All music in the future is going to be made by robots. Did you know that? I mean, I know some of it already is, but I mean actual robots. Those androids that covered 'Ace of Spades' were a little loose, but they'll only get better. Stronger. Faster... ahem. I for one welcome our new cybernetic overlords, and humbly submit this pantheon of tunes about shiny metal mechanical people for their (and your) binary assessment.


1. They Might Be Giants – Robot Parade

This cut from the Malcolm in the Middle singers' kid-friendly album No! describes a cooperative future I think we all look forward to. A lot more than the one from the Matrix, anyway. "In a future time / Children will work together / To build a giant cyborg" they sing to us through vocoded voices, reassuring us that 'robots obey what the children say' whilst a pleasing little electronic ditty plays in the background, not unlike the soothing chiptune of an old Nintendo game. (Pssst, the robot overlords mightn't be best pleased by the frankly terrifying, dystopian thrash metal of the adult version).



2. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt.1

Okay, so prior to our takeover by either benevolent or malevolent androids, we can tap into the rich vein of pop music about how scary robots are. Don't look at me like that. Not every body's all 'Domo arigato, Mr Roboto'. There's plenty of songs about evil robots, and perhaps the catchiest is the title track from the Flaming Lips' 2002 album, which couples some propulsive, stop-start acoustic indie-rock with doo-wop backing vocals, lots of weird electronic noises, karate screams, and probably my favourite rhyming couplet from any contemporary rock song: "She's gotta be strong to fight them," Wayne Coyne sings in his usual deadpan, sincere falsetto, "So she's taking lots of vitamins." I can't wait to see the musical.



3. Tokyo Police Club – Citizens of Tomorrow

What would happen if we didn't have Yoshimi, with her black belt in karate, fighting for us? I tell you what, we'd be living in the nightmare world of 'Citizens of Tomorrow', by the unsung heroes of melodic Canuck indie rock – I can it indie canruck (no I don't) – Tokyo Police Club. In a bizarrely poignant track, they outline a future where computer intelligences rule the Earth, the Moon and Mars, ending with the heartbreaking verse about how everyone will 'have a microchip implanted in their heart' so you can get blown up if you try to escape. The drumming's really tight, too.



4. Flight of the Conchords – The Humans Are Dead

Let's just hope we avoid a future like this. I don't want my ass to be poisoned.



5. Grandaddy – Jed The Humanoid

Saving the best for last, of course. 'Jed the Humanoid' is undoubtedly going to become the song for rusty old robots to play in whatever the far-off future of blues bars looks like, regaling the assembled throng of drunk (on oil) automatons with the story of Jed, the first thinking, feeling robot who drinks himself to death because life is too hard to take. Think about that next time you delight in the T-1000 getting melted at the end of Terminator 2.


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