Monday, November 25, 2013

Differing Musical Tastes Leads To Relationship Discord

Dear Tazi:

I have been dating a guy for a few months, and I like him a lot...except for one odd quirk: He refuses to listen to any music recorded after 1988. "Shawn" is a big fan of music from the 1970's and '80's, and claims that the music recorded today is garbage. I have tried to keep an open mind and listen to some of the stuff he likes, but stuff like Led Zeppelin and Bread just don't work for me. I like music by girl singers like Beyoncé and Katy Perry - stuff Shawn will not ever consider allowing on in his presence. I am starting to wonder if this is a deal-breaker.

I like going dancing, and Shawn won't go with me because he doesn't like the music. I like listening to music in the car, but there is never anything we can agree upon so we ride in silence or to Shawn's music. I feel like I am missing out on things I enjoy in order to be with Shawn - which is something I also enjoy, but I am wondering if trading music for my man is worth it.

Missing My Beats

Dear Missing My Beats:

Serious musicians understand the importance of bands from the 1970's and early 1980's; these are/were musicians that not only sang, but wrote their own music and lyrics; played their own instruments; and understood how to read music in the first place. The difficulty level of much of the music from this time - much of which contains multiple chord changes - is extraordinary. This is why the 1970's is considered the classical era of rock and roll - because the music itself represents a great deal of classical training and education. Much of today's popular music owes a debt to the singer-songwriters of the 1980's and '80's. Have you listened to Eminem's new release "So Far"? Those amazing guitar riffs are actually former Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh's guitar riffs. Compare the two:


Even the lyrics Eminem writes are a parody of the original Joe Walsh song. I hope this comparison helps you to understand Shawn's point of view. My concern for this relationship is Shawn's refusal to compromise. You say he "doesn't allow" music by Katy Perry, et al to be played in his presence. This intolerance of other musical tastes is in poor form, and crosses the line into controlling behavior. You need to ask yourself how long it will be before this control turns into abuse. Is there really no musical genre upon which the two of you can agree? Remember a compromise is only a compromise when both sides give something, and it appears that you are the only one giving in for the sake of harmony. Only you can decide whether you want to stay or go, but since you asked for my advice I will offer it: leave, and find someone who appreciates you for who you are, not in spite of who you are.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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