My Make-Believe Band is On Tour
I love statistics because they can give you a deeper appreciation for whatever it is you’re enjoying. For example, people who nerd out about baseball statistics are watching a completely different game from average viewers. So I have a new project where I do the same thing with a make-believe band.
Step 1: Write some songs, but skip the music
I could have fired up Garageband and made actual songs with actual instruments, but this project isn’t about music. It’s about stats, and for that you only need song titles. So I wrote some bad poetry, just enough to assign song names to them.
Step 2: Run some code to simulate concerts
I took my first three songs, randomised their order in the setlist, and used a bell curve to assign a quality to each song performance. This means from 1–100, most songs would end up at around 50. I did this for two shows and it was immediately clear which songs were more popular than others.
Step 3: Write more songs and fine tune the algorithm
Now I’m up to eight songs, which take around 43 minutes, which means I can no longer fit them into a single set. After all, the band has only played 3 shows, and venues are only allowing about 20–30 minutes of stage time. This means I need to consider how to structure the playlists. Which means I need to think about what makes a good performance. Which ties into everything — how many fans the band gets, what songs are hits, which are duds, which are rare treats, and so forth. It’s a ton of fun. Wish me luck!
Some stats for the stans
Most popular song: Reload (but only played once!)
Least popular song: Blended (played at 100% of shows; always unpopular)
Songs never played live: Sure, Four Turtles, Duke’s Revenge
Shortest song: Sure (3.2 minutes)
Longest song: First Show (8.2 minutes)