Yesterday the New York Times pop music critics released their lists of top 10 albums and notable singles of 2009. For the most part, no real surprises. Dirty Projectors a common favorite, along with Grizzly Bear, and of course, a few lesser known jazz and world music artists. One thing in particular I'm having a hard time understanding, however: how is vapid country star Brad Paisley getting multiple mentions? He is, after all, responsible for this horrendous nonsense:

"Online" Starring George Costanza

In all fairness, that's not a track from his newest work. But it's incomrehensible someone could turn such an artistic about face from that swill to something deemed "Best of the Year" by generally sensible critics (except Jon Caramanica—that guy's a Jonas Brothers loving chump who thought Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" was also one of the year's best songs).

It should be noted that no bands from Portland made any of the "Best Album" lists. The only local-ish band to be mentioned at all, interestingly enough, is Eugene's sludgy art metal trio, Yob, whose 12+ minute "Burning the Altar" was included in Ben Ratliff's top songs. Take a listen:

Yob - "Burning the Altar"