>The sweet sound of Muzak/victory

December 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

>Back when I lived in the Bay Area—no, don’t stop reading, this will be good!— I used to stop by Rite Aid on my lunch break from Good Vibrations in order to decompress from all the stress of working in a collective. My favorite part of roaming the aisles was not assessing the packaging of all the products or touching the displays. No, what I enjoyed most was the Muzak. There is nothing more soothing than a little smooth jazz to put me in my quiet place.

For my anxiety, I tried Rescue Remedy. I tried all sorts of things that will remain unmentioned. Nothing worked like Muzak.

After leaving the Bay Area, I read an article in the New Yorker about a woman who worked at Muzak. Immediately, I knew that this was the company for me. The power! The opportunity to control the minds of consumers through music was too great. Unfortunately, Muzak does not have headquarters in New York.

Last month while attending a party, I happened to mention to my old friend, Beth how much I loved Muzak, how one of my dream jobs would be to work for the company. She not only refused to understand my passion for Muzak, she seemed to despise piped-in music altogether.

One note about Beth is that we have very similar musical tastes. Today in Astoria, as I waited for my passport photos to be printed at Rite Aid, I listened to the soothing sounds of Dolly Parton and Bill Withers piped-in (like the voices of angels) from above. Now, I happen to know that Beth is a HUGE fan of Dolly Parton and I can only hope that she loves Bill Withers.

I ran home to find her on gchat and tell her the news.

I did a little research, and it turns out: “Rite Aid’s music and message delivery is served by Muzak, a leading music, messaging and sound systems provider. Muzak is POP Radio’s key strategic partner and primary messaging delivery platform.”

After Beth became privy to the facts, she insisted that she never hated Muzak, she hated muzac based on this quote, “Muzak, the company, no longer programs muzac, the ‘gentle instrumental arrangements of popular music designed for playing in shopping malls, grocery stores, department stores, public toilets, telephone systems (while the caller is on hold), cruise ships, airports, on television shows, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, and elevators.’

Her conclusion: “So if you want to work for Muzak, go ahead. As you discovered in Rite Aid, they program good music.”

Sometimes, it’s okay to just come out and say, “I’m sorry, Gili. I was wrong. I’m a fool.”

This week’s culture check:

Movie- Milk (really sloppy. Maybe Gus Van Sant’s worst) A much better movie about the politician is The Times of Harvey Milk
Book- In Pharaoh’s Army (a Tobias Wolff book I’ve never been able to read all the way through because of my instant lack of interest in war stories)
Food- Joe and I celebrated my interview, his play, and our reuniting post-Thanksgiving at my childhood favorite, Olive Garden in Chelsea, which was amazing (though pricey), proving you can indeed go home again, especially when home equals an endless salad and bread sticks.

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§ One Response to >The sweet sound of Muzak/victory

  • Beth says:

    >The Muzak corporation [capital M]: a supplier of business background music…now uses only “original artists” for its music source, except on the Environmental channel.muzak [lowercase M]: the gentle instrumental arrangements of popular music designed for playing in shopping malls, grocery stores, department stores, public toilets, telephone systems (while the caller is on hold), cruise ships, airports, on television shows, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, and elevators…the term is also frequently applied as a generic (and often derogatory) term for any form of Easy Listening, smooth jazz, or Middle of the road music [or] excessively bland music.The latter: nails on chalkboard.The former: perfectly respectable, I suppose, if it brings Dolly to the masses. Gili’s problem: collapsing the two in order to twist my words and make it APPEAR as if I’ve conceded an argument that, in fact, it’s clear I won.

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