Sunday, November 23, 2008

music wars

When you walk into a bookshop, the ambient music probably isn't the first thing that enters your mind. It probably straggles in much later, after, "where is that book that I desperately want and must have in my hands in this exact moment?" or, "what direction shall I wander in first?" or maybe even, "what are those strange things that sort of look like Rubik's cubes, but aren't?"... But then, after a little while, the music seeps in. And then, after several hours, even with all those lovely books crowded around you, the music is suddenly pounding through your head and you wonder why everyone hasn't either burst into spontaneous dance, or run away with their hands pressed to their ears.

At the bookshop, we have music wars. The combatants are:

The company sanctioned, nice at first, but easily tiresome CDs that we sell. These have French songs, Spanish songs, "world beats", and other such globally inclusive tasters.

A strange amalgamation of things that reminds me of a fake honky tonk bar. Or, possibly, the parts of the 70s that I'm glad I missed.

Classical music. Mozart, Bach, and all the usual suspects. I'm extremely fond of classical music, so it makes me unreasonably happy when, say, a Bach CD makes it's way into the stereo.

Once, I think someone brought in some French accordian music, the cheerful oom pah pah kind. In small doses, it's actually quite infectious. I felt like doing jigs up and down between the shelves.

Sadly (or maybe fortunately), nobody wins for long. It's all just skirmishes and sometimes your ears bleed and sometimes they don't.
I've just started reading Dali & I by Stan Lauryssens. I have high hopes for this one. Even higher now that I've read the author's bio, which says that he spent time in prison for selling fake Dalis, then "turned to writing crime fiction". This is possibly the most exciting thing I've read on a book flap in a long time.

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