The zombie project is... yeah, it's pretty awesome to be working on it. At the same time, I'm having to do a lot of stuff that wouldn't be necessary if they'd done stuff right the first time. I look forward to not having to do that again. The "sound design" you're describing is called "foley" and while I've done some of it on this film, there was enough of it that needed to be done that the producers did a lot of it themselves. My "role" on this film is... complex. We'll leave it at that.
When it comes to popular music I tend to be a little late to the party these days. I found out about Lady Gaga when I saw her perform on SNL for the first time. I was blown away, absolutely amazing performance. The cream does rise to the top sometimes.