a Year It Will Be
don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but here goes my predictions
for 2010. Some are educated guesses, some are wistful thinking,
some are a combo of the two:
A major concert club in the area will close down; two more
will open. And that’s not including the new Club Helsinki
in Hudson, which is gonna rock your plimsoul—whatever the
hell a plimsoul is.
The U.S. trade envoy will announce the signing of a sweeping
international intellectual trade agreement that is horrendously
biased toward Big Media, and puts the screws to both developing
nations and personal privacy. A major populist movement will
result in Congress nuking the whole thing, despite a strong
push for passage by the Obama administration.
At least two, and as many as five, local musical acts will
break out and have stunning international success. Major music
blogs and magazines will take notice of the Albany scene,
with major articles about just how freakin’ cool things are
in Albany and Troy. This will result in even more local musicians
being positioned to break in 2011. 2010 will be seen as the
golden age of local music.
With pushes from federal, state and local governments, broadband
Internet will become near-universal and free municipal Wi-Fi
will spread like wildfire.
CD sales will go from plummeting to crashing; several major
chain stores will stop selling CDs entirely. Sales of digital
downloads will stay flat.
Facebook will not start charging users $4.99 a month for crying
There will be a new generation of eBook readers that are markedly
better than the good ones that came out last year. The price
point for them will drop to around $100, and you’ll be able
to get one free if you commit to buying two books a month.
And you will.
MySpace will unveil a new look, a new backbone, better interfaces,
the whole shebang. In the trasition, lots of people’s stuff
will get dumped and lost, and everyone will be all PO’d for
a couple of weeks. Then people will come back and MySpace
will be bigger than ever.
If the above MySpace thingee doesn’t happen, a new music/social
networking player will emerge that will blow MySpace out of
Talent competitions will become a permanent staple of the
local entertainment scene. And they’ll be really good. In
a related development, karaoke will see a huge resurgence
in the local club scene, driven by hipster parties at bowling
alleys. Really. Open mic nights will continue to grow.
iPhone users will be offered unlimited streaming of the entire
iTunes library; every other cellular provider will scramble
to catch up. Spotify will launch in an alliance with a major
cellular carrier or ISP and will immediately grab major market
share, even for iPhone users. All of this will contribute
to the Apple/AT&T marriage going south.
Vinyl record and turntable sales will continue to grow at
an increasing rate.
Online bootlegging of music will grow as a result of major
bands signing exclusive distribution deals with various retailers
and subscription services. People will revolt, get the music
any way they can, and the whole exclusive deal thing will
fade as a result.
A major new outdoor music festival player will emerge in the
area, with a couple of weekend-long summer shows that will
Aided by legislation and cheap technology, low-power community
radio will explode, and you’ll have a couple of new local
radio stations that will offer you the opportunity to go on
the air. You’ll dig it.
There will be a major court ruling that all but negates the
fair use doctrine of copyright law. Artists will revolt and
great new appropriation art will be produced in protest that
will be some of the most compelling and popular works we’ve
seen in decades. Congress will hold hearings that won’t be
dominated by industry players.
Shepard Fairey will fade into obscurity.
Newpapers will continue to shrink and fail, their attempts
to charge people for online access and to block aggregators
(like Google) will go down in flames but fast. Scrappy new
independent local online news companies that post photos,
text and videos continuously will become the dominant new
force in local news reporting, and will drain the remaining
ad revenue from traditional outlets.
More major music artists will break from major labels and
decide to go it alone. Several huge classic rock bands will
successfully reclaim the copyrights to their late ’70s recordings,
and the labels’ attempts to block this in the courts will
fail. As a result, the majors will stop looking so major.
More music will be created, recorded, released and enjoyed
in 2010 than in any year in human history.
Happy New Year.