From Glasgow to Gothenburg to Gainesville, Florida, well-meaning coffee professionals around the world are committing the same aural error: playing the music of Tom Waits to a captive audience of cafe-goers.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any beef with Tom Waits per se. Actually that’s not true; I personally can’t stand the music of Tom Waits. But that’s not the point of this editorial listicle. The point is, cafe music is a precious and important thing, and when you play the grating, miserable caterwauling of a human Michigan J. Frog to your patrons, you do each and every one of them a disservice.
You are totally allowed to be as into Tom Waits as you want, you mysterious, likely chain-smoking, almost certainly 20-something cipher of smoldering intensity, you. You just shouldn’t make me listen to it in your cafe. It’s enough already. Here are 10 reasons why.
10. Because I can’t with the Tom Waits.
9. Because this cafe is not a Charles Bukowski novel. It’s not even a bar.
8. Because the music of Tom Waits sounds really unpleasant and awkward when played at full volume in a public place.
7. Because knowing about certain semi-obscure-but-honestly-not-really-that-obscure musical tropes and having that knowledge earn you cool points is inherently an uncool paradigm.
6. Because neither you nor he is a 19th century carnival barker.
5. Because I’m just trying to like, hang out here, and you’re making it weird.
4. Because your cafe is not a morbid, sinister nightmare.
3. Because the aural environment of a public place is a fragile thing, and not intended for you to work out your drifting angst and dark ennui.
2. Because we are all just space dust, hurtling towards the same unknown fate, so why not listen to something that isn’t awful along the way? Especially if you’re gonna make other people listen, too.
1. Because it’s enough already.
TL;DR please reconsider playing Tom Waits in your cafe. Thank you.