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When It's Not Metal...

Everyone has a favorite ice cream flavor. Mine is probably orange. If a store has orange ice cream, or especially blood orange, I will buy it, hands down. But if stores ALWAYS had that flavor, I bet I’d still eat it a lot, but there would be times where I’d want something different. For me, music is the same. My favorite type of music, hands down, is hard rock and metal. It’s the music of my youth, it’s the music that moves me most and it’s the music where I like the genre enough, that I’ll enjoy a mediocre metal band more often than not. But, sometimes I need to listen to something different. I’m guessing most people are the same.

What do I like that’s not metal? Right now I am listening to Playing for Change, a project that works to record street musicians around the world. I have several Motown and Stax box sets and I love 60s soul. I have some CDs from the swing revival of the 90s. Classic rock like Hendrix, the Who, Led Zep and even Bob Dylan is a given. I also love a lot of blues, especially Buddy Guy, BB King, Joe Bonamassa, and on the acoustic side, Son House, Lightnin Hopkins and (again) Buddy Guy. I go to a fair number of blues shows. I’ve also recently got in to a lot of southern rock, especially Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I’ve also got in to a bit of Blackfoot and Charlie Daniels...I love Sly and the Family Stone.

In the 80s, I was confused that people assumed you couldn’t like Bon Jovi and Metallica. (I saw Bon Jovi on the weekend, and wore my Metallica shirt from last month’s tour to one show and overheard someone say “He’s at the wrong show”). Nowadays, I worry even less about what people think and find I like more and more different types of music, although, out of my 2,600 CDs, I bet that 2,300 are rock and metal.

What about you? What do you listen to when you’re not listening to the bands covered here?

Reader Comments (22)

If im not listening to Glam / Metal or classic rock then it is usually UK indie from the 90's. Outwith that i have not bought anything new in recent years.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterskwint
I'll be honest, it's rare for me to totally dislike any style of music. The stuff on my iPod right now ranges from '30s big-band to Nine Inch Nails.

I'll listen to anything that seems to speak to me. It just happens that I listen to a lot of Metal because it helps stop me from getting angry - it relieves pressure for me. I listen to 80s Glam because it's fun and funny and very sexual. In fact, most of the stuff I listen to would fit one of those three roles: angry, fun or sexy. I like early-80s funk, and have a closet affection for The Monkees. I think Eminem's one of the best lyricists working these days. I adore Hendrix, but I also dig bits and pieces by people like Beyonce and Lady Gaga. I have a lot of Springsteen in my collection, along with Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, CCR, and David Bowie.

The only stuff I don't listen to is stuff that I just don't "get". If a song doesn't throw a breeze up my skirt, I'll probably just regard it as background noise. I don't listen to much Techno (some, but not much). I don't listen to a whole lot of rap (again, some, but not much). I actually enjoy a lot of classical and country music, but it's not stuff that I bother with all that often. I don't tend to listen to anything that's recorded by teenage performers (never have), because I don't find them interesting or especially relevant to me.

So yeah, I guess the Justin Bieber/boyband stuff is really the only thing I've ever ruled out completely, and that's just because I've always found it a bit "ew" to listen to hairless teenage boys sing about love... *shudder*
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki Chrome
Great post... I have about 13,000 songs in my iTunes collection and similar to Christian, 80-90% is probably metal, punk & hard rock. The rest comes from a variety of sources from Coltrane & Ray Charles, to more indy stuff like Vampire Weekend & Gaslight Anthem, to rap from the Beastie Boys & Jay-Z. On occasion I'll also go to the current modern rock charts and download a bunch of songs from bands that I haven't heard of in order to expose myself to some new music.

The big gaps in my collection are with the boy bands, R&B/Soul, dance & new wave -- with just a handful of exceptions, I've never really enjoyed any of that.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Honestly I love old time Country not today's pop country junk. George Jones and Conway Twitty Rule!!
I don't mind some modern stuff either, Rihanna's stuff is good,I will give LAdy Gaga all the credit in the world, she can too can actually sing, if not look somewhat normal.

