Sunday, November 14, 2010

Starbucks music

As a break from the technical plant talk, I'd like to discuss caffeine, corporate America and generic sounding music...

I tend to visit Starbucks most often when I'm on a road trip.  When I arrive at the Starbucks, I am usually at my weakest point...I probably need to go to the bathroom, I'm probably uncaffeinated and hungry and I'm probably bored with the radio or the music that is already in my car.

So-- I show up to the counter and first contemplate whether or not four shots of espresso in my latte will give me a heart attack.  The next question is whether or not I really need a croissant AND a donut and a $3 bottle of water for the car.  I'm usually having a hard time making any decision because I need to pee.  After I relieve myself from that distraction, I stand there, waiting in line, staring into uncaffeinated space.  It never fails, the CDs always grab my attention.  I'm sure there is something there that my ears are longing to hear.

But...Starbucks CDs are like Walmart clothing.  From far away they look good enough to lure you to the clothing department and maybe even to the dressing room.  The covers of the Starbucks CDs are always artists that you like, with pictures you haven't seen and songs you've never heard of.  "Jackpot!" " This will probably be awesome to listen to"...WRONG.  The Walmart clothes never fit.  And the cd's at Starbucks are always generic enough that they 'appeal' to everyone and don't offend anyone. My example:  a new CD my Mark Cohn, they guy who wrote 'Walk'in in Memphis.'  That song is good right?  So a CD full of covers by him must be great? right? NO!  Same with all the other stuff they are playing in there.  Most likely everyone is so jolted full of caffeine while they are there that they need 'soothing' music just so that they don't climb the walls...So what you have a is a collection of songs with so little dynamics that they should be used chiefly to put people to sleep and should bear a warning on the cover, "DO NOT use these while driving.  May cause spontaneous naps."

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