My least favorite question in the world is, "So what kind of music do you like?" I think it is a completely unfair question on so many levels and I therefore refuse to answer it. (It's true, just read my profile.) First of all, everyone's tastes change. Ask me today what my favorite band is and you'll get a completely different answer than if you ask me tomorrow. A group I LURVE today I may loathe next week. Secondly, I hate the passive judgment that goes along with the question, like the answer somehow defines me as a person. So what if I know all the words to "Juicy" and almost every R. Kelly song ever made? That doesn't mean I rock the red and black lumberjack with the hat to match or that you remind me of my jeep.
I hate the "what do you listen to" question so much that I have never, not once, pulled it out on a date unless I was really desperate. Why? Because I'm not a music whore and don't know half the bands out there. I don't own many CD's and most of the music on my iPod is pretty standard. I haven't been to many concerts in my life, and the few I have been to were all really, really famous people. (And one Yanni concert.) I'm not down with what the cool kids are listening to and I don't think that makes me a bad person. I don't feel that I'm less of a human being because I never listened to Modest Mouse or that band with the word math in it. (Are those bands even cool? I have no idea. The first time I wrote that sentence I typed "Mighty Mouse." NOT kidding.)
Here's how I get my music ninety-five percent of the time: I hear a song on the radio/in someone's car/on their blog and like it. I go to my favorite music-downloading site and "acquire" it. I look for other songs by that band and see if I like them. Sometimes I look to see what else people who like that band are listening to. More often than not, I download the original song I liked and listen to it 25 times. As for the other five percent of the time, I'm usually looking for songs from my past. Which is how I know the lyrics to this song. And this one. And oh did I cry my teenage angst out to this one.
How do you honestly explain to someone that you like ALL kinds of music? No one ever believes me. Yes, I use it as an excuse so I don't have to answer the question, but that doesn't mean it's not true! Back in my Napster days I had about 6,000 songs saved on my old laptop before it got internet herpes and died. At some point in time, I downloaded and enjoyed all of the followings artists: Tori Amos, Bon Jovi, Staind, Old 97's, New Kids on the Block, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Tupac, Hole, Jill Scott, Crosby Stills and Nash (and Young), Jack Johnson, Type O Negative, Muddy Waters, some weird European techno trash, Dashboard Confessional, A-ha, Ludacris, Miles Davis and Daddy Yankee. (Don't judge, I like to get my reggaeton on once in a while.) But how do you explain that to someone who's known you for all of five minutes? How do you convince them that you really do like all different kinds of music, but it just doesn't include that supercool underground band that they saw last week at that really unknown bar?
To show you just how little I know about music and what's popular, here's a song I recently heard that I liked a lot. It's called "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend" by The Black Kids. I have no idea what genre it belongs to, I don't know anything about the band, and I didn't even watch the video. I just really liked the song and played it a bunch of times while I was doing other stuff. And to prove to myself that I still have decent taste in music regardless of how little I know about it, I liked this song before it was on "Entourage" and started being played on every hip hop station in America.
But just so we're clear, this is still the best song in the history of the universe. I can't be convinced otherwise.
**Ten points to anyone who can spot the "that's what she said" moment**