City Commissioner Steve Novick wants Portland to change its phone-hold music. So he made the city bureaus a playlist.
In this week's cover story on changes at City Hall, WW reported that Novick, who took office Jan. 2, has heard frustration from the Water Bureau's customer-service team. Some citizens have complained about the "Listen Local" program played by the city when customers are on hold.
Novick wants to scrap the local indie rock, instituted to great acclaim in 2010 by former Mayor Sam Adams, and replace it with songs custom-picked for each bureau.
Wednesday's story mentioned a couple of Novick's picks. But he also sent WW an email with a lengthy potential mixtape.
Here it is, bureau by bureau:
Water â âOnce in a lifetime,â Talking Heads (many references to water); maybe âSons and Daughtersâ by the Decemberists; âWaterfallsâ by TLC Fire â âWe didnât start the fireâ by Billy Joel; âHang Fireâ by the Rolling Stones; Alicia Keys, âGirl on Fireâ Police â âI Fought the Lawâ (Clash version) Planning and Sustainability â Joni Mitchellâs âPaved Paradiseâ song; Pretenders, âMy city was goneâ Auditor â âEvery breath you takeâ by The Police Transportation â pretty much anything by Springsteen; âSomething happened to me yesterdayâ by the Stones, because of Mickâs odd reference to bike safety at the end; âGet up and goâ by the Go-Gos Parks â âStrawberry Fieldsâ BES â Theme to The Honeymooners (because of Ed Norton who worked in the sewers) Housing â âGimme Shelterâ by the Stones; âShelter from the Stormâ by Dylan BOEC â âCall meâ by Blondie
By comparison, the current "Listen Local" program that plays on all city hold lines consists of 15 Portland bands. Local soundtrack company Rumblefish, which curates the "Listen Local" playlist, says the following artists are now in rotation:
Will WestPhillip Emilio BakerBarry BrusseauKeegan SmithOtis HeatTu FawningNormanDr. TheopolisApollo Chamber EnsembleTom GrantBlue CranesScrambled ApePortland Youth PhilharmonicThe Harvey GirlsMotaz
So there's certainly a contrast.
For what it's worth, that "Paved Paradise" song Novick mentions is Joni Mitchell's mournfully chipper "Big Yellow Taxi." It could also be utilized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bureau of Environmental Services.
(Plus, Portland is the rare city that actually has a tree museum.)