Howard Wolfson, Music Critic

Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson is now a regular contributor to Fox News, but in his heart of hearts, he'd like to be a contributing editor at Spin. As we've mentioned, he regularly sends out indie-heavy playlists of what he's listening to to friends, fellow flacks, and journalists. And we finally found his 2004 end-of-year list! Complete with blurbs! Wolfson's top ten, and other assored bits of music criticism from the be-sweatered communications consultant, after the jump.

Wolfson's taste is perfect focus group-tested schmindie, and his writing is infected with the stain of a lifetime of shitty mp3-blogging and capsule reviews. The Grey Album is "the funkiest album the Beatles never made." There's much more where that came from on his now-defunct blog (HowieWolf!).

His 2005 list is embarrassing—were we all so corny then? and so white?—but for our money little he's done since can top Wolfson's review of Green Day's moden classic American Idiot.

What happens when the glue sniffing class clowns starting raising their hands and getting the answers right? And then decide to write, direct and act in the class play? Like a cross between The Who and Bad Religion, American Idiot is a surprisingly successful rock opera on the state of the nation from the band voted least likely to succeed. A soundtrack travelogue to a landscape littered with strip malls and fast food (www.benjaminedwards.net), Green Day's "kids of war and peace" worship "the Jesus of Suburbia" to the sound of poppy punk guitar, a pogoing rhythm section and tight harmonies. When Billie Joe Armstrong urges us to give him "another amen" he may be asking ironically, but it doesn't stop us from shouting out just the same. Wonder why John Kerry won the youth vote? Give a listen.

Now we're totally turned around on Wolfson's upcoming Fox gig. Because maybe instead of talking politics he'll just show up for a little Gene Shalit-style "this week in mp3s" review segment? The new Girl Talk is revolutionary! Neko Case is winning the popular vote! Why won't Danger Mouse agree to seat the Michigan delegates?

Howard's List [NYO]

AppleBites

Howard Wolfson, Indie Darling [Wonkette]