Which Silly Music-Quiz Taker Are You?
If you were a "David Bowie," would you be the Thin White Duke or Ziggy Stardust? If you were a Michael Jackson song, would you be "Bad," or would you be staring at "The Man In the Mirror?"
Do you know the answer to this quiz? Chances are you do.
Thanks to a deluge of incredibly popular online quizzes from pop-culture Web sites like Zimbio and Buzzfeed, you may already know the answers to these not terribly pertinent questions. While these sites and others like them generate more content than these Q&A's, the draw, at least of late, has been prefabricated quizzes that ostensibly tell us something about ourselves.
Here's how it works: you spot a quiz like "Which Classic Rock Band Are You?" on your Facebook feed. You're a huge Led Zeppelin fan and you have no doubt you are Page, Plant and Bonham melded into one singular badass. So you take the quiz, which is brief enough to be completed while waiting in line at the grocery store.
You answer eight or ten questions, some that seem as far removed from the subject as possible. You're unsure how the leafy vegetable you like best dictates which arena-rock band you are, but you gamely answer "radicchio." Then, when you're done, the quiz gives you a selection based on your responses.
If your answer was The Doors and not Zeppelin, you might be "Dazed and Confused" by the results. There obviously was a "Communication Breakdown." You might wonder if there's any science to any of this. At least, I did. The Doors? Uh,no.
"We don't use sociologists or psychologists when building quizzes, because I think they would be a bit dry. Instead we have experts in [their] respective areas come up with the quiz ideas and write the questions and range of possible outcomes," says John Newlin, vice-president of content for Livingly Media, which publishes the Zimbio site
"So, the 'Which Taylor Swift Song Are You?' quiz was created by one of our writers whose working knowledge of all things Taylor Swift is downright intimidating," Newlin explains. "She also happens to be quite smart and funny, which helps a lot, too."
I decided to test the accuracy of this particular quiz by asking Whitney Flynn to take the test. She's Days N Daze's vocalist and trumpeter, whom I've known since she -- and T. Swift -- were both kids in high school. My best guesses for which Swift song she'd "be" were a) "I Knew You Were Trouble"; or, b) none. (Note: my son is also in Days N Daze.)
"Unfortunately, I think my results were pretty accurate," Flynn reports. "I got 'We Are Never Getting Back Together,' and that song is so goddamn sassy. I'm a pretty sassy lady, I must say, and rarely take shit from people who don't matter to me.
"Plus that music video is really goofy; I'm into it," she adds. "I initially thought I'd get "I Knew You Were Trouble' just because 'Dub Shift' holds it down in that song. Real talk, y'all."
Rhonda Roberts and Sherita Perez are Little Spear, a busy folk-pop act. Perez took time from running the band's current Indiegogo campaign and preparing for a May 10 gig with Kishi Boshi at Fitzgerald's to engage in these exercises. She took a Buzzfeed offering, "Which '00's Indie Band Are You?"
Photo by Katya Horner/Slight Clutter Photography L-R: Roberts and Perez of Little Spear
She learned she is Of Montreal. Each answer comes with a blurb explaining the selection, and hers read, "You're an extremely volatile person, and no one can predict when you're either going to be in an upbeat, excitable mood, or a depressed wreck. When you're feeling good, you're extremely fun and flirtatious. You have a very open mind, and are often up for really freaky behavior."
"It sounds about right," says Perez. "What's funny is, I was listening to blues artists in the '90s and Sarah McLachlan, the Cardigans, anything from the Lilith Fair. Also Sublime and some They Might Be Giants. I think Rhonda was way more hip."
Not every quiz churns out the expected results.
"I guessed Brad Paisley; I got Zac Brown and the description doesn't fit me in the least," admits Heath Childs, a country-rocker whose album, Falling Blind, is set for release this spring. He took "Which Country Star Are You?"
"The description said, 'You're incredibly chill, and that's only partly because you're a bit of a stoner. You have a romantic streak, but your one true love is Southern cooking,' Childs says. "Other than the fact that I may have a romantic streak, none of the rest of that applies to me."
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