Last.fm Playground: Gender/Age Plot

Via various discussions on Patrick Wolf: a tool that plots the audience gender and age skews of your top Last.fm artists. Apparently it made the rounds a while back, but I totally missed it.

(Syntax example for looking at someone else’s plot: http://playground.last.fm/demo/genderplot?users=Petronia&period=overall&artists=50)

I played around with the time range options, and the only act on my list that’s skewed further female than Patrick Wolf is 2NE1. This isn’t surprising, though - for all PW’s persona is made up of facets, there’s nothing there that I can imagine striking a chord with the majority of straight indie rock dudes, even if they don’t cause outright discomfort.* Like, on some level you have to be thinking “I want that,” “I am that,” or “I want to be that,” no? Or even the flip of any one of those, some kind of darkside repulsion/fear of the Jungian shadow that at least causes a response. If a given pop star and audience combination fails on all three, there’s not going to be a connection regardless of the quality of the music. Cf. me and Radiohead.**

On the other hand, what really boggles me is that Saint Etienne skews vastly male on the chart. Really? Really? Most Saint Etienne fans I know are late-twenties Asian women who shop at Banana Republic (the changing rooms play Saint Etienne incessantly alongside eg. Stars or Florence and the Machine). Is this one of those New Order/Kylie things where in the UK the audience is made out of burly truckers? (Probably.)

On the other hand, the XLR8R podcast (which I listen to regularly) skews so far male the chart had to expand to keep up with it, which… well.

* The more I think about it, the more I think PW’s sincerity is way more of an issue than his sexuality. Like, dude totally does not give a fuck about looking ridiculous, which if you are someone who does care about that (like most indie dudes) basically forces you to cut yourself off emotionally from what’s happening in order not to feel painful proxy embarrassment. This may not be a conscious process. Owen Pallett is again an instructive comparison, because not only does he write songs about Zelda, that mofo is a ball of acute anxiety and over-intellectualization of everything. I say this as someone who loves Owen Pallett.

** This is not completely true: I want Jonny Greenwood a little bit.

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