Place and musical taste hold immense power over your identity -- probably more than you'd like to believe. Maybe you're a woman from Texas who loves country; a bro from Vermont who can't get enough Phish; a California tech executive who's really into... screamo? Sure!
That's part of why making a list of the best band from every state is so enragingly fun: It implicitly makes a statement about the quality of your home state, and choosing just one band will invariably piss people off. We embrace it.
Of course, it's helpful to know what criteria we used to come up with these (subjective) picks. Here were the guiding principles in figuring out our choices:
- The band must have been formed in or primarily based in the state in question. Lots of groups move to Los Angeles or Nashville or New York City after scoring a record deal, but they're not from those cities.
- Only groups, not individual artists, are considered. This admittedly skews the list away from hip-hop and country, but it also skews toward not driving us totally insane trying to wade through every musician from every state.
- We limited ourselves to bands who rose to prominence after World War II.
- These are not simply our favorite bands from every state; we considered a secret recipe of historical significance, influence, popularity, and the nebulous "quality" factor.
Did we get every state right? With apologies to Chuck Brown, Fugazi, and all of the District of Columbia (get statehood, already!), the following bands are perfect, unassailable choices, as you'll discover.