Who are your classmates listening to? On a deeper/non-sociologically binding level, who does that make your classmates? Embark on this campus-wide musical survey to find out.


The above wisdom is that of Rob Gordon, spoken via John Cusak in the 2000 film “High Fidelity.” Whether that statement speaks to you, it is interesting to consider the impact our culture and surroundings have on our tastes.

Where do certain music tastes dwell around the University campus? Are tastes more heavily concentrated from one locale to another? These lofty questions need concrete answers.

Luckily for you and the greater University population, I spent the weekend conducting dozens of interviews throughout campus. My exhaustive journey took me from the frenzied hallways of frat row to the buttoned-down formality of Carlson; from the free spirited Hard Times Café patrons to the dutiful ROTC members.

The questions I put forth were limited mainly to:


Since not everyone is comfortable with a gangly and unshaven stranger (me) approaching them at random, reactions were varied. Some folks, namely feasting hippies, passionately discussed their feelings. Other folks, namely future CEOs, were more hesitant. Whatever your preconceived notions of what you EXPECT people to listen to; the following is a campus-wide survey of what your classmates are ACTUALLY listening to.


Among the most forthcoming of the students in my sampling, the faux-Greek gentlemen of frat row eagerly discussed their musical favorites.

Because I arrived in the midst of a party, I was reminded by one frat member that musical appreciation does, in fact, “go down when you’re drunk.” Alcohol abuse aside, my interviews revealed the following are favorites along The Row:

B96, radio Top 40 and ’80s dance music are the musical selections of choice during parties. Interestingly enough, one frat boy I talked with admitted they don’t care much for the music they play at their parties and base selections to appease female partygoers. But, when I divulged this information to sorority girls they claimed to not particularly enjoy the music at frat parties. Nice try, guys.

But not all forms of music are smiled upon by our fraternity brothers. Solicitors of “Whiney hippie music,” “Anything Emo” or “Anything OP’ed” should shy away from The Row. I later learned “OP’ed” translates to “Over Played.” You zany Greeks!

FAVS: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Johnson, Velvet Revolver, matchbox twenty, The Mars Volta, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Motion City Soundtrack, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney.


I’d love to tell you which sorority I visited, but according to sister Abbie that’s impossible without permission from sorority higher-ups. So for the sake of connivance, let’s just call it “Nalpha Chi.”

Regardless, the girls were not shy about their musical preferences. “Punk rock bands” such as Panic at the Disco! and Fall Out Boy “need to die,” according to one opinionated sorority sister. Country seemed the most popular but KDWB was not far behind. In fact, KDWB was playing in the background throughout the interviews.

Sophomore Carly Morris enjoys alt-rockers The Fray because of their “lyrics and music” and appreciates rap-punkers Gym Class Heroes because they’re “funky and different.” She was also adamant about the attractiveness of Chris Brown, and stressed it be printed. I looked into this one, and sure enough, he is gorgeous.

FAVS: T.I., Josh Kelley, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Kerry Underwood, The Postal Service, Goo Goo Dolls, Paramour, Justin Timberlake.


Hipster hangout Hard Times Café easily provided the most obscure and eclectic musical tastes. Mathew and Michael – two earthy individuals who describe themselves as “famous” – had much to say regarding the local music scene.

The main problem with the local music scene is, according to Michael, “a lack of sporadic drum circles popping up around town.” I asked if he’s hopeful that will change in the near future and his response was a resounding “yes.” Michael and Mathew went on to say that, “due to the immediate politics and popularity” of a certain local band, they could not voice their distaste for the band in question. We also have a “bulls–t reggae scene,” Minneapolis. Hard Times was also the first place metal was not shunned, although nu-metal (i.e. Limp Bizkit) was loathed.

FAVS: The Clash, Animal Collective, Kanser, Pig Destroyer, Immortal Technique, Gang of Four, Midnite, Atmosphere.


Finding interviewees around Carlson proved a tough task. If the young professionals weren’t scurrying off to one power meeting, they were conducting one that very moment. Many of the students who could fit speaking with me into their schedules claimed that they’re too busy to listen to music altogether.

That being said, music is not dead within the walls of Carlson. Radio rock, country and a seemingly campus-wide distaste for metal describe your typical Carlson student.

FAVS: Cities 97, KQRS, country, Jack Johnson, The Beatles.


Part of me expected a blaring looped soundtrack of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and “We are the Champions,” alas, I was let down. What I did discover is that athletics and country music go hand in hand, for the wrestling team at least. Our always limber female gymnastics team prefers top-40 radio, but don’t appreciate cursing in the songs.

FAVS: Toby Keith, Metallica, Rascal Flats, Usher.


Even though bands such as the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Radiohead were mentioned, one solider summed it up nicely with, “The entire Army runs on hard rock and good country!”

FAVS: Fall Out Boy, Modest Mouse, Dropkick Murphys, Brad Paisley.


The Weisman Museum lived up to the old adage, “Mainstream indie rock is well received within non-linear metallic walls.” Oddly enough, nowhere on my journey did I find a single Bob Dylan fan. Did last year’s Weisman Dylan exhibit turn all Minnesotans off to his music forever? If my research proved anything, yes, it certainly did.

FAVS: M.I.A., The Shins, Norah Jones, The Strokes, Feist, Iron and Wine, Coldplay.

8. MARANATHA HOUSE (Christian)

“What kind of music are you guys into?”

“Christian music.”

Makes sense.

This concise interview revealed that the massive Australian musical collective “Hillsong” is popular with today’s collegiate Christians. Obvious as the young God-enthusiasts’ favorite music is, you don’t have to be an infallible Pope to guess that heavy metal is the least favorite genre of the house.

Favs: Hillsong, 100 Portraits, U2, Jazz.


Music and glass tobacco smoking accessories seem like a logical pair, so Dinkytown’s The Hideaway was an obvious locale to survey. It was at The Hideaway that I spoke, at length, with affable shopkeep Nate. Nate informed me that the majority of The Hideaway’s customers are fans of Bob Marley and The Grateful Dead. Perhaps in need of a career change, Nate went on to say that he doesn’t care for Marley or The Dead and that any music that spawns a subculture is a turnoff for him.

FAVS: Sublime, Ween, Tom Petty, Ironhorse, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, Modest Mouse, Nick Cave.