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Ch-ch-changes to the Wynn Muzak

By JohnH on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 4:29pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 20


It's a strange fascination, but it first hit me in May. While waiting to check-in at Encore for what turned out to be a balls-to-the-wall fantastic iteration of #PaoloPalooza, I heard a song come over the Wynn Las Vegas Muzak Machine that I had never once heard on property before that time: The Killers' "Read My Mind." While not my favorite "Sam's Town" track - I'll be "that" Killers fan and say I'm much more partial to "When You Were Young" - I was moderately impressed with the choice.

Wynn had slightly changed course from its days of steel-drum jazz versions of Coldplay and that "Sweet Child of Mine" cover, and had instead decided to pay a rather small tribute to a band that, for better or worse, has risen to become almost-but-not-quite as synonymous with Las Vegas as Frank Sinatra and Elvis.

And then things changed for the worse. I started hearing "Read My Mind" more and more on successive trips to the property. More to the point, I started hearing less and less of the tracks that I had come to identify with the property. Gone, for some arguably inexplicable reason, were the ba-da-da-duh-duhs of one Emma Button. Diminished were the earthy yearnings of "Rio De Janeiro Blue." Hell, I don't think I even heard "The Thunders Rolls" during any of my last trips--alright, I guess that one's more of a positive than it is a negative.

But what, you ask, had been put in the places of those previously established "hits?" The short answer: Generic "Pop Rock" and "Standards." The long answer: The Police's "Every Little Things She Does Is Magic" popped up during a farewell lunch at Jet Tila's Wazuzu and a whole, hideous treasure trove of Michael Bublé hits popped up at various times while I was meandering my way through the property.

It was horrible. What had started as a tribute to a local band had gone horribly, horribly awry. And it was so truly horrible because, like sight, scent, and taste, our auditory abilities help us establish and remember an environment. Roger Thomas can create one of the world's most beautiful spaces in which we can all frolic, but without Asian Rain or the muzak that has come to define the property, the transportive environment of the Wynn brand is not established or perpetuated as well as it can be. Yes, it's still a pretty space, but without that music, it loses a bit of its luster. It becomes somewhat quotidian; without all of those noted components and more, there's nothing that separates the property from, say, Palazzo. Wynn's identity is driven by these things, and without them, it slowly risks losing its almost indefinable sumptuousness. The taste, as they say, just won't be quite as sweet

And the saddest part of all of this is that little will or can be done to stop this trend. Kids these days don't like hearing jazz-inspired show tune covers as they're carrying their Solo cups full of Four Loko through Wynn and Encore whilst on their way to Surrender. They just don't, and sadly, I guess it's just time for all of us to turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes.

Tagged: wynn las vegas   


Comments & Discussion:

My hat is off to Cosmopolitan for playing something more than mainstream pop hits. I knew I was home when I walked in one time and "Goodnight and Go" by Imogen Heap was playing over the casino sound system.

I always thought that if the music was cool then i would find a reason to stay in a place a little longer just to see what was next on the playlist. Generic music makes me want to get out of a place as soon as possible to give my ears a rest from hearing crap.

Quotidian=nice word

I noticed on my last trip that they had removed the lights from the trees adorning the path to the Parasol Up bar. One more minor change that seemed to detract from the place.

Sometimes it's hard to leave the stream of warm impermanence.

I'm partial to earbuds while on the floor for my own music during a relaxing Vegas trip (I realize that's not ambiance for some and table game players don't have the option), but the times I've played at Wynn, I have enjoyed their piped in choices, definitely a shame if it's become more mainstream.

Walked through the place the other day and I too have noticed the changes in music from jazz to pop but mostly in the people, which is now taking after a much more younger crowd. To me, it just completely changed the vibe of the whole place and not in a good way. Its sad but hey, which high end joint isn't going for the douchebag crowd these days?

The Bellagio is trying to go for the same thing with Hyde but it definitely won't effect the vibe of the resort as much as Wynncore. Steve built the B well and it would be incredibly difficult to try to douche the place up because it has that Italian, elegant look and feel. With Wynncore on the other hand would be easier to do cause it has that modern look.

The first time you name the song, you list it as "Ready My Mind"

What he said.

Some of the casinos on Fremont Street use SiriusXM as their music provider (The Fremont Street Experience uses them as well.), and in some cases, they have it tuned to different channels based on the location in the casino or during certain events, have it set to a certain channel (country channel during NFR for example).

