Celebrating 50 States Of Great American Music With The “Boston Phoenix” And Fuse

anthonyjmiccio | July 2, 2008 1:00 am

Fuse and the Boston Phoenix have coincidentally come up with similar ways to celebrate Independence Day. The Phoenix has named the best band, best solo artist, and best new band from each of the 50 United States, while Fuse is having viewers decide which of two modern acts should represent each state for an All-American Face-Off. The Phoenix is going for bands that exemplify both the “all-time greatest” and ultrahip, so their choices rarely coincide with Fuse’s. For instance, while the Boston alt-weekly praises Alabama’s Hank Williams, Louvin Brothers, and Wild Sweet Orange, Fuse sticks with Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks. What about Massachussetts’ own The Pixies and Jonathan Richman, Fuse? No thanks, they’ve got Rob Zombie and Staind. But there are a few cases where the two sides agree on the best artists (if not always said artists’ home states), and we’d like to celebrate those moments of consensus.

INDIANA: Michael Jackson The Phoenix‘s choice for All-Time Best Solo Artist from Indiana (who shares the title for All-Time Best Band with Tito, Jermaine, and the rest of the Jackson 5) is competing with sister Janet for the Best Of Indiana crown on Fuse. I think he might win!

MAINE: Rustic Overtones Yes, neither the Phoenix nor Fuse could think of a better band to come out of Maine then the men of Rustic Overtones. It’s a different case when it comes to solo artists, though, as the network is pitting Howie Day against the unheralded jam band while the Phoenix gives All-Time Best Solo Artist from Maine to Juliana Hatfield, even though she moved to the suburbs of Boston as a child. God, Maine. You really must suck.

MINNESOTA: Prince / The Replacements The Phoenix is asking its readers to decide between Prince or Bob Dylan as the winner of Minnesota’s All-Time Solo Artist crown (Fuse would obviously go with Prince), but the Replacements get unconditional love from both media outlets. Sorry, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Babes In Toyland, and Information Society.

OREGON / MONTANA: Colin Meloy and his Decemberists The Decemberists are competing for Fuse’s love against Elliott Smith in the Oregon bout. Even if he loses, Colin can console himself with being the Phoenix‘s All-Time Best Solo Artist from Montana. Fuse’s own Montana challenge is a face-off between Hana Pestle and Bruce Fairweather, who is represented by a photo of Mother Love Bone.

OREGON / NEBRASKA: Elliott Smith Fuse’s Oregon nominee is the Boston alt-weekly’s All-Time Best Solo Artist from Nebraska. Does this mean Conor Oberst was denied?

NEBRASKA: Bright Eyes Of course not, silly. Bright Eyes is the All-Time Best Band from Nebraska. Fuse and the Phoenix would also like to respectively give it up for 311 and Tilly and the Wall. Poor Nebraska.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Aerosmith According to Fuse, the only competition Aerosmith has for All-Time Best Band from New Hampshire is Godsmack. Sounds like an easy win.

NEW MEXICO: The Shins Hey! Turns out New Mexico sucks too. And that everyone sure seems to agree on the glory of schmindie.

NORTH DAKOTA: Peggy Lee According to Fuse, the only person from North Dakota to release music since Miss Lee is Bobby Vee (hey, that rhymes!). The Boston Phoenix, however, has love for The Pink Slips and Vaz.

OKLAHOMA: The Flaming Lips Okie noodlers!

OHIO / PENNSYLVANIA: Trent Reznor and his Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is competing against Hawthorne Heights in Ohio on Fuse’s poll, but the Boston Phoenix thinks Trent’s the Best All-Time Solo Artist from Pennsylvania. But Bright Eyes is a band. Right. I guess Eve and Teddy Pendergrass can eat a dick.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Iron And Wine South Carolina bands haven’t done better than schmindie either.

WASHINGTON: Nirvana Seattle shocker!

For reasons unknown, Vermont was left off of Fuse’s list, so let’s wrap this up with what would have undoubtedly won, the Phoenix‘s All-Time Best Band from the state… Phish.

50 States [Boston Phoenix] All-American Face-Off [Fuse] Michael Jackson Grammys ’88-Way You Make Me Feel & MITM [YouTube] Rustic Overtones – Letter To The President [YouTube] The Replacements – 1981 – “Goddamn Job & Junior’s Got A Gun” [YouTube] Colin Meloy – We Both Go Down Together [YouTube] Elliott Smith – Miss Misery [YouTube] Bright Eyes – Lua [YouTube] Aerosmith – Rag Doll [YouTube] Shins – Phantom Limb [YouTube] Nine Inch Nails – Down In It (Live) [YouTube] Iron And Wine – Naked As We Came [YouTube] Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit [YouTube] Phish – You Enjoy Myself w/ trampolines – 2.18.03 – Denver [YouTube]