If the site looks a bit different today then it’s because I moved it. Nothing ever goes as smoothly as you expect, especially in the world of technology. So sorry about that. I’m doing my best. Unfortunately my best is mediocre.
Following a recent trend, I thought I would write a haiku about WordPress migration.
my files like autumn leaves
where is my domain
Somehow the topic of robots seems to be cropping up in all of my conversations this week. I suspect they are at the forefront of many conversations, as the human race barrels towards an uncertain future full of emotionally intelligent toasters and health monitoring underpants.
Well my friends, all futures are uncertain. Also no one has come back to warn us. So, either we don’t invent time-travel before we are wiped out. Or it’s all good and they took a vote not to come back and tell us about it incase we messed up.
It’s interesting to me that people still speak nervously about this perceived dystopian future, where the robots are running the world and we are merely the organic matter that they use to charge their batteries. In reality, we are already living in someone’s dystopian future world, and at the same time we’ve never had it so good. It’s not yet time to unplug the internet connection and reach for the crossbow (what do you mean you don’t have one? I‘ll 3D print you one from plans I googled on my phablet*, just plug the internet back in for a second.. )
*no one says phablet
Humans are unique amongst other animals in our ability to imagine. We can describe in great detail, things that have absolutely no foundation in the physical sciences, such as law, the concept of nations and the ‘Fast and the Furious’ movie franchise. These are the things that unite us, divide us and send us howling into a bottle of vodka. Many of the things we have become so used to living with, were first imagined in science fiction. Mobile phones, electric doors, self-driving cars, laser guided sharks… For all the people who are out there dreaming up wonderful things and bringing them into reality (pizza vending machines – thanks Japan!), there are a balance of maniacs imagining other less palatable realities into being (used underwear vending machines – thanks Japan :-/ ). So quite certainly our uncertain future is in a fragile balance because someone left us in charge.
And what might you ask does this have to do with music?
Clearly all 4 tunes this week have been generated by artificial intelligence and compressed into nano-second sound blasts for efficiency. OR we could listen to this.
First up. The cat in the hat. Dragged kicking and screaming from the front seat of his Ferrari, the some-what-maligned, tiny man of acid jazz, Jay Kay. At one point I thought there was no wrong he could do. But then I was young and impressionable and reeling in the grip of a hat fetish. There is still a lot to like about the music 20+ years into Jamiroquai’s dystopian future. For one thing they are still working, and for good reason. Return of the Space Cowboy is a classic album in my mind. Virtual Insanity was from the follow up album Travelling without Moving where I felt they started to take a turn away from their jazz roots into disco. Plus the hats got shinier. But it starts our 4 tunes nicely.
Next up, Turin Brakes and Future Boy. This is another great tune from the album The Optimist LP. If you haven’t consumed it whole, I suggest doing so in a single sitting. I can’t comment much on their later work, they are a band that kept changing their sound and they lost me somewhere on that journey. However, they have a new album out this year so maybe it’s time for a revisit. This song included specifically for the line. ‘But they’re still my friends, as long as they don’t use monkeys’
Ahh to follow in the footsteps of Father… Damian Marley, born to arguably one of the most well known reggae stars in the galaxy and, a Jamaican Jazz singer and former Miss World.. Hmm, no preconceptions there then. His 2016 album Stony Hill is a culmination of a life in music since early teens and in reality, from the womb. It includes a couple of collaborations with his half brother Stephen and has earn him various auspicious accolades. This track, Time Travel, follows the format of a ‘list song’ which means, like many before, it is destined to be a point in time hit rather than a classic. But it suits our purposes and is a classic this week.
Not quite last but nearly this week is Grandaddy and a song from their 2000 album The Sophtware Slump. Penned entirely by Jason Lytle, alone in a remote farmhouse on some sort of coke binge, the album was described by the New York Times as ‘a heart-achingly beautiful requiem for a culture in which progress and technology have led to alienation and disposability’ a nicely worded view. I suspect though, with a brain full of narcotics, alienation and disposability are gifts from another benefactor. The grand title of Broken Household Appliance National Forest provides a little to go on. It’s hard to tell though, if this song is about the world after we have gone, or a land fill site. But either way there is some ‘heart-ache’ in the ‘requiem’ it’s true, and more importantly, big guitars..
The video this week is from the brilliant Flight of the Concords with Robots. I couldn’t not include this (in Trump-esque double negative speak) Binary solo 00000100000110000111…