A matter of taste

I had a bit of music running through my head tonight (“Small Town Spree” by Peter Case) and, reviewing the lyrics, realized that it wasn’t as good a song as I’d thought back in 1986 or so when it came out. Reflecting on this, I further realized that a lot of what I thought of as “good” years ago I now don’t like in varying degrees. So, a question for the Group Mind:

Assuming only adult tastes (none of what you liked or disliked at age 9), what tastes in music, or film, or food, or other arts have changed for you? Particularly, what particular artists or edibles or designs (cars, architecture) etc. have lost or gained value for you?

Examples for me include:

  • Musical artists I adored 15 years ago that I now think are clumsy and overrated (the above Mr. Case and several others)
  • Cilantro, which I thought was horrible at age 19 and now I can’t get enough of
  • Mercedez-Benz cars, which I once thought were the apex of beauty; now I think they’re boring businessman’s cars
  • Science Fiction, which ruled my world in early college and now makes me gag almost every time

Comment away if you’re interested, either with your own changes in taste or about the phenomenon.

19 thoughts on “A matter of taste

  1. Skinny Puppy could release an album of them blowing their noses for 75 minutes and I would have bought it.
    And then there’s Nitzer Ebb.
    My god, that stuff was crap. I’ll still keep the cds, though.

    1. I still like the early stuff, like Bites, Cleanse, Fold, and Manipulate, and Mind: the Perpetual Intercourse. Of course, I think the Download stuff is much better than the later Puppy. As for Nitzer Ebb … they have always irrtated me.

  2. Well, my biggest thing was that as a youth I would only eat Hot Dogs or some form of canned homogenous pasta such as Spaghetti O’s. A problem which became a bone of contention between my mother and father and his wife. Somewhere around age 17 I started to become more open to new tastes and now its at the point where I’ll try any food twice on the off chance that the first time it wasn’t prepared well.
    When I was young, I wasn’t as avid about sports as I am now, I enjoyed the occasional baseball game with my dad, but mostly because of hot dogs, popcorn, and the stupid mascot. Now I’m a sports junkie.
    Outside of that, I dont think there have been too many changes. Music has slowly morphed through the years from one thing to another, resulting in a rather large musical selection.

  3. Coffee. When I was 17 or 18 I started putting less sugar in my coffee and this trend has continued. Now no sugar ever and frequently no non-fat milk in the coffee. I was actally thinking about that when I went to get more coffee yesterday and wondered if this trend would continue to the point where I start to salt my coffee.
    Nine Inch Nails. I used to obsessively love the NIN. Now I really listen to them for the nostalgia factor not because Trent, like sings to ME man.

    1. Kate and I chatted a little about this before:
      casserole — I would not touch it as a kid, and now one of my best recipes is a casserole.
      Also…
      television — a latch-key kid uses television as a drug, an enlightened adult looks at it like a drug.
      spicy stuff — would not touch it as a kid, and now I cannot get enough of it!
      Dr. Pepper — I used to drink 3 or 4 cans a day, but now my tummy has issues with anything carbonated or excessively sugary, like most colas today.
      Apple GUI computers — I thought they were “toys for the masses” (and college taught me there were especially difficult to write assembly programs for), but now I know their Unix-y goodness and will buy nothing else and have become a zealot.
      Things that never change:
      cheese — I still love it.
      lima beans — I am one of the freaks that love these
      coffee — always loved (a touch of cream, no sugar)

  4. I, uh.. *cough*
    In my late teens, early 20s, I.. *ahem.*
    Ok, I listened to Rush, dammit. And I thought “the trees were all kept equal with hatchet, axe and saw” was insightful.
    Oops.

  5. Lots of music:
    Metallica – though I think it’s pretty clear that they’re the ones that changed.
    Steve Vai – ditto, but more of a mutual thing
    The hair metal – Dokken, Whitesnake, all of the terrible music I listened to to hear good guitar players before I realized that they were more silly than good.
    Danzig – I thought his first solo album was a damn fine rock and roll album aned I still do, but a few years later a friend of mine had a promotional video with interviews with him from that time – i.e. image building. Had I seen that before I heard the music, I would not regard Glen as anything other than a pathetic clown.
    I could go on with music all day, so lets go to food:
    Cilantro – I used to be ignorant of its very existence, but my stepdad would fulminate “I don’t know why anyone would ruin a perfectly good meal by putting cinlantro on it.” And I have to admit: I’m not a big fan of the stuff. When a recipe calls for it, I won’t omit it, but I will put less in than is called for
    Tofu – my inital experience with tofu was small chunks of silken tofu in soup at Ooisu when it was on 17th st. I thought it was gross in its flavorlessness, and entirely the wrong color and texture to be food. Then I learned how to cook with it; It’s always in my fridge and I make some about once a week. I still don’t like it plain.
    Spicy – My friends and I used to challenge each other: who could put the most wasabi on their sushi, who could tolerate the hottest sauce (this at the very beginning of the absurdly hot hot sauce trend) We discovered Sriracha sauce and homemade kimchee. At some point, I just dropped out of it…I like to taste my food, which is hard to do when your tongue is on fire. I still use wasabi and cayenne and crushed red pepper on pizza and I LOVE black pepper and I’ll even pull out the old sriracha from time to time, but all in pretty measured doses – just another spice.

