Stop The Music!

It’s everywhere. It can’t be escaped. It destroys more souls than television and politics combined. And we are powerless to prevent it. Bad music.

Now everybody knows about bad popular music. Examples abound. Just go anywhere out of your own home and it won’t be but mere moments before it washes over you like a bucket of old dishwater. But bad sophisticated takes more searching.

Ever been to one of those antique engine shows? Or maybe heard a factory pressing widgets. Chickatidah-chickatidah-chickatidah or maybe Eree-eee-kurchunk-chunk-chunk-clink, Eree-eee-kurchunk-chunk-chunk-clink. Those of monotonous droning machines is what we’re after.

Keep that sound going in your head and add to it to the output of a soft jazz synthesizer programmed by a community college Computers-For-Dummies student after a long night bingeing on cold General Tso’s chicken and warm beer.

Have it? Let it ooze through your mind a little. Now infect the whole shebang with the ebola virus, let it bleed and fester a while, then kick it down a hill and into traffic on a busy Los Angeles freeway.

It’s now ready.

Can you hear it? Can you? Then you’re listening to the exact sound of the sophisticated murk leeching out speakers in not one, not two, but three world-class hotels I had occasion to be in over the past few months. The music was similar in each place that each hotel must shop for sounds in the same place. It isn’t only hotels, because I later heard the exact same noise nauseating shoppers in several separate gallerias, the sort where you do not ask the price of the merchandise. (I had to be in, and had to pass through these places, because of my labors.)

The music was full of echos, and occasional voices were heard in the distance, but they weren’t plain voices. They were filtered, warbling, ever fading, with indistinguishable words; more like sounds from some voodoo ritual. The key feature was repetition repetition repetition, with bumpa-bumpa-bumpa passages fading into one another like liquid in a fountain in some over-priced spa, all set to a needless beat.

This music is the visual equivalent of the award-winning “art” which adorns the front of with-it (do we still say “with-it”?), hip corporations and prestigious non-profits. Ugly, useless, and so expensive and celebrated that nobody has the guts to admit how awful it is. That the powerless and unwealthy complain of it is, perversely, taken as proof of its quality. That is it incomprehensible and in dire need of interpretation of experts is key to its desirableness.

The “art” has one advantage over the music, though. You can shade your eyes from it; you can look away; you can avoid it. The music—I call it that for convenience—is unstoppable, pervasive, non-ignorable. It is set at levels designated to penetrate the conscious. It can’t be shut off. It can only be escaped. Ask a clerk if the music can be “toned down” and you’ll receive apologies and told whoever is in charge of the volume cannot be consulted and that, anyway, the controls are hidden away or are unknown.

I have a suspicion that scientific “studies” were consulted to create the sounds. If they aren’t created by an algorithm, as suggested above, then it means some poor tortured soul is making it. Pray for this unknown person.


  1. Michael Dowd

    It’s obvious: preconditioning for the NWO. The bad music will stop when you agree to submit.

  2. I still say “with-it!” 🙂

    I don’t know which sort of music you’re talking about, though. It reads like you’re describing weird industrial-art-pop? I don’t know. Down here, in Central Florida, most public spaces still use Musak-esque systems and mostly play sounds from the 50’s and 60’s. But the average age down here is a full generation older than the national average. I think you should move to Florida!

    I used to manage a restaurant down here, and sometimes the kids would switch the channel to more modern pop, but I’d switch it back and explain to them, “Retirees don’t want to hear music that was made for the grandchildren!” I’m in-between those ages, and so, when the restaurant was closed at night or in the morning, I’d put on music from the 60’s-70’s-80’s that I enjoyed growing up with. But that’s when, really, modern pop as we know it today came together. It really hasn’t changed much since. That’s because the culture is stuck. Mired the same way as the working and middle-class for the past 40 years, unchanging, immobile. The “art” sounds are not new at all, but rather just more ubiquitous now. In the old America, generations would move up and their tastes would move with them. Now, America stays the same, and the tastes haven’t changed since the 80’s. If the goal of conservatism was to halt all change, it worked. Now we have a boring, stagnant culture with annoying kids music that never grows up.


  3. Yawrate

    I don’t need to hear music everywhere I go. And once in a while the obnoxious ‘near music’ drives me out of the store.

    I’ve heard of opera being played loudly at party stores frequented by light fingered teenagers…they can hardly stand it and are less likely to visit.

  4. DG

    This is rather the vaguest post I’ve so far seen. What do you mean by “bad music”? Are you talking about stupid, misleading lyrics in some songs? You seem to be talking about mumble jumbo in some funny sounding songs.

    “It (music) destroys more souls than television and politics combined” -? Really? How can this be qualified? And music whether good or bad may not have that much of an impact on you at times.

    “The art has one advantage over the music…you can shade your eyes from it… the music…is non-ignorable” – Well, often you can avoid music anymore you can avoid art.

  5. Michael Dowd

    Great comment Jersey. I think what you are talking about is the music of baby boomers and their children. To me most it lack wit, charm and talent, just like their taste in just about everything, boring and pedestrian.

  6. Lolita Matarazzo

    A place with less teenagers and more opera sounds like heaven to me.
    Dr Briggs, blessed are those that hear bad music everywhere all the day long and do not even know how bad it is.
    As for the rest of us, lets just all move to Florida or consider shopping online.
    Boring, maybe, pedestrian, never!

  7. gareth

    Well, you didn’t link to it so we don’t know.
    Probably though I would like it. I like much weird, boom-boom, strange and repetitive, noise, music.
    But maybe that’s because I’m an engineer, and have odd friends, including Lithuanians.
    So, sorry to disagree 😉
    (but liked the previous post on cryptography)

  8. Sylvain Allard

    Gosh you really like to whine about anything

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