If you were hoping to hear “Kid A” the next time you decided to order one of Chipotle’s signature massive burritos, we’re sorry to crush your dreams. Chipotle has essentially banned all Radiohead, as well as lead singer Thom Yorke’s solo work, from being played in any of the chain’s locations worldwide.
Why, you ask? Simply because the “texture of sound” just doesn’t mesh with the interior design of the chain. According to Christopher Golub, in an interview with Westword,”The high, tenuous yowl of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wreaks havoc with the steel and concrete of a Chipotle buildout.”
Just incase you needed further explanation, Golub goes on to not so eloquently justify his decision. “You know that if you go into a store, you’ve got the small, hard surfaces. You’ve got concrete floors, a lot of windows, hard walls and a lot of cooking gear and tile. So that doesn’t work with certain songs.” Clearly.
So who exactly is this Christopher Golub? Well, he is the man whom Chipotle tapped to be their official sound programmer (yes, that’s a job), a.k.a the dude that makes the in-store playlist. He puts together a playlist of around 500 songs that remain in stores for no longer than a month—the tracks include “far-out stoner radio and hip DJ sets, a brainy mix of new indie artists, alternative-radio favorites and international jams.” He even owns a company, named Studio Orca, that creates “music identities” for companies. He’ll even be DJing at Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival in Denver, spinning his restaurant programming inbetween sets.
This “aural experience,” as Golub prefers to call it, is exactly the same at every Chipotle, from middle-of-nowhere Kansas to the bustling streets of London. Therefore, no matter where you go, you will never hear “Creep” while demolishing a burrito bowl. Which we think is perfectly ludicrous. There are far worse artists worth banning for their “texture of sound.” We’re pretty sure Justin Bieber’s pre-pubescent pitchy pop songs clash with everything in the restaurant, from the cement floors to the corn salsa to the tortillas. We’d take our carne asada burrito with a side of wailing Thom Yorke over Bieber any day.