I need help to be more tolerant of other people's taste in music.

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Xaios, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal Contributor

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    If I had to guess, practically everyone here is or at least has been a fan of a genre of music that isn't exactly mainstream (metal, prog, Belarusians farting into saxophones). I certainly fall into this category. Because I've come to internalize the (unfortunate) belief that the music I prefer is somehow "better" than other music because it's played with more skill, artistic integrity and isn't simply constructed for mass consumption, I've developed a contemptuous attitude towards the musical tastes of most people I know, a contempt which I have a difficult time hiding.

    For example, I was a passenger in a friend's vehicle over the weekend, and he had turned on the satellite radio, and Staind was playing. I liked Staind when I was a teenager, but I started to view them as "tortured radio ballads band" a long time ago, which has made it impossible for me to enjoy them now. Needless to say, my body language conveyed my disdain for the music quite clearly without me consciously trying to do so. Because all my friends are sarcastic assholes (and really, I wouldn't have it any other way), he cranked the volume. If I'm being honest, I probably had it coming for the musical snobbery I've displayed in the past.

    Maybe it's just a fact of being human, but I'd like to think I'm mature enough not to flinch in disgust whenever I have to listen to a song I don't like. This is what I need help with. On a deeper level, I'd also like to not just hide it better, but I need to find a way to legitimately not be bothered by it.
     
  2. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Work in an office where headphones aren't really practical, and each 1/2 day, someone else gets to pick the music. You just learn to ignore it. :) You don't have to like it, but maybe your visceral, involuntary expression of disgust will be calmed. Ha!

    This morning was someone's Fleetwood Mac playlist, and right now it's someone else's Prince playlist, and that will play until about 4:30 when the "party people" will turn on something that sounds like it would only ever be played in a strip club. Yesterday morning was someone's Bob Marley playlist, and in the afternoon it was...not sure, but it was a lot of Hozier and 21 Pilots.

    Or, just realize music is like food. Not everyone likes every type of cuisine, and that's OK. And, just like food, there's guilty pleasures and simple sweet treats. I'm all game for a 10-course "chef's table" curated dining experience, but sometimes I just want a rice crispies treat. Realizing that something can just be 'catchy', and doesn't have to have any deeper meaning that something that makes your toe tap, is a big deal, too. Not every film is 7th Samurai. Sometimes it's Caddyshack...and that's OK.
     
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  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    I've heard the CIA regularly blares death metal at extreme volumes tor break prisoners. Obviously that wouldn't work for most people on this site, so I recommend subjecting yourself to the horrors of Cardi B and Iggy Azalea at concert level volumes. Once you feel properly dead inside (and deaf), it should be no problem to listen to Staind or other wonderful butt rock bands like Five Finger Douche punch
     
  4. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal Contributor

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    Unfortunately I already know this won't work, for me anyway. I worked in an office for 7 years where I was subjected to radio pop day in and day out. If anything, it only served to cement my position.

    Fair point. It's not like I don't have guilty pleasures that fall outside my usual preferences. I remember there was a Tegan & Sara song that was popular that I actually quite enjoyed. However, even in those instances, I can almost identify some similarity that such a song has with the music I enjoy, such as the sense of melody, harmony, or lyrical composition. Otherwise, I just can't do it.
     
  5. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade Unhindered by Talent

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    Most of the time, I listen to ukulele music and my wife listens to Top-40. We manage to co-exist.
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I find what works for me is realizing that, relatively speaking, I'm the one with the more niche tastes, so for every instance where I have to tolerate someone elses terrible music, there are just as many and more who would react as bad or worse to my choices. I think it's fair to recognize that at this point, with so much music available so easily, tastes are so varied, it's less and less likely that anyone is going to have as much overlap in what they like or dislike. I don't go into any situation with an expectation of shared taste for anything.

    Something about going into situations with the mindset of "I'm sorry for subjecting you to something I know you won't like" makes me feel better about not liking their music in return. :lol: And removing the expectation of shared taste takes pressure off of social interactions. It can even open up conversational topics: "I don't normally listen to what you do- can you tell me what about it appeals to you?" and then they often are more than willing to dive into all the little details that they're passionate about in their taste, and it makes for good small talk.
     
  7. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Someone should show them Merzbow :lol:


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    I guess I sorta felt this way when I was in high school, but I've since resigned to the idea that it's my own taste which is "poor". I do have to admit, I can understand why someone would hear Lord Worm's vocals and say "wtf this is ridiculous". Same thing for King Diamond I guess :lol:
    I have to admit... they are both pretty ridiculous, especially if I were to imagine a context where I'm comparing them with people who appear on American Idol.

    I guess I do judge people in a very insignificant, superficial way based on their music, but not necessarily by the genre. I judge them based on how mainstream or non the music they like is. I enjoy classical and opera, I do, but I very rarely listen to them and I'm mostly unfamiliar with it. So when I meet someone who has an in depth knowledge of classical music or especially opera, I find them impressive; I consider them to be on a similar level of music fandom as myself, a metalhead-- that is, a fan of unpopular music. As opposed to people who listen to classic radio rock or top 40 music.

    Weirdly, even though it used to not be the case, as time has progressed I've sorta kinda started to consider 90s alternative listeners to be "deeper" than, for example, Bruno Mars or Maroon 5 listeners.
     
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  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    You beat me to it, sort of. :lol: Can relate to most of what you said.
     
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  9. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I figured you'd already posted the answer without knowing it :lol:.

