Best Vs. Favorite

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"Best" results from of a critical group's inner workings. It could be the result of democracy or a checks and balances system between writers and editors. So while "best" comes off stronger than "favorite" in terms of language, the former is sometimes a politicized, watered down version of the latter (note that this is never true at Riverfront Times).

If "best" is an opinion marauding as a fact, "favorite" is an opinion presenting itself in its strongest form. Favorites are infallible, because the potential for human error gives them strength. Favorites are risky and sometimes never break through to best status in the public eye. This is what makes a favorite more exciting than the best. Just look at the Republican Presidential candidate race; if music criticism worked the same way, every publication would herald the most moderate, least offensive artists, and we'd end up with musical Mitt Romneys atop every list.

So you might disagree with some Best Of St. Louis picks, and maybe you should. Such opinions are proof that people in our city care, and that there are enough specialized talents in our music community to justify separate categories like "Best Cover Band" and "Best Tribute Band." The folks at RFT are prepared for the reactionary mudslinging; the offices are already covered with plastic wrap like the entire staff is in the front row of a Gallagher concert.

But even when the response seems like an uprising aimed towards our questionable place of authority in awarding the best of St. Louis, I look forward to the dialogue that ensues. I cherish this interaction; it's my favorite.


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