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Boston Phoenix Names Greatest Bands, Solo Artists and Current Acts For All 50 States

The Boston Phoenix, a weekly I truly enjoy and grew up reading, might've overstepped its bounds with this one: In celebration of July 4th, the paper decided to go ahead and name each state's greatest band of all time, the greatest solo artist of all time, and the best current act in a feature its calling "50 Bands / 50 States." Its a fairly ambitious and somewhat lighthearted undertaking, but I'm sure some of you will be irked to hear that, yet again, Austin and, uh, Vernon, sweep Texas' honorees. Choices and explanations after the jump. --Pete Freedman

All-Time Best Band: 13th Floor Elevators

All-Time Best Solo Artist: Roy Orbison

Best New Band: White Denim

Roky Erickson and his band of outsiders might not live at the top of your iTunes (even when sorted alphabetically), but a Texas helping of the bands you do have on there can thank the 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS for any traces of raw, shimmering, fuck-all drugginess. For some just-literal-enough homage to their prowess, look no further than their hometown of Austin itself, and bands like the Black Angels, the Strange Boys, and Acid Tomb. | ROY ORBISON makes us cry — all of us. Actually, it’s more like sobbing. And when he sings about crying, it goes to bawling. And when we think about the Traveling Wilburys, it’s more like a petulant whimper. Still, there’ll never be another tenor like Roy’s, and no one will ever again be able to wear shades inside all the time without looking like a jerk. (You listening, Bono?) | Yup. That’s right, 13th Floor Elevators, Roy Orbison, and the stylized garage wreck of Austin’s WHITE DENIM. Before you punch us right in the fancy glasses, help yourself to a slice of the three-piece’s sloppy-good, punk-funk bedlam (like the raw title track off their new 7-inch, “Let’s Talk About It”).

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