Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meijer and the battle of the bands

the age-old dilemma is this: Costco allows me to buy in bulk and store food/toiletries for a few months, but it's soooo easy to spend $400 at Costco, then get home and realize you have to go to Meijer to go grocery shopping!

if grocery stores were rock bands, then Meijer and Costco would be the only "artists" that would get any play time on my ipod. granted, they are completely different music genres, but you can't always listen to alternative/techno 80's music, occasionally you need some old school rock...from the 80's.

side note: I'm not exactly an expert on the whole rock music scene. only went to one concert during my six years of living in Colorado--you know, home of the Red Rocks Amphitheater, where u2's Sunday Bloody Sunday music video was taped. well, the Howard Jones concert (pathetic?) I went to was more than memorable for me. my hair was lit on fire by a drunk friend. I use that word loosely. it was a little difficult to have symmetrical big 80's hair after that, and gather the courage to go to another concert.

so I will be using all my MTV (circa 1983-1989) acquired knowledge to make this post genuine. here's to hoping you care about genuine...

there is definitely an old school rock 'n' roll vibe at Costco, you've felt it right? first, you have to flash your backstage pass (membership card) at the massive entry's bouncer in order to get into the venue: makes me feel giddy with special-ness. once inside Costco, there are huge flat screens of entertainment, the floors are industrial cement, there are wafts of pizza and churros in the air, leather lounge chairs and couches (some with massage capabilities), glass cases of rockin' diamond and gold "bling," and the venue's ceilings are gi-normous, even by gi-normous standards. and then there are the Costco roadies.

the roadies at Costco don't wear red (stretched out or otherwise) golf shirts, they don't wear any type of uniform dictated by "The &%@# Man!" Costco roadies wear the international uniform of rock--jeans and t-shirt. even their id tags are stylin', hanging from a lanyard around their neck, clipped on their crew collar or, my personal favorite, on their jeans' belt loop, old school-like.

the grunge looking, working-to-pay-for-pizza-and-beer roadies walk around the store chill-axing in their orange, glow-in-the-dark safety vests. they hang out at the front of the venue, waiting for a call on the walkie-talkie to heft a Nordic Track treadmill into a waiting van. dude...what an awesome career!

and then there's Meijer. no special back stage pass to enter Meijer! Meijer is a free for all mosh pit, they let anyone in. in fact the more crazy your hair, piercings, tattoos and personality the better! totally rad, man. ceilings aren't quite as gi-normous as Costco, but they are swathed in not-too-white paint, and sport mod, domed, tinted plasti-glass cameras that hang from the ceiling, similar to my favorite college dance club--Plastique! no huge flat screen entertainment as you walk in, Meijer offers several sleek small flat screens throughout the store, showing previews for failing network television shows and the occasional Meijer ad. yeah, blatant 80's consumerism at it's best.

the floors aren't the industrial coolness of cement, just beige flecked linoleum with scuff marks from devoted groupies looking for a deal on potato chips. Meijer doesn't have roadies per se, more like red uniformed Devo-esque worker drones, (Cool-Whip, it good!). Meijer doesn't smell like pizza and churros, but there is an ever-present contemporary smell (off-gassing?)of plastic and metal. however, on a bad winter day the store does take on a complex gut-wrenching smell of mud, wet dog and open 24 hours-a-day body odor. Meijer's cases of "bling" are definitely reminiscent of the alternative rock bands make-up: purple/pink jewel tones surrounded by curious shapes of silvery metal.

so in my little world of grocery bands, do I prefer one group over another? not really. I guess it boils down to this: whether Meijer or Costco, the heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating.

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