From SXSW to Seattle: Music and Music Identity Across America

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prince performs as Samsung Galaxy presents Prince and A Tribe Called Quest at SXSW on March 16, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (John Sciulli/Getty)

About 2,000 bands are converging on SXSW and Matt Reilly, Program Director at KUTX in Austin, is finding some interesting ones.

Beyond the new music taking over Austin, The Takeaway wants to know: What does your state sound like—not in songbirds and street sounds—but in drums, strings and horns?

Paul Lamere, of the Music Machinery blog, created a map (below) that's been widely circulating this month and aims to capture the music identity of states through online searches. But while the map was built with science and algorithms, it doesn't necessarily speak to what individual humans see as their state sounds.

To get a sense of musical identity across the country, three music minds from public radio stations around the country have looked at the map, and give their thoughts on what music they think best captures the identities of their states.

Weighing in is Dave Campbell, host of The Local Show from The Current in St. Paul, Minnesota; John Richards, an Associate Program Director & Morning Show Host at KEXP in Seattle, Washington; and Joe Silva, an independent producer with WUGA in Athens, Georgia.

                          Click to Enlarge


*Map provided by Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest


Dave Campbell, Matt Reilly, John Richards and Joe Silva

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]


Daretoeatapeach, he mentioned Jess Wolfe, and the band is Lucius.

Mar. 11 2014 08:41 PM
JennJ from Los Angeles

The difference between the algorithm and what the DJs are saying could be attributed to a sampling error. The people who search for and download artists do NOT represent the entire population, or the the songs searched could not represent the favorites of the population.

Mar. 11 2014 08:07 PM from Oakland

How do you spell the Jeff Wolf band? I was unable to find it via Google. Is it Loushus? Lewshis? Lushis? Looshis? Buy me a vowel.

Mar. 11 2014 04:14 PM

Hold a sec! You talk to some DJ in Seattle and he doesn't even mention BRANDI CARLILE?!!!!!

Mar. 11 2014 11:47 AM

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