Sunday, March 15, 2009

Musical Etiquette: The First Date And The Music Collection

If you have a serious music habit, chances are you met your date at a record store, music shop or show. This makes it hard not to talk about music on the first date, since for all you can tell, it's the only thing you've got in common; except a shared desire to be in an awkward situation with a total stranger. It's OK, you can talk about music, just keep this advice in mind when sitting down in front of that record crate or scrolling through that iPod for the first time.

1. Try to find some similarities in your tastes:
Everyone has a few things in common, even it's the fact that you both eat food and walk on two feet. It's even easier with music! If you met your date at a show, talk about the band you saw! If it was a record store, make sure you remember what they bought and just talk about that. C'mon, you can do it!

2. Never make this face. Ever.

For any reason. Seriously... date over.

3. People will disguise their favorite artist.
It might be the fifth record, or the third or any record at all. Often people disguise their favorite tracks as 'just another song' to gauge your reaction. I know what you're thinking; "How unfair, why wouldn't they just tell me?". Well, if they tell you it's their favorite then you're more inclined to just tell them what they want to hear. Be prepared for this! Offer your honest opinion at all times but tread lightly.

4. Vinyl People are Insane

Just let them handle the records, it's Extremely Important to them and they don't know you well enough to trust you yet. There are plenty of people who will jump into bed with you in a heartbeat but won't let someone they've dated for five years put on a record without them in the room. It's alright, most of these people have an incredible record collection and love to talk about it.

5. It's alright to be ignorant.
The truth is, you can't know everything about music. I know, I've tried. Unless your date demands some heroic feat of memory and information consumption it's perfectly acceptable to be slightly ignorant of a record. In fact, it can do a great deal towards getting your dates attention. It's good to feel knowledgeable and important, and you want your date to feel good about themselves and by extension feel good about you. Be sure to listen to what they have to say about that band!

So get out there killer, enjoy your first date and try not to make an ass of yourself! Remember not to come on too strong though. If your date isn't into calypso then don't push! Music is an intensely personal thing and people all have different rates at which they're comfortable progressing a relationship. If you're meant for each other you'll be doing the limbo down lover's lane and swapping mixtapes in the moonlight in no time.

Till next time,
Eriq Nelson

Questions about Musical Etiquette? Send me your quandaries at

1 comment:

Ben Meyercord said...

I totally do the test where I casually put on my current favorite song. But then if the person says anything remotely positive, "this is good" I go off on how awesome I really think it is and get all giddy about how good it is. When their "this is good" translates into I don't think it sucks.