Erik’s Music Taste Timeline

Inspired by an excellent discussion from elsewhere on the internet, I’ve compiled my ‘music taste timeline’ for your enjoyment. Basically, it’s chronicling key moments in the development of my musical taste from youth until now. I had a ton of fun making this. If you’re anything like me and have loved music for a long time, you may want to consider making one of these for yourself…it’s a fun trip down memory lane. You can read the full thing after the break.

Age 0-7 – Raised largely on classic rock, primarily my dad’s favorites The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Somewhere there is a picture of a two-year-old me with a chalkboard, having proudly and crudely written “Beach Boys” on it. I was a music nerd at a young age, apparently.

Age 8 – My first foray into music discovery. I fall in love with R.E.M. after hearing “Shiny Happy People” and develop a bizarre obsession with the theme song to Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers and a few other cartoons of the time. The R.E.M. love will last forever…the Rescue Ranger love not so much.

Age 10 – Weird Al and not much else. It’s really the perfect amount of silliness. Like R.E.M., this is also a love that will never die.

Age 12 – Through a middle school friend, I discover the greatness that was the BMG Music Club. Being rebellious as a result of peer pressure, I discover Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. I end up selling the latter as to not disappoint my parents TOO much, but NIN sticks around for a little while. Around the same time I also more or less stole my dad’s copy of Cracked Rear View by Hootie and the Blowfish. Long story short – I listen to Hootie and NIN obsessively.

Age 14 – I hear dc Talk’s “Jesus Freak” and my musical taste shifts as such. I listen to dozens of Christian bands, especially Jars of Clay. I go to my first concert (Jars) and begin writing music of my own. I also discover ska and briefly play in a pretty bad ska band. I also start listening to They Might Be Giants, which I see at the time as a more mature version of Weird Al. I focus on their sillier material and ignore the rest.

Age 16 – Mainstream rock begins to permeate my taste for Christian music. Collective Soul becomes my new favorite, with Matchbox Twenty and U2 closely behind. I play in an acoustic rock band that accurately reflected my taste at the time.

Age 18 – Linkin Park. All the time. Strangely, other nu-metal bands completely fail to hold my attention. I enter a phase of significant depression and, perhaps not coincidentally, rediscover Nine Inch Nails. Interestingly, NIN has an equally significant contribution to my recovery from said depression several years later.

Age 22 – I buy a used copy of Dark Side of the Moon at a record store and the fucking floodgates open. I start listening to Tool, Miles Davis, Radiohead and dozens if not hundreds of others. The Garden State soundtrack opens me up to the wonderful world of indie rock.

Age 24 – I’m introduced to Porcupine Tree and become obsessed. I discover other metal and progressive music as a result of this. I’m also introduced to DJ Shadow and branch out to alternative hip hop. I rediscover They Might Be Giants in a completely different way than before. I go through a brief but intense Soul Coughing phase.

Age 26 (now) – More and more indie rock. I’m introduced to Portishead and become obsessed with trip hop, which then branches out to other electronic music.

What I listen to on a regular basis is an interesting combination of all of this…it’s interesting to see how things have evolved.

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