Monday, July 10, 2006

How Mainstream Are You?

OK so I love music. And I love stats. Nothing better than putting them together thanks to the information collected at last.fm!!

So the stats might be a bit dodgy, and the results not really that meaningful, but people have worked out a way to see just how "mainstream" your listening habbits are by comparing the average number of listners for your top 10 artists against the number of listeners for the top 10 overall artists on last.fm.

OK, so my top 10 and the number of listners figures are as follows:

Artist Listners
Clare Bowditch 724
Art of Fighting 1296
Sigur Ros 131463
The Knife 37089
The Go! Team 62803
Gomez 34733
Radiohead 323179
Architecture in Helsinki 60624
K's Choice 22327
Decoder Ring 1554

Averaging the number of listeners per artist on my top 10, gives 67507 listeners. Comparing that against the 295,314 listeners average for the last.fm top 10, (67507/295314)*100 gives me a score of 22.8% mainstream. Of course most of that is just Radiohead.. take Radiohead out and my score goes down to ~12%.

You can only really compare with other results from last.fm of course, which is still pretty nifty.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Signs of Trouble?

I've just been talking to Chi and others on email about work and stress and if it's all really worth it. My personal view is that no, it's not worth it. I don't want a high paid, high stress job. I'd rather be happy and get paid less or be "less successful" or whatever.

Reading George Monbiot's blog today I came across an article that talked about expectations and reality. The problem is that basically we are living in the most prosperous, safe and secure period in all of human history. But then why are people having so much problems? Mental illness (specially amongst children) is higher than it's ever been. Other "wealth related" health problems like obesity, heart disease and diabeties are at alarmingly high levels and rising.

Monboit makes reference to the sort of expectations sold to the masses (and once again, to children in particular). The idea that you can be rich and famous one day through things like Big Brother and American/Australian Idol. While the reality is that people today are much less likely to move up through the income classes than previous generations (paradoxically, more people today believe that they can). Other factors like the rise in self-harm, specially amongst girls are perhaps an indicator that people are being led to hate themselves and aspire to something they cann't possibly achieve.

So is this the cost of progress? Is it really worth it? Is it even sustainable?

In related news Jim Kunstler talks about the current "economic miracle" and it's sustainability. It seems even trusty old Bears like Doug Noland is getting carried away with the hype. Noland has written an article about how we're at the cusp of an energy revolution and that the investment in the new energy infrastructure and technologies will make the tech boom look tame.

I think Noland is right in some respects, there is and will be a big energy boom. But Jim Kunstler (and I) don't think he's right in thinking that there is a technical solution to the problem.

We have gotten to the levels of prosperity we have by doing more with more - i.e. wealth/productivity has grown exponentially, but so has energy usage. There won't be a technical solution to our energy crunch unless we abandon our philosophy of "economic growth will solve all problems". Everyone knows that unlimited exponential growth isn't viable, but when the crunch comes I get the feeling people will be surprised.

Disclaimer - I'm finishing up bottle of red left over from last night. So I am Posting Under the Influence. The post above may or may not make much sense.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

CB&FS

Went to see Clare Bowditch and the Feeding Set at the Gaelic Club last night with Chams. It was the first time I'd seen her since The Great Escape, but I gotta say, I was very, very dissapointed. Not with Clare, but with the audience. There were a lot of people who had no interest whatsoever in the music and were chatting away LOUDLY throught the set. I felt like leaving more than a few times. It was a real shame because I think if affected Clare and the FS's performance too. Also not that big on the Gaelic Club as a venue...

Besides the rude audience, there was some very special news from Clare and Libby - they were both pregnant!! oooh such big news! No wonder this will be their last tour for a while!

They played pretty much all the songs from "What Was Left" along with a couple from "Autumn Bone" and finished up with their cover of Crowded House's "Fall At Your Feet". I keep thinking "what would have been" if the audience had some respect. What a shame.