Music Visions for 2019: What happened last year; what’ll happen this year…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm January 2, 2019

Visions of 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It is time once again to gaze into the crystal Fender Strat and peer into another dimension which will reveal to my eyes alone the happenings and occurrences that shall take place over the next calendar year in the world of popular music. Hey man, it’s my annual music predictions!

But before we get to that, let’s take a look at how I did with last year’s visions for 2018.

2018 Prediction: With Milk Run gone another DIY venue will emerge to try to fill the void in booking up-and-coming touring indie artists.

Reality: While there are still house shows, no one has really stepped up to fill Milk Run’s shoes.

2018 Prediction: With new California offices, expect as many as four new bands added to the Saddle Creek Records’ roster in 2018, including at least one veteran indie band looking for a new home.

Reality: The Creek added Black Belt Eagle Scout, Young Jesus, Tomberlin and Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker. As for that veteran band, The Faint is back and will release its first new album in five years.

2018 Prediction: Watch as some rather big names leave NYC and LA for the cheap digs and central location only Omaha can provide.

Reality: We’re still waiting.

2018 Prediction: Those who freaked out when vinyl returned will be doubly shocked when cassette tapes begin to make a comeback this year.

Reality: Cassette sales for the first half of 2018 were up 90 percent year-over-year in the UK and we now have an annual Cassette Store Day where you can pick up cassette copies of Nevermind, Back in Black and the Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack, among others.

2018 Predictions: Speaking of vinyl, as albums sales begin to flatten this year, watch as prices for new vinyl finally begin to drop. Can the $9.99 album be far behind?

Reality: You’ll still be hard-pressed to find new vinyl albums under $20.

2018 Prediction: Fed up with facing a crowd of people holding up smart phones during concerts, artists will implement new technology that will block smart phone cameras from operating inside venues.

Reality: While this tech exists (Apple patented it years ago) artists are still using Yondr devices to lock up your cell phone during shows.

2018 Prediction: With Hi-Fi House going public last summer and Hear Nebraska merging with Lincoln’s The Bay, look for yet another music-related organization to emerge, this time as a non-profit performance venue.

Reality: The Bemis is establishing a new sound art and experimental music residency program that will include a recording studio and performance space, but the music will be anything but pop.

2018 Prediction: More and more bands will change their names after their first or second release. Same band, different name, all to keep their music in front of the ever-fickle music public always looking for the next big thing.

Reality: Nope.

2018 Prediction: With the opening of the new Capitol District we will see even more live original music somewhere downtown other than at No-Do.

Reality: Well, there’s the Harney Street Tavern…

2018 Prediction: As the Maha Music Festival turns 10 this year, expect a mega-spectacular headliner and the festival’s expansion to a two-day event.

Reality: Maha indeed expanded to two days in 2018, with Weezer as the headliner.

2018 Prediction: You thought Prince’s and Bowie’s deaths were earth shakers, someone even bigger will be knocking on heaven’s door this year.

Reality: Mr. Zimmerman is still very much with us.

2018 Predictions: Bands we’ll be talking about this time next year: LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Monsters of Folk, High Up, Little Brazil, David Nance, Low, Stephen Malkmus, Cursive, Car Seat Headrest, Whitney, Navy Gangs, Bib, Hop Along.

Reality: Almost all the bands mentioned released new material in 2018.

2018 Prediction: Director Alexander Payne will be so bowled over by the area’s music scene that he not only will try to integrate Omaha music into one of his upcoming films, he’ll begin work on a movie based loosely on the Omaha music scene circa 2003.

Reality: I still think it’s a helluva idea, and I know where you can find a screenwriter, Alexander.

So, let’s see…. 6 out of 13. Eek. Let’s see if I can beat that this year?

Prediction: First it was vinyl, then cassettes and now even 8-tracks. Next year crazed music aficionados will take it one step further as we see the first album released on reel-to-reel tape.

Prediction: You thought having concert tickets on your iPhone was handy, watch out for facial recognition tickets. By submitting your facial profile to Ticketmaster, checking in at a show will be as easy as looking into a camera.

