Amy Ryan
July 09, 2008 AT 04:35 PM EDT

To celebrate the nation’s birthday, my old friends at the Boston Phoenix have compiled a list of the best bands in each of the 50 states. (Actually, each state gets a Best Band, Best Solo Artist, and Best New Band.) I point to it because there’s nothing we like better at EW than argument-generating lists, and because this one actually made me think a bit. Sure, some of the choices are no-brainers; it’s nigh impossible to think of a band more associated with California than the Beach Boys (pictured) or a solo artist more quintessentially New Jersey than Bruce Springsteen. But beyond that, it gets pretty murky. Take Michigan: you have every band that ever recorded for Motown, plus such solo acts as Madonna and Eminem. How to choose? (The Phoenix split the difference and went with the Stooges and Stevie Wonder.) Anyway, click on the Phoenix‘s nifty interactive map; if school were in session, this is the sort of thing that could fuel college dorm-room disputes for weeks.

Unlike the Phoenix, I won’t pretend to be expert enough to know who the best acts are from Alaska or South Dakota. But I would like to hear from PopWatchers across this great land: name for us, please, the best band, best solo artist, and best new act from your home state. (And if you’re not in the U.S., then from wherever you are.)

addCredit(“Beach Boys: Kent Gavin/Keystone/Getty Images”)

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