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Peering Into the Crystal Ball

Here’s what I think will be going down in 2011:

A bunch more Capital Region music artists will follow Phantogram and Sean Rowe and hit the national spotlight big-time; a national publication will observe that it’s odd that so much great music is coming out of an area that doesn’t seem to have much of an actual local music scene; hipsters with ironic facial hair and dubious musical talent will start moving here from Brooklyn to taste the local juju.

Apple will sign on with Verizon for the iPhone, and then come out with a new cheaper iPhone with all sorts of new features, at once geeky, user-friendly and amazing, and, after that, the only people who don’t buy iPhones will be contrarian dead-enders who irrationally won’t ever buy an Apple product just to spite an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

People will continue to get sick of Sarah Palin; her TV show will be dumped from whatever crap cable channel it’s on; one of her kids will be popped for meth possession in Wasilla, and she’ll try unsuccessfully to spin this into a positive. And that won’t work.

A daily newspaper will fold, and the rest of the local traditional media will go wiggy about the significance of this, while the rest of us yawn.

One of the Rolling Stones will kick the bucket of (ahem) “natural causes”; sales of the band’s catalog will go through the roof, and the release of new “best of” compilations, box sets and DVDs will happen way too quickly.

Albany will land on one of those dumb “best places to live” magazine lists, great restaurants will be listed as a reason, and Burger Centric on Delaware Avenue will be name-checked.

One of the oldest major music venues will shut down for a while, claiming financial duress; another revitalized midsized concert venue will open.

Joe Bruno Stadium will be mercifully renamed. I cannot predict to what it will be renamed, but I pledge to shoot myself if it is anything like “Tech Valley Field.”

People will start to realize that the privacy train left the station years ago and that between the government and corporations, everything they do is being watched. There will be calls for the government to “do something.” Government won’t do anything.

Justin’s will start booking jazz again and almost none of the people who promised they’d come back to see jazz if they did that actually show up. So Justin’s threatens to pull the plug again, and people start showing up!

Either Apple or Google, or most likely both, are gonna come out big with some sort of online music thingee after paying the major labels gazillions of dollars for the rights; small indy artists will be completely left out of the equation; a wave of lawsuits will quickly follow as everybody screams antitrust and collusion; government won’t do anything.

Samson Contompasis will cut his hair off in a performance at the Marketplace Gallery. Well, maybe not.

MASS MoCA will stop presenting “work-in-progress” performances, instead advising artists to just finish the damn thing first, then come put on the show.

WikiLeaks will reveal stuff about financial institutions and health-insurance companies so hideous that the Department of Justice will put a bunch of executives in jail; fascist Republicans will continue to scream for Julian Assange’s head, but he’ll be universally hailed as a hero by everybody else. The revelations will not only stifle Republican attempts to undo financial and health-care reform, but will trigger calls for more aggressive regulation of the financial and health-care industries.

The new American Idol will be a total epic fail.

EMPAC will present something so mind-boggling and brilliant everybody will want to see it; it’ll get written up internationally; the run will be extended; Troy will become, if only temporarily, the global avant-garde cultural destination it always should have been, and all of the other art institutions in the area will get a nice bump as a result.

The FCC will start taking applications for low-power radio stations, and a bunch of local institutions, grass-roots organizations and religious groups will jump in with applications.

There will be some kind of catastrophic hacker-related event that will cast a pall on this whole cloud-computing thing the kids are talking about; millions will lose their stuff, and millions more will run out to buy cheap desktop storage.

Sunday and Monday Night Football will replace Faith Hill and Hank Jr. with Gaga and Kanye.

Nov. 11 will go down as the loudest day in history.

—Paul Rapp

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