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40oz

Musical compatibility

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I have a friend who I’ve been hanging out with lately. I hung out with him a few weeks ago at his house. I noticed he had a record player and a stack of vinyl and I mentioned that he looks like a pretty big music guy. He asked if I’d like to put something on, and asked what I want to hear and I said “I’d like you to put on whatever you would put on if I weren’t here.”


So he put on a record called The Sword – Age of Winters, and I learned that he really likes stoner rock/doom metal type stuff. I would never have guessed he was into that kind of music if how he looked and dressed and acted said anything about his musical preferences. Since then we’ve been exchanging albums we really like. I’ve been keeping an open mind to see what he likes, and I’ve been sending him some of my favorite albums too. I’ve been liking some of his stuff but not quite as much as I like mine. This isn’t really a problem; people like what they like, but I can tell we’re just kinda combing through each other’s stuff looking for commonalities.


Today he asked me what I thought about this one band called The Faceless, which is like some grind/deathcore band (I think) but considering most of the other music he has showed me, I had trouble believing he was really into it, and it wasn’t really my thing either. I think I prefer more raspy thrashy stuff. I asked him and he said he puts it on from time to time but it’s not really a favorite of his.


Music is a very personal thing. When someone tells you a band they like, it’s not always clear how much they like it, and you got to be sensitive about it. If the band is ok, but you’d probably rarely listen to it again, you might tell them you like it just to not hurt their feelings. So during this past few weeks we’ve been shooting band names and albums back and forth at each other but I’m not quite sure we’re getting anywhere.


I was thinking of trying an exercise where we each pick 10 songs we really like, and rate each other’s songs in order of preference 1-10. The tricky part is that the majority of what I like is limited to a few genres, so I could fill the list pretty quickly, even from a single band. If he likes one grindcore band more than the other, that doesn’t really tell me anything about him, which is what the issue is here. So I was thinking it may be smarter to pick favorite songs from a variety of genres, tempos, styles, etc., include some guilty pleasures and stuff too, maybe even a curveball – something he might think I like but I really cant stand. It’s kinda scary to think he could score something I absolutely love pretty low, but it would really be telling of what the other likes and I’m kinda excited to find out.


I don’t really want him to know the names of the bands or the song titles. A song called “I love you baby” vs. “feces covered castrated monkey scrotum” really speak for themselves. I’d like him to listen to the music completely independent of bias or stereotypes. I’m not really sure how to go about this. Maybe burn a CD? Unfortunately I stream a lot of music and he listens to a lot of vinyl, so we don’t really have MP3s floating around. Are there any websites where you can set up an anonymous playlist or something? What suggestions do you have to do something like this? Also is there maybe a better way to better identify direct musical compatibility? I’ve used last.fm which was cool, but I don’t use it anymore and I’ve acquired a lot of new favorite bands and genres since then. I also don’t really want him to start up an account and wait 3 months for him to flesh it out. Any ideas?

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I suggest burning your music onto a blank CD and listening to it from start to finish with him.  Offer him no information about the bands.  What else might be a good idea is using Pandora to find new music.  Maybe make a joint Pandora account and encourage each other to create stations that you can both listen to whenever you have time.

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Nobody that I know in person has the same taste in music that I do. That's perfectly fine, everyone has their ways.

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You don't know anyone that like ministry? thats a shame. You should enlighten Them.

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I dont mean to say that I'm trying to impose my interests on this guy. Our musical preferences are already very close. But I don't think I could say that his favorite albums of all time are the same as mine. The object of this experiment to is to truly identify the differences in our tastes that are already so similar. The subtleties between two different bands' sounds is difficult to communicate in spoken language, so its much easier to say you like something than it is to specifically scrutinize about what you don't without painting broad strokes, if that makes any sense. So I'm looking for something to try that might evaluate our preferences in a more specific level.

 

I understand music can be a pretty solitary thing for a lot of people, but in the hypothetical event that we wanted to exchange music as gifts, we already know that we like a lot of similar stuff, but we don't know what one likes more than the other. So i could simply buy an album that i would enjoy myself, and he could do the same. But we don't know for sure how enjoyable it would be for the other.

 

The experiment of picking 10 favorite genres/subgenres and a song that defines that genre for you and giving it to the other to rate on a scale of 1-10 is the best idea i could come up with to eliminate things the other doesn't like as much as others, which would help each other to home in what they really like. My question is that if you wanted to know this information about someone, can you think of a smarter, faster, more efficient way of doing this?

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You can always ask why he likes the bands that he likes.  Have him go into detail about why he likes the vocals, drums, guitar, bass, keys, or whatever.  Anyone describing their favorite bands should be able to articulate why.

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@40oz i would go with the youtube playlist

i also think youre overthinking this but if you really would like to have him as a 'music friend' recommend him stuff you think he'd like, or casually mention a record and ask what he thinks. you can develop this appreciation and commonality over time; it cant really be rushed.

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