ros, NIN, Gnarles Barkley, Mountain Goats, Black Keys, Bob Mould, Death Cab, etc. are all mostly better than what made the list.

Sent by brooks | 5:21 PM | 7-7-2008

Panic at the Disco????
Ughhhhhh.....

Sent by Jose Jones | 5:40 PM | 7-7-2008

King's X - XV and REM's Accelerate get my vote. The only ones on your list that are interesting are Bon Iver and My Morning Jacket.

Sent by Justin | 5:43 PM | 7-7-2008

If it were an accurate reflection of the All Songs listenership I'd love to just see the poll results on their own. As that obviously isn't the case here, though, it would -- as a previous poster mentioned -- be useful to augment the poll with some sort of summary of what the critics have said about the albums. The numerical metacritic.com ratings, for instance, would allow us to discern between the truly special albums on the list [e.g., Bon Iver (89); Fleet Foxes (88); and Shearwater (86)] and those that are merely good [e.g., Panic! At the Disco (70)].

Sent by Erik | 5:45 PM | 7-7-2008

I have a great solution. No more listener polls. They get used (abused) in the way that Panic at the Disco used this one and then they use their own self generated hype to generate more hype. A review of sales on ITunes or Billboard or whatever should tell us what the most popular albums are to date.

Sent by Joe | 6:10 PM | 7-7-2008

I agree with Pablo, some accountability should be necessary in order to post to the site. I used to root for my favorite artist on VH1, what a joke!!! It doesn't take long to realize that that is a total waste of time. As far as sending a comment to them? They could not care less. I hate to sound elitist but I much prefer the NPR approach to "Customer Service", it's actually there, imagine that.

Sent by Debra L. Blosnich | 6:25 PM | 7-7-2008

This may have been said already, but I feel the best way would be to perform the poll like a survey, with a unique registration for the survey.
You would send all the pollsters a unique code so they could only vote once per email address.

Sent by Jc | 6:27 PM | 7-7-2008

I like the idea of registering or at least having some way of ensuring that each person can only vote once. At least my favourite guy Elvis Costello (whose album I had to write in) made the final list!

Sent by tsarina | 6:29 PM | 7-7-2008

yeah, i think rallying the fans to vote for you is kinda cheap and skews the votes, even if it had been a good album people were voting for. i'm not sure what a reasonable solution would be though... you still want to know what people think and you don't really want to disqualify a band. making people register to vote would limit the number of legitimate votes as much as the ballot stuffers.

Sent by aaron | 6:59 PM | 7-7-2008

I think the credibility is ruined by a "get out the vote campaign". Isn't the point to poll NPR listeners and website readers? Or listeners to the "All Songs "podcast? Not Panic at the Disco myspace fans. How many of the 9,000 plus voters that voted for that record are listeners to NPR? That's all I'm asking.

I think the best solution is to require some sort of registration system with a username/password. And also to somehow point out the credibility of the votes if the case is that a "get out the vote campaign" was issued by any band or fan of the band.

I hope something is done. If nothing is done, I doubt I'll be placing a vote at the end of the year.

Sent by Evan | 7:10 PM | 7-7-2008

ahahaha @ Panic at the Disco

These polls are never representative. You can't stop bands or dedicated fanbases from skewing the results. Requiring registration is just a bore and takes the offhand pleasure out of the process.

I think you should just invite readers to submit brief blurbs on their favorite albums and get a feel for what people are responding deeply to. The numbers game is ridiculous even if the poll is conducted "properly."

Sent by zxcvb | 7:12 PM | 7-7-2008

Why was Nine Inch Nails' "The Slip" not included? It was much better than "Ghosts I-IV"

Further, Cloud Cult and Headlights made some very nice albums that aren't on the list. Well worth a listen.

Sent by Walter | 7:13 PM | 7-7-2008

Obviously, the only option is to make all future polls super-secret top-level confidential material. Voters will be pre-screened, and weeded out if their indie cred isn't high enough or they're under the age of 25. That's the only way to get the results you apparently want.

I'm not sure what the problem is. All Panic's myspace did was inform fans that this poll existed. It didn't offer prizes for voting or otherwise "abuse" the system. Panic at the Disco has a lot of passionate fans, and yes, a lot of them are teenagers - surprise, teenagers are passionate people. To be honest, I'd rather hear about music that's inspired that sort of passion, not just music that meets the arbitrary criteria of your average music snob.

Sent by Sarah | 7:20 PM | 7-7-2008

Panic at the Disco, really?

When did NPR start trying to target the tween crowd rather than supplying the masses with good, albeit mostly underground, music?

Sent by Bryant | 7:36 PM | 7-7-2008

I'm a 42 year old, avid NPR listener & a really big fan of Panic at the Disco's Pretty. Odd. I was thrilled to see the album in your poll & was happy to vote it as one of my favorite CDs of the year. In fact? It is by far the most listened to & enjoyed record I've purchased this year.

I was also very happy to forward the link to this poll to other friends that I knew enjoyed the record. Just as I had forwarded the link to the wonderful profile you did of the band on May 17th.

Apparently enthusiasm for a band's output is not the sole provence of the teen scene?

Sent by Belinda | 7:57 PM | 7-7-2008

You created a poll with an automated "share to social networking site" feature, encouraging people to repost the poll to their various and sundry internet social circles... and yet express concern about the "legitimacy" of the poll when a band then uses the same social networking systems to promote the fact that they were included on the poll.

Sent by Katie | 7:58 PM | 7-7-2008

It was suppose to be a listener poll and clearly it became a get out the vote poll by PAD. I think that is weak. I would have people register and give their e-mail, that might eliminate many of the PADers Nonetheless, I think it is still a good list.

Sent by Joel | 7:58 PM | 7-7-2008

...perhaps sending the poll out to those that have subscribed to the all songs considered news letter. No pre-warning. One day it just gets sent and only a single legitimate reply to it are accepted.
At least Tokyo Police Club were on there... but I think it's been a bit of a brutal year for music so far, IMHO.

Sent by Louis | 8:33 PM | 7-7-2008

Polls are fun & a good opportunity to hear from a listening base. Yes, they can be hijacked, but the best way to stop that it to require registration & to make people work for it.

So they HAVE to list 5 or 10 albums. That way even if someone like PATD marshalls the troops they will have to vote for other bands too.

If 5 albums, I'd just count the votes. The ones that most consistently make someones top 5 will rise to the top.

If it was top 10 you'd need to have some sort of scoring system (5pts for #1, 3pts for top 5, 1 pt for top 10 etc)

cheers

Sent by Shark | 8:40 PM | 7-7-2008

Ya know what people even if we have to register to vote panic fans will still vote. I listen to NPR and I am a teenager. Also other bands could have put up a banner announcing the contest but they didn't so thats their fault. and anyway its a stupid poll don't get offended by it or wine about who won Panic at the Disco is a great band anyway and not only for teens

Sent by Tink | 10:17 PM | 7-7-2008

I would say the best way would be to just have people vote in comment form and then have someone tally the votes, excluding anyone who submitted multiple times. I completely understand that they may be too time consuming though. So my other suggestion would be to just make sure that people can only vote once and that they have to vote for 5 cds and won't be allowed to vote for just one. Maybe get a poll system that would also allow write-ins so that people wouldn't be forced to vote for one they don't want to just to get to 5.


we do monitor the votes and we don't think that people voted twice. all the votes for Panic were legitimate votes, the question is whether it is a fair representation of the best CDs when bands rally their fans.


Bob

Sent by Alex Cronk-Young | 10:35 PM | 7-7-2008

I think it was smart of Panic at the Disco to post a banner on their Myspace. In all honesty, not many of the fans even realized this poll existed, and it was bringing awareness. If the fans didn't care, they would have ignored the banner and chose not to vote. Panic have quite a few Myspace friends, if even a handful of that total voted - it's naturally going to boost their vote count. They were smart enough to alert their fanbase, other bands weren't. I don't see the problem.

Sent by Noelle | 10:43 PM | 7-7-2008

So basically you didn't like the winner so of course you threw out the poll. I don't see why it mattered that PATD put out a banner, i'm sure other bands did too, and if they didn't, i'm sure the fans did. It's not like you could re-take the poll, so it's not cheating.
Way to be mature about this. Really.

Maybe you should just take everyone you dislike off the list, that way you'll be happy with whoever wins.

Sent by Amber | 10:46 PM | 7-7-2008

Oh wonderful! A scene kid band got number 1! Of course they did! That's what polling does to music. It shows what bands and record labels are prominently promoting their music the best, which usually differs from the actual quality of the music. MTV, VH1, BET and Fuse are perfect examples of this. The music, for the most part, on these 'TV Forums' is exactly what many major record labels want you to listen to. Unfortunately, the regular viewers of these stations tend not to think for themselves, and usually are quite comparable to sheep (in many aspects of their life).

If you want to listen to real metal, look on myspace for Kings of Prussia. This is music in it's most ethereal form. Don't like metal? How about some honest to god, down home country? The good ol' boys from Old Crow Medicine Show got ya covered. Hell, give Yonder Mountain String Band a listen to, for that matter. Still not your scene? Well, how about the most ingenious lyrics from the best vocabulary on this planet. You need only to turn to Aesop Rock. And while your at it, let Slug put you in your place, with some music by Atmosphere.

