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Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2011 Poll - Best New Albums & Singles Results

About 700 music critics including me were polled on the best new music of 2011, and the results came out today.

Much respect to Bay Area local tUnE-yArDs, who took first place. Woah. And also to Oakland's Kreayshawn, who's single "Gucci Gucci" shares some baller company (Lady Gaga, Lil' Wayne) at #24 for the year. Not bad, Bay Area. Here's a MOG playlist of 2011 Besties (you'll need to sign up for MOG 14-day free trial to hear it). Here's a Spotify one too, if that's your thing.

There was also a ton of great music that deserves mention: Sharon Jones' Soul Time, Patton Oswalt's Finest Hour, Beirut's The Rip Tide, Sebastian's Total, Snoop Dogg's Doggumentary, MED's Classic, plus Watch the Throne, Battles' Gloss Drop, Danger Mouse's Rome, Shabazz Palaces' Black Up, and The Dodos' No Color. So buy all that stuff, and support the greatest era of recorded music, ever

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Some awards, some news ...

First: The awards. The Chronicle took a Scripps Howard award for Breaking News for its ‘Wine Country Fires’, to which GreenStatecontributedseveral stories.

Also, GreenState reporter Spencer Silva is a finalist for a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for In-Depth Reporting (Large) and Interactive. Winners will be announced and finalists honored at this year's Region 11 Spring Conference April 27-28, 2018 in Universal City, California.

Next up: I’m wrapping things up with GreenState this week and handing the baton to The Chronicle. In the last 18 months, we accomplished our goals of creating a future-forward cannabis media brand. I'll miss working next to so many talented people in one room. But it’s time to move on to new challenges.

Readers can follow my work by subscribing to my email list at, and/or following meTwitter and Facebook.

Publishers can reach me for assignments and pitches at

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The Medical Marijuana Guidebook By David Downs Is Selling Briskly

Hi, guys. Long time no chat, but it's because I've been pretty busy. As of today, you can be the first to get a signed copy of my new book The Medical Marijuana Guidebook, which is for sale direct at as well as through Amazon and my publisher Whitman. Here's what some key folks are saying about the book:

"The medical marijuana landscape in the US can be extremely difficult to navigate. The Medical Marijuana Guidebook is essential for those who want to maximize the benefits of the marijuana plant. David Downs provides a comprehensive look at the plant, its use and the laws that surround it." —Amanda Reiman PhD MSW | Manager, Marijuana Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance
"David Downs does a great job of summarizing the most useful things to know about medical cannabis, both for the cannabis-experienced, as well as cannabis-naive patient."—Frank H. Lucido MD, Berkeley, California
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Marijuana, Luxury, and a New Column for 7X7

I'm starting to track the intersection of cannabis and Bay Area luxury/power/money in a new column for 7X7 Magazine.

We're still working on the name for it. First it was "High Society". Currently it's "Cannabis Insider". I'm not in love with either. But we're definitely keeping the pseudonym: Herb Caine.

Read: "Cannabis Insider: Pitching Pot in the Twitter Building", in 7X7.