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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Column 205: Visions of '09 (Pt. 2); Box Elders blow up NYC...

Here's part 2:

Column 205: Visions of '09 (Pt. 2)
The lightning round.

Someone came up to me at the bar after reading Part 1 (which appeared in last week's issue of The Reader) and painstakingly tried to explain why my first installment of "Visions of '09" was pure balderdash, how my prediction that terrestrial radio would perish in the flames of Wi-Fi/3G/WiMax-enabled Internet radio was impossible because not only would it require that the RIAA and record labels agree to let SJs (which stands for Stream Jockeys, the modern-day DJs who program internet radio and podcasts) play "their" music unhindered, but that ASCAP and BMI and every other music mafia organization would have to acquiesce as well, not to mention bands like Metallica, which have been fighting to get every spare ruble out of its trailer-park-loving fans' pockets since back in the Napster days and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah…

At which point I had to explain, again, that although these predictions can be uncannily accurate (check the scorecard for the '08 predictions), they are written for ENTERTAINMENT purposes; that I don't actually have a crystal ball or reverse Wayback Machine or closet of magic fortune cookies filled with riddles that reveal the future. It's all for fun, see. And maybe if I know something that you don't know and happen to slip that into the mix along with the obvious crazy stuff, well so be it. Sometimes visions are guesses, sometimes they're warnings, sometimes they're hopes, but once in a while they're dead right.

So last week was the more cerebral predictions; this week is the lightning round. Hold on, here we go:

-- Saddle Creek watched as two of its three crown jewels flew the coop in '08 – The Faint and Conor Oberst (though Bright Eyes probably will release something on Creek again, some day). To add to their woes, one of Tim Kasher's bands – either Cursive or The Good Life – will release an album somewhere other than Saddle Creek. But don't worry. The label will pull out a secret project this year that will not only blow your mind but also outsell every one of its past releases.

-- The economy will continue to take its toll on Omaha's music venues as another well-known club will switch hands (and yes, someone will eventually buy Mick's, but not this year). Meanwhile, an already-established venue will become red hot by hosting the ultimate celebrity open-mike night. PS: A West Omaha club will catch traction among the indie crowd.

-- Just as Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson began to book shows in the shadow of the Ranch Bowl's Matt Markel, another young entrepreneur will launch a promotion company to compete with One Percent Productions, booking underground, fringe and indie acts that have eluded the Omaha market. Initially the new "company" will focus on venues not locked down by Marc and Jim, but eventually it will nose its way into downtown and Benson clubs.

-- Bands we'll be talking about this time next year: Box Elders, Pavement, Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies, Cursive, U2, Titus Andronicus, Spoon, The Show Is the Rainbow, Replacements, Outlaw Con Bandana, Liz Phair, Talking Mountain, Alessi's Ark, Jake Bellows, Little Brazil, Denver Dalley, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fullblown.

-- Bands we won't be talking about this time next year: Girl Talk, Okkervil River, The Faint, Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, Nickelback, Britney, Kanye, Animal Collective, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Of Montreal, Metallica, British divas.

-- Conor Oberst will break the hearts of thousands of his female fans.

-- One of the city's three renowned downtown record stores – Drastic Plastic, The Antiquarium or Homer's Old Market – will close its doors. Meanwhile, huge national retailers like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target will continue to reduce shelf space for CDs as they quietly get out of the music business.

-- One of Omaha's under-the-radar record labels – Slumber Party, Slo-Fi, It Are Good, I'm Drinking This, Boom Chick, Speed! Nebraska or a new label TBA – will gain national attention when one of its bands breaks on a national level.

-- Due to the death of one of its members, we will say goodbye to one of the few remaining all-time classic rock acts that originated in the '60s and is (was) still performing today. The loss will be recognized as the passing of an era.

-- ARC Studios will host an arena-level superstar to record his/her next album.

-- Yet another 2-hour radio show will launch on one of city's stations that will feature locally produced music along with top-flight indie bands.

-- In an effort to attract new blood to the OEA's music category, one of this year's OEA showcases will be held at Slowdown.

-- A new online music news source will launch this year that will complement existing online blogs and webboards, but will actively compete with printed outlets for precious advertising revenue. The new website/blog/social media site will offer podcasts, videos, mp3 downloads, live streams and a Twitter feed, and will have a staff large enough to rival the local alt weeklies.

-- In an effort to bring more (younger) culture to the White House, President Obama will announce a one-day concert that will feature some of the hottest indie and hip-hop acts performing alongside the biggest names in rock and jazz. The event will become a cultural touchstone along the lines of Woodstock or the Monterey Pop Festival.

-- Instead of appearing on one of the usual late-night talk shows, a local band will break into television by scoring a commercial that will make one of its songs as notorious as Feist's Apple commercial or Of Montreal's Outback Steakhouse ads.

* * *

Sounds like the Box Elders annihilated Market Hotel in NYC last Saturday night, according to this item at "Box Elders left a lasting impression and had the whole, sold-out, Brooklyn room going crazy," says the reviewer. Check out the snaps from the show. Apparently Matador's Gerard Cosloy was in the house. We already know that he's a fan. Will Omaha's favorite garage-punk trio become labelmates with Times New Viking? Stay tuned.

--Got comments? Post 'em here.--

posted by Tim at 10:36 AM

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