...many other music listeners go through a similar travails – I’m sure – enough so that if they don’t “get” an artist, then they’ll doubt their own self-worth as a music geek. Instead, they’ll continue to torture themselves first for not being smart/cool/whatever enough to “get” Captain Beefheart or something similarly obtuse and then by continuing to listen to it in hopes of reaching that ever-elusive “Ah ha!” moment. Sometimes it’s worth it, but more often the amount of time invested in chasing “difficult” bands and albums far outweighs the miniscule amount of pleasure gained.
: I'm not the only one who occasionally reaches outside of my musical comfort zone and learns to appreciate something new, but there is something sadistic about listening to music that does nothing personally for you. Not to be too simplistic about it, but if it sounds horrible it probably is horrible. The musical elitist attitude that there is certain music that is inherently more intelligent than others fails to acknowledge that musical taste is ultimately subjective. Why else would the musical elite shift over time over stylistic issues (lo-fi vs hi-fi) and how could music that was initially critically dismissed become canonized years later after the fact? There is so much to be said for trusting your own instincts.