Headed Underground: 2013 Predictions Pt. 1 (scoring 2012’s predictions); Ted Stevens Unknown Project releases ‘Dead World’…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
First, Happy New Year. Here’s hoping the siren-red pain behind your eyes is beginning to dim along with any leftover regrets…
That said, it’s time for Pt. 1 of easily the most controversial, most talked-about article of the year — the annual clairvoyant peek into untapped regions of time to ponder what will happen musicwise next year, the Year of Our Lord 2013. But before we get to that, let’s see how well I did with last year’s predictions, because really, what good are predictions if no one’s keeping score?
2012 Prediction: Vinyl record sales will peak in 2012 and then begin to flatten out as the novelty wears thin.
Reality: According to October Nielsen Soundscan numbers published in Billboard, vinyl LP sales were up another 16.3 percent in 2012 vs. the previous year, with 3.2 million units sold. Where will it end?
2012 Prediction: Streaming music services such as Spotify will get bigger, better and become the “norm” for listening to new music.
Reality: It’s getting to the point with a lot of listeners that if your record isn’t on Spotify, it simply doesn’t exist.
2012 Prediction: Spotify and other music streaming services will adopt an iTunes model, offering tracks for sale.
Reality: Nope, and it doesn’t look like it’ll happen until these services have completely destroyed the ability for artists to make a living selling music.
2012 Prediction: Music publishing rights income will erode as artists begin to pay to get their music used on TV, movies and in commercials to widen their exposure.
Reality: Not yet, but only because studios and production companies haven’t figured out how to do it.
2012 Prediction: Kickstarter and other online fundraising platforms will become matter-of-fact go-to options for musicians to fund new albums in the absence of signing with a record label.
Reality: In 2010 Kickstarter projects raised $27 million in pledges. This year through October, the number was $381 million, with Kickstarter campaigns coming from heavy hitters like Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls), Daniel Johnston, Murder By Death, Polyphonic Spree, Bob Mould, Of Montreal, Paula Cole, even our very own Simon Joyner.
2012 Prediction: A low-watt or web-based alternative “radio” station will be developed in Omaha, partially as a result of the Local Community Radio Act.
Reality: Non-profit local music website Hear Nebraska was awarded a grant to develop Hear Nebraska Radio. Watch (or listen) for the first online broadcast this year.
2012 Prediction: Benson will be the subject of a reality TV show along the lines of The Real Housewives of Benson or Benson Venue Wars.
Reality: TLC and Bravo don’t know what they’re missing.
2012 Prediction: Another poor year for ticket sales will force MECA to rethink the future of the Red Sky Music Festival.
Reality: MECA announced this fall that it no longer will host Red Sky.
2012 Prediction: The Maha Music Festival will land one of its all-time dream acts. The festival’s success will cause Maha to outgrow Stinson Park.
Reality: Maha booked arena act Garbage along with national touring local stars Desaparecidos and enjoyed record attendance of 4,300, but it still wasn’t big enough to budge them from Stinson Park, which will host Maha again this year on August 17.
2012 Prediction: Artists we’ll be talking about in ’12: Conduits, The xx, Sleigh Bells, Garbage, The Shins, The Mynabirds, Digital Leather, Tilly and the Wall, Beck, Paul Westerberg.
Reality: The first eight all had successful albums released in ’12, while Beck released a song book and Paul Westerberg reunited with some of his Replacements buddies for a benefit recording.
2012 Prediction: This year all of Eddie Van Halen’s problems will be resolved once and for all.
Reality: Not only is Eddie alive and kicking, but Van Halen released a new album and went on tour.
2012 Prediction: A new locally produced, slick-print publication will emerge in 2012 with a special emphasis on music, art and fashion.
2012 prediction: As an experiment, Matador, Sub Pop or our very own Saddle Creek will release an entire formal full-length album by one of their top acts as a free download (You’ll still have to pay for the vinyl, and there will be no CD).
Reality: It’s now the norm for labels to premiere entire albums as free streams from major websites such as NPR.org or Huffington Post, but you still can’t download them for free…yet.
2012 Prediction: Cursive (not Bright Eyes) will be the first Omaha band to debut on SNL this year.
Reality: This did not occur.
2012 Prediction: One of the city’s longest-running local music columns will call it a day in ’12.
Reality: The Reader’s long running Lazy-i music column closed shop last March, replaced with a new non-music column by the same author. Lazy-i.com, however, lives on (forever).
So. I didn’t bat a thousand for 2012, but I didn’t strike out, either. Tomorrow we look at 2013 starting with the global music premonitions…
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Cursive guitarist/vocalist Ted Stevens, a.k.a. the founder of Lullaby for the Working Class and Mayday, has released the first of what’s promised to be a series of singles from his new band, Ted Stevens Unknown Project. The track, “Dead World,” is available here on Bandcamp, where it can be purchased for download. It’s worth a buck to anyone who grew up (and misses) Lullaby’s earthy acoustic vibe. It’s a great way to bring in the new year…
TSUP (sorry Ted, but if you’re going to use a long band name, be prepared for the obligatory acronym), features Stevens on vocals, guitars, keyboards and samples, Dan McCarthy on piano; James Maakestad on bass, Joe Mickeliunas on ebows; Joanne Stevens on vocals and Ben Brodin on percussion and bell arrangements.
When will we see this fancy combo perform live? I’m going to keep my eyes squarely on that O’Leaver’s events calendar…
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Is there a better way to say goodbye to 2012 than by winning a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2012 sampler CD? I don’t think so. We’re talking some of the best songs of 2012, including tracks by Tame Impala, Cat Power, PUJOL, Millions of Boys, First Aid Kit, Twin Shadow, Desaparecidos, The Intelligence, Violens, Paul Banks, Ty Segall Band and lots more. The full track listing is here (scroll to the bottom). To enter the drawing to win a copy, email your name and mailing address to email@example.com. It’s that easy. Hurry! Deadline is Jan. 15.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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