Hear This: The robot who drank himself to death

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, as part of our salute to artificial intelligence, we’re looking at songs about robots and/or computers.

Grandaddy, “Jed The Humanoid”/“Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)” (2000)

The common thread on Grandaddy’s fantastic second album, 2000’s The Sophtware Slump, is an exasperation with technology: It’s like a whimsical version of Radiohead’s much more ballyhooed OK Computer. Nowhere is that skepticism more profoundly placed than on the twin tracks “Jed The Humanoid” and “Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground).” The former describes the proud construction of an artificially intelligent friend, Jed, who can walk, sing, talk, and even “compile thoughts.” But after Jed is no longer a novelty, he ends up ignored—and he drinks himself to death. (Poor Jed.)

Turns out, a little later in the album …

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