Bienvenidos and welcome to the blog of Manda Newlin, professional writer/copyeditor, amateur pop-culture quipper and perennial observer. I’m nuts about words, grammar, bookstores, foreign accents, DVR and iTunes. I enjoy one-on-one conversations, eavesdropping in coffee shops, learning other peoples’ life stories and discovering universal truths. Here’s what I know ….

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Hyatt's kinda mellow, but Radisson totally rocks ....

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced this spring it will feature “unique music collections that reflect local music flavor for guests to enjoy on property and at home.” It’s something like a soundtrack – or an auditory scrapbook – of your vacation.

The firm is piloting the program in two Southwest locations, with handpicked playlists subtly transmitted in common areas, spas and eateries. The music is available online, too, so enchanted guests can download, listen and evoke fond memories of the Hyatt long after their suntans have faded.

The program makes spectacular sense considering the heavy-gauge link that connects music and memories. Research studies have demonstrated that music stimulates certain parts of the brain – most notably the tiny cranial shoebox where our memories are stored.

Consider your own experience for further evidence. Exhibit A? Your first real kiss. Ten bucks says you remember the song playing in the background (assuming you weren’t snogging in silence). For me, it was Sir Jon Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” – way, way, way before Blake Lewis reinvented it. (Sadly, the title had not even a micron of irony.)

It’s amazing, really, the way a song can evoke a memory as vividly as any photograph can:
  • Take “Swingtown” by Steve Miller Band. A couple of beats into it, and I’m on the backseat hump of my parents’ yellow Subaru, wedged between my brother and sister, on some drumstick-straight Midwestern highway, bound for adventure in the Rockies.
  • Cue up “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls, and I’m in my freshman-year dorm room with my best friends, cackling to the point of incontinence.
  • “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” by Destiny’s Child carries me to Grand Cayman Island, close enough to the Caribbean to feel its salty spray and breathe in bougainvillea. Sigh ….

Words, music, memories – all are intangible elements that, when joined, become beautifully indelible.


Bella Rossa said...

"For me, it was Sir Bon Jovi’s 'You Give Love a Bad Name'..."

Whoa. That takes us back, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

What about the classic 'Wombles of Wimbledon', a memory evoker if ever I heard one.