#1
Hey guys, I'm looking for some help.
My friend and I have landed a little deal with quite a few starbucks in southern maine, and we're going to be allowed to play there.

My question is: What songs are appropriate for that environment?
I'm used to a lot of punk rock stuff, but I do listen to acoustic/slower stuff too, and I need some help picking out songs.

Any suggestions are helpful.

I play acoustic and sing,
my friend plays piano and sings (she's female, I should probably mention that)

So far we have a few songs:
Amazing: Kanye West
Three cheers for five years: Mayday Parade
White Horse: Taylor Swift
An acoustic remix of savior: Rise against (rewrote the lead for piano and slowed it down, I love it.)
Heartless: Kanye West
How to save a life: The Fray
She is: The Fray
and some other pop songs she told me to learn the chords to never learned the names of them.

Anyways, thanks in advance to any and all suggestions.
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#2
Play death metal. I heard coffee lovers also love death metal.

No.

To be honest though, and as you've said yourself, I almost feel like using pop tunes wouldn't get you any second dates at these playes. I don't know perhaps I'm wrong. But I'm part of a Jazz trio (I'm on the double bass) With a friend on kit and another on various guitars. On occasion either me or the guitarist will drop our instrument for a piano. And it's done well for us for the past year. All you need to know is how to read chord charts, and if you can improv solo, even better. That way you and your friend can play all these jazz standards and just trade fourths. (One solos, the other plays the chords, swap until bored.) But it's your ball park man. Other way to go is of course, play the top forty, and some old shit for the parent coffee drinkers.
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#3
Well if you primarily like punk rock but obviously don't want to offend the customers i recomend some Sundowner (Chris from the Lawrence Arms) and Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) you may even get away with some acoustic Against me! stuff if you choose wisely.
Edit: Matt Skiba and Dan Adriano (Alkaline Trio) also have some fairly inoffencive acoustic songs.
Dropkick Murphys have some old folk acoustic covers and originals.
Also obviously Bob Dylan.. every one knows his songs and theres a million to choose from.
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#4
maybe a nirvana acoustic
like about a girl

spice it up, no one wants to here acoustic versions of pop songs all the time
#5
I've been doing this monthly for about a year now. Experience has shown that pop songs work best at keeping the listeners interested. Depends on the clientele of the places you'll be playing though. But for the crowd I play for Dylan, Beatles, Petty, Mellencamp and Eagles go over well. Specific songs that I've found that go over well are: Happy Together (Turtles), Sweet Caroline, Viva La Vida, Brown Eyed Girl. I'm sure you can tell that the age of people at my coffee shop are 40-50. Good luck!
#6
good suggestions above. indie music, your own rendition of beatles covers, jazz, eclectic stuff from the 70s and 80s, college radio hits from the 90s. spend time in some of the starbucks you'll be playing in - look at the people, pay attention to the types of people they are, the music that plays at the starbucks on CDs, ask the employees. you know what? once i heard a solo guy with a huge conga do "i think i love you" by the partridge family and bring the house down at a coffee house type show. he did it so interestingly that at first no one could tell what song it was.

here are the DVDs they rotate at starbucks
http://www.starbucksstore.com/products/shprodli.asp?DeptNo=8100&ClassNo=0351
they usually play the CDs because they want to sell 'em - and the people who sit there are the ones who will ejjoy sitting while this music is played.
#7
Wow playing at a Starbucks? I thought they were too oober stuck-up to allow something like that to happen, but I guess I was wrong. Though they probably want you to play something that doesn't piss off their customers but is just nice enough to have in the background and not distract anyone.....damn corporations!
#8
thanks for all the suggestions guys, I'm gonna try out quite a few of them.
What about turning heavier songs and stuff into acoustics? I love a little challenge, got any suggestions for stuff like that?
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#9
if you're playing mayday parade i'd say "sun" by daphne loves derby, "don't be so hard" by the audition, and maybe "los angeles" by the audition. all 3 are pretty easy to get down, and could be really cool with an acoustic / piano combination.
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#10
Quote by LifeIsABullet16
if you're playing mayday parade i'd say "sun" by daphne loves derby, "don't be so hard" by the audition, and maybe "los angeles" by the audition. all 3 are pretty easy to get down, and could be really cool with an acoustic / piano combination.


