I skimmed through Mr Traynor's Trout Mask Replica thread fairly unsurprised by the various remarks. As pretenious as Mr. Traynor's stance on TMR is all of us are guilty of using a person's musical tastes as a superficial summation of that person's overall qualities to some degree. I seriously doubt I could marry a gal who didn't enjoy listening to StationToStation (or whatever early Bowie stuff). I think Mr Traynor may have taken poetic license with the extreme pass/fail nature of his post, but if you meet a person who "really loves music" and has never heard of the Pixies, how seriously do you take that person from then on?
And what if this stranger's favorite music is C&W? I always think here's a person who watches NASCAR on Saturdays, goes to church on Sundays and probably let his KKK membership expire because he spent the money on Budweiser.
For me, it's Echo & the Bunnymen. Does the stranger laugh at the name? Give a "oh, yeah I think I remember them?" "Do they sound like Nickleback?" (Argh!!) Or hopefully something like, "Yeah, I hear a lot of the Bunnymen's influence on the new British Sea Power album."
If a Claudia Schiffer look-a-like told me her favorite band is EATB I'd very likely either father her children and live happily ever after or do two years in prison for stalking. All depends on Claudia.... ;-) Actually, in college I went out with this chick for a year and a half with absolutely nothing in common except having similar tastes in music. I might still be with her today if only she wasn't a sexually frigid, deceitful, two-timing, lying bitch with fleas and ticks.
Now, personally, I don't need draw and quarter persons who fail my EATB test...a simple tar and feathering suffices.
*Who Is Your Music Litmus Test With Strangers?* (Funny anecdotes of how the music litmus test played out would be appreciated.)