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Dear Readers,

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us: The season of weird holiday parties, creeping disease, and compulsive kitschploitation!

But what would the Yuletide be without music retrospectives? Without an encyclopedia’s worth of top-10 lists? Without a seething mêlée of critical cacophony?

By way of distracting you from the previous paragraph, City Paper is pleased to announce its mammoth Music (& Arts) Year-in-Review issue (drops online on 12/22—mark yr google calendars!!1!). As prelude, our BPB contributors are coming out of the woodwork to post top-10 lists, trade audio samples, and engage in some lively debate—with their colleagues and with you.

So let’s get into it. Cole, I believe you’re up….

~ illustration by Jason Hutto ~