Author Topic: What helped determine your musical taste?  (Read 4818 times)

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Offline Beleth

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What helped determine your musical taste?
« on: September 02, 2009, 12:29:22 PM »
One of the types of music I really enjoy is music that germinates from non-musical sounds -- what I've begun to call "Found Music" for lack of a better term.  I think that this Fire Alarm Jam is a really good, if basic, example of what I mean:

Fire Alarm Jam Session

When I was in college, I was fascinated by the tornado siren tests they'd perform at 10:00 AM every first Tuesday of the month.  The quad was almost exactly midway between two sirens that were probably miles apart, and since they rotated at slightly different speeds you would get all sorts of really cool stereo effects, even though they each only played one tone the entire time.  I tried to find a video of what it sounded like, but YouTube isn't known for their excellent stereo separation qualities.  Here's the best one I found.  It really doesn't do the weird aural qualities of rotating, out-of-sync peakers justice, though.

Matteson, IL Tornado Siren System Test


I bring this up because I think I have found the source of my fascination with  music like this.  When I was little (back in the 1970's (yeah I know, shush)), I used to love a show called Emergency!  The mid-70's was pre-teen boy prime-time heaven, what with Emergency! and The Six Million Dollar Man and whatnot.  Anyway, this was the Emergency! opening theme song:

Emergency! Theme Song

When I heard that, I knew I was in for an hour of frenetic, heroic action punctuated only occasionally by plot and commercials.  So I loved hearing those credits.

How about you?  What happened in your past that helped define your musical taste?
I expect to pass through this world but once;
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let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
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Offline tamoore

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 12:34:42 PM »
Pretty much, The Beatles.    They informed almost everything I like about music, and the music I write....

Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 02:05:51 PM »
Interesting way to put this question, your personal example is really cool.

I've got a story that runs along a somewhat similar vein...

I remember when I was around six I moved to Spain, and that's where I first started listening to music. We (my cousins and I) were listening to a lot of pop radio. It was the late eighties, early nineties.  For some reason the primary thing that springs to mind from that time was Ace of Base and MJ. My aunt listened to American oldies and country. This was "normal music" to me.

Being so young and having such a skewed perspective on history and the age of things I assumed that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to be creative anymore, and that most new music must be covers of older songs.

One day we were watching the music video show (not MTV.. this was Spain and MTV Espana didn't exist yet) and Pet Shop Boys Go West came on. Something about the song sparked emotions I didn't understand. I thought the music was breathtaking and brilliant. Looking back this is laughable, especially with this song, but that's how little experience I had had with music.

Then in 1991 on my 7th birthday my older cousin bought me a tape of Nirvana's Nevermind. Once again I had this feeling of brilliance and transcendence. It was the most spiritual experience I had ever had, or would probably ever have. Shows how much spiritual experiences have meant to me that I don't even like Nirvana anymore, but this was a feeling I would now seek out. I needed music that would (for lack of a better phrase) blow my mind.

Obviously once the doors were opened and I was able to seek out music on my own it became more and more difficult  to shock me into this feeling I had had. It's like a heroin addict chasing the dragon, they'll never get as good a high as their first, but the chase is still fun.

The next album that did this for me was Smashing Pumpkins Melancholy & the Infinite Sadness in seventh grade.

After this it was a while before I found anything that captured my attention in the same way. I ventured off into pop metal with Korn, System of a Down, Slipknot, and I thought I'd found something but it never gave me anywhere near that same feeling. Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile was the only band from that era of my musical life that really had an impact.

It wasn't until 10th grade when a friend of my mom's introduced me to Radiohead's OK Computer. Listening to that it was like Nevermind all over again.

My timing couldn't have been better because I had been an avid consumer of all things Radiohead for not quite a year when Kid A came out. For those who don't know about Kid A and what Radiohead was thinking when they released it it is far too lengthy an explanation to relate here, but I'll just say Kid A is exactly the opposite of what people expected as a follow up to OK Computer, but at the same time was ten times better than what they could have expected.

So Radiohead managed to give me the feeling of Nevermind twice. Never quite there, but tantalizingly close.

At this point we enter the age of Napster and I was able to seek out things that weren't sold at the CD store in the mall, and that were played on MTV. Indie rock was really what was playing things whose often sole purpose was to be weird, and that's what I sought.

Other bands that have provided me with this feeling over the years:
Wilco (YHF, mostly)
Sparklehorse
Neutral Milk Hotel
Sunset Rubdown
Rock Plaza Central
Animal Collective
Grizzly Bear

So basically: My musical taste has evolved from a constant desire to be surprised, and to relive a certain (now forever unattainable) experience.

Offline teethering

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 02:39:30 PM »
I'd have to also say The Beatles.  My parents had A Hard Day's Night album and I listened to it over and over when I was a kid.

Offline Beleth

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 03:10:46 PM »
My parents played very little music when I was growing up.  I think that they have maybe eight albums total: one Smothers Brothers, two Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and the rest were Christmas ones.  Radio stations in the car were almost always tuned to AM talk radio, which wasn't as political as it is now.  So I had to develop my musical taste with very little guidance.  It's mostly classical, but it ranges widely.  There are very few genres of music that I don't own at least one CD of.

