Friday, March 1, 2013

Future Tense

In response to a video I sent him from the band Sanctuary from the album Into the Mirror Black the song "Future Tense", a friend writes,

"Kind of makes me feel like all the good songs done been wrote, you know? It's all one big cycle of been there, done that, reset, redo, repeat."

 I had sent him the lyrics because the album was released in 1989 and one of the lines was, "what will the '90s hold?" which is slightly amusing.  The song was rather intense about the dangers of the future and the corruption of America with a tinge of disaster in it, as if the 1990's might spell doom for all mankind. 

What do you see on the news when you watch TV?
War in the name of God, or a playground killing spree?
Politicians promise you the world, and a preacher cries.
All he ever wanted was your money, and a bitch on the side.
What went wrong?  Did society twist him?

What do you see in the center of the public eye?
Rock-stars on smack, and a serial-killer fries.
Radicals blame suicide and murder on our form of art.
Brainwash the youth, you know they claim we all play a part.
What a shame that they can't think for themselves.

Past-tense to future-tense let history unfold.
So ends a decade now what will the '90s hold?
You know we're verging on the edge of an Age,
Then another century will turn the page.

What do you think they will say when they look back on this?
Were the '80s  just a time of spoiled innocence?
We leave our legacy like dust in the Sands of Time.
Let's hope the seeds we plant can carry the weight of our crimes.

We sail an ocean, a Sea of Doubt.
Skeptics make no sense, can't work things out.
I'll choose optimism, scream its name.
Look to the future, a burning flame.
(obligatory '80s solo)
Turn the page...

  So, the work is no Bob Dylan, and there's some trip-ups in the meter and rhyme and it struggles at-times.  It's the band's sophomoric work and was a huge step from their previous material.  Still, Sanctuary didn't fare well as the '90s shunned the guitar virtuoso for low-fi, whiny, soft-punk works of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots from Seattle.

  Well, sometimes I think that way too, that all music's been written lyrically, but it's not the case!  A lot of folks thought that when Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkle were belting out folk songs in the '60s. They were some pretty gosh darn good lyrics. Some people thought that around that time all the possible song combinations in notes was already used-up. These fears occurred and were voiced in the '50s, '60s, '70s and late '80s but were refreshed by surprisingly new waves of music concepts for each decade. The '90s was a rehash of '70s though, and the last 13 years has been generally pretty vapid in my opinion, mostly due to fat-cat lazy-lifestyles. Since 1990, life has been pretty un-strife-ridden for Americans. I was hoping that Obama's reign of power would create enough of an economic downfall that it'd shake things up enough to inspire some really good music. Unemployment at around 8% should've done it, stopped the production of SUVs and trucks and rocked everything from its foundation, but the "naughts" just held tighter to their iPhones and 11mpg Nissan Armadas and Starbucks coffee-ish drinks instead of abandoning things. I found that really weird, as if fat Americans had found their comfort-zone and refused to budge. Not enough of a shake-up I guess. With gas prices being ridiculous, I suspected gas-lines as well, but it never happened, and I can't figure out why not. Instead, somehow people scrape enough money to get the whole stupid thing to work and refuse to budge. Aside from a mild invasion of an evolution of emo music and techno getting a leg-up with a very mild variation of itself called dub-step (sort of the disco of this generation), there's been nothing new or fresh in, well, anything. No 2010 wave of sudden change of music such as the '40s through the '80s. No change at all, as if America has defined itself and has become stubborn to change. In accordance with the prophesies of St.Malachy the current Pope has since evaporated from his job and no one really cares that much (as opposed to if this happened in 1960, where stocks would crumble and the whole World would be freaking out, mass-suicides, claimed visions, etc.)
 I think there's a fresh wave of music style and lyrics on the horizon, possibly from an unknown source in the same way no one saw Seattle being a big music deal in the '90s or Britain being such in the '60s and again in the '80s to a lesser degree. Who knows, maybe we'll all be rockin'-out to J-Pop or Chinese metal, or Australia might have a popularity resurgence as from the '80s? Those fresh, untapped arenas might give-way to new concepts and ideas America is not used-to, not to mention Middle-Eastern or India philosophy. They got guitars there too!
Lyrically, things might seem burned-up, but sometimes that scorched-Earth soil is the best medium for fresh growth of botanical music.

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