Thursday, October 14, 2010

Supermarket Background Music- WTF?

Sometimes I have to wonder what people are thinking when they choose the background music for shoppers in their store. Presumably, the music is there as a sort of entertaining distraction that lurks in the background, setting a mood for the shoppers, presumably one that makes them more willing to spend a few extra bucks.

I realize that supermarket managers don't pick the songs. Background music is some sort of canned packaged program. It's not like a supermarket has a DJ that puts together a playlist. But as a side note, wouldn't that just rock? Can't you see it? "OK, shoppers, this next selection is the Beach Boys '409'; and speaking of which, we're having a sale on Formula 409 cleaner, available in aisle four!".

But I digress. In any event, this blog is precipitated by an experience I had recently at one of our favorite supermarkets, Market Basket, or as we like to call it, Basket Case. Carol and I have nicknames for all our supermarkets. There's Snausage's (Shaw's), Basket Case (Market Basket), and Try and Save (the local Hannaford's, that use to be a Shop and Save). And yes, that last name is taken from the Simpsons.

SO anyways, there I was at Basket Case, when over the speakers comes that 70's vintage, whiny, self-pitying shitfest known as "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian. Can there be a more miserable song? And yet that is what was playing over the speakers. This is a song they expect to put people in a receptive mood?

And this isn't an isolated incident. They've also vomited forth "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack. When that song came out in the 70's, I recall really disliking it. Now, more than 30 years later, with more maturity under my belt and a refining of my musical tastes, I can safely say I totally loathe it. A miserable, miserable song, in my humble opinion. This song doesn't inspire me to shop. This song inspires me to jam cucumbers in my ears, then go on a homicidal rampage.

There are others as well, but the titles just aren't coming to me. I think my brain is trying to be merciful.

Stores really need to pay more attention to the song packages they buy. The atmosphere of the store should be conducive to make me want to stick around and buy stuff, not vomit on stock boy and hurl myself through the store's plate glass window.

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