Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spa music

I belong to a pretty fancy gym here in DC -- perhaps fancier, even, then the Academia Reebok, the beautiful-people-gathering-place-slash-gym that I belonged to in Sao Paulo, which, at time, blew my mind with its fanciness. My DC gym is fancier in terms of newness of equipment, trendiness of classes offered (ex: Budokon and "Group Centergy"), and quality of free beauty products available in the locker room. But really, no gym could top the Academia Reebok when it comes to ratio of beautiful people: regular people, or for that matter, the ratio of fake boobs: regular boobs. But that's another story.

So here's my question: why does my fancy gym insist on playing creepy, new-age music in the locker room/shower area all the time? I mean, I get it -- the gym is trying to cultivate a "spa" atmosphere and therefore it must play "spa" music. And don't get me wrong, I could get behind hearing some quiet strings and maybe even some Celtic flutes while I'm changing into my work clothes. But the music that I hear in the dressing room isn't calming -- it's crazy.

I've managed to identify some sub-genres of the spa music I've heard in the locker room so far:

1. Wailing Celtic women (<-- personal favorite)
2. Howling wolves
3. The tribal council music from Survivor
4. Wailing ghosts (possibly Celtic)
5. Traditional aboriginal music set to synethesizers (<-- offensive)
6. Traditional Native American music set to synthesizers (<-- also offensive)
7. Sad flutes
8. Whale calls
9. Dolphin calls
10. Rain-forest water drippings set to synthesizers

I take particular umbrage to the spa music that expropriates some sort of traditional tribal chant and jazzes it up in a studio to make it more palatable to the spa-going crowd. It kinda ticks me off. In fact, while reflecting on the offensiveness of such culturally insensitive locker room music, I sometimes find myself dabbing on mascara aggressively, and consequently poking myself in the eye with the wand, which does nothing to help me cultivate a peaceful state of mind.

I guess the point is that the music my gym plays is either so distractingly silly (see wolf music, above) or offensive (tribal chants) or annoying (dolphin calls) that it defeats what I imagine to be the purpose of playing it, which is presumably to help us gym patrons to relax a little bit after our workouts. But really, Lord knows it's going to take more than a couple of pan flutes to help D.C. women relax, so, no harm, no foul.


  1. I trust that Hibernian songbird Enya features on the locker-room playlist. Can't beat Orinoco Flow for a little relaxin'!

  2. I freakin love this blog. It's been my fave since day one. Is it weird that I would like to live at a nice gym (minus the whale cries)? At Equinox in LA there's a new group class called the "Model Workout: Everyone can look like a model" or something like that. I want that!!! I also want to firmly believe that I could follow the Jersey Shore motto "gym, tan, laundry." (I don't even have access to the show...I've just heard.)