Your State's Favorite Band — Revealed in This Map
If there's one thing the Internet loves, it's a good map.
Yesterday, Paul Lamere, the director of developer platform at famed music company The Echo Nest, made his contribution to map culture with this hilarious map of each state's favorite band based on online listener data:
Image Credit: Paul Lamere
The results run the gamut from completely obvious to absolutely baffling. Using listeners' musical preferences and location, Lamere figured out which artist each state liked the most relative to the rest of the country. The focus on online platforms might explain the fact that Tennessee, country music capital of the world, is all about Juicy J — it's more than a little hard to track pick-up truck cassette plays of Garth Brooks' Ropin' in the Wind — but for the most part, the data seems a reliable measure of regional preference.
In fact, many of the map's findings are comically predictable:
Vermont, of course, is obsessed with Phish.
Maine is about 15 years behind the rest of the country as far as its R.E.M. fixation is concerned.
New Jersey loves Bruce Springsteen, but it's unclear if that's a statewide thing or just a count of how many times Chris Christie has fallen asleep crying while replaying "Stolen Car."
Illinois, ever the narcissist, is all about Sufjan Stevens, raising the question: How many people in Illinois go on Spotify and just search for their state name until they find something to listen to?
Florida is Rick Ross country.
And George Strait owns Texas, while Montana is basically a vast expanse of Tim McGraw.
But there are some strange pairings here, too. Delaware, for example, is inexplicably all about Rush.
West Virginia remains a mystery to the rest of the country as the sole champion of Matchbox 20 (though "Unwell" is a great song).
California went for a trendy band that few people really know in Bonobo.
Michigan seems to love Young Jeezy, but I'm going to guess that's the work of UMich alone.
And, finally, Alaska and Hawaii seem intent on reverting from states to territories with Ginger Kwan and J Boog — artists that, with all due respect to this cover of "When I'm 64," nobody on the mainland knows.
More than anything, this map proves that — if you look for it — you'll find regionalism is alive and well in the U.S. And it's still pretty comical.