As we’ll discuss in more detail tomorrow — when we publish a round-up of end-of-year lists from around the music world — the problem with a lot of the listomania that goes on at this time of year is that for all that critics and magazines try to be as eclectic as possible in their list-making, their choices ultimately reflect the nature of their readership and also their own limited geographical scope. Taking this idea a step further, UCLA doctoral student Patrick Adler has mapped out where every act on Pitchfork’s Top 100 tracks is based, and his results are both fascinating and ultimately unsurprising: the vast majority of acts on the Pitchfork list were from or based in New York, London and LA, in that order. Adler then rated cities by their representation per capita on the list, and apart from a couple of statistical outliers like the tiny town of Eau Claire, WI (home of one Bon Iver), the results were largely similar, with big metro areas like New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver placing highly. What does it all mean? That even in this brave new age of internet self-distribution and SoundCloud and unlimited online streaming, you’re much more likely to get heard if a) you’re American and b) you suck it up and go to scrounge a living in the big city in order to get your music heard. There’s more information about Adler’s study at The Atlantic.
Written by Tom Hawking