Over on his blog Music Machinery, Paul Lamere has taken an interesting look at the geography of American musical tastes, based on zip code data from a quarter million U.S. music listeners who use a variety of streaming services (online music listeners might not be a perfectly representative sample, but still). By comparing the relative ranks of different artists between different parts of the country, Lamere was able to assign each state a "distinctive" artist, significantly more popular inside the state than outside of it. Lamere also built an app to let you directly compare the ranks between different regions, which you should go check out.

Some of the results—Sufjan Stevens in Illinois, Phish in Vermont, and Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey—make a ton of sense. B.o.B in Iowa and Nirvana in Rhode Island, not so much. Does your state pass the smell test?

[Music Machinery]