And honestly, if you really want to listen to the best album of 2008, In Rainbows will take you on a journey. And remember, buy the boxset so you get the B-Sides. You will not regret it, and that is my personal guarantee.

Sent by Jered Leisey | 11:06 PM | 7-7-2008

maybe you could take out the bands you don't like or the ones you think would damage your indie cred. so it's fair,

I think we asked a fair question, I don't think your comment is a fair response.
No one suggested that we want to eliminate the top vote getter. Please reread the post.

bob

Sent by adenike | 11:10 PM | 7-7-2008

I liked the poll.

I'm a Panic at the Disco fan and I didn't abuse the system in any way. Frankly, I have life, so I wasn't sitting in front of my computer for hours voting over and over again. I read the rules, voted once, and that was that.

Panic is a part of a record label that is known for its viral marketing. Fueled By Ramen utilizes various internet sites/communities to let all of the fans know when polls come up so we can all vote.

I doubt very much that the band had anything to do with this decision. They were off playing festivals in Europe and though I'm sure they were happy to have been nominated, at the end of the day, I'm not sure that winning made that much of a difference to them.

I'm sorry if people feel their votes were completely wiped out by those of the Panic fans. Perhaps people may think it's childish of me to be posting anything in defense of the band since that's not what this is supposed to be about, but I needed to express my opinion. I was thrilled when Panic was featured on All Things Considered and even happier to find that they were nominated for this. I think they're a band that's constantly put into the teenybopper category so it was a big deal to see them recognized by a legitimate source. I hope that NPR will continue to consider their music above all else. That's what we're all here for.

Sent by Cristina | 11:23 PM | 7-7-2008

Not seeing the problem here. What Panic At the Disco did was completely legitimate. As others have said, the band wasn't forcing anyone to vote for them, they were getting the word out that they'd like their fans to vote for them, sure. Most of us didn't even know anything about this poll without Panic's MySpace post, and some of my friends went and voted for people other than Panic purely because they liked other bands more. So again, not seeing the problem and I don't see why this has become an issue for you.

Sent by Leila | 11:23 PM | 7-7-2008

it's unfortunate that people's reactions to panic's placement in the poll is much the same knee-jerk negative reaction that the band gets in general. what the managers of their myspace did is not a commentary on the band's music. panic at the disco is making a difficult transition from music that mostly appeals to angsty teens to music that any music-lover could enjoy. their management lags behind them. i would have hoped that their inclusion in a poll like this would have helped some people get to know their new music but it seems most people have already closed their minds to that possibility.

Sent by sarah | 12:13 AM | 7-8-2008

It's a shame that the abuse of stuffing the virtual ballot box affects even NPR. I hope an effective alternative can be devised before the end of the year. Regarding the poll results, I was disappointed that Ray Davies received absolutely no recognition for his haunting 2008 album, "Working Man's Cafe." Perhaps more people will have heard it by year's end.

Sent by Bill | 12:23 AM | 7-8-2008

My top 5...
1) The Secret Chiefs 3 play Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 9: Xaphan
2) The Bar Kokhba Sextet play Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 10: Lucifer
3) My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth
4) Opeth - Watershed
5) Earth - The Bees Make Honey in the Lion's Skull

And my whole list...
http://jazzsick.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/halfway-2008/

~Dan
http://jazzsick.wordpress.com/

Sent by Dan | 12:31 AM | 7-8-2008

Bob, it was a good question, and I have to agree with many of the ideas on how to make the poll more a reflection of ASC's listeners than of fan bases' loyalties. Registration seems like a pain, but the hassle could possibly hinder the fan frenzy.

I'm not completely disappointed, because as is the reason for ASC, it's to hear and discover music I might not otherwise hear. Or to be reminded of bands I'd kind of forgotten about. I hadn't listened to MGMT (as you said, formerly the Management) since their EP a few years ago, and that's gotten me to buy the album. Hurray for the Intarwebs, indeed.

I also will need to further investigate Los Campesinos and Santogold. Good stuff. Thanks for another great show.

p.s. When will the Fleet Foxes live show be available for streaming/download?


thanks, the Fleet Foxes should be online now and the live concert podcast should go out today, if not, Wednesday.

Sent by Philip, Houston, TX | 1:03 AM | 7-8-2008

Just a suggestion, maybe put a link next to each album that lets people listen to a track or two, or a video on youtube. The point of these things is not to win, but to find new music. I like the idea of making people vote for 5 different bands, so they have to listen to other people. I'm not against Panic putting a banner ad up, but I am upset at the comment list on the other post. I wish people would have explained why they like PATD so much, rather than just say Panic rules!!!! a bunch of times. For me, I'm not a fan, but that's for personal reasons, like I'm not a big fan of the lead singer's voice. But I do want to hear from people that are fans, why they are fans. I want to understand how a band appealed to at least 9,615 people. What do they all have in common? Thats what I feel the comment section should be for. So to any of the die-hard Panic fans that read this, or to any die-hard fan of any band, why do you like them so much?

I'll start: I'm an obsessive Sigur Ros fan. I love the ethereal sound they portray, and the peace I feel when I listen to it. I think Jonsi has a phenomenal voice, I love how pristine but yet emotional it sounds. I really like how the band builds up melodies and makes great use of dynamics (i.e. playing louder and softer) With this new album I love the range it has, from songs that are amazingly upbeat and completely new for the band, to songs that are very slow and almost depressing. This new album features a rough quality to it, you can hear the fingers sliding on the strings of the guitar. My favorite song is Ara Batur because of the way they added the london boy's choir and symphony at the end, making this huge sound surrounding the simple piano at the beginning. So thats why my vote went to Sigur Ros' new album.

Now it's your turn...

Sent by Jeff C. | 1:04 AM | 7-8-2008

Are you guys really serious? It seems that most people are only angry becasue Panic at the Disco won. How about if it was your favorite band? There would be no problem correct? Panic did what any band would do. Its a poll and its about your opinion im sure people did it just for the sake of the band, and not the actual album, but i mean really.

It is an internet poll, no one takes it that serious. Panic at the Disco just informed thier fans that they were being invloved in a poll. They won get over it. What if Death Cab would've won. Well...they would've won. No one gets a prize. It's a poll. I think people need to stop being so elite and get over themselves. Panic did nothing wrong and shouldn't be critized for reaching out to thier fans.

Sent by Valerie | 2:20 AM | 7-8-2008

It's sort of a bummer that it was so advertised by one band because obviously the results were significantly skewed as a result. I can completely appreciate a movement by fans to share their love of a new album by their favorite band but wish in this case there was a way to regulate it so that we could get a better idea of what a random sampling of people actually thought about the albums that have come out this year.

I encourage fans to request their favorite bands on the radio and vote them up on websites such at vh1.com or mtv.com to get them airtime. I don't know that there is a way to prevent a skewing of results in an automated system like this unless you were required to choose 5 albums but the results can still be skewed that way.

I'm interested to see what other people suggest

Sent by Leanne | 2:25 AM | 7-8-2008

I found out about the poll from Dengue Fever's myspace so I can't complain about the methodology. It's not scientific, but here we all are at the party.

Sent by elvette | 2:33 AM | 7-8-2008

Here is how to fix this poll:

Require at least 3 albums to be submitted by each poll taker, in a ranked order. Then, when looking at the final results, any album that has a disproportionate number of 1 rankings compared to 2 or 3 rankings is likely a result of someone gaming the poll. Take that into account, and maybe select the album with a high rate of submission, but a spread between 1-3 (or lower).

Just my idea.

Sent by Gwinn | 2:42 AM | 7-8-2008

This is an unscientific method of polling, and it did exactly what it was created to do. It aggregated the opinion of those polled - in this case internet savvy music listeners. As manager of the poll you should not get upset at the results when they disagree with you.

Something about this situation reminds me of a show on MTV back in 1985. The premise was that a sample of live viewers would vote each day for a new video to be added to heavy rotation at the end of the week. They always stacked the deck for popular artists, but something broke one week. The winner was David Byrne's latin tinged "Miss America." You could see the shock on the host's face. That wasn't supposed to happen and she was perplexed. For the rest of the week they threw out every "early premier" rap and boy band video they could. It still received the highest score of the week and comments like the "I've never heard anything like that" or "That was so original you don't hear that anywhere." (yea yea, not the best Byrne song but still I have to admire the polling groups for rebelling against the norm.) The video was put in heavy rotation, and the show promptly canceled.

While it was obvious MTV didn't like the results if they had listened they might have learned something from them. The "latin invasion" was less than a year away, but at the time of the program you couldn't find that style anywhere on MTV. Don't cancel this because you disagree with the poll. Learn from it. Refine the system, but don't stack the deck for your favorites. It won't work anyway. This is what the online kids are listening to. It might not be your audience, but it's still an interesting result.

Maybe the listeners of Panic and Death Cab (both perfectly good bands, though not the best of the year) who visited the site will tune in to the show and hear Fleet Foxes or MGMT like those expecting to see "Gangster's Paridise" got old man in his mid 40's singing a subversively patriotic song to a faux latin beat.

