In the last twelve hours, I’ve had three amazing computerized graphs sent my way.
The nonmusical one, Gapminder, which bills itself as being “for a fact-based world,” was sent to me by mom. Which violates the tenets of the International Convention of Your Mother Not Knowing Websites You Don’t Know of 1996. Despite its clear illegality, Gapminder is an amazing compendium of international data, allowing you to easily pull data through time periods using Google’s Motion Chart (itself an amazing charting tool). Want to watch how women’s age of first marriage changes through the years by country and income since 1800? Trust me: you do. [Gapminder]
Another, sent to me by fellow Narc Billy L, maps Pitchfork’s reviews for 2010. Look at that cute little bell curve. Also, look at that cute little top ten worst list all the way to the left: Ghostland Observatory, Ninjasonik, Jaguar Love, Mumford & Sons, Liz Phair, Eminem, Keane, Hole, Richard Ashcroft, The Pipettes, and Mathematics. Wait: didn’t one of the Friends of Narc put that Mumford and Sons album on their top ten? Thankfully, none of the Narcs voted for that Richard Ashcroft album. [Yearinreviews]
Although, of the three, Gapminder is the most objectively impressive (and useful), a site I’m calling Six Degrees of Last.FM most wowed me. Technically titled “Reconstructing the structure of the world-wide music scene with Last.fm,” it charts artists by their popularity and their similarity to other artists based on the users of Last.FM. If you don’t know, Last.FM is a plugin that will record all tracks you listen to and recommend music based on your listening. For instance, here’s my list, infrequently updated and heavily skewed by my girlfriend listening to Janelle Monáe’s album a million times on our computer. Anyway, the Six Degrees site is amazing, suggesting for instance more overlap between fans of Joy Division and Radiohead than Radiohead and Thom Yorke solo. And Jonny Greenwood hardly connects to the ‘head. And reggae is pretty much in an island all by itself. And… a million more things. Go check it out now, and if you have a Last.FM account, it will map your data to see how your taste clusters. Shocker: I like indie rock. [Six Degrees of Last.FM]
And now, back to our regularly scheduled retreads of Pitchfork.