Let's not kid ourselves: Distilling a band's sound to an easily comprehensible genre can feel as arbitrary as assigning a kid to a high school clique. Just like there are jocks who suddenly show up junior year wearing Birkenstocks and Dead shirts, just as there are punks who find Jesus, so does music continue to evolve, making it increasingly difficult to categorize. This is especially true in an age of cross-breeding influences that span countries, decades, and recording techniques to create new hybrids of sound. All of which makes the job of your average music-related worker bee (record clerks tagging CDs, alt-weekly journalists reviewing those CDs) that much more challenging — doubly so when we want to dole out honors to some of our... More >>>