Sent by Eric L | 2:56 AM | 7-8-2008

Hell, just listen to me... ;)

Sent by Catfish | 4:11 AM | 7-8-2008

I think the point is that what PATD have done has ruined the poll. It has made it unrepresentative of what NPR All Songs listeners are actually listening to. Yes, yes, kudos to this clever little band for being sooo smart to garner support from their impressionable young demographic, and too bad for those that didn't. This type of tactic turns what was an inquisitive opinion poll into an aggressive competition won by cheating.

I completely understand your disappointment, Bob.

Sent by May Bell | 4:19 AM | 7-8-2008

So has anyone gotten a fan's perspective?
What people dont seem to realize is that they wanted a cross section of EVERYONE! not everybody goes on the this website or listens to NPR, so all Panic and Death Cab (it seems people have also chosen to ignore that they did it to!) did was to alert fans that such a poll existed. its not like they held a gun to their fans' heads and said,"vote or else"! plus, we al went on here, read the rules, and voted for 5 BANDS!
i personally voted for several bands that didnt get over 500 votes. it shouldnt matter how many votes a band gets but thet theyre on the list at all! obviously, being a nominee for best cd in an internet poll should be enough to spark a persons interest. stop being so bitchy that your band didnt win and that one you liked did. nobody cheated, and its not like the panic fans sat up halfway through the night in shifts voting 500 times, you could only vote once. Pretty. Odd. is a great cd, though guessing that most npr listners are older, they havent bothered to give it a try because theyre a younger band. but hey, if you like the beatles...
its original, inspiring, and lighthearted. sorry if we all cant be depressed and serious like the crap other bands come out with trying to look wise and mature. we need a little bit of happiness in the world right now and panic gave us that, hence why they still have such a massive fanbase. and dont think for a second that it was the teenie fangirls who only like the guys because theyre hot who voted for this, they dont even read bulletines. legit fans voted, fans who love other bands, even more so then panic! get over yourselves and stop taking a poll of the internet so seriously!

Sent by reasonably. strange. | 7:49 AM | 7-8-2008

I think it was cheap for Panic at he Disco to do that. It gave them the lead only because they told fans to, not because the record was better. Next time, you can have a rule against campaigning.


Please, let's not make this about Panic at the Disco. Everything that they did was legitimate.
I ask you to think about the results and express ideas about what you want the poll to reflect, and how to make it reflect a fair and accurate and useful result.

bob

Sent by Alex | 9:06 AM | 7-8-2008

From a scientific standpoint, this sort of poll is wholly unreliable when it comes to getting a true reading of what listneners are into. This is because this poll relies on people to be committed enough to seek it out and cast their vote. What you find out from this sort of poll is which bands the most passionate and committed listeners are listening to.

A more acurate representation would come from polling a random sample of All Songs Consider's listener base. I have a suspicion that results would change some if a random sample were used.

Sent by John Patrick | 10:06 AM | 7-8-2008

I KNEW there was something to Panic At The Disco being so far ahead of everybody else. It's your fault, however, for even having this corporate piece of trash on the list... The real winner is, apparently, Death Cab For Cutie. Though I disagree that that is the best album of the year so far (Vampire Weekend, MMJ or Alejandro Escovedo are), at least it's a very good album from a very good band with integrity and staying power. In two years, Panic At The Disco and its ilk will go the way of Staind and Third Eye Blind.

Sent by Carlos R. Pastrana | 11:05 AM | 7-8-2008

Looks like most of the folks above said just about everything there is to say... I just hope this poll can somehow remain a reliable resource that highlights some of the above average music put out by the record industries.

Sent by Jesse | 11:06 AM | 7-8-2008

Seriously, everyone just needs to accept the fact that yes, PATD posted a bulletin on Myspace, BUT they still probably would have won without it.

Im not sure why everyone is stuck on Panic doing this, since apparently Death Cab did it too, so PATD can't be at blame here. It's not against the rules to inform bands about a website where they are nominated. Just because all the other bands didn't get their fans attention, doesn't make what they did a wrong thing. The poll was completely fair, because like stated above, it's not like they MADE fans vote, or it's not like fans sat around all day and night voting 500 times. The results are fair, nothng should change in the poll.

Sent by Nicole | 11:10 AM | 7-8-2008

Interesting to see people are still listening to whole CD's. I think there should be a singles poll instead of a CD poll. Most people I know do not buy CD's. They get their music from the internet (ITunes, etc.). I am sorry if the IPod generation has no interest in absorbing the quasi-narrative of an artist produced album...

Sent by Matt Schiller | 11:12 AM | 7-8-2008

I completely agree with Valerie.
It's just an online poll, why make a huge fuss over it??
Also, she made an amazing point. If, let's say, Paramore did this and won, what would be the problem for the Paramore fans? Nothing, because if they like Paramore and they win, then...just that. They win. And the fans would have no problem with that. What Panic did was completely fair, and most people voted not only because they are loyal to the band, but because they actually thought the CD was the best of the year out of all of those!!! They had to pick 5 bands, not just one. Panic had just as good a chance of winning as all the others did.

Sent by Amanda | 11:18 AM | 7-8-2008

I would like to say that not everyone found this out from their bulletin. I'm guessing A LOT of people didn't. Some people advertise these things on their blogs, you can easily google it, there are soo many ways to find these things out. Panic just did a good way, it's not their fault that the other bands didn't use this method.

Sent by Amanda | 11:20 AM | 7-8-2008

for me i really think its all fair, i mean it wasn't them who posted the blog on there myspace, it was adam, just to tell people to help them, and vote for them. i mean if panic didn't win, it wouldn't have been a big deal, well for them anyways. they are the type of people who are like thats cool that we were in this but if we loose its no big deal. obviously there fans love them and wanted them to win so they posted it on there web page, which it actually said to do, but others may disagree but that is why this is a poll to see other people opinion. me personally i did love pretty. odd. i thought it was an amazing album that i don't get sick of. they lyrics are so unique, as well with the song titles.

when you voted it said you could put this on your site, you know to tell people about it and thats what people did, the fans love the new album and you can really tell. they voted because they like the new album, why else would they vote? because fans are people who love the band's music. they didn't ruin the poll, just give them a chance & give them a listen.

Sent by becky | 11:27 AM | 7-8-2008

Panic At The Disco simply informed their fans about this poll. The number of votes they received came from how many fans they had.

I don't think it's unfair for Panic to receive more votes because they let people know about this. They won because they had more fans, not because they or the fans did anything to skew the poll.

Sent by Stephanie | 11:27 AM | 7-8-2008

To those who keep either complaining that Panic at the Disco won or complaining about those who keep complaining that they won: they're winning doesn't seem to be Bob's concern, and it shouldn't be ours.

The poll is an Internet poll, yes, but his request was for suggestions to make it less like the inaccurate and unfair Internet polls we all know mean nothing.

My own hope for this poll (which, I'm sure if a poll were taken, would not matter) was for it to be a reflection of NPR ASC listeners. But, looking at where the poll was taken (beside here, on various sites including myspace and facebook), it makes me think that wasn't the desire of Bob.

Perhaps the poll should only be on ASC. I also like John Patrick's idea, though that still would require some sort of registration...

Sent by Philip, Houston, TX | 11:44 AM | 7-8-2008

The simple fact is, this a poll of "NPR listeners"

If there was a poll for pregnant women's opinion on breakfast ceral.. I wouldn't take the poll. What good would it do.

I'm curious what PATD's banner looked like. Did it even mention it was for NPR?

Sent by jaded old elitist and proud of having a soul | 11:55 AM | 7-8-2008

If the mountain won't come to Mohammed. . .

Maybe you should find a way to conduct a random poll on the issue rather than allowing anyone to come (or be directed) to your site to vote. I'm not sure how this might be done--maybe you could send ballots to people via email who have registered with the site, as those people are probably the most likely to listen to the show.

How many of the Panic at The Disco voters listen to All Songs Considered, anyway?

BTW--my vote for best of 2008 so far is Frightened Rabbit.

Sent by Steve | 12:08 PM | 7-8-2008

I think the poll is great--it gives anyone who has a passion for an artist have a voice. Unreliable? Maybe. Campaign driven? Certainly. But so what. Let those who make the effort to be a good citizen of music have the voice. Let's just hope all those Panic fans (and everyone else, for that matter) get off their butts and put as much effort into voting for a President!

Sent by HT Goody | 12:37 PM | 7-8-2008

I believe that for the voting system it should be a poll, but with a follow up page that asks the voter to say what they like about the album. Any replys saying 'Cause they rule!!!!1!!!1!' should not be counted towards the final tally.

Also, there should be clips of songs so that if you only like one or two albums you can listen to other ones to be able to vote.

About all the PATD haters. If your favorite band singer, artist, or whatever had done the same thing would you be mad? People going to their myspace didn't have to vote for them and could have voted for someone else. Panic at the Disco just made people aware of the poll and that is it.

Sent by Claire | 12:39 PM | 7-8-2008

You do realize no one was able to vote more than once, right? I came back to the website once to see how the poll was going and it send me straight to the poll results, so... besides, i chose FIVE cds, not only Pretty. Odd. It's a great cd... it returns to basics, the good old rock&roll, and i think everyone, not just teeny girls could enjoy it. The Poll is fine, you want more credibility? Simple, make people comment about their favorites so they can tell you why their pick is good.

