I've been trying to listen to more stuff (not new stuff particularly) recently. Discovered I like Def Leppard.
Was disappointed by Aerosmith, James Brown and Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells. James Brown was particularly annoying because I was expecting something funky and exciting, and instead got something rather staid (mostly) and ordinary.
I'm starting to understand why I like what I like. Thanks Marc, for pushing me into self-analysis.
I'm coming to realise that what I want from (non-worship) music is pleasure, enthusiasm, energy and a good tune. Words are definitely secondary to the musical content, although decent lyrics that bring a grin/other emotion factor are a definite plus. What I don't want is to be told what to think by some angst ridden, politically motivated gay vegetarian with marginal singing ability and a dress sense to make Oxfam's treasurer rub his hands in glee. Especially when they are backed by a band that are only there to provide some notes so the song can be delivered. (Nothing personal against you if you're any or all of those things - but don't expect me to buy your CDs)
Thus you'll never find any Smiths, Pulp or REM in my music collection.
I had a tape in the car years ago, with a bunch of different songs on it that someone else made: Men at work, Eddie Grant, Dire straits and a whole bunch of stuff. But whenever a ZZ top track came on I'd just find myself grinning, pushing the throttle pedal harder and having a good time.
It's not just about having rock guitars. I've enjoyed plenty of other stuff with great keyboard work (about half the solos Deep Purple did were keyboard, for instance). It IS about attitude and musical direction. It doesn't have to be fun and lightweight, but it does need some power and emotion behind it. And it must be pleasing to the ears.
I was about to say 'goodbye punk' too, but there are some punk tracks that produce that same grin (The Stranglers Peaches springs to mind).
What do I like? I dunno - anything good. By definition, anything I don't, isn't.