I'm the only one I know who likes minimalist music, although certain pieces written a while ago are starting to catch on.  This was used in Watchmen:

Pruit Igoe from Koyaanisqatsi (used in GTA IV trailer)

And this is just cool, like what "Rhapsody in Blue" would have sounded like if Gershwin were a minimalist:

John Adams: The Chairman Dances (1985 Nixon In China excerpt)



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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 06:19:41 PM »
When I was growing up, my cousin lived with us.  He was a long-hair who listened to ACDC, Aerosmith, Led Zep etc.etc.

My father was a square dance caller, and practiced quite a bit.  He also liked to toke up on the weekends while jamming to some Peter Tosh.  My mother was strictly country...with a little Elvis thrown in.  My musical raising was quite diversified.

I love to try out new genres.  I never know what I'll like and what I won't really.  My son's really into Death Metal.  I can dig on Meshuggah, but for some reason I don't care for most of the rest of it.  I love funk, but dont' like most modern R&B.  I hate bubblegum pop, and most modern rap (with some notable exceptions).  I dig thrash metal, and quite a bit of hip-hop.  I love Bob Dylan and most folk/folk-rock artists.  Counting Crows got me through some of my worst bouts of depression years back...I still have a weak spot for them.

When I moved to Kentucky, I started listening to Bluegrass, which reminded me a lot of listening to irish folk music.

Speaking of Minimalism...the following is one of my favorites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/CsioM3GaAAY
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Offline BertrandBataille

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 11:44:00 AM »
Speaking of Minimalism...

Speaking of speaking of minimalism, I dig this one:

Glenn Branca - Symphony 5 (live @ the Kitchen) PART 1
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 11:48:54 AM by BertrandBataille »
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 11:53:34 AM »


Seriously though.  I think a diversified musical environment while growing up is great.  My son, who I mentioned is into death metal...also can be caught listening to some Dylan or The Who.  My eldest is a bit more pop influenced...but she listens to quite a few anime soundtracks and some filk.  I ordered a new copy of Cecilia Eng's "Of Shoes and Ships" a few months back...and my daughters (17 and 11) can be seen occasionally singing a song from it.


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Offline Karyn

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 01:27:35 PM »
My mom listened to a lot of soft jazz ,while my brother listened to a lot of hard rock and classic rock.  I was more influenced by my brother, and hated what my mom listened to.  When I saw the movie "A Clockwork Orange", my obsession with classical music started.  I was a very hyperactive kid, and spent a lot of time jumping up and down to music.  Now I go for anything that makes me want to sing real loud or otherwise move.  Not dance music, because I suck at dancing, but the stuff you work out to.  Rammstein and Disturbed are the best examples of this.  I also like anything that doesn't just talk about someone's latest relationship woes or conquests.  It's so overdone, and not an issue I deal with anymore.

Offline Henning

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2009, 07:42:34 PM »
So basically: My musical taste has evolved from a constant desire to be surprised, and to relive a certain (now forever unattainable) experience.

That's a great way to put it, and I'll just borrow it rather than restate it for myself.
I grew up knowing the oldies my mom played (Joni Mitchell) were better than the new crap my friends played. In '99 I moved out of the house to live with two guys, one of whom fetishized Velvet Underground, and the other who fetishized Radiohead. If I am at all "hip" today, it is because of these two guys in those two years.
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Offline nocturnous

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2009, 04:03:13 AM »
My musical education is the largest factor. My own desires as a musician/artist and personal progression has taken me to the music and just living.  My parents had their music, I had mine. Sometimes it was the same, but rarely, I've mostly discovered the music I love through other people.Being able to see someone effected by certain music, really piques my curiosity to explore it.









Offline Boßel

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2009, 01:44:09 PM »
I don't really know. I used to hate the music my parents listened to. I now like some of it. The Beatles were included, but I love them now. I used to listen to rap, but that was in the 90's. I can't listen to the rap they have now. I don't know it's hard. Maybe my sisters paved the way for me. They always listened to alternative growing up, so I had no choice but to listen to what they listened to since I am the youngest. I then went off on my own, and have my own music preferences. I love classical, but I used to hate it. I never liked country, except for a few Johnny Cash songs. I don't even listen to the radio anymore. I'm interested in indie bands. So I try to support them when I can. That's my erratic and disorganized way of telling it.

I also enjoy Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 05:35:51 PM by Bossel »

Offline MikeHz

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 11:14:26 PM »
Grew up in the Fifties and Sixties. My folks bought a new stereo about 1962, but didn't get any records for it except a copy of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. I listened to it over and over again, and came to realize that there was more to it than simply some nice sounds. From then on, I loved classical music.

We used to watch Ed Sullivan. One evening while I was coming out of the shower, my mom called me. "Hey--you have to come see the cute monkey act." It was the Beatles. She thought they were ridiculous, but I thought they were great! The next day at school, all anyone talked about was this new group.
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Offline Benx6444

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2009, 05:20:14 PM »
The devil.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 05:30:40 PM by Benx6444 »
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Offline DK

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Re: What helped determine your musical taste?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 12:01:51 PM »
My Dad.

His record collection consists of the Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Hawkwind, Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Dr Hook, Dylan, Led Zep, Who, Jimi. Bonus thing, he got a digital converter for Xmas, so I've been editing all his old albums for him and adding some stuff to my iTunes folder at the same time.

Most of the concerts I've seen recently I went with my Dad - David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Peter Green's Splinter Group, Status Quo, Van Morrison.


 

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