I don’t like vegetables. I’m a meat and potatoes guy. This 50,000 foot view of my culinary likes and dislikes is a little deceiving. Definitely a lot easier than saying that I’m no doubt a carnivore but occasionally I will eat mushrooms, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots but I hate brussels sprouts, cooked broccoli, and baked beans have made me physically ill since I was a much smaller human being having to learn how to politely say “no, thank you” at the neighborhood pot luck. Really the dislikes list would far out swamp the likes list. However, is it really fair to make the blanket statement that I don’t like vegetables? Thanks to my mother, I continued to try different vegetables throughout the years. “Your taste buds will change”, she insisted. I still hate brussels sprouts and cooked broccoli. Baked beans still have a violent effect on most of my senses…wow, the smell alone can make me heave. But now I like humus and grilled asparagus.
Being a young, budding, pretentious music snob I thought I could make the blanket statement that I liked most anything except rap and country. It was lazy. Lazy just to write off two genres of music because of the limited exposure I allowed myself. I’m glad as an adult that I took my mom’s advice and tried new things. My taste have definitely evolved. I’m not a huge hip hop fan and I would never declare that I’m a fan of country music. I’m just a fan of music. Hip hop artists like Brother Ali, Mos Def, The Roots and Atmosphere have opened up my eyes to how infectious beats behind stories of the artist’s lives or experiences can be very powerful. Uplifting even. Alt-country artists like Old 97’s, Lucinda Williams, Austin Lucas and more have confirmed for me that I love music played in traditional styles as long as it has heart and emotion. Whinny songs about lost pick up trucks thanks to alcohol induced escapades still have violent effects on most of my senses. Rap music degrading women and celebrating debauchery is still not on my likes list. At the end of the day, I no longer wholesale write off entire categories of music. I take a bite of each artist and make a choice to have another helping or not. I’m just a music fan.