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Women Aren't Cool?

Just strolling round the net before heading off to teach, and I came across this on the Coolness Index:

It may be too hard to tell whether an artist is cool, but we have all sorts of ways to tell that an artist is definitely not cool. For instance, if lots of listeners really don’t want people to know that they are listening to a particular artist, then that artist is probably not too cool. Luckily, there’s an interesting source for just this kind of data. Recently, the researchers at Last.fm published a list of the ‘most unwanted scrobbles‘. This is a list of tracks that were most frequently deleted by the Last.fm community from their scrobbles in the last month. These are the tracks that Last.fm listeners didn’t want people to know that the listened to. Here’s the first page of the most unwanted scrobbles:

1. Lady GaGa – Poker Face
2. Britney Spears – Womanizer
3. Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
4. Lady GaGa – Just Dance
5. Britney Spears – Circus
6. Britney Spears – Piece of Me
7. Rihanna – Disturbia
8. Paramore – Misery Business
9. Lady GaGa – Paparazzi
10. Lady GaGa – LoveGame

Kudos to Last.fm for publishing this data. It’s a great source for the uncool. Collecting all the artists from the pages we can build a list of artists that have frequently had their scrobbles deleted:

Lady GaGa
Britney Spears
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift
Avril Lavigne
Marc Seales, composer. New Stories. Ernie Watts, saxophone
Alexander Rybak
Black Eyed Peas
Kings of Leon
My Chemical Romance
Linkin Park
Miley Cyrus
Jason Mraz
Metro Station
Leona Lewis
Green Day
Amy Whinehouse
Nelly Furtado

This list rings true as set of ‘uncool’ artists (with the exception Marc Seales, who happens to have a piece of music, called ‘Highway Blues’, that can be found in most ‘Sample Music’ folders on most Windows XP computers, and is likely frequently scrobbled because of this). Ideally this list should be normalized for popularity – naturally artists that have more listeners will be scrobbled more and consequently be deleted more too. but there’s not enough data in this list to normalize properly so we’ll make do with an unnormalize list. I find it interesting how many female acts are on the list. Is it not cool to listen to female artists?



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Jul. 28th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
Why are my beloved Duranies not on that list? I'm frequently told how uncool I am for loving them so...
Jul. 28th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
They aren't female :)
Jul. 28th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
You wouldn't say that if you'd seen their 'Blue Silver' tour footage circa 25 years ago...
Jul. 28th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Why were they women back then?
Jul. 28th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
They looked like women. Big hair, loads of make up. Wish I'd been half that pretty!
Jul. 28th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
Jul. 28th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
cause they're uncool and unlistenable?

Jul. 28th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
This is an interesting counterpoint to the JJJ cockforest. I think Articulate reported something similar by comparing the JJJ poll to a poll of 'artists people most embarrassed about liking' and they were mostly female artists too.

Jul. 28th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
When you look at the list of "most embarrassing" artists the second thing that pops out after "they're women" is "they're manufactured artists".

Says something about the types of character roles female pop artists are channelled into by music publishers and, well, patterns of consumption in general. Characters who are popular, but to whom it is embarrassing to be attracted.
Jul. 28th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
yeah, i thought the same thing after the women part. it makes you think about who you give more authenticity too, really--tho that said there are lots of male artists of the similar manufactored variety...
Jul. 28th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Theory is that manufactured female pop stars are required to appear to be very sexually available (*cough* "slutty" or whatever), but sexually available women have a very strange status profile in society (high in some ways, low in many others).
Jul. 28th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
it's actually strange, the nature of that sexuality, because they're also required to be 'pure' in a fashion. remember the whole britney spears virgin thing?
Jul. 28th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Yep. But I'd suggest it's for that exact reason, to allow Britney to penetrate the younger market by preserving her "role model" status in the eyes of the wallet-holders. Hence the totally contradictory coding of different parts of her public image.

Especially in the US where there are larger markets that place a very specific value on virginity.
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Love that they spelled her name 'Whinehouse'.
Jul. 28th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)

there's a self destructive lesson, if there was ever one.
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