Monday, 22 November 2010

Hell is other people's music choices...

Lately, mainly because it is colder inside my house than it is outdoors (how can this be?), I've been doing a lot of writing in the local coffee shops. There are many advantages to working in a coffee shop, chief amongst which is that it is warm there, and there is no need to wear fingerless gloves while you type. There are fewer distractions in a coffee shop; your average writer is less likely to procrastinate by suddenly noticing that the skirting boards need ironing, or that there's a mucky teaspoon in the sink that needs washing up right away. In my nearest coffee shops, I can't even get an internet connection. Add to this the frequent availability of coffee and cake, and you have a recipe for excellent writer productivity. In the last week alone, I have finished six novels, eight short stories, and an hundred-line ballad written in iambic pentameter, just by dint of sitting in the nearest Costa. (Only joking.... I don't write poetry).

But srsly though coffee shops of West Yorkshire, what is UP with your music choice? A few days ago, I was rendered rampantly KILLY and ENRAGED by the abuse to which my ears were subject. Coffee shops of the world seemed to have turned to filling their stereos with CDs of pastel coloured, twinkly, no-cunt, irritatingly twee music, designed to offend nobody. There must be a special shop that sells this stuff; I imagine that only coffee shops buy it - for the love of God, I hope that nobody willingly listens to this stuff at home.

This kind of music is meant to promote a self-consciously cool, laid-back atmosphere within the environs. Recently, I've heard versions of 'Tainted Love' sung by a woman with a child's voice backed with what sounded like a music-box, 'Sweet Child O' Mine' gently tickled to death with a xylophone and an accordion, and a version of 'When Doves Cry' played in a jaunty rhythm on a Spanish guitar. I imagine the aim is to reassure your average coffee-shop customer with music with which he or she is familiar, presented in a way that promotes a kind of slow death by passivity: a sort of lift music for the post-modern ironist of the 21st Century, if you will. It's irritating and its twee, and every time I hear one of these dreadful, knowing cover versions, I am filled with an almost uncontrollable urge to punch a kitten to death. And I really like kittens.

Please, coffee shops of the local West Yorkshire area: I AM TRYING TO WRITE A NOVEL AND THIS CAR ADVERT MUSIC IS NOT HELPING.

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