I've had a theory about music for a while. It goes like this.
People's love of music peeks in their teens when their taste is defined.
During their teen years they identify with music and it becomes a part of them. As the years pass, music becomes less important and less defining in their life. As more time passes and popular music changes they find that they would rather listen to the music from their youth than the music of the present. Eventually, they grow to dislike current music because it no longer even resembles what they consider good music, that which they identified as teens.
There are exceptions, like music fans that can't get enough music and their whole life is about finding new and unique bands. But I think for a lot of people, music is something they like and what they end up liking most is music connected to fond memories of good times.
It's a good theory, but I would be the exception. I didn't get into stuff like Dream Theater, MEgadeth, Elvenking, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Avantasia, and Blind Guardian until 2006...5 years ago. I was 20. If I was basing my musical tastes on what was popular when I was in my teens, or what I liked, I'd probably still be listening to crap like Lady GaGa and most modern pop. in the 90's it was all country music, pop, and dance for me. I hated metallica with a passion, Korn blew, Nirvana was the worst and most depressing band ever, anything heavier than Bon Jovi was devil music. I didn't know what "instruments" were, all I knew were synthesized beats. It was a load of shit. I had horrible taste.
I don't know how she did it, but my best friend at the time managed to make me like metallica through their softer Load and ReLoad stuff, and from there it was harder and harder music until 2005, when Guitar Hero came out and my tastes exploded. Between 2000 and 2005, I got into classic rock, started liking stuff from the 80s. Ozzy was awesome, so was Guns n Roses, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Poison, etc. Then when Guitar Hero came out, it proved to me that modern music could be awesome, you just needed to be exposed to it and none of it was on the radio. before Guitar Hero, I'd never heard of Bang Camaro, I had no idea The allman Brothers Band was awesome, I didn't know rush was one of the greatest rock acts of all time. Then Rock Band came out and basically blew my expectations out of the water.
I could spend all day telling you all about the songs and bands I'd never heard of that are amongst my favorites now thanks to rock Band, but seriously: just go buy Rock Band 3 and buy a bunch of DLC. you have no idea the kind of quality you get from that. I know the fad is over, but you have no idea how much it'll expand your love for new music.
The moral is: There's plenty of good music out there, a lot of it is new...you're just not gonna find it on the radio unless you like bland, generic, repetitive, simple stuff. to get great bands, look at symphonic metal. Look at progressive stuff. Look at indie stuff. Hell, even alternate metal is epic (folk metal, fantasy metal).
And for those saying "Yes there is good stuff on the radio, you jsut have bad taste" or "it's all subjective"....no. you're basically wrong. Being repetitive, simple, and easy to learn is CATCHY, it's not GOOD. Pop music is like an addiction, and it's repetitive for a reason, so your brain can get a high off memorizing it and predicting how it's gonna go. most pop music is specifically designed to be catchy, not good. that's why lyrics like "OOOOOOOH, baby baby baby" work when any poet would rip his ears off.