I’m having a musical meltdown at work.  Not a fun, jazz-hands and highly choreographed spontaneous dance number style musical meltdown, but the plain old boring kind where I can’t find anything to listen to that doesn’t make me want to stab pencils into my ears.  Or Sharpie fine point permanent markers, which is what I actually write with.

The crux of the problem is that there is only a limited amount of music deemed “work appropriate” for our office/cheery gift store.  Apparently our core demographic of middle aged women (who aren’t my mother) have no appreciation for the musical stylings of Rob Zombie!  Or any sort of rock n roll from the 1950s to the 1970s, which is funny to me because most of them probably listened to it growing up or maybe even had to rebel against their parents to buy a Mick Jagger crotch shot (aka Sticky Fingers).  At what point did anything stronger than Norah Jones become unpalatable?  Then again, maybe these same women spent the 60s listening to Mitch Miller and Pat Boone and abhorring those over-sexed moptops. 

Anyway, as I said there aren’t many options for work music.  We have satellite radio, which contains bazillions of stations; unfortunately, only a few of them are safe for our customers’ ears.  Our owner likes Coffee House, which features such soft rock codswallop as John Mayer and horrific instrumental renditions of formerly good rock songs and even instrumentals of already acoustic songs by the likes of Simon & Garfunkel (I prefer Garfunkel & Oates).  It should go without saying that this station makes me want to employ the stabby Sharpie.  Boss Lady also approves of the Sinatra station, and I originally thought this would be an excellent alternative to stabbing myself, as I love Ole Blue Eyes, but it turns out the Sinatra station plays far less Frank than it does weepy Broadway ballads and an unholy amount of South Pacific.  (“Happy Talk” makes me want to cry.  Irony?) 

This leaves me with “40s on 4,” a pretty good mix of swing, big band, and delightfully dated propaganda songs (of which “Hot Time in the Town of Berlin” is my favorite, containing as it does the line “we’re going to change that ‘heil’ to ‘give me some skin!’”).  Now, I like the Andrews Sisters as much as the next gal, and I can’t hear “Papa Loves Mambo” without doing a little dance, but there’s only so much one can hear of a single genre of music without craving some variety.  Also, despite seemingly having 10 years worth of music to choose from, the 40s station plays a rotation of the same songs day in and day out, and when you listen for 8 straight hours at a time, it starts to grate on the nerves.

Come on, I reminded myself, you have bazillions of stations!  Surely there must be something else you can listen to!  So this week I’ve been working my way through the likeliest contenders.  The Loft, despite being described as “contemporary eclectic” played an obscene amount of reggae (and I can only go Bob Marley deep into reggae) on Tuesday, then did nothing but talk talk talk on Tuesday.  The first song I heard on The Bridge was by Fleetwood Mac, instant disqualification.  Radio Margaritaville?  We can probably skip that one.  Love Songs?  Gag.  Escape?  Break out the Sharpies!  So guess what I’m still listening to?  The 40s on 4!  Oh well.  Truer lyrics were never written than “There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.”