Subversive Detroit indie rock duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s sophomore album, The Speed Of Things, is due October 8 on Warner Bros. Records. Their video for the lead single “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” recently premiered on Funny Or Die (spoiler alert: it’s funny.)
Never seen the band live before? Then you’ll appreciate this live video of the sax-worthy new album track “War Zone,” filmed at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Singer Joshua Epstein takes us through the philosophical inspiration for the song, the last track they wrote for the album — hang in there, this gets kind of heavy.
“War Zone” is about a character who wakes up (or is dreaming of being?) in a warring region. It is unclear whether this ‘war is a literal image, or more of a metaphor for the disconnectedness that the narrator is suffering from. The Speed Of Things focuses on a current phenomenon that author Douglas Rushkoff has coined ‘Present Shock.’ The narrator has been waiting; perhaps waiting to begin. We’re a generation full of false starts.
In his new book, PRESENT SHOCK: When Everything Happens Now, Rushkoff introduces the phenomenon of presentism, or – since most of us are finding it hard to adapt – presentshock. Alvin Toffler’s radical 1970 book, Future Shock, theorized that things were changing so fast we would soon lose the ability to cope. Rushkoff argues that the future is now and we’re contending with a fundamentally new challenge. Whereas Toffler said we were disoriented by a future that was careening toward us, Rushkoff argues that we no longer have a sense of a future, of goals, of direction at all. We have a completely new relationship to time; we live in an always-on ‘now,’ where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything.
Wall Street traders no longer invest in a future; they expect profits off their algorithmic trades themselves, in the ultra-fast moment. Voters want immediate results from their politicians, having lost all sense of the historic timescale on which government functions. Kids text during parties to find out if there’s something better happening in the moment, somewhere else.