Tuesday, February 05, 2008

'80s College Radio DJ Let Loose in Mall?

Muzak has lost its stodgy "elevator music" image of bland instrumental versions of songs that were never terribly interesting to begin with. Lots of stores use programmed music with more distinctive personality, but it's usually obviously suited to the retailer's target demographic. Which is why I was so surprised today when shopping at a boring suburban department store, one where I shop infrequently specifically because their clothing styles lack even the slightest edge, to hear "Boys Don't Cry" by the Cure, followed shortly by "Seven Seas" by Echo and the Bunnymen. It was as if the Muzak programming booth had been hijacked by someone from Rhino who had compiled the Left of the Dial or A Life Less Lived '80s alternative and goth, respectively, box sets. Soon enough it was back to mall pap with a bright shiny retro hit from Wham! But it was so pleasantly disconcerting that I considered asking a staff member what was up.

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