The first in a series of articals that will help you, the reader, fit in at an art school. By the time you're done reading this you'll be able to blend comfortably into a crowd at an art school, just a bit more.
Your Favorite Band
If you're favorite band/singer is Justin Timberlake, Beyonce or some other sugary pop group then you've just failed right now. You'll be laughed at and ridiculed. They're ok as guilty pleasures...
The top 6 choices for favorite bands are: Nine Inch Nails, Tool/A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, System of A Down, Rammstein or Queens of the Stoneage. If you don't know these bands, learn about them. Other bands are acceptable, but if they are not obsure or too popular then you might be in trouble.
Other Bands to Know Of
With the top list you must also know about the following bands (in no order):
Joy Division/New Order, Skinny Puppy, Nirvana, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Ramones, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Rush, The Tea Party, Muse, Korn, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Religion, The Doors, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Guns n' Roses, Metallica
Audioslave/Rage Against the Machine/Soundgarden, Daft Punk, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Sour/Slipknot, Nobuo Uematsu, The Pixies, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Metric, .... to just name a few.
Bands to Avoid or Be Careful With
As mentioned before, any pop act should be handed with care, if you do enjoy boy bands and teen sensations then you may have a little bit of a difficult time. Punk rock is a touchy subject depending on the crowd you're with, for the most part people over the age of 20 don't listen to Simple Plan or Good Charlotte. Green Day and other successful punk groups are also a touchy subject. Most people feel that Green Day is an ok band, but is way over played, much like Coldplay and U2.
Be very wary on how much air play bands have on mainstream radio and music channels.
Nickleback for an example should be praised for their hard work and almost constantly touring, you may not like them, but still respect their hard work.
Emo is also a very touch subject, while most purest emo's will completely destroy anyone who listens to Fallout Boy or Panic! At The Disco, the movement can be seen in art schools. If you do listen to emo, be extremely careful when you tell what bands you listen to.
Metal Music is pretty hit or miss. If you listen to classic rock dinosaurs like Poison or any other hair band then you might be in trouble. However, obscure European bands such as Edguy or hard bands like It Dies Today, Andrew WK, or Nightwish.
It's very important to know your roots musically. So it is always a good idea to look at the older bands under the bands to know. The 1970's punk movement and the 1990 break out of alternative music is a must research.
Techno music, everyone needs to know a few techno/dance/trance/drum and bass bands.
To make yourself sound smarter, it's a good idea to look into Outsider Music, such bands include Wesley Willis, The Shaggs, Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and Jadnek.
Another thing to do is to check on indie or unsigned acts, these are usually a gold mine of talent, the more obscure the better.
Local talent is also hit or miss, but do keep an ear out for them.
Just remember, this is just a tiny little guide and the real choices are up to you. But do remember to be open to new bands and new sounds, you might just find something you love.