downloadWe play music in the shop. Plenty of people notice, and we get lots of nice comments. Once, we played the Grease movie soundtrack and people were dancing. (Have you noticed we have a mirrorball that gets switched on at the weekend?) Another once, a fella was very sniffy about the music I lined up (1980s trashabilly The Sting-rays), but as the woman said, Everyone to their own.
We have a Spotify account and we make pretty good use of it. Sometimes we simply play tracks (sides!) or albums (long-players!) that we really dig (like). But we endeavour to dig up all kinds of good shit. So you’ll hear old shit, new shit, weird shit and classic shit. Personally, I think my taste in music is quite eclectic (though I’m not sure my colleagues would agree). But even though, should you catch me on a shift, you might hear trad jazz, or bebop (there’s a reason I’m named Miles), or sixties calypso, or 80s post-punk, or garage punk, or 1940s R&B, or 1950s rockabilly, or the crooners and the divas, or San Francisco psych, or cartoon soundtracks, I do like to curate and stick with styles. As I write this, for example, I’ve been playing pre-millennium American punk music all day. But it’s Sunday and that, for me, usually means jazz. It might, however, mean jazz with orchestral accompaniment (see Charlie Parker with Strings). Wanky, yes. But I get a kick out of the curatorial thing. So Siouxsie Sioux me.
You may not have realised this – and really, why should you? – but when there’s more than one of us on a shift (okay, James and me), we often dream up dicky, dreeby themes for the day’s tuneage. (Heather’s far more sensible – she picks something she likes and hits the randomizer button.) We’ve had numbers, the alphabet, shapes, colours, places, travel (hear Kitty, Daisy and Lewis’ I Been Everywhere), space, emotions, opposites, politics, names, years (my birth year was a particularly fruitful one), countries, weather, etc, blah, blah. Of course, we’ve had booze, eg I Know Who Threw the Whisky in the Well by Bullmoose Jackson (I generally swing to music made by dead people). And we’ve done they drugs and sex and crime and coffee, also of course.
Here’s an idea: feel free to suggest a theme and we’ll nerd it. Come in and say, Brown. Or horses. Or bugs (think we did that). Hola, gotta change the music. Pixies Live at Malibu Nightclub 1989 coming to an end. Let’s go, erm, Minutemen and What Makes a Man Start Fires?
Still, all that said, sometimes its best to, as John C Reilly once said, just rock out to something good. That’s why Heather and I too often play Fleetwood Mac’s Rumour. Or why James resets to Yo La Tengo. Or why I must have The Oh Sees. And sometimes it is good to mix styles. Which is why I’ve just ditched the American punk for Charlie Parker with Strings. Sublime.