Pt. 2 -- which contains the actual predictions for next year -- will be online next week. Until then...
Column 252: Visions of '10, Pt. 1
The Sage looks back...
It's that time of year again where I gaze into the lid of my magical Technics turntable and see visions of the future -- your future! But before I do that, let's look back at how I did last year.
I can say without reservation that last year's predictions were the worst I've ever made in terms of accuracy. Part of the reason is that I let myself get carried away with technology. I predicted '09 would see the beginning of a paradigm shift in how we listen to "broadcast" music. Instead of traditional terrestrial radio or satellite radio, Internet radio would emerge as a major player, thanks to the proliferation of simple Internet radio receivers that would allow you to tune into streamed Internet stations via wifi or 3G broadband. With this would come a rebirth of the traditional DJ, who would host these streamed broadcasts and become the nation's music tastemakers.
Well, it didn't happen. Yes, Blaupunkt did show off a new Internet car stereo at CES this past year, and Pandora has emerged as an important streaming music source, but nothing has really caught fire in terms of web radio. Wishful thinking? If it ever does happen, Internet radio will change the playing field and open up a whole new way for listeners to discover new music.
OK, so what else did I get wrong (and right) last year?
'09 Prediction: New "smart phones" will effectively killing the iPod and iPhone.
Reality: We said hello to Android and Pre, but neither have seriously bitten into Apple's market share.
'09 Prediction: Record labels will evolve into entities that loan money to bands to allow them to tour and quit their day jobs, and act as mere brands that bands want to be associated with.
Reality: Not really, though labels continue to become more marginalized as the industry continues to decay.
'09 Prediction: Venues like The Waiting Room and Slowdown will begin to webstream live video broadcasts from their stages.
Reality: This one's just around the corner.
'09 Prediction: One of Tim Kasher's bands – Cursive or The Good Life – will release an album somewhere other than Saddle Creek. Creek will release a project this year that will outsell all of its past releases.
Reality: No, though no one knows where Edelweiss (Kasher's solo project) will be released. And not only didn't Creek not sign a huge new act, they lost Tokyo Police Club to Qprime label mom+pop.
'09 Prediction: A well-known local club will switch hands. A West Omaha club will catch traction among the indie crowd.
Reality: Mick's became The Sydney (and no, that hadn't been announced when I wrote that prediction last year). We're still waiting for that West O club.
'09 Prediction: A young entrepreneur will launch a promotion company to compete with One Percent Productions.
Reality: One Percent continues to dominate the market, with no real local competition in sight.
'09 Prediction: 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.
Reality: For the most part, right on, except for those illusive Fullblown and Replacements reunions.
'09 Prediction: 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.
Reality: Well, The Faint just played three sold out dates at The Waiting Room, and Animal Collective's EP was No. 1 on Pitchfork's "best of '09" list.
'09 Prediction: Conor Oberst will break the hearts of thousands of his female fans.
Reality: He's still available, girls.
'09 Prediction: One of the city's three renowned downtown record stores – Drastic Plastic, The Antiquarium or Homer's Old Market – will close its doors.
Reality: Homer's did close its Old Market store... only to reopen it a block west of its old location.
'09 Prediction: One of Omaha's under-the-radar record labels will gain national attention when one of its bands breaks nationally.
Reality: Not yet, but Bear Country (on Slumber Party) could make it happen this year.
'09 Prediction: 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.
Reality: They're now called The Jackson Four.
'09 Prediction: ARC Studios will host an arena-level superstar to record his/her next album.
Reality: The closest thing (I know of) was Pete Yorn.
'09 Prediction: In an effort to attract new blood to the OEAA's, one of this year's OEAA showcases will be held at Slowdown.
Reality: Too bad that didn't happen.
'09 Prediction: 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.
Reality: His inauguration celebration included Springsteen, Beyonce, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and U2.
'09 Prediction: 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.
Reality: Thankfully, no.
Next week: Visions of 2010 -- Hold onto your hat.
* * *
New Year's Eve is always a bust when it comes to music. It's a holiday designed for cover bands, which is really as it should be, I suppose. That said, there are still a couple good shows going on tonight.
Top of the list is the send-off for The Saddle Creek Bar. Tonight marks the venue's "last show ever," according to the venue's Proprietor of Darkness, Mike Coldewey. As announced on the Saddle Creek Bar website:
Join us Dec. 31st (New Year's Eve) for one last blowout musical event as we shutter the doors of the legendary Saddle Creek Bar. Appearances by local legends Cordial Spew and The Upsets will be augmented by a closing set by The Shidiots, our (former) bartender Cass Brostad and her Family Gram, and a plethora of solo artists making their last appearance on our venerable stage. As always -- admission is free.
The SCB's drive-thru liquor store also is having a going-out-of-business sale. What a way to close out a decade.
Also tonight, Satchel Grande and Marachi Zapata are at The Waiting Room, which closes its doors temporarily after its Jan 2 show. 9 p.m. $10. The Sydney is hosting a free show with The Mercury's and free champaign. Starts at 9. And punk bands RAF, Hercules and Cordial Spew, along with five others are playing a show at The Hole at 715 S. 16th St. (under Convicted Skate Shop). 7 p.m., $5.
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