THE BLOG
04/29/2013 07:50 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2013

Bring Back Muzak

Woody Allen once said that the worst punishment that could be inflicted upon anyone was being sentenced to 30 days solitary confinement with an insurance salesman. However, I believe that I have found one even more devilish and more likely to drive one insane-----waiting for someone in a mall and listening to the music! Wait---I take it back---calling this "music" is an insult to music. Before IPhones, tablets, computers and even CDs there was Muzak---what we all called elevator music. Yes, we mocked it; its melodies, its corny arrangements, its monotonous sound, its lack of a rhythm section, but boy do I miss it now.

At least in those days, as simple as the music sounded, we knew every tune. Some stayed in our heads all day and made the work that much lighter. You'd get off of an elevator humming what you had heard. People on the elevator would ask: "What was the name of that again?" It is bad enough to be stuck in an elevator under any circumstances, but if it happened today I certainly would hope to be saved and that the sound system stopped as well. If given the choice, I am not certain which would be more important to me.

The "music" is not limited to elevators. One hears it in stores, restaurants and even outdoor at malls---which prompted this tirade. The songs may have titles, but I doubt it. No one knows the names for sure. I frequently will go into a store and ask the salesperson: "What's that music they're playing?" And their inevitable response (without a single deviation): "What music?" I rest my case. It is not really music. It is usually a soprano saxophone with a rhythm machine. No drummer could ever maintain that same beat and not end up in an asylum. The saxophone or soprano player, on the other hand, is in a cellar somewhere practicing scales and recording it as though it were an actual song.

I blame all of this, of course, on Kenny G. If you actually listen to this genre, you undoubtedly will recognize that practically everyone is a Kenny G sound-a-like. It might even be the man himself, but there is no way to tell. Some saxophone players manage to create the same irritation as the soprano players, but it's a little bit more of a challenge to be that irritating. I hear that they pipe in music at CIA "enlightened interrogation" sites. I cannot image that there is anyone who would not break after listening to this music for 24 hours. I was in the mall for only one hour and I would have admitted to being Glenn Beck.
Bring Back Muzak