  6. Artistically I’ve rarely gone head-over-heels for someone. I used to think I was deficient or wishy-washy since I didn’t have absolute idols like most of my friends did. When I do allow someone into my pantheon, they tend to stay there.
    I used to think Sting was great.
    I can’t abide Morrissey any more. Yes, great songs in their way. But nowadays whenever I hear see a Morrissey headline, I always hope it’s going to be that he’s finally killed himself.
    The most embarassing has to be Love & Rockets. A small amount of talent thinly spread over tedious and pretentious songs.
    I’ve gone from being an Apple-worshipper to seeing that as pathetic cult behaviour. Apple has a different vision, and that is no small thing in a monopoly-dominated market. But no consumer products company deserves anybody’s “loyalty” or “faith” — words you often hear from a certain type of hardcore Mac fan.
    I used to laugh at people who drank cola with breakfast until I became one like that myself. (I don’t like coffee much but had become a caffeine addict.) But lately I’ve been completely off caffeine, so the pointing and laughing will resume shortly.

    1. Love & Rockets!
      I actually saw them in the mid 90’s, and it was the most oddly schitzophrenic show EVAR!
      It was the later version, which was essentially Bauhaus w/o Peter Murphy. So they would do a pop song like “No New Tale To Tell”, and then the next song would be an extended “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”-style psychedilic jam. Very weird.
      This was right around the time that they were working with Rick Rubin, and somehow managed to incinerate his studio.
      Oh, and David J is the WORST bass player I’ve ever seen.

      1. S.E. Hinton is out. Edna St. Vincent Millay remains a true love.
        Persimmions and artichokes are new. Beef has gone from hate to okay to morally reprehensible. Sugar isn’t as important.

  7. Horseradish
    I used to hate it as a kid. Now, I keep plenty of spare jars around the kitchen. Plenty of sinus-clearing, anti-oxidant peroxidase to keep me feeling like a child of the gods CHYLDE O’ DE GAWDZ.
    Television
    I’ve gained more appreciation of the band and less interest in the mode of simplex mass-communication as I’ve grown older. Again, this is a good thing.
    Big Black
    As much as I hate to say it, most of the pre Songs About Fucking material sounds much hollower today than it did when I was a drunken, angry adolescent. It’s still good stuff, but not to the degree that I once thought. I still enjoy Mr. Albini’s later projects, though.

    Sure, there are more things … but those are just a few off of the top of my head.

  8. Cilantro – same as you. Used to hate it, now I love it. It used to taste like dish soap to me, now it doesn’t. Also mushrooms… I didn’t really start enjoying them until I was about 12.
    Television – I used to watch it religiously and profusely as a child, and then watched it less and less until now we don’t even get a signal in, and haven’t for a few years. I don’t like it at all anymore.
    Movies – I used to watch a lot of movies, but that was when I was less agoraphobic and less intolerant of others. I wish I could go to as many movies, but people drive me nuts. I like watching them on DVD and tape, but I still have to be in the right mood or they give me long lasting mood changes that suck. I used to have more tolerance for action movies and bad arnie movies, but now I just have none at all.
    I have no idea how I used to eat velveeta cheese or squishy white sandwich bread now. I can’t stomach haagen-dasz ice cream — it leaves a thick lard coating on my tongue that makes me feel positively ill. I guess I’m a food snob now. Oh well. =)
    There’s lots of music I used to like in a more serious way than I do now, but I still enjoy and think is funny. Like the Smiths — I used to get quite sad listening to it, but now I sing like a Leutonian whenever Morrissey starts wailing, and I have fun. =) I guess I just don’t take so much of it as seriously as I used to, versus actively disliking much of it.

  9. Music
    Way back in high school, I thought The queen is dead by the Smiths was one of the best records ever. My best friend was into Depeche Mode, which I wasn’t really (no guitars). I got The queen is dead and Some great reward by DM at the same time, 2 years ago (ON VINYL!) I listened to both. I doubt I’ll put The queen is dead on again. Some great reward however, really impressed me.
    I guess it’s just that back then, I was to guitar oriented. Another data point : back then, I disdained Franky Goes to Hollywood. I picked up Pleasuredome (ON VINYL!) a few years back. And was very impressed by the first record. Interesting sound scapes segues between their electro-pop hits. Definately better then most if not all that passes itself off as pop “music” these days.
    -Leolo

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