Monday, September 30, 2013

R.E.M. "Half A World Away"

Here's a secret I've never told anybody:

I used to work at The Gap.

The idea of me working in a) retail, or b) fashion, is so far removed from any reality that anyone who knows me would associate with my life, that they'd be forgiven for thinking I was kidding.

But no, for a brief period right after college, I worked at The Gap.

Let me just cut to the chase:  I was terrible at it and I didn't last very long in this job.  Within a couple of months, I quit, and my employment there was never mentioned again.

Probably most telling about my tenure there, was that the thing I found most interesting about the job was the music they played in the store.  In those days, there were cassette tapes, sent from the home office, that played over and over and over.  They were pre-programmed with hip, modern music.

I was fascinated by the idea that someone at Gap-Central was creating these mixed tapes, particularly because they seemed to mirror my own personal tastes.

One night, after the store had closed and we were cleaning up, I noticed that the cassette that had been repeating all evening had no less that three R.E.M. songs.

"Whoever puts together these tapes must really love R.E.M." I said to my manager.

He clearly wasn't at all a music fan, as he responded, "Uh, who?  Oh, is this them?"

He listened for another 10 seconds or so, to a song he had to have heard dozens of times over the course of the last work week.

Then he gave his "Dismissive One Sentence Review."

"This singer is kinda whiny."

It was never going to work between me and The Gap, nope.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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