By Rachel DeSantis
Any music fan knows Bruce Springsteen belongs to New Jersey. The same goes for 2Pac’s beloved California and The Notorious B.I.G.’s devotion to New York City, products of the infamous East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the 1990s. Believe it or not, Maryland has also produced several big names in music throughout the years.
Before Good Charlotte was the soundtrack to every middle schooler’s attempted “punk”phase, it was a small-town band from Waldorf, Maryland, created in 1996 by a group of high school friends. Good Charlotte broke into mainstream music in 2002 with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and continued its string of hits throughout the years with songs like “The Anthem,” “Girls & Boys” and “Dance Floor Anthem (I Don’t Want to Be In Love).”
“I remember Good Charlotte was really big in middle school, and when I found out they were from Maryland I thought it was so cool,” freshman family science major Maya Jefferson said. “You don’t really hear of many celebrities being from the area, and it was so close, so that was awesome.”
The alternative rock and reggae band Ballyhoo! formed in 1995 in Aberdeen, Maryland. It has played several major festivals including Bamboozle and the Vans Warped Tour, and occasionally mentions Maryland in its lyrics.
“I saw Ballyhoo! in May 2011 and it was awesome,” sophomore computer science major Mike Delaney said. “I heard about the band through one of my friends and I love that they’re from Maryland. In the song ‘Cali Girl,’ there’s a line that says ‘She’s leaving Maryland/Dreams are on the West Coast.’”
Ballyhoo! Isn’t the only band to name-drop its home state. Animal Collective, an experimental psychedelic band originally from Baltimore, named its eighth album Merriweather Post Pavilion after a popular outdoor concert venue in Columbia, Md. This is where the members of the band saw some of their first outdoor concerts, according to a 2011 Washington Post article.
Merriweather, which Billboard Magazine named the second best amphitheater in the U.S., also has a place in the heart of another popular Maryland group, Rockville’s indie rock band Of a Revolution.
“I really like O.A.R., and not just because they’re from Maryland. I just think it’s an awesome band,” she said. “What’s cool is that the members come to Merriweather every year because it’s so close to home and they like playing concerts there. Its shows are some of the most fun to work because it has a really exciting fan base. It’s like a tradition, just for our state, and that’s awesome.”