The other day, someone told me that my taste in music was "out there." And by that, they meant that the music I listened to on a regular basis was all bad.

Well, as I have written and confessed in the past, not all my favorite bands or artists are on the "Flavor of the Month" list. There are bands that I have been listening to since I was in kindergarten that are not what most current music fans would call "cool" — Styx, anyone?

Then again, I love Linkin Park, and while that band sells out the E Center regularly, there are those who e-mail me to say how much they hate that band.

The point I'm trying to make is, it's hard to pinpoint my style because I love so many different bands and artists.

Sure, I love metal, but I also love contemporary instrumental, also known as New Age. That means one night I'll be cranking up Slipknot and Opeth and the other I'll be kicking back to the healing sounds of David Lanz, George Winston and Suzanne Ciani. And if you throw world music into the mix, I gotta hear Loreena McKennitt and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum.

When I was a kid, my cousin bought me a little AM transistor radio. This was in the 1970s. There were no such things as iPods, CDs or MTV. At any rate, I loved that little radio. I would listen to it at night when my mom and sister were sleeping.

Those were the days when one radio station would play all types of music. I'd hear everyone from the Jackson 5 to Nick Gilder to Bob Dylan to Exile to the Defranco Family and Simon & Garfunkel in the span of 30 minutes.

I grew to appreciate all types of styles.

Throughout that time, my tastes developed differently than others. Since my mother was a ballet dancer and choreographer, I was immersed in classical music. My favorite composer was Beethoven, with "Moonlight Sonata," "The Turkish March" and Symphony No. 5 being at the top of my list.

Years later, Suzanne Ciani would compose her homage to Beethoven with her "Full Moon Sonata." But I digress.

Since my childhood, Prokofiev has become my favorite composer, but I also love Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy and Verdi.

While growing up in Kansas, I developed a taste for country music. But unlike the recent country style of Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley, I'm more drawn to the outlaw style of Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Steve Earle.

My favorite pop-country included Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, as well as Mickey Gilley, Ronnie Milsap and Don Williams, to name a few. These days my country music listening leans toward alt-country band Old 97's and the folk/country stories of Lyle Lovett.

Also, when I was in Kansas, the Sugarhill Gang emerged with "Rappers Delight," which led me to other old-school rappers, such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and Curtis Blow. From there I got into N.W.A (without the period), Ice T and 50 Cent and Kanye West.

There are so many more artists and bands that I would love to mention, but space is an issue.

Let's just say that I love music for music's sake. And it's a good thing. I can't imagine being a music critic and not liking music.