Next on the list of catch all job-descriptions that sound fancy but do next to nothing is the stylist. There are the fashion stylists, who can tell you what not to wear just as easily as the hobo on the bus, albeit with more sarcasm. Then there’s food stylists, whose most brain-wrenching task is figuring out how to make the milk look more “milky” (hint: it’s chalk), or even the personal stylist who will do all of your shopping for you.
Now enter the music stylist. Yes, that’s right … music, because clearly people are too
lazy busy with their fast-paced lives to actually listen to music to see if they like it.
Their job description being originally created by businesses and restaurants looking for that just-so ambiance, music stylists are now being hired by the rich folk. They’ll come into your home, look at your décor, photos, and sometimes current taste in music to determine what music would fit your mood and lifestyle.
Take for example, Joe Wagner, 50, a commercial real estate developer and investor who was recently interviewed by the New York Times. Wagner hired a stylist to create music for his each of his two houses. 48 hours of music later, Wagner had in his hands playlists to fit each residence, times of day, and moods.
“I love that I don’t have to think about what to put on. It’s already done for me,” he said.
So if your busy lifestyle makes it necessary to use others to “broaden the scope of your music, keep you current, contemporary, find the obscure, and blend it all together,” there’s Audiostiles, one of the premier stylist companies. Just fill out their online questionnaire, which includes questions such as “What are some of your favorite songs to listen to when no one else is around (You can tell us. We won't tell, even if it's disco, 80's or really cheesy pop)” hit enter, and they’ll do the rest.
For a fee, of course. Musical styling isn’t cheap. Audiostiles charges $35 for every hour of music they compile, plus the cost of the music on iTunes. A bit pricey for something you could get Pandora to do for free, or from asking your friend what they’ve been listening to lately or (ha) glancing at Patrol.
Is there truly that much music that our culture just doesn’t have time to practice what’s left of our hunter-gatherer instinct? In an age where iTunes has over 8 million songs and every day a new indie band is born in a garage, the amount of content can seem like information overload.
But there’s more to music styling than just rich people too lazy to find good music. It’s also for anyone who’s ever wanted a soundtrack to their lives just like in the movies. You know, the sounds of sweeping strings when the girl pines as her lover rides off to fight for her, the angsty indie sounds of Juno, or any other occasion where the musical answer is usually Coldplay.
“It's my secret shame that I've always wanted my place to sound like one of those commercials where the woman in the gorgeous skirt is walking around in her vibrantly white house while her superhot husband is with the supercute kids who are playing on some sort of indoor swing,” commented Jessica in response to the story.
Musical styling is a little about snobbery, too. Music, much like your morning latte, gives others an avenue to judge who you are.
“It's really not shocking that since all other modes of self-expression—clothes, food, closet organizing, home decor—have been farmed out, music, the most judgey of all media, should follow,” said Jezebel. “We've all known the anxiety of seeing some judgmental hipster reach for our CD book or the shallow elation of having the same person ask casually what it is you're playing. Music conveys taste, sophistication, irony, confidence—this is not news.”
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