Your music choice shifts, era by era.

Well, maybe not era by era, but I couldn’t think of any better words.

I didn’t really pay attention to music until I was in 7th grade or so. When I first started listening to music it was pop crap. C&C Music Factory, MC Hammer and the like. (That gives you an idea of my age.)

Then my brother brought home a Ministry album, hardcore industrial music. That and the recent release of the Nirvana Nevermind album must have flipped some sort of switch, since I went straight to industrial noise music and hard-edged alternative. This pattern went through most of my high school years, when I was listening to things like Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains and other weirder albums. These were peppered by straight alternative albums, like Radiohead, and techno. (Once again, my use of these terms should give you an idea of my age.)

After I graduated, I started to get into “older” music, mostly prompted by a best of Beatles album. This opened up a broader range of music for me, since I was no longer confined to listening to music that had come out while I was alive.

Besides that older, popular music, I went further into alternative music. I was listening to trip-hop like Portishead and Tricky, more Radiohead, and really strange bands like Mr. Bungle.

Lately I’ve been getting into more pop oriented alternative bands like The Vines and Pretty Girls Make Graves, while still listening to straight up rock and industrial bands. Of course, I will also listen to the cheesiest of music like, say, Styx, precisely because it is so stupid and heartfelt.

Keep in mind, every stage here included all the previous stages. I never stop listening to music I enjoyed, except for perhaps that first C & C stage. Also keep in mind that I always put in music that doesn’t quite fit the pattern of alternative crap, like Johnny Cash or Ray Charles.

So, what’s you musical history?

I think I must be around the same age as you. I never paid attention to music in the ‘80s when I was growing up, although I loved my uncle’s REM CDs, and I listened to oldies on the radio and my dad’s few cassettes like the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper.”

I was in 8th grade in 1992, which seemed like a great year for rock. We got Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Use Your Illusion 1 and 2,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” U2’s “Achtung Baby,” and Metallica’s black album. All of these coming out around the same time really turned me on to music in a big way. I started watching MTV and everything!

I was definitely into grunge at this time, and also hard rock like G’n’R and Metallica, but these opened my eyes to classic rock, so I got into Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. A guitar teacher turned me onto the technical “virtuosi” like Joe Satriani and Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs. Meanwhile, I was playing saxophone in high school jazz band, so I had an appreciation for classic big band swing, bebop, and cool jazz. In 1994, the Pulp Fiction soundtrack turned me onto surf music in a big way, and I’ve been a sucker for twangy, reverb-drenched guitar sounds ever since.

My senior year of high school (1996) I discovered punk (the Ramones and the Clash) and ska (first from Less Than Jake) and started moving away from hard rock. When I went away to college, I joined a ska-punk band and really got involved in the ska music scene. There were dozens of wonderful ska bands in the late '90s, many of which are either broken up or moved on to different musical styles now. As for punk, I liked Rancid and Operation Ivy and the Descendents, but nothing too unmelodic or dissonant.

This was also when swing music was making a comeback, so of course I was a natural fan of the new bands like Royal Crown Revue, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Brian Setzer Orchestra. It fit my love of all things retro, and as a sax player, it was my dream to put a “neo-swing” band of my own together. Never got around to it, though. I also discovered rockabilly as an offshoot of the newer swing stuff, and “lounge music.”

I hit some depression toward the end of college, and much more when I started law school (and even more now, since I’ve finished law school!). For a while, I put the ska, swing, rockabilly, and surf on hold and listened to a lot of depressing stuff: the Cure, the Smiths, Morrissey, Tori Amos, Portishead (dig the trip-hop!), Morphine, Belle and Sebastian, Elliott Smith, Weezer, Evanescence once they came along. I became a big Tom Waits fan too, and I loved Ben Folds (and still do).

Now I’m getting into indie rock and alt-country, and I adore Neko Case and the New Pornographers, among others. I still like all the bands I labeled as “depressing,” and I still like rockabilly and surf and jazz, although I don’t listen to much ska these days. I’m terribly bored of all classic rock, and I can’t stand to listen to anything too hard or heavy. Most music on the radio bores me, especially the bad oversexed R&B, nu-metal, and what I call “mall-punk.”

