Sunday, July 29, 2012


I work in a job that sends me into a lot of stores.  Many of them are convenience joints, while others are grocery stores.  In almost all of them, there is music to be found.


I know, I know - the idea is to play things that don't offend people.  But why play crap?  For that matter, why play anything at all?

It's an interesting cross-section.  At one store, you're just as likely to hear some new wave or pop as you are to hear opera or Sinatra.  Another store plays primarily pop tunes - but sometimes offbeat stuff that you haven't heard in years.  Then there are the "oldies" stores, playing nothing newer than, say, 1966.  A steady diet of Fats Domino, Dion, Chuck Berry and so on.

Then there are the places that play radio stations.  I go to one store that must get their audio off the Internet, because they play the most bizarre radio stations, like soft rock music from Missouri, complete with ads.

And then there is WEBE 108.  Now don't get me wrong.  The WEBE model is a solid one - play lots of "safe" music that people in offices, medical buildings, and grocery stores want to hear.  They have DJ's that seem like really nice people, and have been around for years.  But the music is often repetitive and, by the way, not my taste.  Taylor Swift, P!nk, Adele, Katy Perry, and so on.  In fact, have a look-see at their music, and you can see what they play.

And make sure they sprinkle in a little Michael Buble.  They will.  Trust me.

Now spend about two or three hours near a pair of speakers playing that.

My first job in radio was at WMJV (Majic 105) and we played this genre, albeit the safe adult contemporary hits of 1990-1991.  You know, Celine, Mariah, Whitney, Luther Vandross, etc.


It's a very successful concept, and I can't stress that enough.  I just wish there was a bigger playlist, or maybe a lunchtime throwback hour, or something.  That store is the only one I actually carry an iPod into.

When I worked at the red bullseye, one thing that wasn't immediately obvious, but became blissful was that there was no music being piped in.  The silence was, indeed, golden! 

So it was that I found myself thinking about that today at a Marshall's store in Poughkeepsie (part of Lisa's TMM trio, along with Target and TJ Maxx).  After hearing another ungodly spewing of Buble, along came Taylor Dane.

No mas, people!  Think of the children!

So, please, follow the lead of Target, Wal-Mart, and others.  Unless you are Empire Records (since we all know Tower is gone), go with silence, friends.

My ears will thank you.

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