Sent by Adrienne | 12:41 PM | 7-8-2008

Putting myself in your shoes, I find the "Panic" controversy to have one blessing: it may have brought "All Songs" several new listeners. Panic at the Disco did put out a good record for those who love 60s inspired pop. I think the band wants to be taken seriously and shed its slick, Vegas image. However, they should take some advice from the film "Field of Dreams": "Build it and they will come." Their music should be the only campaign to win your poll.

Sent by Sean Foudy | 12:49 PM | 7-8-2008

Whether or not some of the bands did this to stroke their ego, to rally the fans, to take advantage of a valuable PR opportunity, is all sort of moot. If you put something on the Internet that calls for voting, you can't fault anyone for responding to it and putting something out there to get more votes. If you could, then the entire history of Elections would be considered faulty (oh wait, they already sort of are...)

Ahem-- but look at what bands are at the top-- All highly documented and popular bands, aside from Vampire Weekend, which has been hailed as the new thing of the summer by most popular music magazines. Even if someone came from one of the Rally Banners, but didn't want to vote for that band, they might just go ahead and vote for a band they recognize. I'm not saying most NPR listeners have a musical knowledge limited only to the popular, but this is the wide Internet. Also, the poll is entitled "BEST CDs of the year", which is pretty much just asking for a competition.

If you'd like to run the poll again with the ideas people have mentioned, then by all means do. You might get a more accurate response, and I think people who -did- vote for some of the more high-ranking bands might take a second look and explore other options. Would it be possible to have some tracks from the albums available to hear on the poll? That might garner a lot more serious interest than just relying on the band name.

Anyways-- I hope this discussion helps and thanks!

Sent by Canon | 1:27 PM | 7-8-2008

rock n roll?
60's pop?

I didn't hear that, I just heard a bunch of kids hoping on that "casual hipster kids like the Zombies" trend from about ... 2 or 3 years ago.

When I hear most of these new bands, (panic, spoon, arcade fire) I'm suprised how I don't remember anything about the song after it's done... when I even try to mock it, I make something more catchy.

On the other side of the coin, there's Vampire Weekend, where it sounds like it sounds like it's catchy. This certain fake pomp and circumstance.

Being inverted and shy in the 90's had it's downs... but I still think I liked the world better when people got beatup for playing kickball. Anti-macho has become the new assertive prick in disguise. I'm sick of this certain "you wouldn't hit a guy with glasses would ya?" attitude coming from the same people that would have picked on me in the 90's.

Sent by natural music lover | 1:42 PM | 7-8-2008

All Songs needs to cover the Mountain Goats more! How about a John Darnielle Guest DJ session? Please?

Sent by Chris Ford | 1:49 PM | 7-8-2008

I thought Vampire weekend and Panic were the same band; sound the same, same hype driven over produced mediocre radio llama spit. Oh well, at least Death cab has had the integrity to be selling the same album for 4 years in a row, i can respect that. This poll is as useful as asking people on suicide watch if they like knives or guns better. The top 4 bands are the Fleetwood Mac's of our day and the fifth is a soundtrack that I figure someone snatched from Wes Andersen's toilet.

Sent by Robert Lange | 2:19 PM | 7-8-2008

Ok, so I think based on a couple suggestions here I have a pretty good proposal for next time:

Someone suggested having some sort of editorial board list - sort of a poll of the "experts" to go along with the poll of listeners. What about this -- get rid of the write in vote system. Have it be that the editors -- Bob and crew -- choose a list of albums (somewhere from 20 to 50 albums) and then listeners can choose from those. As I remember, Panic at the Disco wasn't on the original poll -- it was a write in that was added in, and only after that did it take off. If the issue is that the winning album doesn't represent NPR listeners nor NPR staffers, this would solve at least half that problem. That way, if one of the bands on the list were to rally their fans, we wouldn't mind as much because it would be a Bon Iver or a Fleet Foxes, and NPR listeners and staffers would still feel like the winner represented them.

Sent by anonymous | 2:33 PM | 7-8-2008

only put artists you play?

Sent by George | 2:47 PM | 7-8-2008

I agree with Matt about the singles poll. I would love that.

Sent by Eric L | 3:10 PM | 7-8-2008

Polls and music don't mix, unless you consider music to simply be a commodity, rather than a form of art.

I consider it to be the latter. I don't see many polls for "Best Painting of 2008 So Far", so I can't see how a poll like this would ever work for any form of art.

Sent by Jw | 4:22 PM | 7-8-2008

What you should do is keep the top 5, but rank the votes by the position, so a vote for 1st is worth a lot more than a vote for 2nd, etc... Did you do that in this case? It sounds like you just took whatever 5 albums from each person, and there was no heirarchy.

But even if you do this, the results will still be skewed towards groups with intense fanbases who can be marshalled to vote in a timely manner.

But that's ok. Online polls like this are useful for the reason others have mentioned -- it exposes most of us to some new bands. Heck, even kids who came here to vote for only Panic got exposed to some band names they may check out. Heck, they may have gotten exposed to NPR and may listen.

Plus, there are going to be responders to the poll who are actual NPR listeners but who have limited exposure to music -- unless you go out of your way or belong to an indie-heavy service like eMusic, you will not have heard of most of the top 50 choices. In fact, look at the top 5. All have had huge radio play. I don't think that's by accident.

Bon Iver at #6 is kind of the winner of the poll in that he's the top votegetter who hasn't been played a lot on the air.

Sent by Yoshi | 4:27 PM | 7-8-2008

Poll is great but display of the results won't let me copy / paste or print it so I can watch for these CD's - even on-line. Good data - Bad UI!

good point. something to fix for next time for sure.
for now go here and this will help.
http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/1W3j6aX/What-are-your-favorite-albums-of-2008-so-far-Please-choose-ONLY-FIVE-albums?skip_to_results=1&utm%5Fmedium=Widget&utm%5Fsource=Widget&utm%5Fcampaign=1W3j6aX&utm%5Fcontent=comments#comments


bob

Sent by Sigismund IV | 5:01 PM | 7-8-2008

I suggest you take a lesson from Amazon and many others and present the result as "people who liked A also liked ...". You could still display the overall results to draw the crowds, but then someone could click on the name of the album they liked (The Golden Hour) to see what other albums fans of that band (Firewater) chose.

The poll would still be egalitarian and therefore biased towards certain pop albums, but it would be easier to find new stuff that you might like. I was enjoying reading all the comments on the original voting blog, until all the Panic at the Disco entries started clogging things up.

Sent by Kat | 5:57 PM | 7-8-2008

I view Panic's win the same way I do Bonds' home run record: with an invisible asterisk.

I think it's pretty clear that Vampire Weekend won the npr listeners' vote.

Sent by texpat | 7:05 PM | 7-8-2008

if panic or deathcab didn't post about this, no one would have even KNOWN about the poll. you should be thanking them for bringing attention to your website.

Sent by Katie | 8:27 PM | 7-8-2008

Well, this was a complete waste of my time.

Apparently, this poll was not for people who listen to music in general, but exclusively for the people who follow NPR. I can assure you that the NPR followers are only a small section in the grand scale of music lovers. By basically accusing Panic at the Disco of cheating, they are not asking for /everyone's/ opinion (as the poll insinuates) -- otherwise, this wouldn't be an issue. All PATD did was tell their fans about the poll. I myself wouldn't have known about it if they hadn't said something. By telling their fans, they got other people (especially non-NPR followers, I'm sure) to vote. And not necessarily for them, either. Just because you watch PATD's blog doesn't mean you think Pretty. Odd. was the best album of the year. It just means that a band you are relatively fond of has notified you of a poll on the subject.

So if NPR is going to post these kinds of things and fail to mention that they're looking for a specific response from a specific group of people (as opposed to the entire world of music), they shouldn't whine about bands who want their fans to know about things like this. And then, to post a blog that doesn't even admit that Panic won...

'Bob' sounds more like a whining five year old who didn't get his way and is left trying to reason with the world why it didn't go down like he wanted it to, than a professional who understands that there are more people in the world who love music in general than the ones on NPR.

Honestly, people. It's the little things like this that causes my faith in humanity to dwindle.

Also, an afterthought:
While I usually hate it when people leave stupid little comments about how they're never going to listen to someone ever again because so and so did something they didn't like, I did want to state that such an act of childishness has caused me to distrust blogs, polls, websites and companies like this. I have less respect for NPR now that I did before, and Bob, I have you to thank for it.


I never accused Panic of cheating. They didn't.
I am simply asking the audience that listens to this show what they think of the way the voting was done and how valuable they find these sorts of things.


bob

Sent by Omes | 9:41 PM | 7-8-2008

I agree with Sheila below. I would like people to vote on albums too, versus just "CD"s. CD implies a haphazard culmination of tunes surrounding one particularly intriguing hit, where the term "album" automatically requires voters to think beyond the shuffle button. That's where I, personally, think Panic at the Disco came from. My mind has not been changed about Panic at the Disco. I had cut into the Podcast about 2 mins. in, and was shocked when Bob's voice came back and said Panic at the Disco? I appreciate the nod to the beach boys et. al., but I since got the PATD album, and my mind has not been changed. Please refer to the pod bit above as to why. Should definitely ask for album. I don't agree however with the registration process. Too much information. I loved every other pick though. Very much.