When I was five years old (1985-86) I really liked Michael Jackson and the Police. The Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right” was one of my favorite songs. All I listened to until fourth or fifth grade was my parents stuff and the music on the radio. Then I got into Bon Jovi, and New Jersey was the first tape I owned. I was into the illegal music swapping quite early, as I made a copy of this in exchange for a copy of Slippery When Wet from a friend of mine. From this, I branched out into Skid Row, Motley Crue and Poison pretty quickly. I was by no means limited to hair metal (though I liked way too much of it.) I also liked some crappy pop songs I saw on MTV from the likes of Paula Abdul and Technotronic (though I never bought anything by them.) Whatever rap they were willing to show on MTV was also quite thrilling to me, but that meant I was limited to MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice pretty much.

From this point on, my tape collection began to gain respectability. I remember seeing the video for “Welcome to the Jungle” the first time on MTV, and realizing this blew Bon Jovi out of the water. Listening to Guns n Roses (Appetite for Destruction) was a much better release for my elementary school angst. I began to notice Metallica around this time too, but “One” was way too scary and dark for me, so I waited until the Black Album to become a fan.

In my middle schools years, I shed the watered down metal and rap I had been listening to and started liking the real stuff. By seventh grade Metallica and Pantera were my favorite bands. I think Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven was the first CD I ever bought the day it came out. I got into lots of other metal based on these bands, and thanks to Columbia House I owned way too many back-catalog Megadeth and Anthrax CD’s before I realized that most of them sucked. I also managed to get into some more alternative stuff, like Nirvana, Helmet, and Ramones while seeking out the angriest metal there was. And my dad listened to classic rock radio all the time, so I began to like Zeppelin and Hendrix around then.

The Chronic was a watershed album at my middle school. All of the sudden us suburban white kids realized there was more to rap that “U Can’t Touch This.” Between us, me and my friends eventually owned a lot of NWA, Ice Cube, 2Pac, and whatever else gangsta rap we could find. While bored on an 8th grade class trip, we sang Snoop Dogg’s first CD start to finish.

In high school I started to get into punk, thanks to the MTV punk explosion of Rancid, Green Day, and the Offspring (hey, they used to sound like a punk band!) Rancid was my favorite band for a while (Let’s Go era), so I got into lots of other stuff from the Epitaph label, like Bad Religion and NOFX. I started watching 120 Minutes instead of Headbanger’s Ball, which turned me on to more alternative music like Ash and Everclear (who got really popular right after that (and then really bad with their next album.)) I got into the Pixies and Sonic Youth because of my increasing devotion to Nirvana.

The next big addition to my music collection was alt-country. When Wilco’s Being There came out, I was amazed I could like anything that sounded country. Shortly thereafter, I bought up all the old Uncle Tupelo CD’s and lots of other good stuff like Son Volt, Whiskeytown, and Steve Earle. This also helped get me into old Neil Young, Big Star, and Bob Dylan.

By my senior year of high school I had expanded into indie rock thanks to a free email account, the Subpop-L, and Black Love by the Afghan Whigs. I wrote reviews of Sebadoh and Pavement albums for the school paper, and I started liking tons of bands that now make up a huge chunk of my CD collection.

In college my tastes didn’t change that much. My appreciation for different genres of music widened and deepened. I started being able to go to shows, and see local bands. I got into some bands I had sort of missed out on the first time around, like Weezer and Radiohead.

But the only thing that really evolved was my taste in rap music. Until 2000, all I really liked was gangsta rap. I hated that R&B crap, and any rap song popular enough for me to hear was either gangsta or “crossover.” But once I heard Stankonia from OutKast, I slapped myself on the forehead for not seeking out the good rap music, like I had to do with every other genre. Then I started to get into Blackalicious, Automator, and the Roots.

I still listen to pretty much everything I started liking in high school. The metal obsession has long since faded, but I’ll still put in some old Metallica sometimes. I’ll listen to pretty much anything these days, which makes it hard to keep up with new stuff. I hear all these indie-rock kids talking about bands I’ve never heard of, which never would have happened from 97-00. But I’m rarely lacking for new music of some sort to listen to. And I still like “Fight For Your Right,” but I appreciate it on a different level now than I did 17 years ago.

I’ve never stopped liking any particular song, but I think some genres or performers are stonger in some years and weaker in others.

I still like MC Hammer’s cute rap. I also like harder stuff, though not the death or hardcore metal scene or most of current rap, which is a wee bit over ther top.

Well , lets see.

