I work at a coffee shop, a store in a chain that, while their products are quality, shall remain nameless. My specific shop’s location, however, doesn’t draw students and A2 bohemians like some of our other locations do; we attract a steady stream of businesspeople and engineers, researchers, teachers and soccer moms. Only a few grad students dare to venture so far north to study and drink strawberry Italian soda. In exchange for my dedication to the art of making coffee drinks, I get to choose what music to play in the store. Mwahahahaha. It’s an intoxicating privilege that I take full advantage of, listening to pretty much anything I want.
The music you hear in public places — be it or the iTunes shill-cum-classic rock “station” that contextualizes my shopping trips to Kroger with John Mayer and (inexplicably) “Won’t Get Fooled Again” — is a sort of atmospheric variable, like the d