Another year, another artist anointed.
Thomas Abban has secured the adulation of the Twin Cities music scene, winning the 2017 Picked to Click competition. While Abban and the nine other finalists will rightly receive most of the attention, there’s a lot more here worth looking into.
In what’s become a standard addendum to the yearly poll, I dug into the raw data to pull out some insights into just what happened this year. There were some almosts, plenty of too-bads, and, as always, just a bunch of wacky bullshit -- all sleeping right there in the numbers.
Total number of ballots cast in Picked to Click 2017, up from 110 last year (an 11% increase) and 105 in 2015.
Range of scores for bands placing in the top 10 in 2017. Last year, the range was 79, and in 2015, it was 54. This year’s was an incredibly tight race from top to bottom.
Percentage of unranked ballots (37 total). Both the percentage and number of people opting out of giving hard-number ratings to bands continues to increase. In 2015, 19% of ballots were unranked. In 2016, it was 24.5%. By 2045, Picked to Click will be a tabulation of emojis and will consist of 800 finalists.
First-place votes for winner Thomas Abban. Those votes accounted for 35 of Abban’s 63 points (55.5%). Student 1 scored four first-place votes, which landed him on the list of finalists despite the fact that his name only appeared on six ballots. (Abban’s appeared on 16.)
Points awarded to 11th-place band Another Heaven, who fell two points shy of finishing in the top 10 despite appearing on 10 ballots. For reference, Nick Jordan finished in fifth place (35 points) with the same number of votes. Fiji-13 (18 points), Remo Drive (17), Drelli (15), and Cheap Fantasy (14) were also left on the outside looking in, but just barely.
Number of previous Picked to Click winners who were voted for in 2017. Actual Wolf (no. 6, 2012), Bruise Violet (no. 2, 2015), Dizzy Fae (no. 7, 2016), Greg Grease (no. 2, 2013), and Royal Brat (no. 8, 2016) all reappeared on ballots despite past success. Surprisingly, no votes for Lizzo! There was one cast for Doomtree (no. 2, 2004), but it was done so facetiously.
Percentage of 2017 Picked to Click finalists who are non-male (seven of 18). That’s down from 41.3% last year, but the overall population is smaller (last year, 29 total musicians were finalists).
Percentage of 2017 Picked to Click finalists who are non-white (nine of 18). That’s up 10% from last year, though there same caveat from above applies.
Years in a row that Stephanie Jo Murck of Sass has appeared in the Picked to Click top 10. She previously ranked with Cherry Cola (no. 10, 2015) and Tony Peachka (no. 2, 2016). The success of Sass means that Murch now matches Cherry Cola and Tony Peachka bandmate Danielle Cusack (who also plays in Bruise Violet) with three nominations as part of three separate bands.
Percentage of Andrea Swensson’s picks who made the top 10. Swensson went four-for-five on her ballot, with only Dua missing out. Not to be outdone (ever, in any arena), former City Pages Best Twitter Account winner Gigi Berry also voted for 80% of the top 10. Nooky Jones was the only non-finalist she voted for.
Number of words in the comment box on Drew Ailes’ ballot. His profanity laden-screed (a total 19 cuss words this year) has become one of Picked to Click’s greatest traditions. Here’s a telling excerpt:
“In closing, all I'd really like to say to the Minneapolis music community is fuck you, eat shit, give me some money.”
Our response to the comment Modern Radio Record Label founder/co-owner Tom Loftus left on his ballot:
“I see more young women, queer, and trans folks deeply engaged with the music scene at all levels including starting new bands these days. Seeing this progress makes me hopeful for the future while we have a rich pile of garbage terrorizing us from the White House.”