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coverpic flag US - Texas - Full Moon 134 - 08/28/07

St. Vincent
Marry Me
Beggars Banquet

Popular music, I've heard, has a lot to do with identity. Dividing people roughly into two groups you could say that one group listen to practically whatever is playing on MTV or on their friends' stereo. The other group, however, take pride in their taste and knowledge of music. This usually means they are happy to inform you about their dislike of anything 'main stream'. When I first heard the highly acclaimed Marry Me I thought; who likes this kind of music? Not in the sense that I didn't like it myself. Thinking it had a rather kooky sound I got curious about what sort of people would like it, what other stuff they listen to and perhaps what books they like?

Buying music and books on the internet usually provides you with just this type of information: "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." At Amazon.com I found that people who had bought Marry Me also purchased Spoon, Okkervil River, Rilo Kiley, The New Pornographers and The National. Besides increasing sales and possibly introducing me to new bands and authors, can these statistics tell me anything? For instance, how many times removed from 'main stream' would an artist like St Vincent be according to the Amazon sale statistic? Starting out with Spoon I learned that people who had bought their album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga also liked Feist. A click on their album The Reminder revealed Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Further on it became clear that Customers Who Bought Winehouse apparently also bought Joss Stone.

Playing around on Amazon I discovered that Marry Me is three times removed from Amy Winehouse, four times removed from Norah Jones and five times removed from Harry Potter! What does this tell me? Perhaps only that the more records St Vincent sells, the closer she might get to main stream? Would it matter?

Copyright © 2007 Åste Herheim e-mail address

You may also want to check out our St. Vincent articles/reviews: Actor, Paris Is Burning - Tour EP, St. Vincent, Strange Mercy.

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