August 6, 2005


I have, over the past couple of weeks, spent a great deal of time at the grocery store. It has been my prime destination, second only to Babies R Us, the staff of which knows me well enough to know that no, Iím not shopping off a registry because what kind of lame-ass friend buys someone a package of diapers and a pacifier? The other day, whilst shopping for something in the grocery store, I was invaded by this feeling that something wasnít quite right. You know the feeling. Maybe you walk into a room and a couch has been moved a few inches off-center. Maybe you realize that the cat sleeping on your bed isnít your cat. Maybe you donít even have a cat.

Anyway, Iím walking through the grocery store with the not-quite-right-feeling and it suddenly dawns on me. Itís the music. Sure, itís the standard collection of grocery store fare Ė a collection of lite (not light), easy-listening numbers that would be too mellow for even the most lame, subdued listen-at-work station. But the songs? Theyíre all wrong. More accurately, theyíre mostly right with subtle differences. The arrangements are off just a tad, and the vocalists, well, theyíre not the originals. This, my friends, is counterfeit music.

You claim that you built this city, you built this city of rock and roll but who exactly are you? You sing of a groovy kind of love but youíre not the same person who told me that I canít hurry love. You say youíre on top of the world looking down on creation but whoís creation is this? Do that to you one more time because once is never enough? I donít even know who you are anymore! The leader of the band? Which band?

What, exactly, do you think happened to necessitate the production of near-lite rock? Or are there really riches, piles of diamondoids and electro-plated gold doubloons, in the reworking of soulless, vapid music into fresh soulless, vapid music? I guess itís better than toying with the good stuff. If I hear Smoke On The Water or Sweet Child Oí Mine in four-part harmony with a string section and an accordion solo, I'll be in the seafood section drowning myself in the lobster tank.

Posted by Chris at August 6, 2005 5:28 PM

thts jst weird man!

Posted by: lizabetty at August 6, 2005 5:53 PM

Tell it like it is, while I admit I personally love lite rock, I hate the remix, remake thing.

Posted by: Angelia at August 6, 2005 5:56 PM

must be some east coast thing.. we don't stand for that out west.

Posted by: jodi at August 6, 2005 5:57 PM

Heard that ALL over town back in Thailand. I think it's away they're getting around the copyright stuff. Close enough, but not, just hoping nobody would notice. I'm sure they'd do the same here to get away with royalty. Or something like that.

Hit me baby cause I'm a genie in a bottle who wants to be right next to you, you who talk like spring and walks like June, with eyes of the bluest sky, and honey lips with healing fingertips...

Okay. I'm putting down the Cherry Coke.

Posted by: Oakley at August 6, 2005 5:59 PM

It may actually have to do with royalties. In TV, songs are cheaper to clear if you use a re-make because you don't have to pay the often exorbitant artist fee AND publishing. But that's a guess. Maybe there's a (super)market for re-made classics.

Posted by: shane at August 6, 2005 6:22 PM

While waiting to pick up a friend in the Sac airport (pre-9/11 so we could actually sit at the gate), my best friend and I were serenaded by disturbing instrumental muzaked versions of "popular hits." The one I remember the most was the horrendous keyboard version of 3am by Matchbox 20. It was awful.

Posted by: Rhonda at August 6, 2005 7:16 PM

I was at a hip trendy LA hot spot last night--bar/rest type place and the piped in music was the same-- I was all what the hell? Why are they playing bad covers of songs that were bad the first time around.

maybe its some weird trend.

Posted by: amy at August 6, 2005 7:19 PM

As a teenager, I worked in an Italian restaurant. All the music piped in was Italian except for one tape that was American pop music, just sung in Italian. The funny thing was, this family style restaurant saw fit to include that Take a Walk on the Wide Side song on this tape. Not, by any means, what you want your kiddies humming along to over dinner. I thought it was strange.

Posted by: shannon at August 6, 2005 8:02 PM

I don't know what to say to that but at the same time I felt compelled to comment. :) That post just really cracked me up!

Posted by: Kate at August 6, 2005 8:19 PM

I feel your pain, I really do. It breaks my heart to hear a rough and roll song turned into a soothing background piece of crap. Why is it always the Stones or even AC/DC that gets mangled?

Posted by: Nic at August 6, 2005 8:27 PM

I think shane's right...the RIAA is out to make money wherever they can. Fitness centres, bars, malls - basically any public place that plays music (including here in Canada, with our analagous SOCAN...same lame-ass deal) - is subject to pretty hefty charges for playing original music. Not that it benefits the actual artists or anything.

Posted by: Mel at August 6, 2005 8:31 PM

I am right there with you on the remixes. Sweet Child O' Mine is perfect the way it is!

Posted by: Beanhead at August 6, 2005 9:03 PM

I've heard an instrumental version of "Live and Let Die" in the grocery store before. It was weird because I immediately recognized it, but it was so darn fluffy that it was out of place. It sounded like a song that belongs on those relaxation cds - quite the opposite of the original. Creepy.

Posted by: Kitty at August 6, 2005 11:33 PM

As long as Madonna is doing American Pie, I'm ok.

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at August 7, 2005 11:37 AM

m=My cursor was over the part where it said "four-part" harmony, and my brain read "food-mart harmony." Hmph.

My favorite of all time was when I heard the remix of "Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi at a Denny's.

Posted by: Chepooka at August 7, 2005 4:52 PM