For My Beloved New Baby and His Brother: Twenty Musical Predictions

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Our second child was born at the end of January.

Mom and baby are well.

And the sleepless nights are here.

At 3 AM, I have found myself wondering:

What will the future will look like for my newborn son and his brother (who is only 3 and a half)?

Here are 20 predictions:

1.

Their generation will have the first Number One song created by AI.

Imagine the comment section back at the mothership.

2.

The dominant medium/format will be something akin to a beam or wave, which will transmit a song “directly” to you. Imagine just thinking of a song and then instantly hearing it (as if you had headphones on).

Beam or wave “curators” (some consisting of AI) will become superstars.

The Estate of Neil Young pulls his entire catalogue from beam/wave transmission, citing (what else?) inferior sound quality.

3.

My sons will laugh at vinyl having made a comeback.

4.

Everyone from the classic rock era will be gone.

Except for maybe Keith Richards.

Classic rock will be as ancient to them as the big band era is to us.

5.

Speaking of rock:

All the girls who picked up the guitar during the pandemic will be making some great rock music.

6.

Speaking of the pandemic:

The successor to Kendrick Lamar will have released a 25 track epic about life under quarantine, with Kendrick Lamar coming out of retirement for a few tracks.

7.

July 31, 2031. The last Pearl Jam show.

At Soldier’s Field.

In a “coming full circle” moment, the last song played is “Hunger Strike”. Toni Cornell sings her late father’s parts beautifully.

8.

John Mayer is still touring.

9.

Billie Elish’s comeback includes a performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

10.

Something happens between Elon Musk and Halsey.

Halsey wins.

11.

My sons ask me: “Whatever happened to Radiohead?

I am shocked when I can only reply: “I don’t know.”

Surprisingly, not even Google will know the answer.

12.

Soul music will have a comeback. This dovetails into a sense of optimism that permeates their generation, Generation Alpha.

It will be nice to hear how Stevie Wonder’s amazing run of albums from the 70s will create a touchstone or connection with my parents/their grandparents.

13.

A dinner guest waxes nostalgic for the Grammys.

One of my sons asks: “what the heck is a Grammy?

I ask: who the heck invited that guy?

14.

Scientists have perfected resurrection following cryogenic freezing. Bono volunteers.

The scientists refuse, ostensibly because of Bono’s age. But we all know they refuse because they (and us) would only want to preserve Achtung Baby-era Bono/the Fly.

Anthony Keidis also volunteers. The scientists pretend they didn’t hear anything. The world patiently waits for Beyonce to call the scientists.

15.

Before his retirement, Dr. Dre remixes a long-lost Prince album.

16.

Meet Echolocation.

Who are they?

They are to Nirvana what Greta van Fleet is to Led Zeppelin.

Judge for yourself when they arrive.

17.

The progeny of Taylor Swift will have an inordinate amount of control over concert tickets.

18.

Sometime in 2026, My Bloody Valentine release another record.

19.

Assuming commercial space flight is real:

The Flaming Lips / Wayne Coyne will end their career with a Las Vegas-style residency.

On Mars.

20. My sons find a copy of Kind of Blue.

And it begins.


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LinkCrawford
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February 13, 2023 8:07 am

Wait, is big band out of vogue already?

One prediction I made back in the early 2000s that hasn’t really come true yet is that music would become available to users in a customizable format. You like the new Taylor Swift hit, but would rather hear it without the disco drum-beat? Just tweak the settings on your copy of the song and you get rid of the drums, add country percussion and a fiddle. Then everytime you listen to it, you hear it YOUR way.

“I’ll take the new Dua Lipa, add extra EDM synths and slap bass, hold the profanity”

mt58
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February 13, 2023 10:32 am
Reply to  LinkCrawford

This is a terrible idea. And Link is spot-on with his skills of predictive futureology.

Imagine adjusting the hues and color temperature of the Mona Lisa, just ’cause you want to. Some might say, “blasphemy,” while others would say, “OK, Photoshop, let’s make it darker in the background, and replace the smile with a pout.”

Music is even easier to manipulate. And what Link described is absolutely going to be a common thing.

Right now, if you know where to look, you can find the original multitrack masters of thousands of songs online. Some are sanctioned, but most are leaked studio bootlegs.

Plug all of this into a free audio editor, and you can made your own custom version – and importantly – it’s not really a cover or a knock-off – it’s the actual original content as recorded.

A commercial, monetized, and record-company profit-center for this is coming.

Just one of the perks of living in the digital world.

