What Coffee Shops Should Play

Well, I survived. Since May 2014 I have

  • Graduated from college and realized “impostor syndrome” is actually a thing.
  • Started a new job–this meant a LOT of new preps, new cultures of a new campus, grant-writing, paper-writing, etc.
  • Moved. Also, spent at least 4 months in a location other than the one housing my external hard-drive (i.e., a lot of travel).
  • Had my car recalled…again.
  • Attempted to restructure my social life, to varying degrees of success.
  • Had various romantic encounters eerily like Bridget Jones in her diary.

It’s honestly amazing to me that after all of this I’m not a chain-smoking nut job.

As I’ve mentioned before, I spend a lot of time and money in coffee shops. I’ve even held office hours in coffee shops. When I’m stressed, I’ll spend even more time and money in coffee shops. I became hooked on this environment when I was a grad student in Athens. Athens has an AMAZING coffee house scene. And the thing that I love most about the coffee shops is that they don’t seem like coffee shops. They’re all this mix of lending-library/study-hall/bar/lounge/restaurant. There are no arrays of flavored syrups behind the bar like there are at Starbucks; these places serve actual coffee. These places don’t even HAVE coffee cake; instead, your options are savory scones and locally-made gelato. Oh, and at least once a week you can expect open mic nights or trivia battles or even a LIVE BAND!

There’s one coffee shop in my current town. Take that back. There are two. They are within a mile of each other and are owned and operated by the same people. So I’m calling it one place. It’s a decent coffee house. Above average coffee, true sense of community, great food, part of the town. There are two areas in which they are seriously lacking: (1) there’s no central air in one of the main seating areas (are you KIDDING me?!) and (2) the music.

As in most coffee shops that aren’t national chains, the music that plays depends completely upon the barista. But here…it’s like pandora stations. Depending upon the shift you may only hear Jim Croce and company OR you may only hear the one hit wonders of the 1980s OR you may hear bluegrass. Occasionally, some barista who’s clearly trying too desperately to fit in to the point you want to ostracize them will play nothing but Ray Lamontagne. But you will only hear one genre during your entire stay. The concept of a “mix tape” is completely foreign.

So, as a special version of the songs of the month, I present to you “Songs I’ve Never Heard in a Coffee Shop But Totally Should” by TTENG:

  1. Sex, the 1975
  2. The Weight, the Band
  3. Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits
  4. All Along the Watchtower, Bob Dylan
  5. Bette Davis Eyes, Brandon Flowers
  6. Away From the Numbers, The Jam
  7. Disorder, Joy Division
  8. Glory, Liz Phair
  9. In the Ghetto, Elvis Presley
  10. Angel of the Morning, the Pretenders
  11. Make Up, Lou Reed
  12. The Only Living Boy in New York, Simon & Garnfunkel
  13. Dear Prudence, Siouxie and the Banshees
  14. Because the Night, Patti Smith
  15. Gloria, Them
  16. Reap What You Sow, The Tiger Lillies
  17. Jolene, Rhonda Vincent
  18. Don’t Let Us Get Sick, Warren Zevon
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