With so many greats in the world of music passing and so much new talent coming from the Internet for their 15 minutes, it’s fair to wonder who will be the ones to adapt to the times and stay around to make a life’s worth of music. With much of the ‘90s crowd broken up, re-branded or withered into obscurity, it may seem like Radiohead is one of the only to continue to put out records whenever they want, using whatever instruments they want and charging whatever they want. But they wouldn’t be alone because Beck has shown that he can go from country, to rock and roll, to funk, and create records that ebb and flow with the emotional current of tears (Morning Phase).
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“These were some of the best days of my life”, says Londoner Koray Fuat. “We had three music videos played on TV. We supported Montell Jordan, Lil Bow Wow and performed on the same stage as Kelle Le Roc and Roll Deep. These were interesting times.” Fuat refers to his days as a rapper in one of London’s few, if not only, Turkish-Brit hip-hop crews, Kontagious. The band’s one and only album The Epidemic failed to pave the way for further success, but it did make an admirable notch in the underground hip-hop/garage scene that had championed everyone from the Streets to Kano at the time.
It’s unfortunate Paul McCartney died in 1966, unable to see the impact of the final years of the greatest rock group in music history through classics like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, and The Beatles (The White Album). An utter certainty for a career that would have ascended to new heights should he have chosen to form another group or go it alone given his songwriting prowess, he might even have earned a place among the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In the future, his record company would have released a compilation devoted to tracks that were culled from a post-Beatles canon that showed he was a unique individual talent who wasn’t just reliant upon a little help from his friends, and we’d be rejoicing upon a heralded career.
Two recent records by seasoned British artists traverse the interconnected themes of technology, loneliness, and love.
Several new political tracts have addressed how technology is changing work and the workplace. Paul Mason says in Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future that automation, amongst other forces, will usher in a new economic era that goes beyond existing capitalism. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams argue in Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work that governments should introduce a Universal Basic Income to support individuals whose jobs are being replaced by emerging technology.
It took a sinfully long time for Austin City Limits to induct Guy Clark into their esteemed hall of fame, but some artists don’t collect their due until it is too late.