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Music by VICE

What Song Is That?

We asked people what music they were playing at work.

by David Allegretti
Aug 25 2014, 1:13am

Photos by David Allegretti

Last week Pitchfork published their 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far. Topping the list was Kanye West with 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city came in at second and records by Deerhunter, Frank Ocean, and Beach House rounded out the top five.

That’s cool. They’re all good records but are they ones that Mrs. Johnson down at the local bakery is going to be digging? We don’t imagine her twerking to Kendrick’s “Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe”. Then again, she could be. The point is that the best music of the decade is a subjective choice and not everybody is going to be in with what’s hip, swaggy or whatever Pitchfork is spruiking this week or decade.

Music purists may snicker at Chad Kroeger’s awesome Paddle Pop Lion mane but this doesn’t change the fact that Nickelback have fans, the same fans who may be providing you with groceries, beers or a 1.5GB total data phone plan.

With this in mind I headed out in Melbourne to find out what people listen to at their place of work with the simple question of “What song is that?”

Peter, 57, Folino’s Quality Meats, Reservoir

Noisey: What song is that?

Peter: It’s a commercial (laughs).

What is your favourite song of all time?

Oh mate, there are so many. It’s hard to pick it out of the blue. I’ll have to go for Roy Orbison as an artist, he’s an oldie.

What’s your opinion on Kanye West?

Is she a singer?

He’s a singer.

I’ve never heard of him. Not my type of music I suppose.

Any music you don’t like?

I don’t like the head banging music. I reckon it gives you a headache. I like all the old classics, 50s 60s 70s 80s even 90s, they’re good to listen to.

Mohammad, 21, Virgin Mobile, Broadmeadows

Noisey: What song is that?

Mohammad: “Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi.

Do you like it?

Yes I love it.

What’s your favourite song of all time?

“Immortal” by Kid Cudi. He’s speaking about his experiences and I feel like I’ve experienced things similar. I also really like “Beyond the Sea” by Charles Trenet.

What do you think of Kendrick Lamar?

I really like him. I feel like when he raps he’s not just spitting shit into the mic. You know he’s not going on about his money and wealth but he’s speaking about his experiences and that’s evident in his music. Especially in his latest album good kid, m.A.A.d city – I really love that album.

Dee, 27, Ice, Broadmeadows

Noisey: What song is that?

Dee: Good question! I think it’s called “I’m Coming Home” but I don’t know who the artist is.

Do you like it?

I do, it’s a bit different. It’s not something I’d listen to in the car but at work why not?

What’s something that you would play in your car?

“Happy “by Pharrell Williams. It makes me really motivated.

And happy?

Yeah, when I’m having a bad day I put that song on and I’m happy. (laughs)

What’s your opinion on Kanye West?

It’s mixed. I like him but I don’t at the same time. I think he’s overrated. His songs aren’t as good as they used to be and his personality is just ruining him.

Nicole, 31, Hair It Iz, Craigieburn

Noisey: What song is that?

Nicole: Green Day I think.

Do you like it?

I don’t mind Green Day, yeah.

Favourite song of all time?

It would have to be Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You”. It was my wedding song.

What’s your opinion on Kanye West?

I don’t like his music.

He recently topped Pitchfork’s '100 Best Albums of the Decade'. Do you think that’s deserved?


Who would you have put in his place?

I’d probably have to say I love his song “It’s My Birthday”.

Is there any ong or artist you absolutely cannot stand?

Miley Cyrus. I don’t like the image she’s putting out to a younger generation who are copying her.

Ethan, 22, Next Frame DVD, South Morang

Noisey: What song is that?

Ethan: I have no idea. (He later told us that it was “Feel the Love” by Rudimental)

Do you like it?

Not really.

Favourite artist of all time?

I’ll get shit for it but I’ll have to say John Farnham.

What do you think of Kanye West?

He’s just a bit of an idiot I think. He seems like a bit of a dickhead if I’m allowed to say that.

He’s just topped Pitchfork’s '100 Best Albums of the Decade', and second was Kendrick Lamar. What do you think of those two?

Who picked it is what I want to know. I don’t know how they could get chosen for that.

Most hated artist?

Pitbull and Kesha.

Amen brother.

TJ, 29, P & C Grocery, Epping

Noisey: What song is that?

TJ: Just Bollywood music.

Do you like it?

Yeah I do.

What is your favourite song?

I like Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” a lot. I try and listen to that song most of the time

What is your opinion on Kanye West?

What’s that?

He’s a rapper.

I haven’t heard a lot of him. I haven’t heard a lot of rap music actually.

Not a fan of rap?

I get really bored with it, which is very odd actually because most people do like rap music these days but I’m a little bit different.

Follow David on @davidallegretti

More reading:

Do Normal People Give a Shit About the BBC Sound Poll?

Do Pitchfork Music Festival Attendees Know the Pitchfork Scores of Their Favourite Bands?

The Worst Things That Kanye Has Ever Done

Kendrick Lamar
kanye west
Noisey Blog
Kid Cudi