The United States Of Music

Categories: Art Rock

usamusic mar10.jpg
Monica Fuentes
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Rocks Off's sister blog Hair Balls did it with murderers and serial killers. Food blog Eating Our Words, riled the beer snobs with one about the best beers from each state in the union, and a teetotaling follow-up chronicling the best soda pops.

For the past few weeks, Rocks Off has been compiling our own map of rock for the 50 states. It surely wasn't easy, we have to tell you, with some states having so many legendary acts that it was hard to decide where they would fit.

Some people like James Brown were born in one state, but soon moved to another where they made their bones. Others have made themselves so universally loved that they don't even belong to one certain state but to the country as a whole. That's why Bob Dylan was trumped by Prince in Minnesota. Dylan is for the world, not just the Twin Cities, though the Purple One is for everyone with a pulse who likes to get freaky.

Some artists reflect the nature of their states almost to the letter, becoming shorthand for the attitude and feeling of the state, like the Beach Boys in California, or the Ramones in New York. Jack Johnson's music inspires us to think of the Hawaii of the modern age. Don Ho is the old guard.

As for New Hampshire, the Poo Poo Rocker, GG Allin, is the best we could think of, even though we doubt that the majority of the populace knows who he is, nor would want to share a zip code with him if he was still alive.

Elvis Presley was indeed born in Tupelo, Miss., but his Memphis ties (Graceland, duh) are so woven into the Tennessee fabric that he couldn't not be the official artist of the state. We picked Willie Nelson for Texas, because his music and life tells the story of the state we live in, from the heartache and beauty to the outlaw rabble-rousing.

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22 comments
Blow (Cirkut Remix)
Blow (Cirkut Remix)

Earlier this year, there were whispers that Sony Music Unlimited , Sony's very own streaming music service will be introduced to the iOS platform sometime in the first quarter of the year. Well, the first quarter has already gone ...

dasheight
dasheight

Wow. I'm a fourth generation Coloradoan. Consider myself pretty well versed in music. And I have never heard of DeVotchKa in my ENTIRE life.

Mind you, Colorado is really not known for famous musicians from our state. India.Arie. Earth, Wind and Fire. Sugarloaf. Firefall. The Fray. String Cheese Incident. JOHN DENVER...

And all I needed to know from that map was laid out when Massachusetts was represented by Dropkick Murphys instead of Boston - the band who had the biggest selling debut album of all time. FAIL.

Jerry
Jerry

"My name is Jerry Lee Lewis and I'm from Ferriday, LouisianaI'm a mean mothahumpah on this here piano" (it rhymes in the song). I believe that says it all.

Kojerk
Kojerk

A lot of people are sure to beef on this, but all in all, it's pretty good and I'd agree with most of the choices.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

No one is deleting comments. It's a software issue. Post away.

Jtatec
Jtatec

Hey, why did you chose the Dropkick Murphys for Massachusetts. Who the heck are they? Why not Aerosmith? They are legends! Everyone would know them. Dropkick Murphys not so much....

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Hawaii - Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere Over the RainbowMichigan - Stevie WonderNew Jersey - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. You gotta problem wit' dat?Oklahoma - Woodrow Wilson GuthrieSouth Carolina - Dizzy Gillespie, Eartha KittVirginia - The Carter FamilyWashington - Jimi Hendrix

... and many others

Frankel
Frankel

Is there a bigger version of the infographic? Even the one I click on is hard to read.

Kyle
Kyle

The Television - Delaware thing is a bit tenuous, yeah?

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

The band was started and became popular in their home state. Matthews is decidedly now an American phenomenon.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Well, Aerosmith did come from Boston and Mass, but they are not known in the national zeitgeist as a Boston band by any means, at least in my research. They have familial roots there as far as band history goes, but I believe them to be one of those bands that sort of toured so much that they became a band for every city. Plus, they have had a California vibe these past two decades. If I made this map after Toys In The Attic came out, then they would be on that map.

brookey42
brookey42

"click here to enlarge" let's you maximize the window.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Tom Verlaine and Television screamed "DELAWARE" more than George Thorogood did. He's too ingrained into blues and Southern Rock.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Any reason my post was deleted CraigHlavaty? You know, the one that listed Stevie Wonder as a better representative from Michigan ... along with a few other choices like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from New Joisey ...

I saw it on here for a few minutes but now it's gone ...

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

I don't see it myself. Post again. Sometimes Disqus acts up.

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