Pauly Steyreen
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February 13, 2023 10:42 am
Reply to  LinkCrawford

This does exist to an extent… it’s what we call remixes. How many different versions of “Old Town Road” exist in the canon, made or approved by Lil Nas X himself?

However I think the effort it takes to change a song won’t be worth it for most people. It will continue to be a niche thing for music geeks, probably not the main way most people listen to music, who tend to consume it passively.

Phylum of Alexandria
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February 13, 2023 8:39 am

Congratulations on the birth of your son!

My take is that we’ll have a Butlerian Jihad soon, and your kids will eventually start their own emo-rap jug band. They won’t allow anyone to record their music, except via the old fashioned technique of “memories!”

Phylum of Alexandria
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February 13, 2023 11:03 am

I was thinking of this. But, you know, with more rap. And emo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGbLsSSt2Z0

Pauly Steyreen
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February 13, 2023 11:33 am

Remix homework?

JJ Live At Leeds
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February 13, 2023 8:46 am

Congratulations on your new arrival!

2026 might be optimistic for My Bloody Valentine. Though you may well be right about Keith Richards. Nevermind the Paul McCartney is dead theories. The fact that Keith is still alive, fit and healthy surely goes against medical science. At some point in the 70s he was replaced with advanced robotics from the future.

I’m already saving ready for Flaming Lips on Mars.

JJ Live At Leeds
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February 13, 2023 11:47 am

I’ve not read it, partly cos so much of it was covered in the music press felt like I’d heard most of it without needing to read it. That includes his bangers and mash recipe which got plenty of publicity here. Though I’ve never heard anyone claim that’s the way to a long and healthy life!

Pauly Steyreen
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February 13, 2023 10:36 am

For the record, X Æ A-12 is an actual human being. The progeny of entities whose humanity is still uncertain though…

However, just as Rock ran its course, eventually Hip Hop will as well. I imagine whatever comes to replace it will be synthetic to the extreme. Either made or assisted by AI.

A couple of years ago, Holly Herndon made an album with AI collaboration. A mix of human and AI-generated voices and instrumental tracks. If this is the future of music, I’m here for it:

https://youtu.be/rvNqNgHAEys

cappiethedog
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February 13, 2023 1:34 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

Holly Herndon is next-level.

Pauly Steyreen
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February 14, 2023 11:21 pm

The entire Proto album is amazing. Recommend!

mt58
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February 13, 2023 10:39 am

Virtual hugs and good thoughts to you and your family on this wonderful news!

Terrifically funny stuff – but on a serious note, your #2 is something that will definitely happen. The trick will be to do it with some sort of focused triangulation; an inaudible UHF frequency signal that somehow gets converted to the human audio spectrum, and stays pointed to your ears. My dog hates it already.

This, instead of resorting to the much easier way: some kind of bionic implant.

That’s a no from me, dawg. Hip and knee replacements are great, but when we introduce active electronics? I saw that episode of Black Mirror. No thanks.

If I have time later after creating tomorrow’s silly teaser graphic, and shooing away the spambots, I’ll start working on it.

mt58
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February 13, 2023 3:06 pm
cappiethedog
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February 13, 2023 1:32 pm

Great list, minor major 7th.

So, pertaining to #1, in the near-future, Billboard will have two Hot 100 charts, one for terrestrials and one for AI. Gosh. That could actually happen.

Each artist will have an AI rival. At a Grammys show in 2036, AI Taylor Swift will beat-out terrestrial Taylor Swift for Best Song. What if AI Taylor Swift becomes more popular than Taylor Swift, because AI Swift never ages.

You’ll also have two Best Album categories: Best Album by a Live Person and Best Album by an AI, Living or Dead. Or maybe, they compete against each other, until the Grammys change the rules. This would happen after AI Elliott Smith upsets Keith Richard’s comeback album.

Thanks, minor major 7th. You gave me a lot to think about.

Phylum of Alexandria
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February 13, 2023 2:21 pm

Bach + AI + Social Media = A Very Ill-Tempered Clavier

dutchg8r
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February 14, 2023 3:25 pm

First off, congrats on the new baby, mM7!

Second – lack of sleep only enhances the funny factor in your writings. Carry on in your new baby/zombie parent state. 😁

dutchg8r
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February 14, 2023 3:55 pm
Reply to  dutchg8r

Also, as far as the Artificial Intelligence is concerned in music….

They’ve already replaced music video directors. Taking over with compositions can’t be far behind.

https://huxleyartist.com/

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