Country for artist area

Someone is voting down my edit to associate an artist with a specific city instead of the country in general: Edit #101410699 - MusicBrainz

What is the general thinking about this these days?

My thinking about this specific artist (and many other artists): In the world of unsigned/underground rock bands who tour (and sleep) in their car or van, the bands often are identified with the cities they are from, especially on concert posters.
The band in this instance is that sort of band. I’m not sure if they’ve ever played outside their hometown, and if they did, they would most likely be labeled as “Choir (Pgh)” on the flyer.


much of this has been said on the edit note already, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to have an artist area as a smaller-than-a-country area or even larger-than-a-country area, if the artist’s situation calls for it. this is one such case to me


I’d be interested in hearing the perspective of someone who prefers the “Areas should be Countries” way of doing things (or even from someone who used to prefer it, or is leaning that way).

I have two tentative theories about this:

  1. This is a Europe (and other small-country regions) -vs-United-States (and Russia/Brazil?/etc) dichotomy, where people who live in smaller (say, less than 500 miles across) countries are less likely to see the point of sub-regioning a country in Musicbrainz

  2. This is a major-label-band vs small-time-band dichotomy, where editors who are mostly interested in big-time bands tend to lean towards the “just country” side of the argument.


I live in the UK. The Beatles are from Liverpool, not England. Oasis is Manchester. We’ve always regionalised music. It’s not just a USA thing.

I didn’t even know that weird guideline existed until I saw this thread. Turns out I have been breaking that rule for years…


Damn right!

BTW I had this edit:
Someone said: “often we use the country unless they identify clearly with a smaller region over the country itself”
In my case the artist definitely does… so this sort of thing might be worth putting in the edit notes along with “evidence”


Tell someone from Glasgow he is from “United Kingdom” and they will likely punch you. See also Wales, Cornwall, etc… I don’t think it is only the UK that is fiercely loyal to an area. Naming a Welsh band as “UK” is all kinds of wrong.


I see nothing wrong with the edit in question. For my part, I use sub-country areas mainly for two cases:

  • Music with a strongly regional identity; in particular Cajun, Creole and Zydeco styles are very closely tied to the state of Louisiana, so I tend to use Louisiana for groups that are based there.
  • Artists in the California bluegrass scene who do some touring, but almost exclusively within the state. (Many bluegrass bands are semi-pro, have day jobs, etc.) If I personally know them to fall in this category, I’ll mark their area as California.

Where’s the harm in the more specific area? If a group expands their horizons we can always change it.


Although in fact that is how Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci is currently classified.

For a group with a strong Welsh identity, using Wales makes sense to me, but what about for instance Dave Edmunds? Born in Wales but not strongly associated with it as a performer.


I’m not touching it as don’t like kicking off arguments. But bands I add I’ll usually set their home town\city. It is not that hard to work out a country from the city name.

I’d think using where the person identifies seems logical. Common to be born in one country and move to another to work.

Dave Edmunds is a funny example. Just read the Wikipedia page… it starts by calling him Welsh, next section start with “born in Cardiff”. Flip to end and the last section again starts with Wales. I only skim read it, but for someone who worked with a lot of UK bands it seems to gravitate back to his Welshness a lot. :grin:


I see they have Founded in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom

[Aside - I really need to listen to more Gorky’s!]

I think “founded” is generally not controversial (see for example fmera’s note on the edit in question). The “area” is the more ambiguous one as it’s a matter of association rather than historical fact.


I live in a small country, but I would still like to attribute Viennese artists to Vienna if they are clearly associated with Vienna …and completely unknown in western parts of Austria. But that seems to be the opinion of the vast majority anyway. :slight_smile: