There was a time in my life when being laughed at or ridiculed in any way would have crushed my tender spirit and sent me crying into the hummus-colored bathrooms of my elementary, middle and/or high schools. Thankfully, I got over it and now probably spend more time laughing at myself than everyone else does.
That's why I'm not afraid to make this statement: I do not, nor to I really care to, have intimate knowledge of dozens and dozens of bands and their songs, whether they are local, regional or national. I can't name every song written by the angsty bands of the 90's. Nor can I tell you what band is playing at the local dive. When I first came to Arkansas, I shocked my colleagues by not knowing who Al Green is. And when a certain famous drummer recently visited our small town, I had to look him up on Google. Yes, I knew the song The Weight, but only because my good pals sang it a capella in college. (It's a great song, by the way. I'm glad I know it.)
My music comes to me via friends and inertia. For example, U2 and Dave Matthews are around so much that I happen to like their music. Some of my favorite tunes/artists were introduced to me by my previously-mentioned harmonizing buddies. And I get to explore all kinds of great music that isn't rock through my job. (The Silent City by Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider, by the way, is completely awesome)
So it's with no regret that I proclaim myself a rock music idiot. I'm not interested in being educated, except when my job requires it. That sad, self-conscious kid who would rather have died before admitting she didn't know the latest New Kids song is long gone. Send good songs and artists my way and I might listen to them. Or I might not. But it will not hurt me when you drop your jaw and say theatrically "you don't know who (insert brilliant band here) is?"
Sorry. It's nothing personal. I know there are lots of you out there who know lots more than I do. And I humbly bow to your expertise.