It wasn't that I suddenly hated the music I liked. It wasn't even thinking about each individual cassette or CD that made my heart itchy. I realized one evening how the blend of colors on their neatly ordered spines had become as familiar as wallpaper. I wanted to hear something new. I wanted to have heard nothing...
Do it now, actually. Close this window, put all your music onto an external hard drive, give it to someone you trust and tell them to use it as a paperweight until next September, or at any rate until you use your safe word. Or be braver than I was, and tell them it's an early birthday present...
The idea is to scramble your musical memory. Possibilities:
1. Explore new genres.
2. Become a time traveler ("Spend a month in 1975 or 1984 or whatever").
3. Listen to one artist (or one song/album) obsessively
4. Chance searches on blogs or P2P (e.g., the word "London").
5. Give yourself over to friends' recommendations.
6. "Pop World Cup" (pick a country).
7. Invent your own.
I've had to do this a handful of times because of hard-drive failures.