<s>Parsing</s> Crunching The Pop: Glenn McDonald Determines Just How Unique Rock Critics Really Are

Jan 24th, 2008 // 18 Comments

statsstatsstats.jpgGlenn McDonald, proprietor of the long-running War Against Silence site and mathematical madman, has done his annual critical number crunching, combing the results from the Idolator 2007 Pop Critics Poll and the Village Voice‘s 2007 Pazz And Jop poll to come up with “All-Idols 2007,” which includes a ranked determination of the most “centric” voters (i.e. the people that voted for the most high-placers in each poll) and the most “eccentric” voters (i.e. the people that voted for 10 records that nobody else mentioned) out of the 782 rock critics who voted in one or both polls. (Glenn’s statistical analysis only takes into account the album votes.) If any rock critic wants to know just how much of a singular snowflake they really are, here’s the cold hard data. So what did we learn this time out?

The most centric voter happens to be (fittingly enough) our own populist chart expert Chris “dennisobell” Molanphy, who voted for eight out of the Top 10 albums. Most eccentric voter is Stefan Shepard, who voted for 10 albums where I don’t even recognize a single artist’s name. (Maura’s at No. 398 and I’m at No. 402. So close!) Plus Glenn’s also upgraded his rock critic social networking software so that it’s easier than ever for voters to see which of their fellow dorks are their new best friends (i.e. who voted for the same albums). Well, unless you’re Maura, in which case your list of “similar voters” is mostly people you already know. As for me, well, clearly I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere:

0.376 Michael Daddino
0.300 Adrien Begrand
0.284 Andy Gensler
0.282 Ryan Schreiber
0.238 Andrew Scott Earles
0.234 glenn mcdonald
0.232 Christopher Gray
0.215 Lyman Grover
0.215 Milena Dazed
0.213 Jordan Sargent

Thanks to Glenn once again for this selfless feat of nerdery.

All-Idols 2007 [Official Site]

  1. Nicolars

    0.282 Ryan Schreiber

    Soul mates

  2. Dan Gibson

    Woo, I’m 591st of somethingorother!

  3. Ned Raggett

    who voted for 10 albums where I don’t even recognize a single artist’s name

    I recognized Himmelman but that’s it.

  4. Chris N.

    I’m #394 — very slightly more normal than you guys!

  5. matthew

    Awww…if only I’d left Celebration off my list, I totally would’ve been in the bottom ten.

  6. SAShepherd

    Hey, if you’re gonna name-check me, at least spell my name right.

    #1 album Play includes tracks from Georgie James, Mary Timony, Mudhoney, Young Fresh Fellows and is released on DeSoto Records… #2 Terrible Twos are the alter ego of the New Amsterdams. #3 Peter Himmelman is, er, Peter Himmelman. Members of Brad and the Autumn Defense are also on the list. So plenty of recognizable names there.

    But, yeah, I’m a geek.

    Now who’s this LCD Soundsystem band you all keep talking about?

  7. MTS

    A question for Glenn, if he’s reading:

    It seems the more similar the voters are to each other, the higher the number goes toward 1. Doesn’t this conflict with the concept of statistical significance? Or am I reading the results totally wrong?

  8. Anonymous

    @SAShepherd: Is it just me or does everything on your list sound like it could just as easily be children’s music?

    Also, I am torn as to whether Recess Monkey is a completely terrible or utterly genius band name.

  9. SAShepherd

    @mlackey: It is, exactly. I gotta tell you, nothing brought me more joy musically this year than the Spoon CD, but the reason I’m voting in this poll is because I review a bunch of kids’ music, so I figured I’d be true to that. Not that those aren’t some great CDs generally.

    And Recess Monkey is an utterly genius band name.

  10. SAShepherd

    Also, note ballot comments: I totally nailed this.

  11. Dickdogfood


  12. Chris Molanphy

    Wow, the Idolator crowd must really like me: this post has been live for several hours now, and no one’s assaulted me with virtual brickbats yet. Sniff – you guys are the best!

    Seriously, I love Glenn’s research and look forward to it every year, but I never know how embarrassed I should be about my ranking. I’ve made the Top 10 every year I’ve participated in either Pazz & Jop or the Idolator poll (only four years total so far). I looked back at my past rankings on Glenn’s site and confirmed that this is my first year at No. 1.

    My first No. 1, after several Top 10 rankings, and at the age of 36…I’m the Gwen Stefani of Glenn’s chart!

  13. Ned Raggett

    So where’s your line of cologne?

  14. unperson

    731 of 782. Woo-hoo!

  15. MTS

    @MTS: Also, is similarity in voting significant or not in your results? I guess I’d like to know a little more about your method here.

  16. glenn mcdonald

    @MTS: I’m not sure which numbers you’re asking about. The centricity scores are essentially the sum of the vote-counts of the voter’s picks divided by the sum of the vote-counts of the top 10 picks. So if you picked the top 10 albums, your centricity would be 1.0. Zero centricity would be somebody whose top 10 included nothing that got even a single vote in the poll, although obviously this would only be true of a person who didn’t vote in the poll themselves.

    The similarity scores are different, and more complicated, but basically they represent the probability that two voters’ album-overlap did not occur randomly. So the highest possible similarity would be between two voters who voted for the same 10 albums that nobody other than those two picked, and even that actual score will vary depending on the distribution of votes in the rest of the poll.

    Did that answer your question?

  17. Plague

    Just viewing the winners makes me feel much better that I didn’t even bother to reply to the P & J.
    (goes off to be even smugger)

  18. D Appammottoxx

    @SAShepherd: Spoon: Finer Feelings

    Such glory!

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