future

Music in the Year 2079

Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Pexels.com
Artist’s depiction of a boat and some chimneys

It’s the year 2079. The sun, filtered through sheets of atmospheric pollution, is a purple orb in a sky full of drones of all sizes. Politicians are debating automatron labour laws in a fully holographic House of Commons; the House of Lords, stubbornly refusing to keep up with technological as well as social advancements, remains anachronistically analogue. Following a democratic process previously unseen in the animal kingdom, owls have voted to adopt a diurnal lifestyle, a choice which has serious and far-reaching consequences too complicated to go into in this blog. You, reading this, have only just got round to clearing out that drawer.

Music is just as important to our grandoffspring as it is to us – on the newly built Waterloo & Upper Atmosphere line, it’s rare to see a single commuter without headphones in (or, to be more precise, without inner ear audio implants switched on). Let’s explore the world of 2079-era music together.

Hacks will tell you that the music of the future will be IDM-style, coding-based sequences of beeps and bloops, that music students will turn in their assessed compositions in the form of sheets and sheets of binary. Not to be rude, or to denigrate my fine comrades-in-arms dedicated to the art of clairvoyance, but that’s filthy lie and I will not stand for it any longer.

Photo by Sabrina Gelbart on Pexels.com
“Bleep bloop, what a banger,” said no one ever.

I’m here to tell you (and, believe me, I’ve looked at the data) that, far from synths, it’ll be the bassoon that rules the roost in the year 2079. That’s right, the humble bassoon, in the present day constrained to medieval reenactments and post-ironic bands, is gonna make a comeback in a big way.

Sure, as our society becomes more and more dependent on technology and coding replaces English on the GCSE syllabus, it might be tempting to imagine that music will follow suit. Yet life does so rarely follow such predictable trends. I’m here to tell you, with as much certainty as anyone could possibly have on the subject, that bassoons will be all the rage in 2079.

Bassoon covers of ’00s hits will hit the market in 2074, and before you know it, bassoonists from Upper Perthshire to Greater St Agnes will be jamming to ‘Sexy Back’. Indeed, the most talented bassoon masters will be hailed as this generation’s greatest artists, their names etched into plaques and hung on disused post boxes in their hometowns.

You know how the sexiest boy in your geography class at school used to play ‘Wonderwall’ on his imitation Fender in the corner at every party? In 2079 nothing will have changed – except it’ll be Shania Twain’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ instead of the Gallaghers and he’ll be tooting not strumming on your heartstrings.

On the other hand, and this might surprise you, visual arts will go the robotic route. Paintings of the most attractive canning machines and drone mechanisms will be rendered in 1s and 0s and hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

It’s a funny old world.

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introspection

What your favourite Arctic Monkeys album says about you

The north of England’s finest indie quartet and hair gel visionaries, the Arctic Monkeys, recently released their sixth album to mixed reviews. Fans and critics alike were bemused by the new direction Alex Turner, the band’s frontman, had taken the band, and ticket prices for the upcoming tour raised eyebrows and lowered spirits.

However, like any self-respecting student of Sheffield University, I’m an unquestioning fan of AM. Knowing all the words to Fluorescent Adolescent is practically an admissions requirement here, and every Sheffield student has had at least a couple of nights out hearing nothing but Turner’s rapidly diminishing Sheff accent.

I spend so much time around Arctic Monkeys fans that I’ve developed an uncanny ability to predict someone’s personality based on their favourite album. Here are the headlines, in chronological order.

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

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You

  • call things wank;
  • appreciate a good Spoons and are disgusted by a sub-par one;
  • love it when people don’t understand your accent;
  • don’t know the difference between a flat white and a latte;
  • used to get into minor trouble at school;
  • eventually turned it around and now have a scholarship;
  • go for knackered Converse but tracky bottoms tucked in socks are a step too far;
  • don’t understand what people see in goats cheese.

 

Favourite Worst Nightmare

fa

You

  • think up nicknames for your friends based on puns of their names;
  • eventually forget their real names;
  • tell people too much about how your exes were in bed;
  • are genuinely very witty;
  • refuse to engage in any kind of political conversation;
  • get misty-eyed and start talking about Love when you’ve had a few;
  • used to drink gin – since it became trendy and expensive you’ve reverted to cider.

