Aug 242012

I am becoming increasingly comfortable with my middle age-self. My ears don’t work as well as they used to (ie, years of loud music has taken a toll on my hearing) and my body aches more before, during, and after exercise. I like to go to bed on the early side. I listen regularly to NPR. I’ve also come to realize that I am part of the target demographic for Hear Music and have been enjoying a recent release (purchased at Starbucks, natch) called Just Tell Me What You Want: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac.

I also like to cook and bake, and as I’ve aged, I’ve been swapping out my crappy baking pans for items that are a little nicer. Which led me, last week, to the flagship Williams-Sonoma store, in Union Square, San Francisco. This place is four floors of culinary and gastronomic heaven. I get weak in the knees as I cross the threshold. And as I was floating around the pots, pans, utensils, stemware, dishtowels, fragranced dish soap, and table clothes, I realized that the store soundtrack for my reverie was…

The Scorpions. Followed by Def Leppard.


Could someone please explain this? What was the manager thinking? Do I represent a new shift in the target audience for W-S? Was this an errant stock boy on a hair metal lark?


  17 Responses to “Please Explain…”

  1. Needs moar details. Are we talking “Rock You Like A Hurricane” into “Pour Some Sugar On Me”? That’s not that surprising. If it was something off Virgin Killer followed by High N Dry, now…

  2. This tells me there are a lot of former party chicks now getting their kicks through colorful lemonade pitchers and waffle irons!

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    So true!

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    It’s true – the actual songs played (“There’s No One Like You” and “Photograph”) are pretty light, but still! I was aghast. I mean, this is the same company that through their sister stores, Pottery Barn, released multiple “tasteful” music collections, such as jazz vocalists, swing, lounge, bossa nova, etc. I would be surprised if there was a Hair Metal Hits compilation playing through the national chain. I mean, W-S is not Hot Topic (which typically has fun music playing).

    Mr. Royale just chimed in if W-S was playing rock, it should have be playing “Spoon Man” by Soundgarden. Any other suggestions?

  5. “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” which implores us to rattle those pots and pans.

  6. Devo “Bread and Butter” from the “9 1/2 Weeks” kitchen scene. “Clean up on aisle…well, the floor, please.”


  7. That album cover gives me a real (original) Smell the Glove vibe.

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    “Smell The Glove” would be the perfect new dish soap fragrance for my demographic.

  9. I love the original Joe Turner as opposed to the bowdlerized sp? version of Bill Haley and the Comets.

  10. ohmstead

    Could well have been a stock boy momentarily taking over but a casual search suggests that W-S is, not surprisingly, like all the big chain stores a Muzak client. Also not surprisingly, the Muzak site does not reveal it’s client list. However, what I found really alarming about the Muzak site was not its vast in-store music services but the other services it offers, including in-store scent environments. What’s next in-store taste environments?

    What happens when Muzak achieves Matrix-like self awareness? Maybe it already has and we just don’t realize it.

    By the way, they also claim to be an industry leader in “drive thru” technology for fast food industry or as they call it QSR’s (Quick Service Restaurants). Maybe something they shouldn’t brag about.

  11. Happiness Stan

    Howdy! I’m afraid that I wouldn’t have recognised either of those, having spent the hair metal years walking around with my fingers in my ears going “la la la la la la I can’t hear you la la la la…”.

    I’ve been having a bit of a time of it lately and haven’t managed to find time to visit the Hall, but am currently sitting in glorious evening sunshine outside a cafe at a campsite in Luxembourg looking forward to my big 50th birthday tomorrow, so am feeling middle age quite strongly today.

    On the subject of incongruous music, we went to the National Museum of Prehistory today, presumably for Mrs H to rub it in further, and after about ten minutes looking at small pieces of knapped flint heard a live album by U2 coming up the stairs, noting afterwards that at about twenty minutes it was the most U2 I’ve ever put up with in one sitting, having got out a lot sooner than that when we went to see them at the Milton Keynes Bowl in about 85-ish.

    When I was about sixteen/seventeen I used to open a paper shop in the morning and would take my little tape player down and listen to Dylan’s classic trio of electric albums, Safe as Milk, Rattus Norvegicus by the Stranglers, In the City by the Jam, and the first three Ramones albums. When I managed a bookshop later on I would regularly play Trout Mask Replica, and never received a single complaint. Perhaps they thought they were imagining it.

    Cheers everybody!

  12. ladymisskirroyale

    Here’s The Scorpions for you. Can you imagine them with their Kitchen Aide mixers? (or for you, Happiness Stan, a nice Aga cooker)

    Welcome back! We really missed you! And Happy Birthday! Mr. Royale just had his 50th a few weeks ago.

  13. ladymisskirroyale

    You have opened my eyes, ohmstead.

  14. ohmstead

    Ladymiss – you may call me Neo.

  15. misterioso

    The thing is that that shitty music is now enshrined as Classic Rock.

    But my Please Explain moment would be what possible use a Fleetwood Mac tribute album could be. Mind you, I am vaguely pro-Fleetwood Mac, it is just that I find the whole tribute album fetish a perplexingly stupid concept that I shun.

    Can’t wait for that Scorpions tribute album: “Cat Power brings new shades of meaning to ‘The Zoo’ in one of the inspired selections on this eye-opening collection….”

  16. Happiness Stan

    Thank you! And belated birthday greetings to Mr R!

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