(Welcome to Lost in the Supermarket, an occasional blog recurring feature in which we discuss unexpected songs we've heard in unexpected places. This doesn't just have to be your local Schucks or Dierbergs, either; any weird pairing you've heard is fair game for the feature. Email the scenario to me, with the phrase Lost in the Supermarket in the subject heading, and you just might see it here.)
Temp job, Maryland Heights
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.