Jefferson Starbucks. Huh.
March 4, 2005 1:49 PM   Subscribe

We Built This Starbucks on Heart and Soul! [MP3] The scene: The Starbucks Licensed Stores Awards ceremony, a celebratory/motivational leadership conference, held this evening in the fourth-floor ballroom of the Washington State Convention Center ... But things took a turn for the surreal when the emcee announced "something special for you all--Jefferson Starbucks!" after which the hydraulic stage rotated to reveal a pretend band comprised of the upper-management folk the audience had heard speak earlier in the evening. More in the Thursday wrap-up of The Stranger's "Last Days" column.
posted by pfafflin (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Great. Thanks. Now I'll have that cursed song going through my mind the rest of the day.
posted by grateful at 2:05 PM on March 4, 2005

Buddy, that is so not the best of the web.
posted by Dr. Boom at 2:18 PM on March 4, 2005

The Onion comes to life!
posted by Typographica at 2:19 PM on March 4, 2005

posted by BobFrapples at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2005

They built Starbucks on heart and soul? I guess that explains the pain I feel.
posted by underer at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2005

Mr. Boom -- I posted the link cos I think it's interesting to see how far corporations will go to "connect" with its employees.

A Buddyette.
posted by pfafflin at 2:22 PM on March 4, 2005

This is really nothing new IMO.. all fortune 500 companies have "retreats" and "leadership conferences" where 9 times out of 10 upper management performs akin to stupid pet tricks to "bond" with the lowers..

nothing new here.. tho cute getup.
posted by cavalier at 2:26 PM on March 4, 2005

I take it back, the mp3 is back, please forgive my stock mefi cynicism!
posted by cavalier at 2:29 PM on March 4, 2005

ARGH replace 'back' with 'awesome'
posted by cavalier at 2:29 PM on March 4, 2005

A minor point, but We Built This City was recorded by Starship, not Jefferson Starship. They had to call themselves Starship, because Jefferson was evidently still under copyright. I wish I were kidding. I think I need to wash my ears out with soap now. Earworm, INCOMING!!!
posted by jonp72 at 2:39 PM on March 4, 2005

That is one of the most beautiful/awful things I've heard in ages. The weird helicopter report in the middle was genius. Lord, that's some good stuff.
posted by mathowie at 2:52 PM on March 4, 2005

God, I miss Simmons drums.

Sounds like someone's hitting a salad bowl with a Time Magazine.
posted by merlinmann at 2:57 PM on March 4, 2005

nothing new here

I beg to differ. Here, on one hand, you've got: a particularly prominent and pompous corporation. One of the world's foremost disseminators of insipid corporate newspeak (minimum-wage employees dubbed "partners," medium size referred to as "tall," tub of milkfat and high-fructose corn syrup referred to as "creme frappuccino," etc., ad. inf.). A company which has in some ways established the benchmark for shameless faux-countercultural posturing.

(I say this as a former barista who still enjoys the coffee and owns a red-and-yellow tie-dyed Starbucks t-shirt with the slogan "The Revolution Began 25 Years Ago" printed on it in faux-Fillmore-West-handbill font, which I've saved to show my grandchildren to silence them if they ever become enamoured of nostalgia for fin de siecle prosperity after Western civilization's total collapse.)

And then, on the other hand, you've got: Quite possibly the worst pop song of all time. A slick, trite, self-righteous slice of glossy, tuneless pap spat out upon a benumbed mid-'80s populace by a band that was once a creator of cutting-edge psychedelia.

And the best part is that all involved are so deeply deluded by their own bullshit that they have the audacity not just to play the resulting song once but to actually encode it on free giveaway CDs, whence to be spread the world over via internet.

The result is a perfect storm of corporate crap. The national anthem of a ruined civilization.

I will be saving this for my grandkids as well.

Thanks, pfafflin.
posted by gompa at 2:58 PM on March 4, 2005

Good fucking lord! That is the saddest thing I've ever heard.

If I sample it in a song - can I be sued?
posted by mildred-pitt at 3:00 PM on March 4, 2005

Sounds like someone's hitting a salad bowl with a Time Magazine.

And that is genius. The funniest, most perfect description of the '80s drum sound I've ever heard. Bravo!

posted by gompa at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2005

I am frightened yet intriqued by the xylophone player's plucky spririt. His playing speaks to me. It says: put the shotgun in your mouth and work it with your toe.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:22 PM on March 4, 2005

there is no xylophone.

made ya listen... again!
posted by quonsar at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2005

That is the most embarassing thing I've ever heard. I couldn't even get more than a minute into it before I had to turn it off.

