From an All Music Guide essay on Brazilian music:
"The inscription 'Disco e cultura' (Records are culture) that appears on many Brazilian albums demonstrates an awareness on the part of Brazilians that their music is an authentic expression of who they are, that it is an uplifting, unifying force. It is at the same time a universal language understood everywhere, enriching all who listen."
Well, I'm never too sure about that "universal language" business (there are too many other factors that shape our taste and openness to individual works of art), but the rest of this strikes me as pretty interesting: the handy little motto, for starters, and the notion that record albums are as legitimate a contribution to culture as, say, books or movies. And there is something to be said for the way that a shared interest in a particular song or genre of music can bring people together.
That's what I like, and what I find frustrating, about Blogger's profile template: you're asked to name your favorite music (among other things), and then you can find out who else out there shares your taste in a given artist or song, which could certainly be a way to build community. But I find it really bothersome to have to isolate certain artists as "favorites." I like a lot of stuff from all over the map, and I don't really expect anybody else to enjoy both 70s-era Beach Boys and truly noisy Aphex Twin songs. And what qualifies as a favorite, anyway? I'm eager to hear from--and learn from--other folks who are fascinated by Brazilian sounds from the 40s through the current day, and that (incredibly broad range of) music is certainly a timely passion of mine, but over the course of my life people like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison (to say nothing of the Clash and Gang of 4) have played a much bigger role. Yet I'm not really that interested in tracking down more Clash fans; I don't think we have that much to say to each other beyond, "Yeah, that song is really good" or "Boy, it was sad when Joe Strummer died."
More to be said on all this when I'm not so sleepy.