While I was studying abroad Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" was huge in Europe. I got back to the States just as it became big here too. More than anything else, that experience made me realize that I couldn't trust Top-40 radio; they were too far behind the times, and there were better songs that had been big in Europe that didn't make the jump. So much for a world without borders...
So I started seeking out independent and new music. I became a frequent listener of Brian Oake's Freedom Rock on Cities 97, because I didn't know where else to turn. He definitely introduced me to some good stuff, including what is now one of my favorite songs (my apologies for the 30 seconds of tuning).
Also, I used to be real frustrated at the fact that girls seemed to like guys who could play the guitar more, like somehow that skill made them more attractive. Jenny Lewis made me understand. Chicks that can play are more attractive too. And thus began my love of independent music and girls who can play the guitar.