I absolutely love sun by daphne loves derby, and the other three i've heard once or twice, but I'm not huge on Mayday parade. Just that song. I'll check out those though, thanks.
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Dear Scribbllez I Googled it my good sir,
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#11
i'm a huge mayday parade and audition fan, so when i saw the mayday parade song i immediately thought of the "punk goes acoustic 2" cd. some great stuff on there! if you haven't listened through that cd you might want to, a few of the songs are practically made for coffee houses
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#12
do you have any reason to believe your audience wants to hear heavier songs? i've never gotten that impression at any coffee house, whether indie or starbucks. playing a show like this is about fitting the venue, pleasing the audience, selling your cds and/or growing your mailing list and being called back to play again. it's sort of like getting paid to play covers in a bar. i may want to play violent death metal or dead kennedys, but not surprisingly the venue would like to make their customers stay, be happy and buy drinks. and their customers would rather hear "born to be wild" or "breaking the law" than what i'd prefer to play.

people in coffee houses - coffee shops are like denny's, and focus on food, coffee houses focus on coffee and letting people hang out - tend to want to focus on their computers, their conversations and a sort of mellow eclectic hanging-out vibe. there's always a chance that your audience will want to hear heavier songs, but if they start looking uncomfortable or leaving, i'd suggest the rest of the set be about what the listeners like.

Quote by Scribbllez
thanks for all the suggestions guys, I'm gonna try out quite a few of them.
What about turning heavier songs and stuff into acoustics? I love a little challenge, got any suggestions for stuff like that?
#13
Just a few good acoustic songs. Me and my friend (a girl) covered some of them at a local coffee shop.
"Almost Lover" ~ A Fine Frenzy
"Bitter Heart" ~ Zee Avi
"Even Now" ~ Dashboard Confessional
"We're Going To Be Friends" ~ The White Stripes
"Shankill Butchers" ~ The Decemberists
#15
Quote by patticake
do you have any reason to believe your audience wants to hear heavier songs? i've never gotten that impression at any coffee house, whether indie or starbucks. playing a show like this is about fitting the venue, pleasing the audience, selling your cds and/or growing your mailing list and being called back to play again. it's sort of like getting paid to play covers in a bar. i may want to play violent death metal or dead kennedys, but not surprisingly the venue would like to make their customers stay, be happy and buy drinks. and their customers would rather hear "born to be wild" or "breaking the law" than what i'd prefer to play.

people in coffee houses - coffee shops are like denny's, and focus on food, coffee houses focus on coffee and letting people hang out - tend to want to focus on their computers, their conversations and a sort of mellow eclectic hanging-out vibe. there's always a chance that your audience will want to hear heavier songs, but if they start looking uncomfortable or leaving, i'd suggest the rest of the set be about what the listeners like.


By playing heavier songs, I mean taking a song meant to be heavy, and trimming it down into an easier acoustic version. Kind of like Rise Against does with many of their songs. (Example: Prayer of the refugee, listen to original, then acoustic. The acoustic's way lighter)
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Dear Scribbllez I Googled it my good sir,
A hearty lol it did stir.


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#17
The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Nirvana acoustic songs, Jack Johnson....

I play an acoustic version of Basket Case every now and then. Kinda funny really.
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#18
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That's seriously good.


These guys are amazing. I found them a week ago. The Sound of Music cover they do is especially good.

TS, here's another song you can try... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEEVZ0cZExA

I don't especially care for the version with Kanye and Keri Hilson, but this one's really good, imo. Now if only his guitar were any good...
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#19
Quote by captivate
These guys are amazing. I found them a week ago. The Sound of Music cover they do is especially good.

TS, here's another song you can try... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEEVZ0cZExA

I don't especially care for the version with Kanye and Keri Hilson, but this one's really good, imo. Now if only his guitar were any good...


I agree with the dude you quoted, they're sick,
and that knock you down cover is pretty sweet, but I think it'd be better if the dude either didn't sing, or sang lower >_>. Thanks though, I'll try working with it.
Quote by eterom11
Yes, it is then!

You are truly a god among men.


Quote by Pancakehead
Dear Scribbllez I Googled it my good sir,
A hearty lol it did stir.


Ending Autumn