Music Machinery blogger Paul Lamere used some complicated, aggregated data to come up with this nifty mag that he believes represents every states’ favorite band. The winner in PA? Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Here’s how he came up with the data:
For this study, I sampled the listening preferences of about a quarter million listeners that have a zip code associated with their account. I aggregated these listeners into regions (state, regional and all-US). To compare regions I look at the top-N most popular artists in each region and look for artists that have a substantial change in rank between the two regions. These artists are the artists that define the taste for the region.
Surprised PA’s pick wasn’t someone more local, like Kurt Vile, who was assigned to Oregon? This commenter is:
Just look at how little face validity most of these artist-state pairs have. Wiz Khalifa, whose most popular song is about the colors on the Pittsburgh city flag, is assigned to Arkansas. Kurt Vile, who is outspoken about his Philadelphia roots, is assigned to Oregon. Neither gets assigned to Pennsylvania, where Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes (ranked 43rd in PA, 77th nationwide) are apparently a big deal. For the most part, these pairs are arbitrary.
Lamere offers a rebuttal that makes everything make more sense:
I think you might be confusing "favorite" and "distinctive." This map is not showing the most popular or favorite artists in a state, it is showing the artists that are distinctive in the state – that is, they are more popular in the state than they are in general.
Read more about the process here.