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.
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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.
When New York’s Cardiknox talk about world domination, there is no maniacal laughter involved. There’s an intense passion that wants to push a dream forward. While the indie pop scene can be like an art show where people pick favorites, Thomas Dutton and Lonnie Angle have more than enough fight in them. When they dream of being larger than life kings and queens, what they really are saying is that they are truly serious about wanting to play Madison Square Garden.
When Tristan Eaton designed the artwork for Portrait, the duo’s debut album, there began to be a sense that something was concrete. Though the band had a couple songs and music videos under their belt, the process of a debut was something that made things real. Bigger prospects would then be hoped for. PopMatters had the chance to speak to the duo on their inspirations, song process, and, ultimately, how they condensed something giant into a beautifully small package.
First, a confession: I’ve never really understood the collective mourning when most artists die. Not to sound callous, but what exactly am I supposed to be mourning? I don’t personally know the artist in question. In the vast majority of the cases, said artist stopped making music that mattered to me years before his or her death. The actual act of passing does absolutely nothing to change my relationship to the artist. Bowie’s Station to Station sounds every bit as good as it did two years ago or 20 years ago.