Lost In The Supermarket: She & Him, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
Where: Temp job, Maryland Heights
What: She & Him, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
Why is this weird? Times are tough lately. In that spirit, this week I began a temporary assignment deep within the office-park maze near Westport Plaza. They play background music throughout the building, which is usually ignorable (as, of course, is the intent). Walking to the break room last Friday, however, I was surprised -- even shocked -- to hear Zooey Deschanel's cooing vocals among the usual smooth jazz and adult-contemporary selections. It's not as if She & Him is remotely abrasive or obscure; there's no reason "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" shouldn't fit right into a programmed playlist for office drones. But for a few minutes, I pondered (and perhaps invented) the implications. Here was a Pitchfork-approved song all about feeling neglected and alone, released on Merge Records, written and sung by a well-known actress, but here programmed for an audience of low-paid temporary employees. The cumulative effect was thus more knowing and ironic than if I'd just heard it at a supermarket or restaurant. I'll be listening for more subliminal messages next week.