Thursday, December 29, 2011


This article originally appeared in the 12.29.11 issue of Metroland.

Once again, I’m batting around .500 with my predictions for last year. Hank Jr. was bounced from Monday Night Football, but he wasn’t replaced by Kanye. Justins did threaten to stop booking jazz (again), but no populist uprising saved the day. No new local musicians broke nationally, although a couple of them got real close. A Rolling Stone did not croak. Samson Contompasis did not cut his hair off, and I had money on that one, dammit.

So, without further a-doo-doo, here are my predictions for 2012.

OK, THIS year a local daily newspaper will fold, and all of the local mainstream media will run around blaming the internet and saying oh what will we ever do...Meantime, a couple of independent locally-focused internet news sites will pop up and start aggregating local news outlets, local blogs, real-time multi-media reporting, and reader contributions. These sites will attract readers and advertisers.

Madonna will get booed big-time whilst lip-synching at the Superbowl. There’ll also be some major and embarrassing technical glitch, too. Her dismay will be obvious, and this will go down as the most memorable, iconic Madonna moment, like, ever. Her new album will bomb. Meantime Gaga will continue her inexorable march to super-super stardom and immortality.

Some ridiculously massive guest musician will show up at the JB Scotts reunion in May and jam with whoever’s onstage.

Live Nation and other mainstream promoters will try to muscle in on the dubstep scene and the dubstep audience will totally reject them for political reasons and the artists who signed up with them will be branded forevermore as greedy capitalist pariahs.

SOPA / PROTECT IP will go down in flames and the legislators who backed it will have some splainin’ to do on the campaign trail in the fall because it will have become a major and explosive issue.

Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president and the ONLY musical artists that stump for him will be Wayne Newton and Hank Jr., and neither will be particularly helpful. He will lose majorly.

Against every conceivable odd Cohoes will increasingly be the cool place to live, the cool place to hang, the cool place to be.

Carmine’s new Brazilian joint will take Albany by storm. Meat, meat, and more meat! On swords, baby!

A defunct local band that’s not Blotto will get a huge surprise and a big payday when one of its old forgotten recordings is picked up for a national ad campaign.

A tiny regional theater company will score big when it premiers a new play by an unknown playwright and the play blows up and heads to NYC.

Occupy will have a huge impact on virtually every election in the country, while the Teabaggers will quietly crawl back into their doublewides.

The NY federal appeals court will make a bad ruling in the Richard Prince infringement case, a ruling so broad that it eviscerates the fair use doctrine. As the case heads to the Supreme Court, artists will stage big unstoppable high tech public protests on the internet and elsewhere and heat will be put on Congress to clarify the law. Meantime, lots of lawyers will make lots of money.

The Anonymous hacker collective will pull off something so astonishing and that has such a huge positive impact that it will be next year’s Time Magazine person of the year.

Tanglewood will book Bon Iver and The Civil Wars and the show will sell out in hours. Just kidding. They will book the Beach Boys reunion tour, which will be OK only because it’s Brain and his band with those other creeps just along for the ride and the paycheck.

Music service Spotify will grow and expand, and as musicians paychecks increase, the hold-out bands and labels will fall over each other to put their stuff back into Spotify’s catalog. Rhapsody will revamp its streaming site and put some heat on Spotify, and both services will improve dramatically as a result. Another huge player will jump in with a competing service that’s also great. CD sales will collapse, and the growth of download sales will stall.

The FCC will open up new bandwidth for communications. Then under public pressure, it will hold hearings on data restrictions for cellphone users, find that they are a sham, and order all cell carriers to immediately offer only unlimited data plans. Several carriers will be levied massive fines for screwing around with customers’ bandwidth after this.

Have a safe and fun New Years’, and I’ll see you on the other side.


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