Old school rock is good too. The only real stuff i can't stand is the boy bands, pop country and some rap. I'm game for mostly everything else.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
when I was in high school in the 80s, I listened to metal, and nothing else. the beauty of getting older is that your mind starts to open more and you allow yourself to experience new things which include different styles of music. Besides metal, my other musical passions are jazz and blues. I've also developed a taste for 60s psychidelia and early progressive rock.

As other people have mentioned, there's this certain intangible spot in my soul that music needs to hit for me to enjoy it irrespective of genre. As long as a song hits that spot, no matter what style it is, I'll listen to it over and over again.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Awesome replies, like I thought there's a whole mix of other things represented here, despite our common love of metal. I think that's really cool !!!
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I don't have a huge record collection (about 1000 titles 60% vinyl, 40% cd) but I've got everything from death metal to Bobby Darin. It's gone in cycles for me, bought a lot of sleaze n glam in the late 80's, thrash in the early 90's, punk in the mid 90's and now I'm back picking up stuff I missed the first time around like D'Molls,Babylon AD and Dirty Looks.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSnoot
Classic rock, jazz, blues, old school hip hop, country music, random 80's pop, but i'd say 40 percent of my music collection is hard rock and 40 percent metal and glam stuff
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterahappypunk
A few non hard rock/metal favorites:

Miranda Lambert
Duran Duran
Huey Lewis & The News
Adam Ant
Taylor Swift
Kelly Clarkson
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack
I listen to most anything but rap and boy band music. I just can't get into it. I go from Merle Haggard to Rob Zombie to Poison. A good song is a good song no matter the genre.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShattered
I love my classic rock, heavy metal, and glam of all sorts. However, i like a lot of the 80s pop driven synth. I definitely think it is lame how you'll get judged rocking a Bon Jovi shirt to a Death Metal show. However, my entire approach to music can be summed up in a sentence: If I let other people dictate my musical tastes, I would be listening to Top 40. Fuck em!
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspence
Eh...I remember as a kid getting dirty looks for wearing my Van Halen tee to a Black Flag show. Stuff like that doesn't matter now. I actually left the world of metal in the 90s and lived in the land of techno and electronica for years. I love anything that makes me want to dance. It's only in the last few years, when I picked up a guitar again that I 'rediscovered' all the metal, hard rock and glam metal I loved as a kid. Like someone else said I'll often download new stuff just to be exposed to stuff I haven't heard yet.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteri'mtheone
Yeah, I LOVE Prince, he is awesome. And I am totally jealous of the guy who got to see Black Flag live.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Henry Rollins is a noted DLR/VH fan, something those Black Flag fans were evidently not aware of (unless this was maybe pre Rollins)

Be nice if the new Prince CD actually gets a USA release sometime soon, so far it seems the UK are the only ones that matter to him. Also would be nice for him or Warner to do a back catalog remaster series.
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Funny, I went to Motorhead and got slammed for having a Poison patch on my vest. I pointed out that CC played lead on one of the songs on the CD they were touring at the time....
December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Jack...that is Neil Zlozower's awesome VH photobook, Van Halen: A Visual History there is quote from Rollins talking about how much he liked VH and the influence they had on rock music.
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteri'mtheone
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
George Strait
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisly

I'm a country boy, too.
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian L
I listen to everything but then I think that is not usual I think most metal fans are lot more opened mind when it comes to music then the stereotype allows.

We are lovers of music not just a genre(s).
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterManny
I'll have to give a shout out to my all time fave band "Bonepony"..they ain't metal..but they mix Rock/Folk/country in a style that I find Metal fans like...but to answer the question..I'm digging so much music these days..but I'd lean toward the roots rock sound if I ain't listening to my Glam!
Merry Christmas
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGene
My ipod ranges from Martina McBride to Fleetwood Mac to Rammstein to Rob Zombie back to Kris Kristofferson. Much like everybody else who's replied, I have diverse and pretty ecclectic tastes. But it always comes back to the 80's Hair bands for me!! Lol
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary

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