The USF Cafeteria’s Musical Melting Pot

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Ranging from current pop songs to classic oldies and even Broadway favorites, the cafeteria serves up a jambalaya of music from opening until closing. You’ll rarely catch anything but low-key acoustic or outdated 90’s band songs playing in the morning, almost as if they want to calm students down from the “I have a half hour to study” frenzy that follows a night of anything-but-studying. The same goes for after 7:30 p.m., although the soft sounds act more as a congratulatory relaxing mechanism for making it through the day without imploding. The time in between, however, depends on who exactly acts as the “great music hand” for the day, which means that on any given day, caf-goers can experience any number of musical genres.

Wednesday’s playlist mixed up many genres, playing everyone from Mary J. Blige to Toni Basil, but consisted mainly of recognizable yet unnameable 90’s songs sung by confused guys with guitars. The AM songs cast a more laid-back attitude across the almost empty caf, but as more starving students filed into the building searching for anything and everything to eat, the music tempo increased while the singers grew slightly less angsty. The Shins-meet-Beach Boys bands, singing songs about every brand of regret died out in favor of annoyingly happy yet irrevocably catchy tunes such as “Ruby Tuesday” and “Be My Woman.” To my somewhat subdued content, John Lennon made a few appearances, as did Sir Elton John, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. However, it was good ol’ Rod Stewart’s live version of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” that spread the head-bobbing and foot-tapping around the caf, which not only calls into question the musical tastes of every single USF student but also why Stewart thinks that performing that song live could be permissible under any circumstance.

Thursday broke all preconceived notions, not only about the caf music but music playlists in general. Gone was the mix of indie/rock, R&B/soul and pop that colored yesterday, and what took its place constituted a single genre that some young adults agree should have been left in the decade that it originated in. Michael Jackson – legend. U2 – legends who managed to still be alive. Prince – crazy vocals, despite negative points for being not-Michael Jackson. Aerosmith – more known for Steven Tyler than actual music, but still enjoyable. Bon Jovi – quotable and thus still relevant. Journey – producers of the catchiest price of music to ever hit airwaves. Bangles – emotional girls who can still throw a punch. RUN DMC, Duran Duran, George Michael – all exceptional musicians that ruled the 80’s with fire in their veins and some with mullets on their heads. Spend enough time in the caf on Thursdays and you might just grow one yourself. No offense to any 80’s lovers, but a full day of nonstop tribute can really wear on the ears of an individual not accustomed to the forty thousand beats per song.

Despite any good intentions by the caf employees to enhance the dining experience, the entire existence of a soundtrack to breakfast, lunch and dinner is undermined by the fact that one needs to be at the grill or burrito station to even hear the musical selections. Suggestion: hook up the speakers throughout the caf so that all students can partake in the wonder that is twelve straight hours of 80’s tunes. After all, a student body that endures musical malpractice together stays together – and might even come to appreciate the unique samples that the USF cafeteria serves up.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian

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