As I opined about three weeks ago, joining Last.fm has taken my obsession with music and music statistics to a scary new level. Recently I found yet another way to build on this experience – the Last.fm Mainstream-O-Meter. Using some sort of high-tech algorithms and reverse polarities, this little tool can tell anyone who uploads their information to Last.fm just how mainstream (or not) their listening tastes are.
As the site explains, it draws its numbers based off the 30 most-listened to groups, and how mainstream each of those groups is. I guess the higher the number, the more mainstream you are. Looks like I’m just outside the really meaty part of the curve. One thing I find interesting about this tool is it really shows you what the demographics of Last.fm’s users are. For instance, while The Beatles are predictably high, so too are Muse and Queen. So I guess Last.fm users like their rock bombastic and British?
Some of my favorite acts get no love, sadly – Steve Hackett, King’s X, Steely Dan, and the Jazz Crusaders all ensure that I will always be on the outside of the mainstream looking in. But that’s just fine with me. I am surprised to see XTC so low, as I thought they had a much bigger fanbase even now. I guess not on Last.fm.
So what does all this mean? Well, nothing really. Just more numbers to pore over and come through for hidden significance. Guess I have to go listen to more David Lee Roth, just to ensure I don’t become too hip. Wouldn’t want to lose my indie cred you know.