As a lad I first came to love novelty songs, Alan Sherman & Tom Lehrer, etc.

A little later I was involved in a commute each day of over an hour and so heard a lot of top 40 which my dad listened to and so I got to like some of that. Things like Simon & Garfunkel, Three Dog Night, etc.

Next I was on to classical once I discovered the Russian composers. Dvorak in particular.

Then I moved to Wyoming where they had both kids of music, Country AND western. This was just after Urban Cowboy so there was a bit of a crossover surge in CW that made it more tollerable.

Once I got back into civilization I got hooked on 1940s style swing. I think the couple of albums Linda Ronstat put out, Lush Life was one of them, got me interested.

The next decade or so was pretty eclectic. I listened to which ever I was in the mood for. I probably added 50s & 60s oldies during this time as well.

Most recently I have become interested in Celtic and Celtic Rock music. Especially the music of Maritime Canada. Stan Rogers, Off Kilter, etc.

The first albums I can remember bopping around to were the Saturday Night Fever and Grease soundtracks. (Hey, it was 1978.)

As a pre-teen I was an unrepentant metal head, still am to some degree. Then got into more classic rock, discovered folkie stuff with Simon and Garfunkel, then 60’s soul/R + B, which led to the Great Funk Awakening (Sly and the Family, Parliament/Funkadelic), and from there the glories of classic jazz.

Now I listen mostly to simulated grass-growing.

Started off in the late sixties with Simon and Garfunkel. Got into Alice Cooper, Slade, Sweet and so on when I was 16-17. Queen and the Eagles were my favourite groups in the second half of the seventies.
In the eighties, I discovered (better late than never) the Genesis of the seventies and Pink Floyd. Oher eighties favourites were Japan, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Kayak.
Around 1987 I quit listening to pop/rock and switched to classical music full-time. Bach, Brahms, Mahler, Shostakovich and Dvorak (Czech, not Russian) are my favourites.
I got interested again in pop and rock in the late nineties. In recent years I enjoyed Tori Amos, Radiohead, Coldplay, Placebo, Evanescence, to name a few. I ventured out a bit in mainstream jazz, as well as the better New Age.
I still enjoy listening to all of this. :slight_smile:

More about my taste in music.

My musical tastes started to develop when I was in elementary school, mostly influenced by my older sister. She liked Kiss, Boston, Styx, Ted Nugent, Van Halen and others which are now in the “classic rock” genre, so I came to like most of these bands as well. By the time I was in junior high I was getting into harder and heavier stuff, such as Quiet Riot, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, and Metallica. Once I was in high school I discovered some other classic rock that my sister didn’t listen to much, such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. My tastes by then pretty much spanned the overall rock genre.

Once I was in college my then-girlfriend had me convinced that all this rock music was bad, so I started listening to much different forms of music such as jazz, classical and other instrumental forms of music (I try to avoid calling it “new age”). During the early 1990s I fell out of the rock scene and I missed out on the height of the grunge era. By 1994 I returned to my mainstay music choice and began listening to rock again, getting caught up on and re-acquainted with the music I had missed out on in the recent years. Nowadays I listen to mostly hard rock/heavy metal,including many of the current hard rock bands, but I still like the classic rock I grew up listening to, and I still like listening to jazz, classical and instrumental music when I am in the mood for it. I still don’t listen to country or rap, though, and I never have and likely never will. Other than that, my tastes are fairly wide open.

The Early Jazz Era: Growing up, I didn’t listen to music at home, so my tastes were mostly shaped by my high school friends. I probably learned to say “Disco sucks!” before I ever heard a disco song. We were all in jazz band, the favorites were Chuck Mangione and Maynard Ferguson.

The Folk Era: In college I became a fan of Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Sweet Honey in the Rock, etc. Also the trad-rock groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. I became a Beatles fan. OK, it was the early 80’s, so I was 20 years late. I also learned about Keith Jarrett and Mike Oldfield - new age music before there was new age music, and better, too!

Rock and Alternative: In grad school I discovered REM and U2. I liked anything that sounded different: Laurie Anderson, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega. The minimalism of Philip Glass (Einstein on the Beach is a six-hour “opera”: maximal minimalism!)

The Modern Jazz Era: When our local alternative station went commercial, I started listening to more jazz. Thelonius Monk was a genius. I also listen to more classical music now. Two things I can’t stand: Country and rap. (Right on, dwc1970!)