The Musical History of Jimmy and Me

Olivia Donohue, Olivia Donohue

I switched school districts in high school and there I met someone who is possibly as close to a musical soulmate as I have ever gotten. Despite this, it took us three years into our friendship to discover this. This was the first similarity between us. We are very private about our music. This happens to be because, like most people, we find music to be very therapeutic, both in a sensory perception way and in an emotional way.

It‰’s so intrinsically connected to our sense of being that it takes some time before we feel comfortable sharing it with anyone who just wouldn‰’t understand. Despite our anxieties, we both have developed very thick skin about our taste, this having come from a solid three or more years of obsession with nu metal and emo music.

Learning about each other‰’s embarrassing middle school music obsessions was probably the thing that made us comfortable opening up to each other about our music tastes, which are remarkably similar, in the first place. I realized then that it was no small coincidence that we were interested in the same music in middle school as we are now. Since then we‰’ve constantly been giving each other music suggestions that the other has already heard and is obsessed with. Which is very strange considering how the artists that we like can sound like this:

Rilo Kelly


Cosmo Sheldrake

or this:

Days n Daze

All because we were both into a band that sounds like this:

Linkin Park

You could possibly draw from the taste displayed here an inability to relate to or really care about love songs, a desire for something that is thought provoking and practical, and an equal esteem for whimsy as cutting reality. This coincidence has inspired me to carry out my own anthropological study over the past year or two of introducing myself at parties and on tinder dates. What kind of music were you obsessed with in middle school, and what kind of music do you like now? The goal, other than to break the ice in conversation, is to learn about how a person’s music taste evolves and find out if someone‰’s taste when they were younger can predict their taste for the rest of adulthood as well as to find out what the type of music someone listens to truly means to that person.