At least you like something good, Ben.
I could easily chat all day about all the music that I like, and if anyone had seen my wall of CDs that I've been relentlessly compiling since 1991 they'd have a good idea of how important music is and has been to me. However, in keeping with the theme of this topic, I'll try to keep my thoughts narrowed to a few defined areas that at least have some Dhammic context to them.
Firstly, my Dhamma practice has certainly reduced my craving for music. From 1999 onwards I compiled a 2CD of my favourite songs from that year, so I was very much in tune with what was being released and endeavoured to stay on top of all the new releases in my particular genres of interest. I was DJing at the time so it was not surprising that I had this much interest. In late 2005 I became Buddhist and whilst I still enjoyed music as much as I ever did, the relentless pursuit to find more, more, more seemed to abate... in 2007 I was thinking my 2CD retrospective would just become 1 disc compilation until I went to the UK (to see a band, of course
) and bought heaps of new CDs and have plenty of contenders for the compilation. In 2008 it really did just become a 1 disc compilation. In 2009, I scratched a few ideas down for possible candidates, but never even bothered to make the CD. In 2010, I haven't really even thought about it, and I'm sufficiently disenchanted with it that I neither crave the latest music, nor do miss the fact that I don't pursue it.
My musical interest over the last 6 months or so has switched to dub, and yeah, I do crave dub CDs! Old school 70s Jamaican dub of the ilk of King Tubby and co. is what I really like. The appeal of the sound is well summarised by the Wikipedia article on Dub - "The many-layered sounds with varying echoes and volumes are often said to create soundscapes, or sound sculptures, drawing attention to the shape and depth of the space between sounds as well as to the sounds themselves." You can listen to, and listen into the sounds. As well as that, it's quite relaxing and peaceful for the most part. Dub either has no vocals, or is semi-instrumental, but some of the Jamaican lyrics that do find there way into the tracks are Rastafari in content, and for the most part this doesn't concern me in the slightest and any values praised are generally in accord with what the Buddha spoke highly of too. Even then the vocals are often fragmented, echoed into oblivion and such... it's just really interesting and turning inward for reflection, it's interesting to hear the arising and falling of the sounds, and the observe the mental reaction to that input. Meditation purists might frown upon taking music as a subject of meditation, but it brings a certain mindfulness to daily transport activities which may otherwise be far less mindful. It also helps drown out the inane chatter of silly commuters.
Right, I'll stop there... for now!