One of the reasons I like the P-Ho is the music variety in the casino. During the day it's classic rock (Rolling Stones, 5th Dimension), evening time it's VH1 pop (Madonna, Britney Spears), and late night it's balls-out club music. I think this is smart not only because the music suites the clientele at that certain time of day, but I like to gamble in a place where the music isn't the same all the time.

I think they should change the tunes from time to time: AM, PM, Evening, late night, weekdays, weekends... The crowd varies according to the time of the day and according to the day of the week.
I recall Bellagio elevators playing classical music when you are on your way up to your room, and a more dace/pop music on your way down to the casino. I'm not sure if that still happens.

I heard Iron and Wine at the Sahara once. That was pretty cool.
I was always partial to their soundtrack when I started going there. It was mostly 50's, 60's and early 70's pop/rock. How could you not be in the best mood of all time being drunk, playing at a $1 BJ table and hearing "Hey Tonight" by CCR??
One time I do remember a BJ session where they played "Kokomo" about 18 consecutive times and that was pretty cool, too.
The thing is, if I'm drunk enough I like pretty much anything besides country and club music.

The M Resort has Depeche Mode and The Cure in its nighttime rotation, specifically, "Enjoy the Silence" and "World In My Eyes" by the former and "Hot Hot Hot" by the latter. It's actually a pretty eclectic mix they have, unfortunately, they intersperse it with 80s fluff by the likes of NKOTB. But it's all better than the eardrum-hemorrhaging Top 40 tripe that's sullying the airwaves these days. Anyway, I asked some of the finest augmented working girls who coquettishly took my drink orders if they could tell me who's responsible for the music selection (why I want to know, I dunno, I'm curious like that). Alas, they couldn't tell me. But if it's Mr. Marnell himself, let me say, "nice taste, mostly, sir".

First, to John H: I loved reading your piece in Anthony Bourdain's pentameter. And, even though for you, your recent stay at Wynn was about music -- for me, your piece is a dirge of what I thought Wynn Hotels were, are.

I read V.T. daily and have been mostly silent. But I have my own dirge... My partner Steve and I met there, we married there and have vacationed there many times. We went to school at SUU and Wynn was our home away from home... it was always surreal. From trade shows to leisure time it was a place we could expect great, discrete service; classic and comforting design as well as beautiful, sumptious food... Let's just say some of these ideals have slipped.

Mr. Monster, I have to say -- for the gay community -- Cosmopolitan has made a huge impact. The service towards us (based on more than one visit) has proved superior to Wynn. We have changed our allegiance. I will stay at Wynn again, no doubt, however, I've experieced such magnificient service at Cosmpolitan that I will make that my hotel of choice for the forseeable future.

It's funny how we "feel" for these monolithic corporations. Corporations that have spent billions of dollars to intentionally alter our emotions. So much so, that we feel affection towards them. I will always love Wynn, however, just like a dear friend, I have to expect Resorts --and friends -- will change.

I just wish Wynn and Encore would reduce the price of the daily access to the SPA since they are now charging Resort Fees. $45 to access the SPA? I end up going to Canyon Ranch or Qua at Caesars instead for that price. The small SPA at Cosmo is not bad at all for $25 and their fitness center is worth visiting with its small boxing ring.

wow - i don't think i've ever noticed music at any casino, other than the theme-songy music at certain spots in Mohegan Sun, usually right near the machines you swipe to get entered into the daily sweepstakes. I'm too caught up in the pling-pling-pling of the slots and various yellings at the craps table.

@jonasjones, i'm not surprised about you and your partner feeling welcome at Cosmopolitan. I've always felt that the charges levied against them that they booted a pre-op transsexual just for being a pre-op transsexual were totally bogus and went against the corporate culture that John Unwin was creating. my beef with cosmo is that their hotel ops are/were unprofessional. other than that i like the place and i'm glad you do too.

One thing I noticed in July at Rio, was that they were running Sirius (or XM) set to different channels depending on the bar, which allowed the direct area to enjoy that station, rather then trying to fit the whole casino. Of course that was interrupted by the bevertainers, but it at least appeared to be a more isolated approach to music.

Wynn has turned his Vegas properties into a collection of night/day clubs with a couple of inadequately soundproofed hotel towers attached, a restaurant lineup that becomes more mediocre with every fresh chef departure, and a casino that's had that special Harrah's magic applied.

I have no great love for MGM's senior management either and frankly think the company should have died in March 2009, but Bellagio is still the class of the strip (imo).

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