#429: “What kind of music do you like?”

COLLAGE

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#429: “What kind of music do you like?”

Have you ever spent a little bit of time trying to get to know somebody new that you were interested in romantically? Probably, unless you have people throwing themselves at you like little girls at a Bieber concert. I’m sure most of us have made that small talk, when first making someone’s acquaintance. Nowadays it’s often done in email.  Routine questions and the like.

You know the typical subjects, when you just meet somebody. Do you like pets? Do you like to travel? What’s your favourite food?  (My answers always were:  1. Yes, 2. No, and 3. Anything that swims.)

The most difficult question of them all, the one that I could go on and on and on about was: “What kind of music do you like?”

What kind of music do I like?? How many hours do we have???

How do I answer that question? How do you answer that question?

It’s also a bit of a loaded question.  I learned early in life that if I answered simply “Heavy Metal”, that was a dealbreaker with a lot of girls!  I’m sure things are a lot different today.  I remember my buddy Bob telling me, “This girl at work said she’d go out with me, if I didn’t listen to rock.”

I used to try and keep my answers short. When a person is just starting to get to know you, they don’t necessarily want an essay-form answer to a simple question. “What kind of music do you like?”  I refused to answer “everything” because when most people say they like “all music”, 99% of the time, it’s not true. I’ve certainly dated people who claimed to like “all” music, but didn’t seem to enjoy anything I picked in the car….

Keeping things simple, I used to try to answer the music question in the following ways:

1. “Anything with guitars”.

I stopped using that one early because frankly it’s not true. Ben Folds Five didn’t use guitars. I have jazz and classical music without guitars. And there’s lots of music out there with guitars that just plain sucks!

2. “Anything that rocks”.

I thought, “Hey, that’s better than my other answer. Lots of music rocks. Even electronic music can rock.” But it doesn’t really answer the question, does it? It’s a subjective answer. It’s like answering, “Anything good.”

I had one really, really annoying customer at the Record Store one afternoon. She wanted some new music to listen to. It didn’t have to be “new” new, just new to her. When asked what kind of music she liked, she just answered, “Good music.”

She kept us running around for the next hour, trying to find CDs in the store that she would like. She would sit and try them on the listening station. She sampled the discs that we picked for her to try, and just answer, “I didn’t like these.” We asked again, is there anything specific you’re looking for? “I just like good music,” she answered, clearly as frustrated as we were.

My getting-to-know-you answer evolved into the following:

3. “I buy CDs from every section of the music store, but my favourites usually have loud guitars.”

Honest, true and short. And hopefully from that answer the young lady knew what she was getting into with me!

Did you used to get that question? How did you answer it? Leave a comment!

“Heavy metal, hard-core, punk, pop, or thrash.
You can call it anything it don’t matter to me.
Call it what you want.
It’s all music to me.”

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37 comments

  1. “Good music”. Should have its own section in record stores! I can’t say I’ve ever really been asked that question during the courting shenanigans, but when folks have asked I tend to say that I’m into alternative country and rock stuffs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a hard question to answer. I used to answer “alternative”, which is almost as broad an answer as “anything good”, but often got the point across and to those who just assumed I meant Nirvana, I knew I’d be facing an uphill battle anyways. The more accurate term these days is “indie” but that still doesn’t answer the question. So I guess I still don’t have a good answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve always had girls throwing themselves at me, and what kind of music I like isn’t the first thing on their mind…

    Hahaha right. Anyway, Deke calls me a melting pot and that’s become my stock answer.

    Asking someone their fave music is a really loaded question, any answer setting that person up for derision and mocking equally as much as agreement. I’ve fallen into that trap in the past (I even got called a Music Snob once, by a Shania Twain fan) and I tend to leave it alone now.

    Since I’ve only dated one woman for the past 17 years, I figure if she doesn’t know me by now, she will never ever ever know me, Oooo-oooooo.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But is it true? I’m trying to make as true a statement as I can. I know I can’t say “everything” because for example I don’t like monotonous music, and a lot of EDM is very repetitive.

