Would you like a CD with your iced grande Americano? For millions of Starbucks patrons, the answer these days is yes. In a time of music-industry tumult, the coffee giant's record label, Hear Music, is flourishing, with everyone from Paul McCartney to Sonic Youth jumping onboard. On this week's "Mixing Desk" podcast, Slateculture editor Julia Turner and I consider the question: What exactly is the "Starbucks Sound"? What does Hear Music's success say about the tastes of Gen X and baby boomer record buyers? Do wimpy indie balladeers really make that chai latte go down smoother?
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