What I mean is.... I realize that for a professional musician, you may well not like what you play. I know a guy playing for a Grammy winning country artist who really doesn't care for country music. He likes the people he plays with, the artist, and entertaining a crowd, but he doesn't like country.
I'm more fortunate than a lot of musicians, because I like a wide range of stuff. I can appreciate the art and talent behind "Bohemian Rhapsody" as well as the art and talent behind a song like "Thrift Shop". It's apples and oranges.. they both taste good, just different... and preparing each of them to eat is a different process.
That said.. what bands, artists, or songs do you guys like, on a personal level? For me.. it varies.. but some favorites, off the top of my head..
Big & Rich - While the newer stuff they've done is not quite as awesome.. their first CD "Horse of a Different Color" is my favorite CD of all time, bar none.
Keith Urban - The dude's an amazing musician. He's a solid vocalist, and a sick guitar player. And when you put just him and an acoustic onstage, he can captivate a crowd just like a full band. It's a shame, because the more popular he gets, the more he focuses on the love songs, and things to make the women melt... but listen to his stuff from his band "The Ranch".. or check out live bootlegs from the earlier part of the 2000s... the guy's sick.
John Mayer - Like Urban.. Mayer's radio stuff isn't really nearly what he's capable of... also a sick guitarist, solid vocalist, and not a bad songwriter. He's a dick.. but he's still got some great music.
Bowling for Soup - Everyone else will say that Blink 182 or Green Day are THE pop punk band.. but I've been drawn to BFS since they came out. The lead singer is NOT a great vocalist.. but he's a hell of a songwriter (see Nelson, Willie), and this band has a fun energy onstage. Like Blink (and the aforementioned Big & Rich), they can be a little TOO cheesy sometimes.. but that's almost part of the fun.
Tom Petty/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - As I said in the TP thread... not much of his stuff translates to a party band. That doesn't mean he doesn't have some good music. I've never been into drugs (I'll be 30 next week and I've never done an illegal drug)... but that doesn't keep me from appreciating the guy's talent, abilty, songwriting, and heart. I've heard from a number of people that he's boring as hell onstage though, and that's sad. Still, great music.
Tommy James & The Shondells - I hope I get to see Tommy James perform live before I die. He really doesn't have a bad song (neither does the above Tom Petty really), and the guy's seen it all. Great pop music, doesn't take himself too seriously while simultaneously able to be serious about what he does, and his songs are kickass. As a side note.. I generally play guitar night in and night out in an Alternate Open D tuning. I taught myself that tuning, and have played it for years. Tommy James & The Shondells is the first band I was ever into as a kid... and I just learned about a year ago that TJ always played guitar in that tuning. That's both strange.. and awesome!
Ludacris - As far as rappers go... I don't think it gets much better than Ludacris. He's quick, rhythmic, and writes songs that range from funny to reflective to sexy. He did do that song with Justin Bieber.. but that doesn't take away from what he's done in the past.
Other artists and bands I like: Garth Brooks, Matchbox Twenty, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean's music (but not so much Jason Aldean), Outkast, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Lila McCann, 50 Cent, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Toby Keith, Fall Out Boy, Dwight Yoakum, Colt Ford, Blink 182, No Doubt, Green Day, Kid Rock, Queen, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Chance, Chris LeDoux, Ryan Adams, Eric Clapton, INXS, Goo Goo Dolls, Nickel Creek, Weezer, Psychostick, Weird Al, Dierks Bentley, The Cars, The Who, LMFAO, The Monkees...
I've also been of the opinion that Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Buffett are all a little bit overrated. All of them have songs I like, and I'm not denying the talent in two and half of those cases.. but I totally don't get the godlike status they get. I also don't really "get" ICP or Ja Rule. Ja Rule's voice annoys me.. and ICP just make me roll my eyes more often than not.
I realize that my musical tastes are very focused towards "mainstream" music... but that tends to be what I like most. It is what it is, I suppose!
So.. what stuff do you guys like?