Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things I Can Tell About Your Taste in Music from Your Tattoo

There's this stocky Asian dude with a ponytail who's always at the gym at the same time as me. I never felt I could infer anything about him, beyond the fact that he, you know, likes to stay fit. But yesterday I was doing leg curls and he was on the assisted pull-up machine, and I noticed he has a big tattoo of the grim reaper on his calf. Suddenly I understood him in a new way. I was like, Oh, he listens to metal. (I actually probably phrased it that way in my mind; I might as well say, "I was like, I was like, Oh...")

So I decided it was nigh* time for another stereotyping post. In the search marketing industry, we call this kind of post linkbait. People just LOVE this-is-like-that posts, or shit like "7 Things Your Marketing Team Can Learn from Harry Potter." (If the butt of the analogy isn't something timely, it's something geeky, like The Princess Bride. Excuse me while I commit suicide.)

Anyway. WFA, Things I Can Tell About Your Taste in Music from Your Tattoo:


butterfly tattoo
Too easy: Dave Matthews Band.

Chinese Characters

chinese character tattoo
Eclectic: When you make a mix there's always at least one song without lyrics. You were like, the first person to get into Norah Jones.

Literary Quote

[Photo removed at request of the person in it, believe it or not]

Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, you know, that kind of pseudo-intellectual garbage. ("first thought = best thought," Jesus ... every tattoo is always already a cliche. Also, is this girl's head on backwards?)

Full Body

full body tattoo
The Cure. You can't hide your sadness with ink, "lordofpain."

*misuse of "nigh"


  1. that dude does not listen 2 the cure.

  2. What if you have no tattoos at all? What kind of taste in music does that signify?

  3. it was hard to find a good full body tatt pic.

    sorry, need more information to stereotype u.

  4. how about, no tattoos, but likes track pants.

  5. hmm interesting, clearly some kind of "euro" connection

  6. On the train this morning, I read that 32 percent of adults aged 25-29 have tattoos. I don't know what that "means" but thought I'd put it "out there."

  7. i went thru a considering-getting-a-tattoo phase. i wonder what happened to that

  8. What tattoo(s) were you considering getting? This article said that the rib cage is the sexy new place where all the kids are getting theirs.

  9. sure seems like a good idea when you're young and sexy but what about in 10 years when your ribs are fat?

  10. something long and thin for the underside of my forearm. maybe bamboo or something

    fatty ribs

  11. Fatty Ribs sounds like an appetizer at TGIFridays or something.

    The article also noted the perils of being a tattoo artist trying to ink somebody's ribs owing to the extremly high tickle factor.

  12. I have a brain tattoo on one shoulder, a skull on the other, and an eye on my back at the base of my neck. What does that reveal about my taste in music?

  13. As a reader of your blog I already know what kind of music you listen to, sadly ... if I were going to use your tatts as a stereotype I probably would have called your taste "dude rock." :)

    Those are pretty bizarre tattoos. It would have been hard to get past the brain and not guess something brainy, but the skull kind of throws things off...

  14. I got really interested in tattoos around 2007, and thought of getting one. My interest was piqued (sadly?) by those TLC /Discovery-type shows about tattoo artists/parlors. I was interested in how many people got tattoos as a sort of ritual - either a memorial, or as a symbol that the person had gotten past a traumatic event. That put a gloss on tattoos that certainly had not been conveyed to me in my tattoo-conservative upbringing (i.e., people with tattoos are all in gangs and are criminals forever and ever).

    After that, I started thinking about getting a tattoo myself (I was at a low point, and in a position to consider how spirit-lifting it could be to mark oneself with a permanent and personal insignia of indomitability). But I didn't go through with it. I imagine I'm not the only one to go through such a period.

    I think that it would be great if there were a Great American Map/Chart/Graphic of tattoos contemplated, but never received.

  15. I met a guy at work who told me he went to a "Dave Show" over the weekend ... i'll try to find out if he has any tattoos and report back to the group.

  16. ha! it took me a second to figure out what that even meant.

    was he a suitbag

  17. funny stuff. made me wonder if i covered up the lyrics i have tattooed what you would guess based on my ink.

  18. i asked him ... it just means a dave matthews concert... is that what you thought?

  19. yeah absolutely ... remembered people in high school who just referred to the phenonemon as "Dave"

  20. it does sound sort of dirty now that i think about it ... like something that might be sprung on one in a dark alley.

  21. if i got a tattoo of captain planet on my inner forearm, what kind of music would i listen to?

    what if i got a tattoo of my right arm on my left arm?

  22. Either way, probably stuff like, I dunno, Animal Collective? Ratatat, etc.

  23. the bait works. no? what do i listen to?

    among the sundry markings i bear:

    -a pair of eyes, a tea leaf and a pair of flowers
    -a martian and a peacock
    -some adaptation of japanese pop artist´s keiichi tanaamí´s freaky fertility symbols
    -salome and john the baptist´s head. in color. loosely based on the beardsley illustrations.

    hint: i don´t listen to the cure

  24. I'm getting a Lilith Fair vibe ... female singer/songwriters a la Tori and Regina?

    I can't believe no one has confirmed or denied yet.

  25. If I may be "that girl" for a moment ... the "asian art" tattoo, the one that is supposed to be the chinese character for for "bull" or "ox" is... wrong.

    What she wanted is 牛. See the difference?

    And this is why we don't get chinese character tattoos, boys and girls.