A couple years ago I took a field trip to the Oregon Coast with my geology class. I didn’t know anyone except the teacher. My lab partners had signed up for a different field trip. When lunchtime came, I sat by myself and daydreamed, figuring I’d be left alone.
A guy with a big smile and a Pink Floyd t-shirt walked over. “Can I sit here?”
General small-talk ensued. He was very nice. We exchanged names and a few other inane bits of information, and then he asked the question. The absolute worst small-talk question of all:
“What kind of music do you like?”
I have heard that question many times in my life and have never figured out a satisfactory way to answer it.
To be honest, when I was a young teen I didn’t think I liked any music. I found it boring and distracting, often with stupid lyrics that didn’t make sense. So when people asked what music I liked, I told them I didn’t like any. Which I think was confusing for people, because who doesn’t like music? I mean really.
I satisfied my music needs in two ways: by prolifically writing songs and playing them in my head, and by watching musicals. Both of those are pretty abnormal ways of consuming music. The former could have been construed as “cool” if I’d been willing to share them with anyone, which I absolutely wasn’t. But the latter. I mean, unless you’re with a bunch of theater geeks, there’s no cool way to say that your favorite genre of music is show tunes.
In books and movies, the coolest artsiest characters always have “a good taste in music.” I have never been able to figure out what exactly that meant, but since Pink Floyd Guy was wearing a band logo on his t-shirt I was pretty sure he knew the secret. And I was pretty sure it wasn’t show tunes.
“I don’t know,” I said, finally.
“You don’t know? Do you like Switchfoot? Taylor Swift?”
“Kinda, I guess.”
“Well what kind of music do you like to sing?”
“I don’t like singing,” I told him. But later he heard me humming one of my own songs to myself so he didn’t believe me.
I started thinking about this when I went on my last road trip/camping trip with Ben, and in the process of taking pictures for my blog I snapped a picture of the music I’d brought, which was mostly soundtrack and musical music. I stared at the picture, wondering if I’d actually post it, and if I needed to explain my music taste. I realized that in nearly 11 years of blogging, with approximately 650 posts under my belt, I don’t think I have ever really talked about what kind of music I like. I don’t know if I’ve even mentioned that I write songs.
And I’ve always despised that question that I never quite know how to answer: “What kind of music do you like?”
Of course I love oddities of human nature, and after discovering this one of my own, I wanted to post about it and see if I’m the only one who likes uncool things but doesn’t talk about it much. I mean surely not, right?
So, what uncool things do you like? I really would be fascinated to know. Pretty please?
The music question is one that has come up more times than I can count.
I usually say I have an eclectic taste in music. So far that answer always satisfies the questioner, and I don’t have to try to come up with a certain genre or singer that I like.
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I like a little bit of almost everything, musically. So one or two rock songs, three or four country, the same with show tunes,several pop, etc. Now, explaining my taste in *reading* is a different matter altogether! I’m never quite sure what to say. My taste ranges from “Paradise Lost” and “The Inferno”–if I’m feeling goth–to YA reading, to non-fiction books about forensic science, to the odd “Historical Romance” novel.
(I don’t commonly admit the last category. It’s *very* uncool. Reading “The Inferno”in a graveyard is cool. “Historical Romance”–even relatively sensible and original romance that is heavy on plot, light on kissing, and does not center around modern fiery read-heads and Scottish barons–is not.)
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In this weary, grey world, I like brown and all its companions. I’ve noticed for years already that finding good brown/tan/cream clothes is hard, but last year when I got my own house that had lovely dark brown wood floors and cream walls, I realized how grey has completely overtaken home decorating. Several times I bought the tannest rug or towels I could find, only to bring them home and find them decidedly on the grey side of brown beside my lovely floor. So I don’t know if brown is uncool right now, but it’s definitely out of style.
I completely get the grey thing! I don’t like grey in our home either, I love the warm brown tones, and trying to get the tilers not to put dark grey grout in was almost impossible.
I like choral music, especially when I’m sewing or something. When I was younger I’m sure that would have been sad, but now I think it might pass as cool! Also I’m too comfortable with myself to give a hoot what anyone thinks! I used to think I liked rock music, but the more I hear from practicing ‘bands’ in the neighbourhood, the more I feel quite ashamed. Isn’t that strange? And to think of the people following them makes me sad too! Oh well, the real me has always been the same inside though.
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I also have an unusual taste in music. There is a guy at work who sometimes asks if I have heard “So-and-so”, and my response is either “Who?” or “I’ve heard OF them.” He finds it hard to believe that I am a Christian but don’t listen to the kind of music they play on the Christian radio stations, or even the music that is performed in modern Churches. I like a few Country songs, I like show-tunes, I like Bluegrass, and I like Hymns. Strangely enough, “Hymns is a term that is becoming increasingly unrecognized when I mention it as a favorite type of music.
I also geek about about knitting a lot. As in, enough so that I am sometimes embarrassed by how much I get excited about it. It is just so cool! 😉
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This is awesome!
I don’t know how I missed this post when it came out, but I guess I will comment on it now. If “uncool” means things that few – or none – of my other friends like, I would probably say (in no particular order of importance): Southern Gospel music (I think a lot of local people have never even heard of that genre), motorsports (except for NASCAR), and most other gear/engine-related stuff. There may be others, but that’s all I can think of for now. FWIW…