Friday, August 01, 2014

I do not recognise this song. Please turn it off.

There was an interesting piece in yesterday's G2 about how the Co-op tried playing unsigned music in its stores, and lasted 24 hours before bailing:

The supermarket was piloting a new system to “help emerging artists promote and monetise their music” by playing only unsigned acts from licensing company Emerge on Co-operative Radio (the fact that it is about 50% cheaper to profile unsigned artists than mainstream ones may have been an incentive, too). Unfortunately staff weren’t thrilled about the chance to explore new music at work. One angry Facebook campaign later, and the supermarket chain returned to playing its regular, pricier chart music.
You've got to feel for the Co-Op. They really can't catch a break at the moment. When they're not putting a drug-quaffing amateur in charge of the bank, they're facing Facebook backlashes for promoting unknown singer-songwriters over the baked beans.

Although, it turns out, we might have to take the side of outraged customers here. The Guardian's Harriet Gibsone visited Sports Direct - where Emerge are still in charge of the music - to find out what the experience was like.
A few minutes into one particularly epic track – think the Killers fronted by X Factor’s Jamie Afro – I sidle up to an unsuspecting member of staff to ask who is playing.
I'm thinking of an act like that, and it is making me feel so queasy I'm starting to wish I had the need of anything Sports Direct sells just so in order I could buy it elsewhere in protest.

But this is unfair. That's just one song, one act. What, Harriet, beside Killerkaraoke, did you hear?
one breezy little song by a band I’m touting as the German Sugar Ray
I see.
Midway through a song by a group I’m calling “Nickelback for the Tinder generation”
Swipe. Swipe, dammit. SWIPE.
a pop track by a guy I’ll call Darius 2.0
Oh, the humanity. It seems the good shoppers of the Co-Op have been unfairly traduced. They weren't music haters, reacting violently at the opportunity to hear something new. They were music lovers, trying to save themselves from a service which appears to be dedicated to uncovering artists who are clearly unsigned for a bloody good reason.