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02 November 2009

Smooth-jazzed into submission. "Background music is meant to manage us, not entertain us."
YECCCH- smooth jazz (and really saxophone in general) never fails to give me a massive headache. The hold music/background music calming effect is totally reversed as I feel more and more physically uncomfortable as the music goes on.

One of the reasons that I like Batali's and Flay's restaurants so much (aside from the good food) is that neither plays the ubiquitous jazz/classical that seems to plague the nicer restaurants of NY.
posted by rmless2 02 November | 14:45
My ex-husband and I stayed at an hotel once where they played panpipe music in the restaurant. But not just any old panpipe music. Oh no. This was classic rock panpipe music. In a genteel Hampshire country house hotel where we were the youngest guests by at least 30 years.

We were eating our dinner on the first night when we both realised that we recognised the background tune but couldn't quite place it. It was only when we listened more closely that we identified it - Honky Tonk Women. On panpipes. It was fucking horrendous.

But not quite as hilarious/horrendous as the next track, which was (I kid you not) Born to Run. By the time it got to that descending riff we were helpless with laughter and then we probably nearly gave all the other guests heart attacks/strokes by yelling "ONE TWO THREE FOUR!" .

We were finally asked to leave the restaurant when my husband held his lighter in the air to the panpipe version of 'Freebird'.

I looked everywhere for that CD, but never found it.
posted by essexjan 02 November | 14:58
In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a female artist complains about the background music in the restaurant where she's eating with her lover. "It's the uglification of the world. It's a global process," she says. "The only places where beauty survives is where its persecutors have overlooked it."
posted by Joe Beese 02 November | 15:05
Oh essexjan- it's your lucky lucky day.
posted by rmless2 02 November | 15:30
I always figured the function of background music in shopping centers was to make you feel more relaxed about spending money. Loud/fast/aggressive music would only make you more eager to get out of there.
posted by Daniel Charms 02 November | 15:36
And I just clicked through to see how much it was on Amazon- at 3.98 for a 3 disc set, you can't afford NOT to buy it.
posted by rmless2 02 November | 15:36
"Soothing panpipes"? How can anyone possibly find the sound of panpipes soothing? It is the most irritating musical instrument man has ever created and if you don't hate the Greeks for hating it, you should. I hate it, I HATE it and I really freaking hate the fake Indians I constantly see playing their godawful music and selling their CD-s on the corner just outside the market gates. God, just thinking about it makes me so angry, I think I need some smooth jazz to calm myself down.
posted by Daniel Charms 02 November | 16:16
If you look for panpipe music on YouTube (suggested search terms: panpipes abba medley) you probably find ocarina music in the related videos column, which I mention only because the ocarina is a good refutation of the claim that panpipes are the most irritating musical instrument ever made.
posted by Wolfdog 02 November | 16:33
which I mention only because the ocarina is a good refutation of the claim that panpipes are the most irritating musical instrument ever made.

Heh. I remember that back when we were kids, my grandfather had a couple of ocarinas which he kept in a drawer in his desk. Me and my brother used to annoy the heck out of everyone with those. I've never heard anyone actually play one (properly, I mean), though.
posted by Daniel Charms 02 November | 16:42
"Would you like to come upstairs and listen to some of my pan pipe music collection? We could also have some champagne and strawberries in front of the fireplace and listen to my ocarina covers..."
posted by rmless2 02 November | 16:42
I've never heard anyone actually play one (properly, I mean), though.
That is because no-one ever has played an ocarina properly, unless we include the zenlike concept of playing the ocarina by not playing the ocarina.
posted by Wolfdog 02 November | 16:46
the zenlike concept of playing the ocarina by not playing the ocarina.

That is so deep that I'd like to invite you up to my room to see my kazoo collection.
posted by rmless2 02 November | 16:52
Will there be strawberries?
posted by Wolfdog 02 November | 17:01
No, strawberries only come with the ocarina music. Kazoos come with corn chips. Everyone knows this.
posted by rmless2 02 November | 18:10
I like corn chips but then it's going to have to be beer, not champagne. Email's in my profile.
posted by Wolfdog 02 November | 18:16
There is an iPhone app which turn your iPhone into an electronic ocarina. And if that's not enough, it links you to others using the app all over the world and allows you to hear their "music."
posted by Obscure Reference 02 November | 21:08
This thread reminded me of my step-grandfather, Stu. He played jazz piano for many years. I realized, reading this thread, that I never heard him play before he passed away. That makes me sad.
posted by deborah 02 November | 21:27
For a while, I worked at a library that carried a lot of video-game magazines. And almost every issue had a full-page advertisement for a Legend of Zelda-themed ocarina.

And every time I saw that ad, I'd think 'You know, I bet a full-page ad is fairly expensive. Who's the market for this thing? Then again, the people who keep buying these ads are presumably well-paid professionals, and I imagine they'd know better than I would.' I never quite believe it, though.
posted by box 02 November | 22:50
Proper use of ocarina (Black Mountain, "No Satisfaction"). Also, Guided By Voices deploy it to good effect on "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" (Bee Thousand).

Smooth jazz is like mopping floors. There are situations during which you just have to submit to it: you have the choice of figuring out a way to enjoy it, or hating every second of it. Or if you really enjoy being a ball of hate, well, good for you. But during those long highway bus commutes, you talk to the Vietnam vet bus driver and you realize, here's a damn cool dude who digs on Chuck Mangione, and it's not for me to gainsay the tastes of others. And he's the one on the job, playing the tunes that get him through the day. So I surrender and those moments are no longer unpleasant.

Panpipes, though, they're well nigh impossible to take; a world without Zamfir would be a better world, indeed.
posted by Hugh Janus 03 November | 12:19
Beeps? You need to read The Silver Linings Playbook for the ultimate response to smooth jazz and how it can destroy men's souls. Seriously. It's a fantastic novel.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 03 November | 19:28
Monday three-point || Yeah, OK,