Prediction: A savvy concert promoter will organize a new Lilith Fair next year that brings together every hot indie female-led act for a traveling tour. Among them female indie supergroup boygenius, Saddle Creek’s Big Thief and Hop Along, Mitski, Noname, Eleanor Friedberger, Courtney Barnett and, of course, the return of Sarah McLachlan.

Prediction: Now with offices in Omaha and LA, watch Saddle Creek open offices in New York City and reopen offices in the UK as the label continues to expand its new-era roster.

Prediction: Speaking of Saddle Creek, with the return of The Faint to the roster, expect an even more surprising new release from another of the label’s first-generation superstars.

Prediction: For years the Hi-Fi House flew under the local radar before finally going public. This year a national publication will discover the project and bring it to the attention of a world-wide audience.

Prediction: As times get tougher for musicians, watch next year as the number of GoFundMe campaigns rise, including from some very well-known artists. They won’t be asking you to fund recording projects; they just need to pay their bills.

Prediction: At least one major, respected rock artist will come out in 2019… as a Trump supporter, and the fallout will make even Kanye blush.

Prediction: Because of the advent of streaming services, more and more vintage (i.e., ancient) artists will enter the Billboard Hot 100 as a new generation of listeners discovers them via television commercials or film soundtracks. Everything old is new again.

Prediction: As we mourn the passing of Almost Music a new record store will open in 2019 either downtown or in Benson operated by another well-respected member of the local music community. The shop will feature the same high-quality curated new and used stock, and will quickly become “the place” where musicians and young fans hang out.

Prediction: A very famous candle in the wind will be extinguished in 2019.

Prediction: Bands we’ll be talking about this time next year: Beck, Belle & Sebastian, The Faint, Algiers, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, The Smiths, The Rolling Stones, Bob Mould, Thick Paint, Ryan Adams, Bjork, M Ward, Iron & Wine and Bright Eyes.

Prediction: Finally, one of Saddle Creek Records’ new era artists will do what no other Creek artist has been able to do: Be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Can you guess her name?

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Column 304: Scoring last year’s predictions; Con Dios tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: — @ 1:47 pm January 6, 2011

Column 304: Visions of 2011, Pt. 1

Scoring last year’s predictions.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Crystal Ball

Before we can look forward, we must look back.

Last year’s predictions for 2010 started with nine hunches that can be summed up this way: There will be fewer bands all trying to get paid more to play in fewer clubs that will be booking fewer shows but with better national bands playing at a higher ticket price.

To gauge my accuracy, we went to the expert. Marc Leibowitz, whose One Percent Productions books most of the indie rock shows in Omaha (primarily at The Waiting Room and The Slowdown), said last year the number of shows booked was about the same, though “some were just smaller.” Ticket prices went up “a little bit, but not much. We fight to keep shows cheap.” And there weren’t fewer quality bands, just “fewer bands that have big followings.” All of which neither validated nor disproved my predictions.

What we do know: A number of notable local bands did break up or went into hiding last year, their official whereabouts unknown, including It’s True, UUVVWWZ, Box Elders, Beep Beep, Son Ambulance and The Faint. Both It’s True and UUVVWWZ are returning with new line-ups. And filling in the gaps was the arrival of The Mynabirds, Conduits and So-So Sailors — all three potential breakout national acts.

As for the number of clubs, the choices have dwindled to just The Waiting Room and Slowdown for touring indie bands. O’Leaver’s is booking fewer shows, and The 49’r was deep sixed.

Last year I also predicted that that we’d see fewer record labels with fewer bands recording fewer albums. But recording studios have hung in there despite the availability of high-quality home-studio options. And we’ve actually seen the rise of Grotto and Grapefruit Records join local entities Saddle Creek, Speed! Nebraska and Slumber Party.

So, I’m batting less than.500. Let’s see how I did in the Lightning Round.

2010 Prediction: Another well-known mainstream band will give away the digital download of its next album.

Gorillaz, The Fall; Girl Talk, All Day; Prince, 20Ten and Phoenix, Live in Sydney; were among last year’s free downloads. R.E.M would be wise to follow suit.

A new kind of record store will open that specializes in just that: Vinyl records.

Not here, not yet.

We’ll see an increase in “alternative venues” like in the ’90s, when social halls and practice spaces became options for one-off shows.

The Faint’s old Orifice practice space on Leavenworth has become a funky option for smaller shows.