    This is it, in a nutshell. Find *something* to appreciate in the music you're hearing. Sometimes it can be super difficult, but it's possible.
     
  10. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I'm kind of the same way. It doesn't help being a musician and having even a slight grasp on theory. I'll hear the first few bars of a song and I can pretty much tell where the chord change is going, where the melody is going, and if its a radio pop song, probably know half the lyrics before I hear them, so it's not so much that its "bad", its just super BORING to my ear most of the time. I try not say too much unless I know the people I'm with are expecting my snide comments, though.

    But then I'll listen to Crosses, or The Black Queen, or Kavinsky on repeat for 2 hours in my heapdhones sometimes...so maybe I'm just an asshole.
     
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  11. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    It seems like we feel similarly, but one thing I want to say is: don't you find it pretty unfair?

    Like, someone puts on their radio pop, classic rock, or even like pop punk and alternative and I don't make a peep. I just hang. But I put on some metal and within 30 seconds someone is like "What is this GARBAGE? This isn't even music it's just screaming" and then proceed to change it. It's like, show some respect. It seems like metal listeners are the only group that get subjected to insult before being denied the privileged of listening to their preferred music in a group setting. Yeah, maybe my friends are just jerks, but I'm fairly sure that this is a common thing to happen.

    You ever lucky enough to be treated to a death metal singer impersonation, where they adlib some lyrics? Usually always something like: "I'm gonna kill my mom, I'm gonna kill my dad". That's what everyone really thinks metal is. "I'm gonna kill my mom, I'm gonna kill my dad"... it's like really... disheartening.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Then make rules for who controls the tunes when :shrug:.
     
  13. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I feel this, so much. I have no interest in music which I don't find stimulating, and I don't really care to "try to like things" which don't catch my interest. Mostly, this means I have no interest in pop music, or hip hop, etc. Ironically, electronic music is more interesting to me, and although I don't listen to it on my own, if someone puts it on I find it more interesting to listen to. I've gotten to the point where I can just let people listen to whatever and not give it too much thought. If the music doesn't do much for me then I don't feel the need to shit all over it unless my opinion is being sought on it, which it rarely is :lol:

    What I do get irritated at is the implication that my taste is somehow "bad" because I don't like a lot of mainstream music. When you start getting suggestions that you should just change your taste so you can listen to what other people like, which is "normal." What I find hilarious though, is that some of the electronic stuff and the more undeground hip hop artists don't really have a following any bigger than the metal, prog rock, jazz, or classical artists I listen to. However, those genres are deemed "normal."

    This rears its head particularly with my girlfriend, who listens to hip hop (and the most mainstream kind, at that), top-40s pop, and riot girl bands. She also vehemently hates most of my music. I frankly don't get her distate for it, since a lot of what I listen to (at least with her around) is Dream Theater or I try to find some accessible-sounding Metallica, or In Flames, etc. However, I don't begrudge her for having her tastes, but of course I get to listen to everything she likes in the car, which I don't really bitch about because it seems like an unnecessary thing to complain about since it's really just noise in the background. Usually we just end up listening to NPR :lol:
     
  14. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    It is pretty unfair. I've pointed this out to friends and usually after a speech of "I find your musical taste vapid and boring, but you don't hear me bitching about it" and some "You're complaining that I don't know anything about (genre X), but you also don't know anything about what I like" usually people shut up. Not always though.

    Society has deemed certain things "normal" and you can only change the norms by blasting death metal in the office :lol:
     
  15. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    all I can think of is that scene from Silicon Valley where Gilfoyle blasts Napalm Death over and over as a bitcoin alert
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I understand where you're coming from, but at the same time, I don't take it all that personally. Mostly because of:
    I equally don't put the effort into trying to understand rap or hiphop or pop or country or whatever else, so I don't expect anyone to have put the effort into understanding what I like either. For every time someone has called something I listen to "sceamo" because they don't know anything about heavy music genres, I'm probably also calling something "rap" that really isn't rap. Or I'm probably putting down something as dumb or repetitive because I don't want to bother digging into the nuances that matter to someone who likes it.

    I put an effort into not being condescending about music I don't like, but it's just that -> it's effort. I don't fault anyone else for not wanting to put that effort in. Just my :2c:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Realistically though, outside of a few key genres that are denoted as specifically "the popular ones", there isn't really a "normal" for music anymore. Tastes have grown to be extremely diverse over the last while. Pop only remains "popular" because it's the largest demo, but the largest is still pretty small. Or I would imagine it is. I'm too lazy to actually look it up right now.
     
  18. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    Art is an opinion. Like what you like , dislike what you dislike.

    As an artist I try hard not be dismissive of anything. Writing a 3 min catchy pop song that resonates with people is hard. Just cause it’s not complicated or difficult to play doesn’t mean there isn’t skill in crafting it.
     
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  19. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Eventually, you just reach a point where it's exhausting to maintain the admitted-music-snob affectation. I'd rather focus my energy on enjoying what I like or discovering new stuff that might interest me over cultivating distress over people liking things that might not be in my wheelhouse. Music- unlike everything else in this dumb world, apparently- doesn't have to be this decisive thing where somebody's a loser and another person is a winner.
     
  20. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    Think about your opinions on other forms of media. Would you rather watch and artsy indie film or a summer blockbuster? Or apply the same idea to books, TV, paintings, games, whatever. If you're not interested in in long takes and framing in movies, can you fault others for not caring about virtuosity in music?
     
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