New York Wins the Year in Music, Geographically Speaking

12/29/2011 2:32 PM |


For a different way of looking at year-end lists, a guy by the name of Patrick Adler, a doctoral student at UCLA studying urban planning, attributed a locational “base of operations” to each artist on Pitchfork’s Top 100 Tracks list (with the exception of Tiger & Woods — too mysterious). Every city where an artist or band is based received two points; for those tracks involving a collaboration of artists from different cities, the points were divided appropriately. Well, well, well, guess which city racked up the most points in the end? Eau Claire, Wisconsin, home of Bon Iver!

Actually, no, just kidding. Greater New York — in this case, that includes surrounding suburbs, aka wherever Real Estate and Clams Casino are from in Jersey — takes the cake with London, L.A., Toronto and San Francisco filling out the top five. But funny enough, Eau Claire, which I’m sure is very pretty this time of the year with all that snow, did take top honors when city population was taken into consideration, earning 1.2 points per every 100,000 people.

The Atlantic has all sorts of graphs and slideshows detailing the rest of the findings, suggesting that even with the boundless Internet at our disposal, we seem inclined to pick our pop stars (indie pop stars?) from the talent pool of English-speaking big cities. (And/or writers tend to look around them for bands to write about, which would explain the list for Brooklyn-and-Chicago based Pitchfork.) In other words, maybe your apartment’s rent is worth it.