(I wish that I could embed this video.)
It takes all of 10 minutes to assemble an all-Jersey playlist for a mix CD for a friend who is a proud son of The Garden State from the music I already have in my library--Springsteen, Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Regina Spektor, Steely Dan, Fountains of Wayne, Isley Brothers, Fugees...
This makes me now regard the New Jersey music scene with some heretofore unexperienced jealousy in terms of its "boring-suburbs-beget-music" phenomenon, surpassing both my hometown of Orange County and the rainier city of Seattle.
The awesomeness of the music of each locale is entirely subjective, but since I hated ska when it exploded during my adolescent years, your mileage may vary considerably, even accounting for hometown pride. The depressive angsty rocker in me loves Seattle for Nirvana and Pearl Jam and The Dead Kennedys. The happy pop part of me loves New Jersey for pre-Bobby Whitney and Regina Spektor. The River is enough for me to like Springsteen, and Sinatra during his Tommy Dorsey years is lovely, so New Jersey gets love from me. But I really hate ska-punk. While I like Cold War Kids and occasionally can listen Gwen Stefani/Social Distortion/The Offspring, I will never forgive Orange County for Sugar Ray. That Orange County begot the suicidal Jeff Buckley should be no surprise, although we still lose to Seattle in terms of depressing suicidal '90s artists.
I actually remember where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain died, and can't say the same for Buckley. Plus, I find Buckley insufferably overwrought, but loooved Nirvana and grunge music enough to fug myself up with plaid shirts, straight middle-parted hair, and the Payless Shoes version of Doc Martens back in the '90s.
However, Orange County has IN-N-OUT burgers, and that, my friends, is why it is superior to New Jersey.