Question 1: Do you have favorite musical groups, or do you more have favorite songs, without caring much who the artists are? If you have favorite musical groups (bands or solo artists), please name a few of them. If you're willing to rank them by personal preference, all the better.
Generally if I like one song that a band does, there's a good chance (although not guaranteed) that I'll also like most of their other songs. Checking over the songs that I've been playing lately, some of my favourite groups/artists that I've listened to recently are (in no particular order);
Zeromancer, Bad religion, Nat King Cole, Bloodhound Gang, Blink 182, Lindsey Stirling, George, Loreena Mckennet, Ke$ha, The Corrs, Disco Curtis, Scrillex, Katy Perry, Matchbox 20, Lady Gaga, Adele.
2: Where do you look to find new songs or new groups to listen to? For example, do you rely on word of mouth, or a particular radio station/internet site/magazine/TV show, or something else?
Youtube, recommended links. Also word of mouth.
3: Do you spend money (directly or indirectly) on the artists or songs you like the most? Or do you enjoy the music in some way that doesn't require any money to be spent, such as downloading free songs or pirated songs? Absolutely no judgment here, I really want to know.
I usually watch them via youtube so... no, no money but it still pays them via advertising.
4 (strictly optional): How old are you?
5 (optional): Please tell me about any one song or album or musical artist that affected you in a deeply personal way. Go into as much or as little detail as you like -- I'm interested.
Well this is reaching back to the scary time that was my teenage years but Avril Lavigne's song 'I'm with you' actually had a pretty big effect on me. I was about 19ish, had just come to grips with my sexuality and just recently came out as gay. I ended up being pretty slutty at the time and not overly selective with who I was dating. I was listening to the song and paid attention to the lyrics, realizing that I was dating people just because I wanted to be with someone at all, rather than them specifically.
Caused me to re-evaluate some decisions and be a bit more careful about who I dated.