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      1. I see your point. You don’t like absolutely everything and that particular question is often tedious for using musical aficionados.

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  4. On one point: Any woman who would refuse to date you because of your taste in music (or anything else similar) is not worth dating and shouldn’t be dated by you. I’m a firm believer in this. If someone wouldn’t date you because of something you like, you shouldn’t date them because they’re a bad match for you as an individual and the whole point of dating is finding a good match for you as an individual. I never got that concept of ‘chicks’ or ‘girls girl girls’ …or anything else dehumanizing. The only person you should date is someone who you really think is a cool person and who thinks you are a cool person. (Not YOU as in Mike, but the royal ‘you’)

    On the other point: if its just co-workers, or casual acquaintances I just say ‘too much Rock music’ in an embarrassed British way, or if they’re older I just say ‘Anything from the 70s… you know Pink Floyd, Queen and Led Zeppelin.’ I’d rather people who don’t care about music didn’t know that I listen to Cannibal Corpse or Sodom.. if they aren’t likely to ever agree or at least be understanding or respectful I just don’t even let them know in the first place. Too many people fail to understand enjoyment is subjective and take it as a personal insult if you like something they don’t or vice versa.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is always a difficult question to answer. I like Good Music of course! Anything I can dance to…even if that dancing is just in my head. Anything that moves me somehow. That can be deeply soul-stirring or merely a light distraction. I like all kinds of rock, country, disco, funk, R&B, jazz, pop, punk, blues, classical, folk.
    You raise an interesting point about heavy metal. I don’t know how to answer that one because I can’t define ‘heavy metal’. I like heavy rocking sounds but the line into “metal” isn’t clear to me.
    People screen potential dates according to tastes in music? That’s funny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great comment Danica.

      Yes…people do screen potential dates according to tastes in music. I’ve never turned down a date based in bad taste in music, but perhaps I should have!

      Heavy Metal itself is a very diverse genre. Don’t forget, bands like Bon Jovi used to be considered metal! What is heavy metal? Bon Jovi, Alice in Chains, Cannibal Corpse? All those bands have been covered in metal mags, metal radio shows, metal TV shows…but they sound nothing alike whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mike. It’s an interesting topic.
        I don’t remember being asked about my taste in music in a pre-date screening. During a date conversation can get into music, but that would be after the fact.
        Okay then, yes I like metal. In general, anyway :)
        I can see how bad taste in music would be difficult to overcome! Tied to your point, there’s bad music within every genre. Taking a page from KMA’s blog, a good approach might be: screen according to your Top 15 Albums of All Time. Mine is showing a definite theme. Things change when you get down to All Time!

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  6. KMA’s Top 15 works with record store customers too. They like Good Music and want more? Great. Name your Top 15 albums and let’s get started.
    Another good question is: which 5 (10, 15…) concerts would you attend if you had no limitations. You can go anywhere to see any concert at any time.
    Then you have a snapshot to work with.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think another thing that comes up, in all this, is the occasional difference in musical tastes. Not all the time, just one or two artists. I mean, my lovely wife and I, by and large, agree on music. She will tend to leave the room when I’m playing Slayer, and although I can never quite tell if it’s because of the music itself or because the volume at which I’m playing it is rattling her fillings, but it’s fairly obvious she’s not a fan of that stuff. So she just leaves. On the flip side of the coin, she has agreed to only play her Neil Diamond CDs when she’s alone in the car and there’s no chance of my hearing it. But for the rest of it, we have a lot of common ground and we get along fine. It’s just the occasional thing that causes blips. Sometimes it ain’t all or nothing.

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  8. I still get this question all the time where I work. I get raised eyebrows when I tell them “a bit of everything, as they listen to talk radio. I work in a weird place I think…
    I can’t get through my day without music an often have it playing in the background.
    I think it was our collective music tastes that brought my husband and I together. I listened to Rush, he AC/DC. Both of us weren’t too familiar with the other’s favourite bands so that brought us close.

    Liked by 1 person

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