As I say in my About page, I listen to music in Spanish, mostly mariachi, banda, and norteñas, almost all the time. When I finally started looking at music and choosing what to listen, sometime in 2002, I began listening to the Ramones and slowly moved towards listening to classic rock on KLOS and Arrow 93.1 (Remember it? I was crushed when it switched to the new format by replaying the same U2 song all day. My brother called me that day with the news that it was know one of those “Jack FM” radio stations). In classic rock, I stuck to Journey/Foreigner/Cream/Allman Brothers Band/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Creedence Clearwater Revival. While listening to these stations, I also became a fan of Metallica and Slayer by hanging out with metalheads for a good year in high school. When I found out both bands had local ties, I enjoyed them more.
Since I grew up with Mexican music, I don’t count encountering new artists in those genres as branching out. I’ve kept up listening to Mexican music, amassing a lot of music in the past years. I have run out of space on my iPod for all my music and now I’m forced to select which music to no longer have on my iPod (So along, Eminem! Adieu, Bon Jovi! Te chingaste, Gravy Train!!!!)
I love country music, and when I say country music, I mean actual country music, music from rural areas and the older stuff. A lot of people are surprised when I say I like country music, but it’s really not that hard to understand. Like Mexican music, country music is often from rural, poorer people, influenced by immigrants and full of elements from Europe (polkas, waltzes, accordion, anyone?) and deal with the same themes (working in the fields, love, retribution, exploitation).
When it comes to hip hop/rap, my likes are from the beginnings to until about 1997, when Biggie was killed. Anything from the 80s is best for me, especially MCs not known so much today, like Toddy Tee.
One of my musical tastes I’ve kept to myself for a few years, not letting many people know (I think I’ve told only two people and hinted at it to others). I’ve not told many just because it never comes up. I always listen to music with earphones so I don’t bother others and most of the time I listen to mariachis or bandas or Metallica or the Allman Brothers Band. I indulge this taste at odd times, mostly when I’m feeling down or late at night. It really doesn’t fit much with my other musical likes, but isn’t that the beauty of humanity?
I absolutely love the Carpenters. I first heard of them in 2004, when I saw their documentary Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters on PBS. After that, every time I’ve caught their documentary on PBS, I’ve seen it and I plan on buying it. Karen’s voice (and the fact that she was a drummer), Richard’s arrangements, the sound quality, their personalities really make their music appeal to me. I can’t do anything but hum their songs when I have them stuck in my head, especially “Hurting Each Other,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and “Close to You.” No Monday is complete without me listening to “Rainy Days and Mondays.” Their music instantly makes me feel good and calm, something not many artists can.