Sent by Jess | 10:28 PM | 7-8-2008

I think you should have removed Panic! at the Disco's album from the poll. The votes clearly came from non-listeners and it unfairly skewed the results. What are they doing on the list anyway? I agree with the post above that only albums that are covered on the program should be included.

Sent by Gerard Clarke | 10:36 PM | 7-8-2008

Ok, I have a question. A lot of the above comments started mentioning Vampire Weekend. Im sincerly curious, how do they play into the whole Panic thing?? They are an amazingg band, but isn't this discussion about Panic? And also, isn't it true Death Cab did the same thing? Why is everyone tripping over Panic doing it, when another band did it too? Is it just because they won?

Face it-If your number one band did that and won, you wouldn't mind, would you? Stop making a big deal about it!! Panic won, and probably would have without the banner, because they have sooo many fans!!! =]

Sent by Alice | 10:57 PM | 7-8-2008

since a poll is just an opportunistic method for getting opinions it's not a very good measure of what the average person likes. Additionally, it's probably a very poor cross section of listener opinion since most of the voters for panic at the disco probably listen to more KISS FM and MTV than NPR. All things considered, the poll is a neat thing to have but it shouldn't be taken seriously as it is not a good source for making a "best of..." list.

P.S.
Panic at the Disco? really? 2008 has not been amazing but it hasn't been so bad that Panic at the Disco should get a nomination spot.

Sent by sean | 11:20 PM | 7-8-2008

I can't believe The Dodos, an almost unheard of bad from the SF bay area, made it in the top 30 and wasn't played. There should defiantly be a way to weigh the votes for an album against their general popularity (and their efforts to win). Mabey compare the amount of availability of an album.

Sent by Brennan | 12:00 AM | 7-9-2008

All the panic stuff aside i think the poll achieved what it was intended to achieve.

The npr listeners were able to voice their recommendations for best album through an easy-to-track system, as well as additional write ins. the write in also allowed for listeners to distinguish between serious entries and competitive marketing.

In the end i like to think that everybody who took the poll seriously gained a true insight into other listeners tastes and found a few new favorites as well.

Sent by Bob G. | 3:18 AM | 7-9-2008

I just played the podcast for the best cd of the first half of 2008 and as soon as Panic at the Disco came on I thought, "this doesn't really sound like all songs considered." I thought that this winner once and for all meant that NPR's great music program had finally gone mainstream, attracted a fairly large audience and no longer was a small, distinct voice. That's too bad, I thought.

Mostly, I thought that this music was pretty mundane as I listened to Panic at the Disco.

So, I guess All Songs Consisered has finally scaled, and is one of the big music podcasts in this emerging space. That's great, but it shouldn't happen at the expense of the program's distinct voice.

Please re-think these popularity contest programs in light of this. I like the idea of the "best" from the listener base, but something that is linkable and game-able should probably be re-thought. Don't make it possible for a rabid fane base to skew the numbers so. Because it just doesn't sound right.

Sent by shanan | 5:56 AM | 7-9-2008

One way to use the polling system (without requiring additional hoops to jump through like registration) would be to hold polling open for a couple weeks and aggregate by day. That is, the band that wins the most days is the winner. This would mean that a band would have to have a sustained campaign to change the rankings, not just a burst on the last day or two.

Sent by Gaius | 9:39 AM | 7-9-2008

Album of the year by miles - 'Cipher' by Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Sent by Mark | 11:32 AM | 7-9-2008

Panic at the Disco made a great album, and so did Death Cab for Cutie. They deserved the top two spots. I think that everyone deserved their places.

Sent by Dorotea | 12:48 PM | 7-9-2008

The way I would do it is any group who does any sort of advertisement (myspace, website...) be disqualified. Also I think signing up to vote is a good idea.

Sent by Adam | 1:14 PM | 7-9-2008

I honestly disagree with the results, panic shouldn't have one... personally I think their album sounds way to much like a beatles rip off, and I wasn't impressed. Its nothing new to me. Thats why I voted for Sigur Ros, that new album IS (no past tense here folks) the best album of this year easily.

Sent by Eben | 3:08 PM | 7-9-2008

Oh forgot to say!!! Girl talk is freaking awesome... some of the best sampling I've herd in a long time, hah!

Sent by Eben | 3:13 PM | 7-9-2008

Wow, bitter much? I think many of you are being harsher than needed in critiquing the PATD win in the poll.

Maybe the demographic of the folks that listen to ASC might be more varied than you think. And let's not forget, people have the right to like whatever music they want, whether you agree or not. Major label does not always equal trash music.

Personally, I couldn't vote on half of the things that were listed as choices because I personally thought they sucked so bad. And you don't see me complaining that Vampire Weekend got third place even though I cannot stand their music.

I say, take the poll for what it is, opinion NOT fact. And if you have such an issue with some of the winners, just don't buy their songs.

Sent by Mena | 8:31 PM | 7-9-2008

i think the when you realize a band is skewing the results it's hard to say the correct course of action. It is about what said person to listen and if a bunch of panic fans happen to pipe up it's still their choice. i think you can't do too much about this. i think you can limit the times people to vote (one voice one vote) but editors are samrt. and we take the results with a grain of salt. I just hope people don't become disenchanted and stop sharing interesting new music we may have otherwise missed.

Sent by dapperfell0w | 9:25 PM | 7-9-2008

i voted pretty. odd. why? because i love brendons voice, it is so amazing, he can get the really high pitches & low pitches as well. they use different interments on songs. not just a guitar, bass and drums but piano, trumpit, and many other interments. the lyrics are amazing, something i would have never thought of. northern downpour especially."i know the worlds a broken bone, but melt your headaches call it home" is one of my favorite lines. thats what i think anyway.

for people to disagree, that is fine, i mean this is a poll so i dont think it should be the biggest deal if panic won or not. i dont know if they even had anything to do with it, being nominated and all because they are in europe right now.

Sent by becky | 10:29 PM | 7-9-2008

Isn't great that we can have such a discussion about music?

As a community of listeners, we're all better off when we show the enthusiasm to defend our albums.

We will always tout our favorites and ignore our disapointments. Going out of our way to vote and comment supports that.

I'll buy everyone a Coke if we can join hands and begin to have open minds to all kinds of music, popular or not.

Sent by Matthew Argalas | 11:34 PM | 7-9-2008

OH YEAH! PANIC AT THE DISCO ON THE TOP!!

Sent by TJ | 11:43 PM | 7-9-2008

panic were in the lead before they posted the banner anyway, they would have most likely won-or been in the top 2- even if they hadn't posted a banner.

Sent by kelly | 10:26 AM | 7-10-2008

I don't see why so many people are jumping on Bob. I thought that he reported what happened in a very matter-of-fact style.

Anyway, I think that overall the poll was/is a good idea. It's great knowing what albums the other listeners are loving this year. It would not only be a shame to limit the poll just to albums covered on the show---it'd be completely ridiculous: you'd have to call it Some Songs Considered!

I think the best way to do the poll would be to have it be strictly "write in" (in the comments). Ask people to please vote for five choices. That doesn't prevent bands from linking up and campaigning and all, but it isn't quite as easy and immediate (although more trouble to tally). More importantly, it gives people a chance to see where each voter is coming from. This would help people to find new music to love (along the lines of the person who mentioned Amazon's "People who liked A also liked ...)

thanks for you thoughts.
we used to do a write in only style poll.
I can't tell you how many countless hours I spent correcting spelling etc so I could get items counted in an Excel spread sheet. 50 thousand write ins tallied by hand is an awful lot of evenings...
I think the audience has grown too big to do it this way. But we'll keep thinking.
thanks Suzy.


bb

Sent by Suzy | 12:39 PM | 7-10-2008

And all the little indie kids HATE PANIC AT THE DISCO. But if they had actually listened to the album, they would have realized it's actually a pretty.good album. I never would have thought myself a PATD fan. (abbreviation for laziness' sake only... I'm not that big a fan...), MTV hipsterism pisses me off more than anything... but it's a damn good listen. If Fall-Out Boy releases a good one next, I'll eat my hat...

Sent by Tyler | 6:16 PM | 7-10-2008

Panic at the Disco makes terrible "music" and you should feel bad for having even made them a choice.

What's next, Fergie?

Sent by Guy | 10:36 PM | 7-10-2008

Let me preface this by saying that I: 1) haven't listened to Panic! at the Disco, 2) don't care if they are atop the poll or not (as long as it is a fair representation of listener support).

Admittedly I have fallen into the craze of a poll bombing back when I was a one band man. I can understand how fervently people defend their favorite band especially when it comes to bumping them up in an online poll.

However, nothing cramped my effort to show off my favorite rockers more than a registration. Like my college-aged self, I am sure that fans of a particular band wouldn't hesitate a second to click on a banner, vote for their album and then move on. In fact it is unlikely that many of them even pay attention to what poll it is they are voting for. However, a quick registration would foil most of them.

