Surprise, internet: I judge people based on their taste in music. It’s a habit I developed from being a stat-whore on last.fm. I find it refreshing when I stumble across someone who listens to exciting music I’ve never heard before, and I find it annoying when I meet someone who listens to exactly the same music as others. It eludes me why someone would commit themselves to listening to one or two genres, much less only the members of that genre who get played on the radio. And yet as I look through dozens of music profiles, I find cookie-cut playlist after cookie-cut playlist, and I ask “why?”Is there some reason that liberal arts girls in college always have The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Of Montreal, and Belle and Sebastian as favorite artists? It feels as though I’m just looking at the same person over and over again. I know that those artists are not technically the same genre, but damn it all, they are in spirit. People are not required to listen to them as a package, but it’s all I ever see. Likewise, I don’t get the guys my age who listen only to the bands that composed my original last.fm chart back in high school. Yeah, there was a time when I only listened to hard rock/nu-metal – my chart was Disturbed, System of a Down, Linkin Park, Korn, Sevendust, etc. What happened is that I developed a taste for other music, and my chart no longer is a showcase of 90’s-00’s hard rock bands. However, there are people who are in their 20’s and feel like it defines them somehow to listen to only this kind of music. And then you’ve got your metalheads, some of which actually do make an attempt to branch out, but most of which have the default Gorgoroth/Behemoth/Dimmu Borgir/Burzum selection. Always humorous to me are the F-150 rednecks who are willing to listen to teenage girls like Taylor Swift just because it’s “country”. And how every raver has to have Daft Punk and Deadmau5. Give me a break, Americans. Is it really so hard to say “wow, I only listen to one kind of music, maybe I should try something new”? Some words of advice when you do: if you try hip-hop, Lupe Fiasco alone doesn’t count; if you try metal, power metal doesn’t count; if you try electronic, anything that sounds like LMFAO does not count; if you try modern rock, Radiohead and Muse don’t count; pop doesn’t count. Stop copying and pasting your entire taste in music from your peers. Listen to something you haven’t heard about, for once. It will improve you as a listener, and it might change your taste in music completely.