Wisconsin’s favorite “band” is Jack Johnson, and so now we must offer up their delicious cheese and beer and football team and hope that Canada will accept them.
Luckily, you are one of the cool people who live in New York, and your state’s favorite band is James Blake. Which is, sure, okay, cool. Not necessarily ohmygoddidyougettickets cool, but it’s far better than Matchbox Twenty (sorry, West Virginia) or something called “J Boog” like our friends in Hawaii.
But first, let’s back up a sec: the musicians associated with each state are better described as “most distinctive” rather than “favorite.” It’s the same strategy the Twitter bots/gods use when they decide what the trending topics actually are. Because if it were simply a matter of the most common keystrokes on Twitter, the word “the” or the letter “a” or the phrase “Belieber 4 Eva” would be a Top Trend literally every second of every day.
The data comes from Paul Lamere at The Echo Nest, who tracked the listening tastes of people in all 50 states using 432 different music apps and services, such as Spotify. Head over to his personal blog to see how he dissected the data further.
As the map explicitly indicates, Americans have incredibly embarrassing tastes in music. Some results, like the fact that Vermonters listen to a shit-ton of Phish (as a Vermonter, I can attest that this is 100% accurate, even though Phish technically doesn’t exist anymore besides the New Year’s Eve shows at MSG), or that Alabamans are fond of a band called The Civil Wars, are common sense. But others are more perplexing. For instance, why do the sweet, lovely people of Utah enjoy a band who must SCREAMTHEIRNAME? And why is Ohio’s favorite band Florida Georgia Line? Even Floridians and Georgians are sick of “Cruise” and its unholy bastard child “Cruise (Remix) ft. Nelly.”
A good chunk of America’s favorite bands are not merely confusing but kiiind of worrisome. Hey, South Dakota. Do you want to talk? I only ask because I notice you’ve been listening to a lot of Hinder lately. I know winters are long there. I get it. And I recognize that your state is made up of nearly 90% white people. That’s tough. Arizona, you might want to join in on this too. I see you’re a big fan of Linkin Park and that no one’s bothered to tell you that that’s insane. Hey, I’m just trying to be a good friend.
But without a doubt, the state with the coolest taste in music is Maryland. Not everyone appreciates Beyonce’s runner-up like she deserves. Let us rejoice with this GIF of Princess Kelly Rowland throwing shade at Queen Bey: