The Day the Muzak Died

The company that created elevator music and helped people pass time in small boxes suspended from great heights by metal wires by boring them to death filed for a little piece of their own death today. Citing a heavy debt load, Muzak Holdings LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

I don’t know what’s worse, the all-instrumental version of “Girl from Ipanema” I can’t scour from my brain since first hearing it, or the thought that the company that brought this, and numerous other butchered mockeries of music, to pass is the latest victim of a plunging economy. What does it say about the state of world affairs when a staple of Western, nay global, culture can be brought low by stock markets speculators and fear-mongering?

Of course, they don’t just do elevators anymore. The company has apparently branched out into doing in-store retail music, as well as on hold messages. That means that I can probably hold them responsible for the many times I have offered heartfelt curses of eruptive genital sores on whoever infected my ears with their musical bowel swab while I’ve been shopping or interminably waiting for some schmuck to answer my call.

Chapter 11 doesn’t mean the outright end of Muzak, of course, but what happens if the company doesn’t climb out of its hole? What would we dowith all that dead air while ascending into the stratosphere surrounded by the smelly unwashed masses? I wonder if Muzak has competition… Surely, after seventy-five years, someone would have challenged their market dominance. Well, unless everyone else does in fact have better taste.

So, what are the master DJs playing right now? A quick survey of their “90’s Hits” list:

Alanis Morissette – Ironic
Coko – Sunshine
Joan Osborne – One Of Us
Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
Travis – Writing To Reach You
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Into The Great Wide Open
Basement Jaxx – Bingo Bango
Sister Hazel – All For You
Jade – Don’t Walk Away
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam
Phil Collins – Both Sides Of The Story

They might make it out of their financial mess if they change their business model. In fact, if they take their playlists and sell them as lists of music to avoid like ebola, they could just about mint their own money.

If any reps from Muzak are reading, don’t worry, the bill is not in the mail. That little bit of consulting is all pro bono.


Muzak on the Web
Yahoo!: “Elevator music company Muzak files for bankruptcy under heavy debt load “

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