Thursday, July 28, 2016

Employee Of The Month

It's not a secret that Christmas music is used by stores to sell more stuff to you during the biggest retail time of year.  Most adults are aware of this; and frankly, it probably works even though we're cognizant of the subtle manipulation.  Despite a somewhat cynical outlook on capitalism, consumerism, commercialism and a buncha other "isms", I pretty sure it works on me.  I love Christmas music and when I hear it, it usually puts me in a great mood.  When I'm in a good mood, I spend more money.  That's how it works.

I know I'm not as conscious of music in stores at any other time of year, but why wouldn't retail music work all year round?  It does work - that's why they do it.  Sometimes it works even if it's shitty music.  I remember one time being with my older sisters Joan and Susan in a Meijer in Lansing, Michigan at midnight, hearing a Muzak version of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall".  It should have annoyed me because it was so sanitized, smoothed of rough edges, defanged, and so on - it was just plain horrible.  Instead, it amused me.  It made me laugh.  It put me in a good mood.  I didn't have any money; but if I did, maybe I would've bought that jumbo bag of Twizzlers for the movie night we were planning.

Now a days, it's more common to walk into a store that's streaming music from Pandora.  To my knowledge, playlists are not specifically curated to make you spend more money, but the spirit is still there.  Maybe you'll linger a bit longer to finish listening to a favorite tune - is that "Beyond The Sea" I hear?  Maybe in those lingering moments, you'll go ahead and pony up for a new pocket knife even though you've already got two.  Maybe you'll put back the beer you had planned on purchasing for something a little nicer - hell, you're in a good mood, right?  You deserve it.  You only live once.

All of this is just a preamble to point you to a great article article at Chart Attack about a guy who curated 56 cassettes worth of Kmart in-store music.  There's a lot to listen to here.  So far, my favorite is still the October 1989 playlist embedded in the article.  Wow - did Kmart really sound like that in 1989?  I knew it was cheesy in the '80s, but wow.  I thought it was a nice touch, by the way, that the guy who collected/digitized this "music" included the leader tape sound before the music actually started. You know - that bit of tape hiss you hear before the songs start.  That took me right back to my boombox days.  Anyway, lose yourself in this awesomeness.  It is very entertaining.  But first, have a loved one lock up your credit cards.  You don't want to impulsively fire up a web browser and end up with a buncha cheaply made Chinese crap you didn't need anyway.

MAJOR hat tip to Jen for the Chart Attack article - thanks!

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