This would also prevent them from voting more than once.

Require registration. It wouldn't deter the regular listeners of the show but it would stop casual passers-by from stuffing the ballot box. This would give you a better representation of true listener picks.

This is all irrespective of hipster elitism.

Poll bombing happens all the time... how else do you think the Cubs got seven players into the All-Star game?

Sent by Eric B. | 11:21 PM | 7-10-2008

Polls will never be perfect, which is why this one--which is for fun--was still successful. I agree with Sarah's post (quite a bit above) to a point--she mentioned there is nothing wrong with posting on a blog on Myspace and how NPR listeners probably see this band as less sophosticated so they are complaining; however, she can't argue that PatD winning over twice as many votes in two days negates the seriousness of their win. Death Cab won, we know that. No big deal. Let's move on and laugh at polls.

However, this was successful at bringing new music to many. I posted a bulletin about Fleet Foxes and included a Youtube video on Myspace. I received quite a bit of response from friends loving them and wondering "where did I hear this?" Would it have been unfair if these posted voted from my unsolicited blog post as well?

The facts: I love how easy it was to write in and click. I also love the goal of the poll. I also like the controversy after. Just wait till our next presidential election polls. Numbers are strange creatures.

Sent by Mike Vial | 1:05 AM | 7-11-2008

There is no best new album, I win.

The PAD result is interesting. The local NPR equivalent gave that album a "not bad" review, perhaps they're angling towards this type of audience 'cos it ain't mainstream enough. Maybe I'll give it a listen if I happen across it sometime, maybe.

Although I don't listen to the show, I do use your blog for discovering new music.
"Call in" polls always have the problem of highly opinionated or motivated respondents skewing and biasing. Single transferable voting probably wont change what comes out on top, but could make the middle ranking more interesting.

The results would be more representative of the general NPR audience if a randomly selected sample, perhaps from your mailing list, were asked to recommend their best picks. 'though, I reckon it would still lead to a fairly well known album to be chosen "best". Talking to a statistician or polling company might help bring better solutions.

I like reading short reviews of what an album means to someone, and a few full length media clips to excite my senses.
I think a more pertinent question to ask is "What's a good album you've heard, that you think no-one has blogged about?" (I know one...).

Anyway, topping polls are great for bragging rights, but don't count for much in the long run of things. Just give me passionately performed music (great lyricists are too rare to find these days).

Sent by Real Fake | 9:15 AM | 7-11-2008

I heard of PATD before this poll but probably never listened to them, and I don't mind that they won. I will probably listen to them as well as the other groups that came up on this list. The replies so far seem pretty childish, mostly deprecating the band completely. 9000+ people seemed to have enjoyed the album enough to vote for it. More than twice the closest runner. Isn't finding yourself in the minority one of the chances you take when voting on a poll?
Besides, this provides an opportunity for PATD fans that were not familiar with All Songs to become listeners.

Sent by Zvi | 10:13 AM | 7-11-2008

Here's the deal with this whole controversy and the fact that it's even an issue to begin with: Bob gets it. I get it. I'm sure most NPR listeners get it. The people who have posted comments on this page, fans of PATD and otherwise, who are fine with the way this poll turned out, do not get it. Period. And they're not going to get it. And trying to get them to understand where Bob is coming from on this is just like banging our heads against the wall. It's just not working. A few people have made good suggestions for different ways the poll could be conducted in a more effective way, but it's sad that we have to discuss this at all. The poll, as originally set up, would have worked fine if more people out there GOT IT. But it turns into a popularity contest, and the mainstream wins out. This is why you won't typically see albums that are put under a microscope on ASC at the top of the Billboard charts. Good music and mainstream success are not one and the same. This poll demonstrates that better than anything. Let's just hope next time that the PATD fans have something better to do with their time than sabotage well-intentioned music polls that are aimed at a discerning audience who actually have good taste in music.

Sent by Scott | 2:06 PM | 7-11-2008

Oh yes yes yes !!!
Panic at the disco won !!!
They are front Coldplay =O !!!
Oh I love them !!!

Sent by fan0sh | 5:08 PM | 7-11-2008

For me, the real fun of this poll was reading the comments and write-in's. It was cool seeing a few artists added to the poll as it went along. I checked out several new-to-me artists and a few old favorites I'd lost track of -- thanks for that. I'm not surprised or disturbed that the top few positions went to groups who told their (apparently numerous!) fans about the contest. It's more interesting to me how many total albums were nominated. Is that statistic available?

i think around 85

Sent by Alison | 10:27 PM | 7-11-2008

There is a lot of retarded music snobs on this goddamn forum. They act like have the best taste in music, and that everyone else should have the same. Just because I like patd, doesn't mean I'm a 12 year old little girl that has bad taste in music. The music snobs act like they're soooo unique and indie just because they listen to non-mainstream artist and artist I've never heard of. Music snobs need to make a fire, and die in it. All they do is concentrate on the negatives, make you feel stupid and inferior. For example, scott posted "Let's just hope next time that the PATD fans have something better to do with their time than sabotage well-intentioned music polls that are aimed at a discerning audience who actually have good taste in music." Who the hell do you think you are? I repeat
"Just because I like Patd, does 'not' mean I have bad taste in music." You're probably just some 45 year old fat guy that like to make fun of anyone who likes a popular band, just because they're easy to make fun of. Get over yourselves music snobs, you're not prophets of musical taste.

Sent by Ryan | 8:23 AM | 7-12-2008

I would simply like to note that I am a devoted listener to ASC and feel that Pretty.Odd. is one of the Top 5 albums of '08 so far. We do exist.

Sent by Tyler | 5:32 PM | 7-12-2008

I liked being exposed to a variety of music that I may never had had the opportunity to hear. Who cares that some people got creative? Those fans wanted their CD to win.
My beef is with the label companies who would not give permission for their CD to be played by NPR.....boo to them!

Sent by bertha behrens | 9:16 PM | 7-12-2008

Throw out the 10-25 percent of votes for the top 5 raw voting results in every Internet poll. Just by default. See how that skews the results.

When I see any Internet poll that gets any attention outside of its originating community, I throw out the top entries that obviously got too many votes. Here, that's Panic and Death Cab, who outdistanced their nearest competitors by a margin of magnitude compared to the rest of the poll.

Or, as Bob discovers, it's easy enough to track down poll campaigners. If someone campaigns for a poll, remove them from the list, regardless of how many votes they get. Put them in a separate, lesser list of "Bands who are NPR fans" and talk about them some other time.

The best things that came out of this poll were picks on the tail: MGMT is a good point of an actually overlooked band, and Man Man, Firewater and Fleet Foxes were my favorite discoveries.

Really, though, we don't need Internet polls at all. Everyone is plugged into their own camps -??as we see in this poll and these comments, they are subscribers or regular visitors to their favorite artists' blogs and Web sites, and to blogs that mirror their interests. Polls will either form an echo chamber for those already in the community, or -- as in this case -- provide a promotional opportunity for system-gaming PR campaigners.

Sent by elle | 12:55 AM | 7-13-2008

Look, there are some really great bands on this list the ranking is really a mute point IMO. I enjoyed just paging through this list and checking out some stuff I had not heard yet.

Sent by charlie | 12:56 PM | 7-13-2008

What about disqualifying a band that puts it on their myspace/facebook/website page? A band certainly shouldn't be disqualified for a rabid fansite doing it, but I think a band should not be "endorsing" such a move. It was pretty obvious from reading the comments when an artist's site or fansite was linking or encouraging people to come on to the poll - there would suddenly be 50 comments in a row touting Another Country or Jackie Green, to name a couple. So, it's unfortunate, but I would delete them from the list at that point.

Sent by Maureen | 9:17 AM | 7-14-2008

Meh, what are you going to do? MLB is having the same problem with teams promoting their players to be voted in the All-Star game. So New York, Boston and Chicago have an advantage.

It's a little annoying when you're interested in what the All Songs listeners think and instead you get a bunch of fan boy voters.

But I'm more annoyed that 1500 or so people voted for "Evil Urges". It stinks!

Sent by Brian A. | 2:58 PM | 7-14-2008

Oh my god, some of the comments here are hurting my head.

I have nothing against PATD, and I happen to love Death Cab to a million pieces, but I think what some others have said is right -- remove a band that advertises the poll on their own website/MySpace. It might be a bit hard to enforce, but that's one option. And these have been mentioned before, but randomly announcing the poll on an episode of ASC, or sending it out randomly in a newsletter, or choosing to invite a random sample of subscribers/listeners. But nothing is foolproof, unfortunately.

It's a tough thing to figure out. And you've been really great about taking some of these comments in stride, considering how immature some have been.

Sent by Tamara Vallejos | 3:53 PM | 7-14-2008

Vampire weekend does not have the third best album of the year. Vampire Weekend is awful. The only they are popular is because of their friendship with Pitchfork.

