Column 57 — Visions of ’06

Category: Blog — @ 1:08 pm December 29, 2005

You’ve all been waiting patiently, now here it is: Pt. 2 of the “predictions” column. If you haven’t already, read Pt. 1, which appeared Dec. 22 (For those of you who prefer last year’s format, I’ll be putting Pts. 1 and 2 together into a single feature this weekend, complete with photos, etc.). I got to tell you, when I write this story every year, I don’t even remember typing it — something sinister rolls over me like a fog and I just start typing typing typing and before you know it, it’s written and I’m as surprised and shocked by what I see as you’ll be. There are powers at work that are way beyond this mortal sphere. I “typed” these predictions (or maybe I should call them “visions”?) Monday and already forces have been set in motion. The Who, for example, just announced an ’06 tour yesterday — I don’t want to take credit for it, but I doubt the idea even entered Pete’s mind before Monday night. There are subtle hints of other things happening in ’06 written between the lines — look for them, and remember where you read them first.

Column 57: Crystal Ball Gazing Pt. 2.
Premonitions for 2006

Look, it’s very unlikely that I could outdo the unholy performance of my 2005 predictions (see last week’s column). I know this. So much so that I considered taking my crystal ball to Sol’s and trading it in for a second-hand shotgun or an 8-track-tape player. But, knowing how much you, the reader, depend on my precognitive skills, here are my visions of 2006.

Prediction: This music scene was built from a concrete bunker on Leavenworth Street called The Cog Factory. Just about every significant band of the current era either performed or watched a performance at the all-ages shithole during their creative infancy. Under a cloud of IRS controversy, the Cog closed its doors in 2001. Now as we reach the end of the Omaha music scene’s second Golden Age, the next generation of bands will see the opening of a new, all-ages performance space in ’06 that caters to high-school kids who’ve reached the age of anger and dissent. If the operators of this nonprofit venue are wise, they’ll consider resurrecting the Cog Factory name, as blasphemous as that sounds.

Prediction: Living rooms will be introduced to Omaha music via a new weekly television program broadcast on one of the four local affiliates. Focusing exclusively on original music, the show will include interviews and taped performances from local bands (including Creek artists).

Prediction: Instead of a slew of music stores closing their doors, a couple new stores will open in ’06 selling a combination of new and used CDs, collectables and Urban Outfitter-style apparel.

Prediction: Adding to the resurrection of independent record stores, national box chains (Best Buy, Target, but probably not Wal Mart) that successfully lured unsophisticated music buyers by offering new releases at fire sale prices will get out of the music biz altogether after the major labels finally drop CD prices below the $10 mark. Look for new CDs as low as $8.99 and $9.99.

Prediction: Meanwhile, to make up for this generosity, those greedy major-label bastards will force Apple’s hand to introduce a tiered pricing scheme on i-Tunes. The oldies will still cost 99 cents to download, while new tracks by craptacular acts like Britney, Kanye and Stefani will run $1.29 or more. Promised cheaper prices for Freedom Rock classics will never materialize.

Prediction: We’re all going to have to keep waiting for that next important music trend to emerge. The only trend in ’06 will be more indie bands signing to majors (who will continue to water down their already tired sound), as well as the prolonged country music and retro-electronic/dance music revivals.

Prediction: Bands we’ll be talking about this time next year: Morrissey, New Order/Joy Division, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, The Postal Service, Prince, Tilly and the Wall, Ladyfinger, Cursive, Sarah Benck, The Cure, The Who, David Bowie and Simon Joyner.

Prediction: Bands we won’t be talking about: Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, Bright Eyes, U2, Kanye West, The White Stripes, Fitty, Fall Out Boy, Franz Ferdinand, Wilco and Ryan Adams.

Prediction: All of Michael Jackson’s personal and legal troubles will come to an end in ’06.

Prediction: In a maverick move, One Percent Productions will enter partnerships with a number of large venues in markets outside of Omaha and Lincoln. It’s their next step as they evolve into a regional music promotion powerhouse. Marc and Jim in business suits? Unfortunately, yes.

Prediction: Slowdown, the highly anticipated downtown Saddle Creek Records office/music venue/bar/retail space/condos/movie theater/pizza place, won’t open in the fall of 2006, as had been announced. But look out 2007.

Prediction: Like the guest who arrives at the party long after everyone’s left, a local radio station will switch formats, giving Omaha its first true indie/college radio station. Regardless, local music snobs will still complain that it isn’t playing “the right music.”

Prediction: With the emergence this year of video i-Pods, myspace and satellite radio, technology will take a breather in ’06. The division won’t be between Sirius and XM radio users, but between those who listen to satellite radio and the rest of us.

Prediction: I say it every year and I’m gonna say it again: A non-Saddle Creek act from Omaha or Lincoln will make an appearance on a late-night chat show — Conan, Carson Daly, Craig Ferguson, etc. Meanwhile, this year Bright Eyes will be a “special musical guest” on an episode of Saturday Night Live. It’s going to happen this year, by cracky!

I also predict that some of you will win copies of the Lazy-i Best of 2005 Compilation CD (that’s the CD at the top of this blog entry)… but only if you enter the drawing. All you have to do is e-mail me ( with your name and mailing address and your name will be in the hat. Tracks include songs by Eux Autres, Tegan and Sara, Dios Malos, My Morning Jacket, Beck, Criteria, Syd Matters, Low, Of Montreal and more. Coveted? You bet it is! Details and track order are right here. Enter right now! Deadline is January 16.

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