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Scene Points: Not "Everything"

 by Chelsea Ide  published on Thursday, September 22, 2005


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I think it's time I let all you casual music listeners out there in on a secret. You know when you first meet that hot boy or girl who's clearly into music and they ask, "So, what kind of music do you listen to?" Sure you do. This is a screening question. There is pretty much only one wrong answer: "Everything."

There are two reasons people say "everything," and are both downers for music geeks. The first is you're scared of saying the wrong thing. You worry that the person won't like you if you're not into the same music, so you cop out with an "everything." Most people find confidence an attractive quality (I know I do), you shouldn't hide your opinions or tone down your passions to score a girl or guy. Say what you really like, even if it's death polka (yes, that is a real genre). You'll score more points with the sexy audiophile that way.

Two, you don't really like music. Well, you'll listen to the radio in the car or bump some 50 Cent at a party, but as a whole music is white noise for you. Because of the way you listen to music, you may really listen to everything. But it's not really fair to say you like it, because you're ambivalent. Opt for a "Music is not my thing."

Either way, it's a cop-out answer. If you actually have a taste for music, there is no way you could like everything. Because quite honestly there is a lot of shit out there. If something is good, there inevitably must be something bad or else how do you know it's good? The key here is realizing there is a difference between having an eclectic taste and liking everything (a.k.a. not having any discernable taste). I'll use myself as an example. I like to think my taste is fairly eclectic. As a whole my favorites lean towards punk, hardcore and metal, but I love a lot of bands that don't fall into those categories.

Case in point -- the last five songs played on my iPod:

1. The Soviettes - "Middle of the Night" (Ramones-esque punk with a pop sheen)

2. Curl Up and Die - "Kissing You is like Licking an Ashtray" (chaotic blend of hardcore and death metal)

3. Elliott Smith - "Fond Farewell" (indie-emo genius)

4. Buck 65 - "Wicked and Weird" (slower-paced rap)

5. Tegan and Sara - "Walking With the Ghost" (Canadian female pop duo)

Plus, if you tell people you like everything you'll be subjected to many conversations about stuff you really don't care about. Do you want to hear about how Death from Above 1979 is coming to town (and be invited) to the Big Fish Pub on Oct. 14? When someone asks if you've heard the new Despised Icon, do you want to be subjected to the inevitable 20-minute explanation of the glorious death metal acrobatics on the album? Probably not, unless you really dig that stuff.

Trust me, from the music-obsessed person's side, watching your eyes glaze over while we're talking is a huge turn off. Be up front about what you're into (and it doesn't have to be music) and you'll find you and the cute boy or girl maybe have more in common than you think.

If you've already told a friend you're into everything, it's not too late. After being dragged to Lamb of God and Circle Jerks concerts, one of my friends bravely told me she just isn't into that "kind of stuff" and she'd much prefer listening to emo bands like Cursive and Alkaline Trio. Sure I make fun of her for writing Cursive lyrics on her wall, but never for being upfront. Now I never have to feel like an ass for making her see a band she hates. Something tells me she is much happier I no longer drag her to concerts, too.

Reach the reporter at chelsea.ide@asu.edu.



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