Sent by azazaron | 4:29 PM | 7-14-2008

Where is CITY AND COLOUR, DEAD MEADOW, THE GUTTER TWINS, HEADLIGHTS, HOT CHIP, HOWLIN' RAIN, NEVA DINOVA, OURS, SHEARWATER, STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS, AND YOAV??? (just to name a few) All of these bands have put out superior albums compared to what is on the list. Bands that start with the letter H alone could form a list of the best. It has been an awesome year for music... but apparently people ignore the good stuff and say to themselves, "Wow there's nothing good to listen to..."

Sent by Jackson | 5:28 PM | 7-14-2008

Well, it does seem pretty obvious that the poll turned into a popularity contest. I think it would be too much trouble to assure that every person gets only one vote. As a music listener, the fact that Panic at the Disco ran away with the poll does not make me any more interested in them than those at the bottom of the list. I like the poll because it gives me a chance to browse for new names that might be interesting. So for those of us who don't like the fact that some groups obviously pulled on fan loyalty for promotional reasons, let us simply resolve to look at the results with some perspective. As for me, I'm just glad the poll is there. It gave me a chance to learn about some new groups. Music is not a contest and we don't have to view it that way. So, "Let it Be."

Sent by Jay Curkendall | 8:05 PM | 7-14-2008

"There is a lot of retarded music snobs on this goddamn forum."

Not really. It's pretty chill here. I am a music lover though. I think you call it music snob.

"They act like have the best taste in music, and that everyone else should have the same."

NO, we don't. We just are open-minded and yet we are elitist, and nothing is wrong with that. It confuses and frustrates people. You just need to open your mind .. that's all. I love everything from Green Day to Momus.

"The music snobs act like they're soooo unique and indie"

hehe .. you said indie.

"Just because I like Patd, does 'not' mean I have bad taste in music."

.. sigh...

"You're probably just some 45 year old fat guy that like to make fun of anyone who likes a popular band, just because they're easy to make fun of."

More like 25-30. And yes we are getting fatter. Didn't I mention Green Day earlier? yes I did.

"Get over yourselves music snobs, you're not prophets of musical taste."

Now that you say it that way... we are! Who do you think was listening to your precious "Emo" more than 10 years ago. Us!

Check out the album "Nothing Feels Good" from The Promise Ring. Doesn't have the faux mature sound of the new Patd .. it keeps it real and youthful.

Sent by daniel | 5:20 PM | 7-15-2008

Perhaps if you just asked for the call letters of the public radio station voters listen to it would weed out some of the pretenders. Thanks for turning me on to Islands. I was not aware that Dick Dale, Alice Cooper and Freddie Mercury ever collaborated on a project.

Sent by Rick Harrell | 12:11 AM | 7-16-2008

With polls comes skewed results. The poll obviously reached a limited demographic. However, I agree that the poll serves as a list for those interesting in finding new and, at least what some consider, compelling music.

Perhaps the poll could split results up into genres. This way those who puke at the thought of Mariah Carey won't have to see their precious indy bands being compared with what they perceive as tasteless R&B.

Sent by Sam bo bam | 4:02 PM | 7-16-2008

As many others have already said, a registration requirement may limit so many of a particular artist's fans from flocking to the polls and e-stuffing the ballots, but it wouldn't prevent it entirely.

However, I can't blame Panic at the Disco for their campaign. I, myself, am an avid All Songs Considered listener and am always looking for good new music. But having thought Panic's earlier work to be absolutely atrocious, I would never have bothered listening to the record had it not been featured in the results show. And while I'd hardly consider "Pretty. Odd." one of the best records of the year (so far), it's actually not half bad. And now I might be a little more interested in the next record they put out.

P.S. I'm just really happy to see Bon Iver get so much love.

Sent by Gerald Burris | 12:31 AM | 7-17-2008

My suggestion for the way to do a fairer poll is to get people to select their top 5 albums, rather than just the top 1.

We all know though that popularity does not equate with quality.

I've only just found ASC as a pod, so I missed the vote. My opinion, Elblow's Seldom Seen Kid is the album of the decade so far. Mature, intelligent, varied, powerful. I can't stop listening to it. Saw them twice at Glastonbury, amazing.

Sent by reuben anderson | 5:58 AM | 7-17-2008

where in gods name is Radioheads "In Rainbows"?

-- That actually came out in 2007 and was picked by NPR listeners as the best album of the year. -- rh

Sent by Jonathon | 10:45 AM | 7-17-2008

I read the first 20 posts and then skipped the rest, so fogive me if someone has suggested this...

There seems to be some consensus that the poll should reflect the views of ASC listeners, who seem to be a pretty devoted lot. The poll was announced on the podcast one week. How long does it really take to get a representative sample? Maybe one solution would be to shorten the voting period, which would limit the ability of a fan site to drum up fabricated votes.

Sent by lidermike | 4:53 PM | 7-17-2008

It's not that the poll isn't representative of views, or a good way to gauge things, but that I simply don't agree with the way it turned out. And that will happen. What I disagree with even more is the reaction of fans on either side of the spectrum. That is, fans of Panic and fans of other music.

ANYWAY, Mountain Goat's Heretic Pride is an amazing album and deserves to be WAY higher, as does the Hold Steady. Just saying.

Sent by Kayleigh | 9:01 AM | 7-18-2008

It's amazing that all of these comments are directed towards how Panic at the Disco should not be #1. If the people posting these comments aren't the ones voting for this band then who is?

Sent by Rick | 11:33 AM | 7-18-2008

No, no, no, to Panic at the Disco. I truly respect "All songs considered," and I think the band clearly disrespected the integretity and calue of what NPR and it's programming. What the shows stand for. I interpet "All songs considered" and NPR as independent and leaders. If people want to listen they will. There is no massive PLEA involved. For Panic at the Disco begging was a desperate measure. Let people search and explore on their own. I am almost certain many of the people who voted have not even been on NPR (which I guess is a good thing for you guys). Anyway, Thanks for introducing me to great and creative music worth my ears listening to! =).....p.s. none of the bands I voted for made the top 5.

Sent by Daisy | 2:04 PM | 7-18-2008

I'm really digging Headlights new album "Some Racing Some Stopping"

Sent by Mike | 5:44 PM | 7-19-2008

If it hadn't have been for that banner (on panic's myspace) I wouldn't have known about the poll. It just made me aware, and then I made my own decision to vote for who I though was best...which happened to be Panic at the Disco.

Sent by Natalie | 11:19 AM | 7-21-2008

I am soo glad MGMT made this list. They are by far my fav CD right now

Sent by emily | 1:38 PM | 7-21-2008

It's clearly not an accurate register of All Songs Considered fans' perceptions when this sort of promotion occurs.

The solution? Give listeners a chance to support the show financially. Any contribution (let's say, over $5) for any fiscal year nets the supporter an ALL SONGS CONSIDERED window cling and a login name for special polls, etc. on the NPR All Songs Considered web page.

I fail to see any other way to effectively register true All Songs fans opinions.

Sent by Jordan | 11:25 PM | 7-21-2008

I don't know that it should be a contest so much as create awareness in listeners. I think it's kind of interesting that Panic at the Disco launched such a fierce campaign even though I'm not particularly interested in their music. I just want to know what everyone is listening to!

Sent by Rachael | 4:00 PM | 7-22-2008

I like the poll system.
I love how Panic At The Disco advertised it.
It really shows how much us Panic fans love them!

Sent by Hannah | 9:22 PM | 7-22-2008

Adam from Fueled by Ramen posted a blog about this poll on Painc's blog on myspace. So I think that's one reason they won by so much, because every fan who looked at the blog voted for them. I'm a fan so I voted for them, but I think that they might have been the only band to do that. So maybe that gave them a bit of an advantage. But still, Pretty. Odd. is an outstanding record So I'm glad that they won. Death Cab's was also good so I'm gald they came in second. :]

Sent by Maggie | 8:00 AM | 7-23-2008

Poll system is fine. Who cares if it's not perfectly fair? I love the fact I have a list of CDs I would never have picked up on my own. I'll never forget a couple of years ago (the Best of 2006 show) when Bob Boilen and his guests debated who would be #10. Regina Spektor beat out Beck and the Hold Steady. In a strange way, the passion for #10 made me like all those albums that much more (kinda like a bunch of fans voting for their favorite album).

Anyway, just a suggestion, why not have Boilen select some guest reviewers to present their lists, like the Best of 2007 lists. Those lists added depth to the "popular" vote list.

Sent by Billy | 3:02 AM | 7-24-2008

PANIC AT THE DISCO DESERVES TO BE IN THE LEAD! I think they are the only normal band there is out there. People only care about money and not being chaced by the paparatzi but panic likes to put on a great show and please their fans. Panic is personally my favorite band and due to their care for the fans and their care for what goes on the final coppy of the record im so happy that they are in the number 1 spot. I will go see panic at the disco any day they come to my home town. KEEP GOING PANIC WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Sent by Alexa | 11:19 AM | 7-24-2008

I think that as long as the poll is focussed on a "best" album, there will be a problem with poll results being skewed by enthusiastic fans. If someone thinks an album is the best of the year, they will be passionate about it. That means pimping the poll on their blogs or to their friends. I'm sure links to the poll were posted on communities such as LJ and facebook with an exhortation to "vote for xband!" That's how online networking works.

