Evolving Musical Tastes

I’ve never been a huge music nut but the history of rock music class I took a couple summers ago at Cerritos has kept me thinking about music in ways I hadn’t when I was younger. I remember when my musical taste was dictated by what was on the radio, now I’d be surprised if I even like 10% of it.

Looking back at some of the bands I used to listen to frequently, I find they get less play time on my mp3 player, in the car, or on the computer. So what gives? Did I grow out of them? Did I listen to them because friends at the time did? Am I tired of them? Has my taste in music become more sophisticated? Am I more critical now?

I can probably answer yes to all those questions to some degree. I seem to value songwriting, composition, and the recording itself more than anything now. Before a fast beat and catchy guitar riff might have been enough to hold my interest. Now I find I don’t mind deviations from the 3 piece rock band. That probably started with my interest in swing and then ska, but has expanded from there. My new found appreciations probably came from listening to more classic rock and seeing the genre evolve from rock n’ roll to what we listen to today.

Some of my more recent infatuations include Beck (old and new), Cake, Ben Folds, Reel Big Fish, The New Pornographers, Less Than Jake, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Presidents of the United States (they just seem to never get old), The White Stripes, and probably more I can’t even think of right now. There will always be exceptions to the rules though. I’ve found recently that I actually like melodic metal and as I type I’m getting some Parliament and Funkadelic which I got a taste of in my aforementioned class.

So what trends have you noticed in your own tastes and is there anything you listen to that you are slightly surprised you liked in the first place?

5 Replies to “Evolving Musical Tastes”

  1. I was probably lucky… my earliest music influences were mostly what my father and mother played (i liked mostly what my dad played)… my dad (coming from italy a few years before I was born) was heavy into Italian Prog Rock, what is now considered classic rock from the mid to late 60s – 70s, bluegrass/(true)country, folk and 50’s rock… so I grew up with bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath / Ozzy, Charlie Daniels, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty The Kinks, Ricky Nelson… to name a few…

    Also my cousin was heavy into 80’s pop / synth… so from this I listened to Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo then later NIN and others…

    When I got my first boom box I found myself also listening to the whatever was on KIIS (this was the mid to late 80s, in hindsight it still sucked!) so I was into more pop music, Madonna and crap and I also liked the beats of Hip Hop / Rap or what was being played on power 106 at the time…

    After getting into Middle school I got over the KIIS fad (and later the hip hop fad) and began to return to my roots… listening to more metal and classic rock… when I made it to High school I was fully into the earliest bands I was first exposed to… I wore Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin T-shirts (and often was made fun of for them and my cool 70s rocker sideburns… or so i thought they were)… it never phased me… I also became heavy into Primus (which went along with my john bohnam / drummer fascination)

    Also meeting Richard in my freshman year he exposed me to SKA / Punk and all that fun stuff…

    College years were filled with concerts and recording them with my tape deck and later minidisc… I began exploring bands like Dave Matthews and other similar sounding artists (although dave seemed to stick) and jazz…

    Recently I’ve been fascinated with garage bands and indie rock / folk…

    Somewhere in the equation talk radio fit… oh yeah that came from riding in the red ford with my grandpa who listened to a mix of KNX 1070 news radio along with the greatest hits of AA speakers on tape…

    Musical taste is funny when you look back on it… I have a H-U-G-E mp3 collection now and I listen to probably 5%.

    Music exploration is good, just don’t take things so seriously… that’s why people who listen to Emo are so damn lame!

  2. My musical tastes are fairly narrow in terms of genres: it’s gotta rock. I love finding new bands to listen to though. Here’s my musical history like Angelo gave…

    First music I remember liking was M.C. Hammer in elementary school. Then mom took me to Joy christian music and let me listen to a bunch of christian cds.

    Christian music was a major influence in my life from Jr. High through College. I was huge into D.C. Talk in jr high. I remember listening to mxpx in junior high and thinking it sounded like garbage, but by 9th grade it was awesome (zoom ’95!).

    Since then my tastes haven’t evolved much. I found the ataris, new found glory, yellowcard, fall out boy, starting line. somewhere along the line I got bored with Kroq music.

    Latest “new” music I’ve been listening to is the band “Jack’s Mannequin.” I watch One Tree Hill, and they’ve actually got some pretty good music on there.

    There are my music tastes in a nutshell. Catchy beat and lyrics strung together with some sweet guitar and a fast tempo.

  3. I got my first radio alarm clock in 6th grade and had never chosen a radio station in my life. So I dialed through the stations and stopped on the station with the best drum beat I could find… 100.3 FM Pirate Radio. It no longer exists, but I got hooked on all the 80’s hair bands, particulary Poison and Great White. My first cassette tape I ever owned was Mr. Mister and I wore it out! Then I discovered U2 and everything since has been compared to them.

    I used to make fun of people who listened to country music. Then in USAFHG training I had a roommate from Kentucly for 6 weeks…. 24 hours a day country music. I got hooked, not on the old twangy stuff, but on the new can-barely-be-called-country stuff. My first country CD was Montgomery Gentry.

    Through all of that, I have retained my enjoyment of my dad’s favorites… the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.

    Now, I pretty much just flip through stations on my XM radio and listen to whatever gets the blood flowing. That does NOT include rap, metal, hip hop or any other fake music.

    Bottom Line…. U2… no one like ’em before or after. Can’t be touched.

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