A new social media tool will be optimized for easy, instant (and legal) distribution of online music, revolutionizing how musicians and fans access “music content” on portable devices.

We welcomed Apple’s Ping, but Ping ponged.

The Maha Music Festival will become the event organizers dreamed it could be, if they get the right line-up.

Direct hit.

Adding to the annual “Youth Concert” and the July 4th weekend county-fair freedom-rock concert, look for a third free major concert event featuring a genuine outside-the-box performer.

Slowdown’s free “block party” featured Built to Spill.

Like other big cities, we’ll see DJs spinning at more and more clubs and restaurants in Omaha.

DJs are becoming so ubiquitous; there’s even one (Brent Crampton) spinning at the new Republic of Couture jeans store in Midtown Crossing.

A new all-ages performance space will take hold, becoming this generation’s Cog Factory.

We watched the rise and fall of The Hole, the all-ages venue that started downtown and moved to Benson, and whose future remains uncertain.

Who we’ll be talking about this time next year: Arcade Fire, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Liz Phair, Tim Kasher, Of Montreal, Okkervil River, Bright Eyes, It’s True, Soundgarden, Prince, Pavement, Ritual Device, Beck, MGMT, Bear Country, Modest Mouse, The Wrens and Sufjan Stevens.

Most were hot topics, though we’re still waiting for Radiohead, Ritual Device and The Wrens’ return.

Who we won’t be talking about: Animal Collective, Susan Boyle, Monsters of Folk, Wilco, Cursive, The Faint, Emphatic, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Phoenix, Green Day and Vampire Weekend.

There’s no avoiding Lady Gaga.

UK musician/dope fiend Peter Doherty will finally see his problems resolved once and for all.

He’s still kicking.

Conor Oberst will break the hearts of thousands of his female (and a few male) fans.

Well, he didn’t get married anyway.

Sick of life on the West Coast and seeing no discernable advantages to living near L.A., a member of a national band we all know will move back to Omaha.

Cursive’s Tim Kasher returned home from the wild last summer.

A major musician will record his/her new album at The Faint’s Enamel Studio.

Didn’t happen, as far as I know.

Watch out SLAM Omaha, a new local online resource will launch in ’10 that will act as the definitive arts, entertainment and music information hub.

We welcomed Omahype.com last month, and HearNebraska.org is at the starting gate.

Like Michael Jackson another 6-year-old raises the eyebrows of an America still mourning the passing of the King of Pop.

Willow Smith, Will Smith’s daughter, had a mega hit with “Whip My Hair,” but she’s downright elderly at 9 years old.

Look for a new live original music venue to open in Midtown Crossing among all those restaurants.

Nyet.

The next national breakthrough for a local band will come when one of its songs is included on the soundtrack of a major motion picture.

Well, there was Lovely Still.

Next week: Visions of 2011.

* * *

As discussed yesterday, Con Dios begins its “residency” (translated: weekly booze binge) at O’Leaver’s tonight. Joining them is the amazing McCarthy Trenching. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, The Benningtons and Moses Prey open for Rock Paper Dynamite at Slowdown Jr.  The Benningtons are fronted by guitarist/vocalist Tony Bonacci (ex-Hyannis) and includes Michah Renner, bass; Ben Brich, drums; Matt Tilwick, guitar; Hannah Emsick, keys, vocals; and Catherine Carne, vocals.  $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

Lazy-i Best of 2010

Lazy-i Best of 2010 sampler

Must you go on and on about your frickin’ Lazy-i Best of 2010 CD sampler? OK, we get it. You’re giving away a copy(ies) in a drawing to any loser who sends their name and mailing address in an e-mail to tim@lazy-i.com. Big deal. Next you’ll tell us that the CD is “highly coveted” and a “collector’s item,” as if I could sell it on eBay or something (which I couldn’t), and that tracks include songs by The Mynabirds, Sally Seltmann, The National, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Jenny and Johnny, A Weather, freakin’ Land of Talk, Arcade Fire, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and that the full track list is here. Oh yeah, better not forget about the free Lazy-i Sticker that comes with it (whoop-dee-doo!). Don’t bother telling me the deadline for entires is Jan. 18 because I already have a frickin’ copy. I bought mine on eBay!

* * *

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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i