Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Songs of the pizza-seller

Posted By on 06.05.07 at 06:52 PM

click to enlarge 1613.jpg

For the past couple years there's been a trend where companies put streaming audio jukeboxes on their Web sites for no apparent reason. Usually they're programmed to reflect some quality of the business, some level of "extremeness" or "family-friendlieness" or whatever they're trying to project. The one thing they all have in common is that they're utterly useless. I only ask for a limited amount of information from the Domino's Pizza Web site: what's the number of the closest location to my house, and do they still have that Garlic Bread pizza? (They don't, sadly.) I definitely don't go there to get tipped off to "hot new sounds" and I can't imagine why anyone else would either. But that didn't stop Domino's from launching the dTracks Music Player

The image that Domino's seems to be projecting with their song selections is "absolute blandness"—befitting a company that ditched the Garlic Bread pizza—with a dash of "hopelessly out of it." The player has three playlists: the "Clubbin Mix" combines Euro-club dance music and neutered hip-hop in a way I haven't heard since 1990. "Summer Road Trip" seems like it was programmed in an alternate universe where John HPopper and Tom Cochrane have been THE musicians of the past 15 years. The only really modern-sounding channel is the "Party Mix"—a misleading title, given that the whole thing is shitty emo no one on earth would want to party to. It's also the only playlist where the dTracks' middle-of-the-roadness actually worked for me. Outside of My Chemical Romance—who are geniuses—I prefer my emo as average as possible. I like knowing on first listen exactly where the song's breakdown will happen and what it'll sound like. Immediately after listening to every song on the playlist, I found myself absolutely unable to recall a single band name or scrap of melody, which was perfect. Thank you, faceless emo bands. You wasted a half hour of my life pretty good.

I was curious if the pizza/music connection was popping off industry-wide, but so far no other pizza company has stuck a music player on their Web site. Pizza Ria had a sort of sweetly annoying pop song on their splash page. I guess it was okay. The pizza I got from them was better.   

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