Americans are used to the government paying for certain things: education, public roads, the military. But music and art? Not so much. There is no accounting for taste and public funding for the arts has long caused controversy in the United States. Which artists are really artists? Who out of the hordes of U.S. musicians deserve to have their works subsidized by Uncle Sam? Photographer Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ caused an uproar among conservatives for winning a grant partially funded by the National Council for the Arts. Sponsoring rock and hiphop could no doubt lead to a similar furor. But elsewhere the situation is somewhat different. Scandinavian acts like “The Knife” have receive gubmint checks for releasing their albums. Pitchfork.com has an interesting analysis of public funding for music here.