Gracenote Music Maps: the songs that make the whole world sing

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Say you happen to be hanging

out at a Starbucks in Turkey and you want to impress the exotic

barista making your latte. Stop for a moment, listen to the music and,

if a woman is singing, ask, "Is that Sezen Aksu?"

Even if it turns out to be Hepsi

instead, the lovely woman behind the counter will be duly impressed

with your knowledge of Turkish music.

The next weekend, you’re off

to Borneo and want to load your iPod with tunes the Malays love. Go

with the top two female vocalists in Malaysia.

I know it’s not a mix tape

made in heaven, but Avril and Mariah are among the top five most downloaded

artists in the country, according to my newest addiction, Gracenote Music

Maps.

You’ve probably used Gracenote if you download music. iTunes and

Yahoo! Music Jukebox, among others, use Gracenote’s CD information database

and software to let consumers look up track listings for recordings.

The company uses the search information to update its Music Map of the

top 10 artists and albums across the globe.

Wandering around the world,

the biggest surprise to me was that Linkin Park is in the top

10 almost everywhere. The grunge guys are No. 1 in the Czech Republic,

India, Bulgaria and dozens more. I’d be much happier in Denmark, where

The Beatles
top the list, or Luxembourg, in which Queen rules.

No, not that Queen. She rules

everywhere. This Queen. (Miss ya, Freddie.)

You can search the U.S. according

to state. As of Thursday night, the battle of the bands is The Beatles

vs. Carrie Underwood. I’m guessing the Fab Four

will recapture the States when the CMA glow wears off, but for now,

Underwood also leads the top 10 lists of albums in every state I searched.

Interestingly, one non-musician appears in most of the top 10 lists — I think

she’s outlawed in Mississippi.

Rowling is No. 1 in Utah, sharing

the list with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
. The whole LDS church is on CD?

Wow.

Fair warning: Once you start

poking around Gracenote Music Maps, time will disappear. But what better

way to spend the weekend than finding a new way to impress women?

What’s No. 1 in your neck of

the woods? Any surprises — or embarrassments?

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