Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Well-known Mexican musical artist

We went out to lunch today at Chipotle, since Mitch's business card got picked out of their giant burrito, or whatever it was. I'd link to their website, at, but I'm not going to subject you to it--it's a candidate for Web Sites That Suck. Go there if you want to torture yourself. See if you can find their menu.

Anyway, we went there. It's one of these faux-Mexican places with the loud, blasting music to get you out of there quickly--it's like Qdoba, if you've ever been there. I'm sure they've got a whole Pepsi-Coke rivalry going on, but whatever.

ANYWAY, we went to Chipotle, and the music is blasting away. It's a lot of South-of-the-Border type stuff, all in Spanish, all blasting away. It's pretty much just background, but very, very loud background, loud enough so that I couldn't really hear what anybody was saying--for example, the people behind the counter who were taking orders. I guessed right, fortunately.

So we're sitting there eating, when I hear a very familiar-sounding riff. "That sounds," I thought to myself between bites of not-nearly-spicy-enough food, "like a uke." With all the people yelling to be heard over the music, and the more-contemplative volume of this particular song, it was hard to hear. "Couldn't be," I said to myself. The tune itself melted in and out of the background noise, very delicately picked.

"No, it is!" I thought. "That's well-known Mexican musical artist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole!"

I don't mind hearing the updated Hawaii '78. But in a Mexican restaurant? I didn't know whether to laugh or to despair. Was it just, as I cynically thought, that the people who pick the music for this joint were thinking "Pffft, who'll know? It's not English, that's all that matters!" Or is it that they were going for a more multiculti vibe?

It was weird. Not that anybody was listening, anyway.


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