For me I go through 5-6 phases of music, usually repeating every 5-6 months. My pattern is something like Generic Radio-Metal > Hard metal > Pop or Rap & Parodies > Classic Rock > Hard Rock > Radio metal.
This is around the time I really start listening to the radio often. I turn on the local rock/metal/whatever station, and listen for songs I like. Most of the songs they play aren't really metal or rock, but are recent from a band their broadcasting company sponsors or something else popular. Some examples of Generic Radio-Metal:
Theory of a Dead Man
Five Finger Death Punch
Linkin Park ( :X )
I get tired of the Generic sound of radio metal, so I move on to heavier metal off CDs. I go out and buy CDs from bands I have heard before in video games or otherwise. I do listen to a lot of things that people don't consider real metal like Disturbed, but different tastes. Here are a few examples of Hard Metal:
As I Lay Dying
Pop / Rap & Parodies
After a while I get tired of the metal, and start listening to some of the things my parents/brother listens too. Most of the pop I listen to is on the radio, and most of the Rap is in video game videos on youtube. I also listen to a lot of parodies of pop songs (usually for the video game I am currently obsessed with.) Examples:
Yolanda Be Cool
Jay-Z (Warning, Runescape Video)
Classic Rock (I am somewhere around here currently)
Eventually, I get annoyed with all the modern music, so I go back to my stockpile of classic music. Not all rock, but most of it can be grouped like that. Most of this music was made between the 60s and the 80s, and most of the bands aren't really around any more, but their music lives on. Some of the groups: (Some may argue that this is not classic rock, but I don't really care. If it is older than the 1980s, I am probably going to classify it as classic rock.
Classic Rock eventually moves towards harder rock, moving closer to metal.. Around now is when I start listening to the radio a bit more, but I pay more attention to the non-generic songs like 80s and 90s Hard rock. This phase sometimes blends in with the Radio-metal phase, but I guess it is distinguishable enough. Some songs:
So, what phases of music do other TLers go through? Also, opinions on mine?