|The place is Melebourone, Australchina. It's 2056. China peacefully took over Australia in 2025 just after resources were discovered under the Uluru "plug" (at least we weren't the USA - they sold their crippled and bankrupt country to India). |
Life is desperate for most, the streets are crowded with people. It's impossible to tell whether it's day or night. Huge hemp marquees have been erected over entire suburbs. The air is thick. If you can afford one, you wear a gas mask. Most people have surgical masks or bits of material wrapped around their faces. Trees are sealed in capsules, like the stuck bassplayer from Spinal Tap. Shops have spilled over onto the pavements and roads, sharing trestles with jumble sellers. It's like closing hour at Trash & Treasure - mostly the dregs.
But hidden amongst the rows of old water filters, broken portable solar-panel kits and headPods is a table manned by three very old bearded men selling guitar pedals and those old silver music discs from the early 21st Century.
"Nihao! Pedals for sale!" yells Dylan to the passing crowd. "We've got a Boss DM-2 Analogue Delay, JD Cry Baby, AKAI Loop. Original pedals from '05!"
Silver, a woman in her sixties, stops and picks up one of the square metal boxes. She looks up at one of the old men's faded teeshirt.
"Nihao! Are you guys Window?" she asks.
From his wheelchair Sunny looks up at the younger woman and smiles. His eyes start to water and he nods.
"You guys were Window, weren't you?" Silver continues. "My mum loved that band.
"I grew up with your music. I had my headPod removed because of you when I was a teen! Mum said you were even better live - you would really rock out. A bit like Coldplay - but who remembers them? No, more like the Doves - but better! Gee, all these old bands.
"That Window demo my mum had was zupacoolum! Lots of different guitar sounds and a great underlying rhythm. I'll have to pass by the Nursing Tree and tell her I met you."
"Nihao! We got pedals!" screams Gus, the third old man, above the chatter. "Sunny's old Pitch Delay, his Blue Box, a Phase 90. The classic D64 Loop pedal. Hotcake! An original Hotcake!"
"Nihao!" an old man passing by greets them, removing his MOTO:5D-player from his eyes.
Sunny startles. Dylan reaches down and wipes the dribble from Sunny's chin.
"Nihao! It's Window alright. Your demo from 2005 was a sweeping mass of high octave melody engulfing any hint of distraction. A calm Australian accent as far removed from boganism as the listener will be from the dull reality," the man rabbits on. "And live - tight as a drum, where the only leak would be your drool! How are you Sunny? Remember me? It's Joel."
Sunny looks confused. "Nihao! He can't talk ever again," says Dylan. "He lost his voice on that never-ending twenty year 'Sunny One Sock' tour."
"One Sock Sunny," corrects Gus, "Nihao! Pedals! Boss PS-3, Pitch Shifter Delay, JD Uni-Vibe, MXR Distortion and a JD Tremolo. They won't last!"
Dylan and Sunny quickly look over to Gus.
"Er...they'll last! While stocks last!" Gus corrects.
"Can't believe you old men are still alive," says Silver.
"Ah, the magic of music kept us young,' replied Dylan, "and living at the South Pole for thirty years certainly helped."
"'Subliminal, subliminal'," Silver starts to sing. "That's the one. And 'Your Wave'. That had so many great parts to it. Incredible wah-wah bit. And that one Sunny sang, 'Unknown'. So atmospheric and languid. It was a change of pace from Dylan's angsty vocals with Sunny romantically whispering in the listener's ear."
She leans forward and touches Sunny's arm. He looks up and smiles. His eyes start to water and he nods. Then he nods off. -ND
WINDOW Subliminal 4 track EP out now on She Puts Out Records through MGM