Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: If you’re smart, you probably like Radiohead. Let me explain.

Before I get into this, just remember that just because there seems to be a correlation between two things doesn’t mean that one causes the other. It could be just a big coincidence, so don’t get all bent out of shape with me, okay? I’m just the messenger.

About 15 years ago, a guy named Virgil Griffith painstakingly matched people’s professed musical tastes on Facebook with their SAT scores at universities and colleges across the US. The resulting chart—which he called MusicThatMakesYouDumb—plots one against the other. The findings say that a lot of people with low SAT scores like Lil Wayne, Beyonce, TV, and alternative music in general. A lot of emo fans also ranked poorly. People with higher scores gravitated toward Radiohead, U2, Beethoven, and, er, Counting Crows.

And I know you’re going to ask about Nickelback. Where did they rank? At the lower end, just behind the Foo Fighters and ahead of Aerosmith.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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