Also, gompa's comment is genius.
posted by interrobang at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2005

I had to counteract with "Straight Outta Compton". Seems to have done the trick.

Can you imagine how unpleasant this must have been to be involved with at the 3:10 mark? When you realize that this Great Idea you'd been fermenting for probably months was simply not going over at all and yet an entire agonizing minute remains...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:39 PM on March 4, 2005

If you could see the expression that was just frozen on my face for the past five minutes. Like, horrified fascination, raised to a previously unexperienced power. Way to go, pfafflin.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2005

This is the sort of music that Lovecraftian creatures listen to in their other worlds.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:43 PM on March 4, 2005

Not 24 hours ago, I stumbled onto this and figured it couldn't get any worse any time soon. Then I come to MetaFilter.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:44 PM on March 4, 2005

Seriously, people, nuke'em from orbit. I don't even have to take off with you. This earth is hell.
posted by mr.marx at 3:52 PM on March 4, 2005

You're welcome, Gompa.

And thanks for putting into words why I found this so fascinating.
posted by pfafflin at 3:55 PM on March 4, 2005


Meanwhile, Starbucks still provides some of the highest paying no barrier for entry jobs in the United States.

The provide to part time and full time workers subsidized health insurance, paid vacation time, paid sick leave, stock options and a 401k... They even provide tution reimbursement program.

They were ranked the #2 large company to work for in the U.S. (behind Wegmans Grocery stores, another forward looking corporate entity) by Fortune Magazine.

According to this link...

Fortune reported in January that Starbucks pays the most common hourly job, "coordinator," $35,294 a year; the most common salaried position, store manager, receives $44,790 a year.

A randomly selected partner at a Starbucks in a suburb of Boston says she was recently hired at a rate of $8 per hour, which is $1.75 above that state’s minimum wage, and a partner at a Starbucks store in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco says the starting salary at his location is $8.62 an hour, which is slightly above the city’s minimum wage of $8.50 per hour.

Plus, they actually have pretty clean bathrooms..

gompa, you see the end of civilization, and I see the beginning of it. If 10% of the corporations in the world were as responsible forward thinking as Starbucks, we'd be a whole shitload better off.

Cheesy team building songs or not.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 4:25 PM on March 4, 2005

My parade has just been pissed on.

What a downer.
posted by interrobang at 4:32 PM on March 4, 2005

^^Way to live up to your name, fella.^^

Look, Mother Theresa could have recorded it and the lyrics gone "Someone's always for homeless waifs...someone's always comforting...lepers with no face!" and I'd still damn it to hell, good works aside.

PS. merlinmann, I love you. pfafflin, I both love and hate you.
posted by melissa may at 4:33 PM on March 4, 2005

Stop pissing on my punchlines, interrobang!
posted by melissa may at 4:34 PM on March 4, 2005

I can only think of Apple II Forever. Forget not the MP3.
posted by symphonik at 4:37 PM on March 4, 2005

I swear to god that thing never fucking ends.
posted by ColdChef at 4:38 PM on March 4, 2005

I didn't think it was possible to leech any more soul out of the already lifeless "We Built This City".

I was wrong.
posted by escapevelocity at 6:15 PM on March 4, 2005

once a creator of cutting-edge psychedelia.

more like major consumers of cutting-edge psychedelia.
posted by quonsar at 7:03 PM on March 4, 2005

You speak a hard truth, gompa. I'm adding you to my hall of faves. Keep on a'rockin.
posted by squirrel at 9:10 PM on March 4, 2005

That was simply the worst thing I have ever heard.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:38 PM on March 4, 2005

You know, I just wrote an extensive explanation, based on my personal experience of working for Starbucks for ten months or so in Toronto in 1996-97, of how far the actual fact of working for Starbucks is from all the glossy brochure crap PissOnYourParade mentions. But then it occurred to me that I didn't have much chance of reaching anyone who couldn't feel the wrongness of that terrible, terrible song on their skin like sulfuric acid, couldn't feel it burning, didn't look at the wounds that it left and despair (even if only for a moment) at the depths to which humanity has sunk under the weight of this mad demonic Acme-brand cartoon anvil of a corporate world order we've forged.

And as for the rest of the good people reading this thread, well, I didn't want to waste their time - they'd had "We Built This Starbucks On Heart and Soul" branded on their skulls for all eternity. They'd suffered enough already.

So I deleted it.
posted by gompa at 12:17 AM on March 5, 2005

That song honestly made my sphincter tighten a little. The anal one. Seriously. It actually happened.
posted by sklero at 2:14 AM on March 5, 2005

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