Groovin’ to R-Stew in LA’s Hippest Enclave

So, I’m in one of my favorite coffee haunts — Silverlake Coffee — doing some work and hanging out, as I often do. I’m a cheap bastard so I tend to get an iced tea (lots of caffeine, and among the least expensive drinks on the menu), do my work, and grab a dollar refill on the way out. They also have free wi-fi and don’t quibble about the fact that I spend three to five hours there and spend a grand total of three dollars and fifty cents. I try to tip well. I often fail. I’m sorry, Silverlake Coffee.

Here’s the odd thing about Silverlake Coffee, though, and I in no way mean this as a slight: The music. Right now I’m listening to Van Morrison. Earlier it was Rod Stewart. Rod Stewart! “Forever Young!” Before I moved to LA, I assumed all the coffeeshops would be blaring the hippest new music that you never heard of. Hey, that’s how it was when I lived in Boston. It was also freezing cold all the time, which is why I left.

But yeah, here I am listening to soft rock. It’s kinda cool in a weird dadaesque, juxtapositionish way, like wearing a tailored suit in a homeless shelter, or washing your hair with dish soap, or eating a vegetarian hot dog.

So: Do you care about the music your favorite coffeeshop plays? Or do you just stick headphones in your ears and turn up your own music, like the guy at the next table I’m silently making fun of? Hey! Hipster at the next table! Trim your damn beard! You look like Osama bin Amish!

As you can see, it’s a slow week for me.

PS: While I was writing this they played Rod Stewart again. “Maggie May” this time, which you gotta admit is a pretty good song.

10 Replies to “Groovin’ to R-Stew in LA’s Hippest Enclave”

  1. I tend to block out the music. Actually my favorite coffee shop, Monrovia Coffee Company gives you free wi-fi and no music. So I guess I should change it to I opt for no music places first.

  2. dude! You’re getting a deal! don’t complain… the sun shines here.
    Just kidding.
    Make friends with the coffee shop manager and petition for different music! The kind you like… or maybe they are actually playing Rod Stewart to annoy you!

  3. Hey, I got no qualms with the former lead singer of The Faces. I just thought the contrast was notable.

    Well, OK. Maybe I have a little problem with R-Stew. But they also played Creedence! Their version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine kicks ass.

  4. Someone wrote a post here recently about working in coffee houses, and the subject of music came up. I have not been able to work in these places due to both the volume (too loud for me to tune out) and type of music they play. A lot of them inexplicably play classic rock and oldies. While there are many great songs in this category, it seems incongruent to play them in a coffee haunt that probably skews to a much younger demo. If it’s an effort to be hip, it falls flat.

  5. Forget the myths – Rod The Mod is no different now to what he was in the 70s – BRILLIANT!

    Not that you’d catch me in bland, souless coffee shops.

  6. I don’t care what they play, but I do care how loudly they play it. I had to stop going to Groundwork in the Arts District (now Novel) because they used to blow the roof off the place with their stereo even at 10 in the morning. I love me some loud, obnoxious music, but there’s a time and a place, ya know?

  7. Dude, that music selection sound EPIC. I love when places play stuff that’s just out of style to be jarring, and still good enough to make you surprised you’re actually enjoying it. Like the 7-11 in Highland Park that only plays classic rock. Have you found that one yet?

  8. I am currently at a homeless shelter (as an employee, not client) and I can see at least 5 guys (clients) in suites. Homeless shelters get a lot of used clothing and for some reason, we get a loke of very old (1970’s and 80’s) dress clothing.

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