I see nothing wrong, therefore, with more directed "get out the vote" campaigns. However, if you wanted to limit response to NPR listeners, you could easily do so. In that sense, the poll results were inaccurate. They weren't a cross section of NPR listener opinion. But they did tell us what music fans become passionate about.

Sent by eb | 2:10 PM | 7-24-2008

Ola
soy de mexico y me gusto mucho el resultado de la votacion yo tengo el pretty odd y es muy bueno tambien tengo el de coldplay viva la vida y para mi esos son los dos mejores

1 panic at the disco
2 coldplay
3 the hush sound

bueno hasta ahorita me vengo a enterar de esta encuesta asi que no me dio tiempo de votar pero me gusto mucho el resultado

I LOVE PANIC AT THE DISCO
bye

Sent by iani | 6:19 PM | 7-24-2008

i liked the way the poll was set up, cuz you couldn't vote twice (i tried. i admit it), and that seems more fair than some other online polls. Thanks!

Sent by Jessie | 6:36 PM | 7-24-2008

i see nothing wrong in what panic at the disco did. the other bands could have easily done the same.by doing this they encourage people who truely believe their album is the best to vote. if you only wished to have the poll limited to the NPR listeners, then the poll wouldnt really represent the view of the general public, but only the people within this community. Also, if not for what the band did, people from the general public may not have known about the poll. so i find it reasonable to give the oppurtunity to all the bands in the poll to advertise the poll, because in doing so, you get the view of not only the NPR listeners, but that of the people who are truely passionate about their music.

Sent by ja | 9:55 PM | 7-24-2008

personally it wasnt the banner that made me vote. i bloody love pretty odd and it is honestly the best album ever

Sent by stinkyatthedisco | 1:57 AM | 7-25-2008

I can say that I dont see the problem with Panic at the Disco promoting themselves to their fans, they were just getting the word out there about the poll, and I can say that I voted for them and it only allowed me to vote once.

Sent by Stefani | 10:15 AM | 7-25-2008

Panic... Really?
The Dodos are way better
really most of the stuff on there is better than Panic

Sent by Hutch | 7:43 PM | 7-26-2008

I started writing a very long and descriptive comment about what was wrong with these results. But I decided to just boil it all down.

Does anyone HONESTLY think that the MAJORITY of the people who voted for the top 5 albums looked at the OTHER choices before voting?

That's the problem. Make voting in the poll available ONLY by visiting npr.org and I think you'll get FAR more realistic results.

Sent by Alex Majors | 8:03 PM | 7-26-2008

Polls are for dancing.

Sent by wc | 9:14 AM | 7-29-2008

I am glad PATD won because I really enjoyed listening to Pretty Odd. It showed that they guy's are not a one trick pony and able show a different sides of themselves. My favorite songs on this album were folk around, when the day met night

Sent by sandra | 1:01 AM | 7-30-2008

I almost started laughing when I heard Panic at the Disco won. I did start laughing when I heard Bob give his "erm" explanation. I'm glad he did though.

On the whole, though, polls don't really work anyway. Like at the local Battle of the Bands, where some POS band wins because they brought enough drunk high school buddies... Unfortunately, this sort of thing kills the poll idea. If you do one in the future, I suggest a registration process... that will at least push away a percentage of the groupies redirected from elsewhere to help out their latest pop crush.

And, Bob, please don't worry about chasing away the disillusioned ex-Fall-Out-Boy Panic fans. I promise they would not have listened to All Songs Considered anyway.

Consider yourself blessed.

Sent by Mark P | 12:27 AM | 7-31-2008

Sorry for second post...

You've just got me thinking about how to make this work. Perhaps some sort of simple password given via the radio show that would work for a couple days. Then after that, give a different password in the middle of the podcast? No, Panic didn't "cheat," but this is supposed to be for listeners and should be. Having 9,000 Panic fans invade for all of ten seconds and then disappear forever obviously skews the results. And I swear I will never listen again if the listeners pick Panic at the end of the year. (Just kidding; I'll keep listening).

I thought last year's pick-em worked fairly well with good results. But Sigur Ros, Wolf Parade, The Black Keys, and the Mountain Goats far outstripped all the bands that made this list; course, they may not have made the top of the vote anyway, which is a tragedy. Alas.

Thanks for trying.

Sent by Mark P | 12:43 AM | 7-31-2008

There are politics everywhere you go. In office jobs, in the music business, on the internet, in schools... Honestly, there is no way to avoid politicking. It's part of life, and if we didn't do it, we wouldn't be human. As an NPR listener and a fan of many bands on the list (including, yes, Panic at the Disco), I think the way the poll was conducted was absolutely effective. If a band truly wanted to win the poll, they could have sent out a notice as Panic did. Their motives aren't important if they continue to make good music, are they? We're just fans, and we don't need to develop superiority complexes.

Also, I think quite a few NPR listeners could do with being a bit more open-minded.

Sent by Haley | 6:07 PM | 8-6-2008

OK I am actually surprised to see PATD that high up there. I don't enjoy their music but that doesn't mean others can't. I found Death Cab's album a little bit low for them I think fans are just clicking that because its Death Cab, not because its the best album. I'm always terrible at picking one album so I'll just give a few I found to be excellent they were At Mount Zoomer by Wolf Parade, In The Future by Black Mountain, Third by Portishead, Sigur Ros had its moments. I just have one question about this list how come theres no "Terminal Romance" by Matt Mays + El Torpedo,(if you havn't heard of him don't use this album for a first listen, use the self titled Matt Mays and El Torpedo these guys rock they are from my home-town. And also wheres "Love At The End Of The World" by Sam Roberts? I don't feel these albums are anywheres near best of '08 but should be mentioned.

Sent by Jacob | 7:18 PM | 8-8-2008

Okay, I am a huge fan of Panic at the Disco, and honestly, I think everyone's views on this just depend on what bands they liked. The people who love Panic think that it was just a smart move, and that the actual band very likely had no part in the decision, and that voting was just a suggestion to their fans. I agree, but moving on, most of the people who do not like Panic think that they "cheated." So this makes me wonder; being perfectly honest, how would you feel if it had been one of your favorite bands? I think that's the main issue here. Personally, I think letting everyone vote is fair, and making people sign up wouldn't actually stop the people who cared to begin with. Just being honest; if I really wanted to vote for Panic, and you had to sign up, I would.

Also, someone wanted to know from fans of Panic why we love them. I, of course, can only give my personal opinion, but I would be happy to give that. First of all, of course, their music. To me, it's different than anything else I have heard, and it...effects me differently somehow. It's hard to explain, but it seems pretty magical. Every one of their songs can actually change my entire mood; most, especially on Pretty. Odd., make me feel really happy. Some literally drive me to tears, and part of that is because I relate to them so much, and they remind me of people I love. The songs are just so gorgeous and real. When I am upset, no matter what's wrong, I just put on their music and I swear I feel completely better within minutes. Their music is also just somehow so beautiful to me. The voices, every instrument, the lyrics...it just inspires me. I think they're all brilliant. Besides that, every one of them just seems like someone it would be amazing to know, if that makes sense. They are so sweet and hilarious, and I believe that even though I don't really know them. I think good vibes just radiate from them, and I would like nothing better than to know them. No, I am not delusional or weird enough to want to marry them or "have their babies," but having the chance to be friends with them? That would be amazing. They're also very creative. Everyone always tells me that they sound/look/act just like all of these other bands, but I just cannot see that at all. I have heard most of the bands they are compared to, and they don't really compare to Panic. Yes, you can tell what some of their influences are (The Beatles, anyone?), but they do not copy anyone. Oh, this is random, but I get really inspired by their outfits, too. I just really like clothes, and they are always dressed so nicely. I know that has nothing to do with anything, but I felt like noting it. XD

The thing I hate is that a lot of people, if they were being honest, would tell you that they like them because of the way that they look. Sure, they're exceptionally good-looking men, but that is never a reason to "love" a band, and I'm just afraid that a lot of the people who voted in this poll like them because of that. It really is worse than you would imagine. Last time I went to their show, this girl was talking about how she had met Spencer, and this other girl was just, out of nowhere, like "Oh, well I only care about Ryan and Brendon. They're hot." Yeah, that bothers me.

Sent by Ariel | 12:11 AM | 8-11-2008

Perfect solution: When people vote, have them indicate (in a required field) where they learned of the poll. You could even provide the categories i.e. social networking site, band's website or npr.

Then when you post the results, provide two separate lists: one in which an album's vote consisted of more than (some arbitrary) percentage of social networking votes.

The second list will include albums that received (some arbitrary cuttoff) percentage of its votes from npr listners.

Sent by Mare | 12:28 AM | 8-12-2008

panic at the disco gano?

bieeeeeeen

Sent by paula | 11:25 AM | 8-31-2008

The world will never be a place of peace and harmony until it removes it's head from it's nether regions and listens to the brilliance of King's X. One of the best albums of 2008 is XV by the criminally overlooked King's X.

Sent by Shane | 12:51 PM | 9-5-2008

Panic's banner said 'For NPR'. It was very straightforward. The reason they beat out the competetion was that they have more fans, they made a great album, and they informed more people of the nomination.

Sent by Laura | 3:42 PM | 9-6-2008