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The Map of Developing Music Tastes

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What was the first album you ever bought for yourself? If you can't answer without feeling a pang of embarrassment, you understand that the evolution of your personal music taste can take many twists and turns. What was once close to your heart in your adolescence may have you selling records in your teenage years. What if we were able to chart the way people grow to develop their musical taste? What if we could identify the different stages and when to expect them? Well, that ship has come in. I present to you the greatest cartographic accomplishment since the mapping of the human genome: The map of developing music tastes. This is science. Childhood: Kids Music & Your Parents' Music Until about the age of 8, the only music you can conceivably like is kids music, like the songs Sesame Street teaches you. Otherwise, you'll grow a tiny affinity for whatever your parents listen to, whether it's their intent or not. That means that you can grow up listening to anything from AC/DC to Boyz II Men. This is important to note for your current/future babies. Pre-Teens: Whatever's Popular With Teenagers Kids always get their hooks into pop music earlier than people think they're supposed to. For some generations, that means 4th graders that are super into Nirvana. For people of my generation, that meant a bunch of 9 year olds rapping along to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Middle School: Whatever Makes You Cool Middle School, typically ages 11 through 14, is sometimes called The Great In-Between Darkness. It's a time when kids retain the cruelty of small children, but are beginning to manifest the need to fit in. This intersection of selfish apathy and desire produces some strange years, and no, I don't know what projection is. In music taste, this is where most kids conform to whatever makes them cool in their circle: if they're on the fast track to being cool outsiders, they'll hear their first punk song. If they're going to be the top of the social ladder, they'll get into the top pop act of the day, whether that's Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga. High School: The Divergence At long last, people begin to really define their music tastes (and themselves), and the results can be wildly different. What's new is that teenagers begin to realize that music has existed for a while – even before they were born! It's when people start to learn music backwards, as we all do, finding the influences of our favorites and the kings of the genres we love. It's when kids start wearing The Doors t-shirts and memorize Beatles lyrics, things they couldn't pull off before. College and Post-Grad: Eclecticism You know those weirdos that say they like everything except rap? Or those oddballs that hate all country music without having given its rich history a listen? This is when they start listening to a little bit of rap and country. For the rest of us, this is where we get in-depth with our tastes, which, depending on the branching path you took, can mean a Miles Davis phase or brand new genres with names like “Witch house.” And that's where I'm at so far. In the interest of space and saving the rest for medical journals, I'm going to have to cut it off here. Hopefully, with further research and, of course, a ton of grant money, we'll be able to further unlock the secrets of why we like what we like, and perhaps prevent some unfortunate choices before they happen.

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Vitamin String Quartet Salutes Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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1. Atlantic City (originally performed by Bruce Springsteen) 2. Imagine (originally performed by John Lennon) 3. Back in Black (originally performed by AC/DC) 4. Dazed and Confused (originally performed by Led Zeppelin) 5. Heart Of Gold (originally performed by Neil Young) 6. Iron Man (originally performed by Black Sabbath) 7. The Unforgiven (originally performed by Metallica) 8. Maggie May (originally performed by Rod Stewart) 9. Changes (originally performed by David Bowie) 10. God Only Knows (originally performed by The Beach Boys) 11. Hurts So Good (originally performed by John Mellencamp) 12. Bohemian Rhapsody (originally performed by Queen)

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Why AC/DC Rules the World

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For more than thirty-five years the Australian born rock band, AC/DC, has been exploding sound across the billboard charts and prompting spontaneous fist pumping across the globe. They are one of the most successful bands of all time and may arguably rule the world when it comes to rock and roll. VH1 ranked them 4th on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock,” and MTV called them the 7th “Greatest Rock Band of All Time,” but why do these middle-aged rockers deserve such repute? In his book, Why AC/DC Matters, famed rock author Anthony Bozza writes several convincing reasons these boys should be remembered above the likes of the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles.  Bozza attests that not only is AC/DC’s sound more “primal and fundamental” than the rest, but the band has one of the most consistent musical careers in history. This consistency is even despite the various changes in their line-up since the group’s inception in 1973.  In fact, on the eve of recording their album Back in Black, their lead singer, Bon Scott, died from alcohol poisoning. The rest of the crew considered a break-up, but opted to hire singer Brian Johnson instead.  Johnson was able to keep the current flowing, and even with a new voice behind the lyrics, Back in Black became AC/DC’s best selling album of all time. Since 1991 AC/DC has outsold Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones, and has placed second only to the Beatles. Back in Black is the 5th best selling album in US history, and while this may have a lot to do with what Bozza calls the “magnetism of the back beat,” I think the core of why AC/DC rules the world of rock is that their success was not a result of hyped media promotion, but the creation of a true fan base that these boys seduced all on their own. The music critics and media outlets have never truly given the band the acclaim they deserved, but our ears heard their music loud and clear.  The truth is, as evidenced by a career almost four decades long and history-making record sales, when it comes right down to it, almost every music lover on the planet wants to shout along and pump their fist to “You Shook me all Night Long,” simply because we like it, and not because Rolling Stone magazine told us to.

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