 

Humbug

hum.jpg

You

  • are the intense/edgy one in the group;
  • are into the Beat generation;
  • struggle to take anyone seriously if they say they’ve never read Howl or heard of William S. Burrows;
  • think Locke is genius;
  • never eat three square meals a day – you either live off one (1) grape or eat five feasts in three hours;
  • make too-intense eye contact;
  • secretly love Orange is the New Black.

 

Suck it and See

suck

You

  • think the White Album is the best Beatles album;
  • only watch films by first-time directors;
  • quite recently started spending loads of money on grooming sets: razors with polished handles, combs, artisan hair gunk, and locally-sourced shoe polish;
  • find random word generators and malapropisms endlessly funny;
  • filled your phone with vocab games and apps that let you know where the closest espresso is at all times.

 

AM

am

You

  • have a cactus in a really expensive pot on your kitchen windowsill;
  • lost your regional accent the same morning you got an offer to study history or literature at a southern university;
  • cleaned up your look after you got sick of your mum calling you “shabby chic”;
  • go to Glastonbury every year and stay in a yurt;
  • only buy stuff if it’s bespoke and/or artisanal.

 

Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

tran

You

  • post stories on Instagram of David Bowie street art;
  • are experimenting with retro facial hair;
  • don’t realise how much said facial hair makes you look like your dad in the 70s;
  • constantly insist there’s art/music in everything, even a receptionist answering calls;
  • refuse to listen to a DJ if they are using flash drives instead of vinyls;
  • dance like someone is watching.
Bland Stuff

On the Dangers of Taking Smiths Songs too Literally

Sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking…

About a month ago, Steven Morrissey did another thing that made us all realise what an arsehole he is.

morrissey

This time, his comments had to do with Halal meat and London mayor Sadiq Khan, and, as the tweet above so rightly puts it, none of us should have been surprised. Morrissey’s questionable-at-best-downright-toxic-at-worst opinions have been bothering his fans for a while now, and many people are asking themselves whether art can be separated from problematic artist.

The problem is, as far as I see it, all of us went through that Smiths phase. The band wrote the gold standard of anthems for misfit teenagers, and who amongst us didn’t have at least a few months of Doc Martens, t-shirts printed with that Verve album, and vinyls of the Smiths?

The music of the Smiths is an important part of our cultural landscape – even now, thirty-something years after the release of Hatful of Hollow, people still stick This Charming Man on when the party is drying up and listen to Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now to remind themselves that, no matter how low they feel, they’ll never be as blue as Steven Morrissey.

We all lost a bit of faith in him after he wrote that dire book, but, nonetheless, Morrissey’s lyrics are part of our consciousness. How else do you explain the upward trend of vegetarianism?

Sure, some of the things he wrote are just true – belligerent ghouls do run Manchester schools – but I’m hopeful that as Morrissey the man reveals his true colours, I’ll be able to reassess some of the weirder poetry I’ve been subconsciously living by.

What does “hand in glove” even mean, anyway…?

Bland Stuff

This Month’s Underground Hits

March is winding down, and if you wanna know what the cool cats and hip kids have been doing, look no further than this, Britain’s premier horse-drawn blog. I’ve had my ear to the ground to pick up the vibrations of underground tunes.

3. The Cheburashka Song

This month, all the kids have gone old school – as in, Soviet multifilm old school. Check out this hot number from everyone’s favourite generic mammal: Cheburashka.

To be honest, understanding the words only makes it very slightly less trippy.

 

2. What’s New Pussycat?

Yeah, that What’s New Pussycat. That same What’s New Pussycat from your primary school discos, from your dad’s CD shelf, from the Salt and Pepper Diner. All the cool kids are going nostalgic this week. Put your irony aside, stick this banger on a loop, and rock out.

 

1. Rosalind is a Fucking Nightmare

That’s right – stealing the top spot this time is the anthem, Rosalind’s a Nightmare, performed by Bob Mortimer, Aisling Bea and Sally Philips on the show Taskmaster. The comedians had to interview a stranger, Rosalind, and compose a song about her.

It’s worth noting that the Rosalind in question is the lady sitting directly in front of the performers, having the phrase, “she jumps quite far for a woman of her age,” sung directly into her face.

PS – One of the reasons I love this so much is because am a Rosalind, and I’m a fucking nightmare, to be honest.