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Students weigh in on today’s popular music

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Although plenty of music-lovers are bringing sexy-back, University of La Verne students represent a broader spectrum of musical tastes that go beyond pop idol Justin Timberlake.

Music trends across the country showcase popular artists like Fergie and Beyonce, while also spanning genres of rock, hip-hop, rap, country and pop.

According to the Billboard Music Charts, artists like Norah Jones, Fall Out Boy and Daughtry sell thousands of records a week.

“I really like rock and roll and country,” Kendra Walker, a psychology major, said. “I like Jack FM too; they always play a good mix of music.”

But for the students at ULV, musical preferences cover everything from techno to jazz and heavy metal to country. With the advent of new technologies such as satellite radio and downloadable MP3’s, consumers can select the exact music they want to hear at any point in time.

Many students are taking advantage of these newer and more convenient forms of media. In the busy lives of college students, most don’t want to wait around for their favorite types of music to be played.

Kori Bennett, a psychology major, noted her frustration with mainstream radio stations that air too many advertisements in a short amount of time.

Likewise, Laura Pielemeier, also a psychology major, said that she gets annoyed with the restricted play lists of most stations.

“They play, like, the same four songs all the time over and over again,” Pielemeier said.

According to Radio and Records, Inc., a song like Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape” gets 8,102 plays in one week. The track “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland, received an estimated 162,612 plays by the end of 2006.

For many individuals, it is far more convenient to download the songs that they most want to hear. Because most radio stations do not play certain lesser-known genres, students often turn to other media sources to hear their favorite artists.

“I listen to metal, for the most part, like death metal, symphonic death metal, black metal,” Chris Arce, a sophomore art major, said. “But I’m still a large follower of the classic rock and ‘big hair’ bands.”

Arce is a perfect example of someone with such diverse tastes that radio stations would not be able to satisfy.

Bennett also cites jazz and artists like Fiona Apple and the Dresden Dolls as some of her favorites — both types of music rarely heard on the radio.

Another current trend in music is the posting of favorite bands and/or songs on MySpace pages. Friends can instantly view each other’s new musical discoveries – often times, unknown artists gain a following through word-of-mouth, a process that has sped up the popularity of certain bands or singers by continual postings of songs.

ULV students also demonstrate their unique tastes through the bands they invite on campus. In April, Suburban Legends, will play as part of the Campus Activities Board’s concert series.

Although some might prefer indie rock to Akon, students on campus show that their tastes go outside the range of what is typically popular with the rest of the country. So, while some are proving that their hips don’t lie, ULV students are rocking out to the beat of their own tunes.

Erin Konrad can be reached at

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