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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bust a Move Please and Bleach that Music

Growing up in the sixties, I didn't question Super Market music. It would be Lerner and Loewe or Mantovani. The complexities of life distilled to the basic questions: pot roast or chicken for dinner, should I chance the brand X creamed corn or stick with Del Monte? The music was never loud enough to drown out the squeaky wheel on the shopping cart or the fussy baby in the next aisle. The music was there to turn off your brain so you didn't really care about anything else. If you got to the store near closing time, you got Benny Goodman or Rimsky-Korsakov. It still turned off your brain but it made you push the cart faster.

It came as quite a shock the first time I heard Lennon and McCartney over those speakers. It was Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band but something had changed. It sounded like it was being played by a real lonely heart’s club. The life was gone. They’d found a way to sap rock and make it as bland as Benny Goodman – at least as I knew Benny Goodman.
Then I listened to actual Benny Goodman records. He wasn’t bland either! Those speakers made him sound bland or, more accurately, the magicians at Muzak made him bland.
Mind control for elevators and shopping venues. For someone who spent two hours trying to hypnotize his poodle by rocking a metal washer on a string, this was the kind of power I could appreciate. So for twenty years now, I've been waiting for Muzak’s greatest challenge: Muzak rap.

I'm here with the homies down in the hood
Sitting with a ‘ho but we think she’s good
Breathin’ in the smog but we’re glad we’re alive
And franks and beans are on sale in aisle five

Sing it quiet quiet quiet
Sing it quiet quiet quiet

Yo being in the city ain’t all crime and drugs
Cause even when you’re dealin’ you make time for hugs
We run from the man don’t want to sit in county
When the crib gets dusty we use the Pledge and the Bounty

Bounty buy it buy it buy it
Bounty buy it buy it buy it

The cops in this cow town are always disrespectin’
We’re barely out of lock-up when they’re out re-arrestin’
And just when we think that life has lost its savor
Mountain Dew comes comes and breaks out a brand new flavor

New flavor try it try it try it
New flavor try it try it try it

Everything that they give us is full of venom and hate
They think they can own us but we don’t take the master’s bait
There are times that every white guy I’d like to go slay
But I just can’t stay mad at you – have a nice day

Maybe if would look better if I had this guy in the background.