It's no astute obvservation of mine that music, to most people, can no longer be enjoyed for its own sake. If you merely take a glance at the average UG article nowadays, what will meet you is a torrent of "this genre sucks/rocks" and "that genre is dead/isn't dead." What I am about to write will inflame those of that mentality, as most likely they will be too close-minded to look past their own perceptions at the point I'm trying to make here.
One more not before I get started: my mention of the names of specific bands for this article is in no way meant to say that these are the only good bands for you, nor that you should even check them out. Mention of band names is merely to provide examples of certain points.
This, though not a word-for-word quote, summarizes my point very succinctly: "Most people miss out on great music because they try to define themselves by what they don't listen to, "--Mark Hoppus (I believe so, anyway). Now once again, just read and try to understand what it's saying, because I don't want to be attacked with a barrage of "Mark Hoppus/Blink-182 suck" comments.
My point is merely that there are people who are so concerned with being hardcore-[any genre] fans that they feel they must hurl death threats at those who like different music, both inside and outside UG forums. This is incredibly ignorant. To say that every genre but one is composed of phonies/sell-outs/whiners is laughable. I encounter this mostly with punk or metal fans. However, that's not to say I dislike punk or metal, because I love them both.
My next point is that even within particular genres, there is so much variation that it's hard to generalize them as "all bad" or "all good." A prime example of that is heavy metal. Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth are all heavy metal bands, but none of them sound remotely the same. It is easily possible to like one without liking any of the others (this is of no consequence, but I love all the above bands). The same could be said of punk (how much do The Casualties sound like Rancid?) or of general purpose rock'n'roll (how much The Stones sound like Pink Floyd?). So to say one entire genre is the best or worst is an oversimplified, ridiculous statement.
Also I feel I must adress the idea that there is one exact right answer as to what type of music is good or bad. I think we all can agree that in the vast majority of cases, that is decided heavily by opinion. There is no one unanimously perfect band, so all we have is to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of bands according to our own tastes. Even Rap, distasteful and annoying though I think it is, does have a few songs I find entertaining (mostly Cypress Hill). In Country music I find absolutely nothing of worth. However, others do, and if it works for them, who am I to say that all country fans are stupid mother f***ers? Of course there are exceptions where bands or artists are merely crappy, mainly when it comes to someone else writing music for them to sing (a la Britney Spears) or issues of true selling out (for the best definition of actually selling out, consult the article by I think frigginjerk)
Finally, just for the sake of my own perverseness, let me add a list of my top ten favorite bands, just to get some outraged, "you're a bad person" style feedback. They're more in the order I thought of them than actual 1-10 order.
01. Pink Floyd - if you've ever watched and understood "The Wall" you'll see why, it's bloody brilliant. 02. Blink-182 - don't claim them to be good musicians, but it's good escapist music. 03. Van Halen - As a guitarist, there's really no way not to like them, in my opinion. 04. Led Zepplin - melodic heavy metal at its best. 05. The Rolling Stones - early rock'n'roll got no better. 06. Iron Maiden - purely for the sake of getting the pants rocked off me. 07. Rancid - my favorite punk band of all-time. 08. Midtown - a pop-punk band that's not childish or inane. 09. Alkaline Trio - some of the best lyricists today. 10. Metallica - for all their faults, they write good music.