Shopping and Music

I know there’s a science behind the music that gets played in stores. I’d like to think my awareness of that fact, coupled with my extreme loathing for spending money unnecessarily, reduces my susceptibility to the science behind the selections, but I’m sure I fall for it on occasion.

My favorite music/shopping experience, hands down, was grocery shopping at the Dunlavy Fiesta, a.k.a. Oldies Fiesta. The new H-E-B across the street has sort of taken up where Fiesta left off, but I’ve yet to see people absolutely rocking out the way I frequently did at Fiesta. In those aisles, it wasn’t just heads nodding or sotto voce humming. It was arms flailing, singing out loud while looking other shoppers right in the eye while they, too, let loose. It felt great. 

My least favorite music/shopping experience has got to be music at outdoor shopping malls, like the area that has sprung up where Town & Country Mall used to loom over a collection of smaller shopping plazas, between Memorial and I-10 along the northbound feeder for Beltway 8.

Today, they had a Sirius radio station playing, which is unusual, when you think about it. Generally, stores have DJ-free, continuous music programming, whether through Muzak or some other service. The music didn’t rise to the level of me noticing it, but the DJ breaking in between songs with platitudes about Mother’s Day was creepy. There I was, walking in the open air, with some strange man’s voice giving me instructions on how to treat my mom. Very dystopic.

Just about as disorienting, though not as sinister, was the music playing during lunch. For the sake of my family, I drove to Maine-ly Sandwiches, Houston’s newest and only spot specializing in authentic New England lobster rolls. I wouldn’t want to make my family drive all the way out I-45 if the lobster rolls weren’t worth it. You understand. I make sacrifices for these people.

The food: I think my mom will like the lobster rolls, but she will find them skimpy. I’ll recommend she ask for, and offer to pay for, a full-size serving of lobster in the half-size roll.

The music: this sandwich shop is already an oddity, in a strip center near the intersection of I-45 and Beltway 8. It is about the most un-Maine place you could be in Houston.

While it would’ve been hilarious (to me and seven other people, I guess) would’ve been hearing this:

Instead, satellite radio struck again. This time, however, it was set to a pop station from Australia, complete with commercials for shopping and lawn centers. Very, very unusual. I’d like to know the science behind that plan.

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