The fashion was something. Like some kind of 1950s Teddy-Boy revival, or perhaps I should say re-revival, all shocked-up pompadours and zebra stripes, gold chains and a dozen gadgets on every person. They wore thick jeweled rings and huge sunglasses.
But the music, oh the music. They had this greasy, ragged sound, like someone took the Cramps and Buddy Holly and grafted them both together using a million tiny fish-hook robotic spiders. Everything was distorted, past the point of noise and into some sublime state of Southern-rock roadster music. This was music for people who cared about cars.
That's not what was interesting. The part that's going to matter is the lyrics. These 1,693 guys carefully monitor social trends, track important figures, and make elaborate predictions of the next century of history's trends. Then they make protest songs talking about the problems that are coming later. They're getting in on social movements that haven't happened yet, latching themselves to struggles that exist only in their expert calculations.
They call their music psychohistorybilly rock. They refuse to explain why the number 1,693 is so important to them, but it is. It's all over their music, it decorates their houses, and you can see references in their sig lines and MySpace profiles.
"Hey guys," I said, trying to get their esteem, "I know a lot of time travelers, maybe you could, you know, make better predictions if you had a time machine."
"You just don't get it," they scoffed, "do you?"