Data About Music
February 27, 2011 4 Comments
By popular acclaim, here is some DATA for your DATA processing pleasure. Because nothing says music and artistry appreciation like DATA!
Out of curiosity – or simply because I’m just the sort of nerd to do something like this – I threw my iPod listening history into a pivot table and, where necessary, grouped artists together by one-degree-of-separation associations (for example the top item, which is 1/6th of what I have ever listened to, are all groups that contain Jack White, Brendan Benson, or both).
I think it’s clear this shows me to be a not-well-rounded, non-diverse music listener of high order, not likely to impress a SWPL diversophile anytime soon (for one thing, the list is very white. No Kanye West whatsoever! In fact, I think the only nonwhite you’ll be able to find below is a Brazilian, singing in Portguese – singing David Bowie songs).
Measuring this way (by number-of-songs-listened), a third of my listening is accounted for by essentially three acts, and fully half of what I listen to ultimately comes from seven sources: the aforementined White/Benson axis, the Canadian band Sloan, Tim Rogers or his band You Am I, Dr. Frank or his band the Mr. T Experience, Green Day or the albums they’ve released incognito, the Easybeats (? I guess because they’re the canonical iTunes band – also, because their songs are short, it’s easy to rack up listens), and various projects having something to do with what I still think of as my favorite band of all time, Redd Kross. It’s even less diverse than it appears, because there are numerous incestuous collaborations with the preceding that I probably haven’t accounted for (for example, for reasons too boring to go into if you don’t already know them, one could justify merging Jason Falkner into the Brendan Benson category, the Posies in with Big Star, the Muffs and the Mr. T Experience, Beck and Redd Kross, etc.) I just noticed that I didn’t merge Fountains of Wayne with Tinted Windows, but kinda should have. Then of course you could expand the metric: didn’t Redd Kross tour with Teenage Fanclub? And didn’t they cover a Shangri-Las song or two?
But I’ll spare you.
Races: white, white and white. Countries: U.S., Canada, Australia, and (further down) a bunch of Englands.
Music: Rock and/or roll.
(Compare and contrast: President Obama’s supposed iTunes playlist circa 2008. Couldn’t find a more recent one, presumably because whatever interns a guy like that has to construct things like this have been too busy to brainstorm, agree on, and focus-group such a list recently…)
The full list is below (for brevity, I’ve truncated a long tail of one-play-wonders, but this shows 98% of all plays), summarized by number-of-songs-played, as a percent of the total. And before you say it, I already know what you’re thinking:
You’re thinking, “FASCINATING”.
|White Stripes/Raconteurs/Brendan Benson/Dead Weather||16.8%|
|You Am I/Tim Rogers||6.0%|
|The Mr. T Experience/Dr. Frank||5.7%|
|Green Day/Foxboro Hottubs||5.0%|
|Redd Kross/Malibu Kids/Anna Waronker||3.8%|
|Rocket From The Crypt||3.2%|
|ex-Jellyfish (Jason Falkner/Roger Manning/TV Eyes)||2.9%|
|Fountains Of Wayne||2.1%|
|Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra & Jansug Kakhidze||1.4%|
|ex-Jayhawks (Gary Louris, Mark Olson)||0.8%|
|Joan Jett & The Blackhearts||0.8%|
|Utah Symphony Orchestra & Maurice Abravanel||0.5%|