In the Year Two Thousand . . . Nine
A not-so-serious look into Vermont's musical future
Photo courtesy of Kendra Notte
Last year at roughly this time, I rolled out a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek look at what Vermonters could expect to see on the musical horizon in 2008. Looking back, it’s safe to say I blew it. With hardly an exception, none of my predictions actually happened. In fact, it seems the only accurate glance into the future I could muster was referring to Barack Obama as “President-elect.” Tabbing Ron Paul as his running mate, however, appears to have been the folly of wishful thinking. On a related note, my supposition of a Romney-Schwarzenegger GOP ticket seems to have been a bit shortsighted, or just plain dumb. I guess that’s why I don’t write a political column, eh?
Some other prognostications that missed the mark:
• Grace Potter didn’t cavort with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. Or if she did, those pics haven’t surfaced . . . yet.
• The Jazz Guys are still together. Though I’ll give myself a half-point here as they did briefly change their name to The Vanderpolls. However, they had to change it back, as guitarist Maarten van der Poll is currently teaching in Thailand, leaving Herb as the only van der Poll in the band. And “The Vanderpoll” just sounds silly.
• The New England Patriots lost . . . sigh.
• Radio Bean is still small.
• Greg Davis never recorded that conventional pop album. Weird.
• The jury is still out on Magny Olsen — the then-newborn daughter of Swale’s Amanda Gustafson and Eric Olsen — delivering the word from evil through the power of song. But the kid isn’t even a year old yet. Time will tell.
• The success of WOMM-LP 105.9 FM The Radiator hasn’t led to commercial stations embracing free-format radio. 99.9 FM The Buzz did play an unhealthy amount of Linkin Park, though. Half-point.
My final 2008 prediction is unquantifiable: that record high gas prices would encourage more people to seek out local music for their entertainment dollar. However, I’ve noticed more and more new and unfamiliar faces in the crowds lately, which suggests I might actually have gotten this one partially correct. Though gas prices have fallen to (semi) reasonable levels, the economy is in a certifiable shambles and looks to be so for the foreseeable future. Will the need to tighten the purse strings lead to even more support for local music in 2009? Let’s gaze into the crystal (disco) ball again and find out.
Citing “creative indifferences,” Club Metronome’s wildly popular Grateful Dead tribute series, “Dead Sessions,” disbands. After several months of inferior Dead-inspired acts gracing area stages, a crew of industrious local musicians bands together to pay homage to the late all-star group. They dub the new act “Dead Sessions Sessions.”
In other breakup news, local ska outfit Husbands AKA call it quits following their astonishingly successful debut album, released in late January. The split occurs when the group is outraged after several national outlets, including Magnet, Rolling Stone and National Public Radio hail the group as progenitors of “Fourth Wave ska.” Seven Days music editor Dan Bolles smirks, but sincerely regrets ever coining the term.
After years of threatening to do so, The Fatal Flaws finally move away from Burlington and back to the Midwest. Surprisingly, they return a scant few months later. When asked about the sudden turnaround, front man Chris Beneke replies only, “That place sucks, too.”
Contrary to ongoing rumors that the coffee house would be expanding, Radio Bean is forced to downsize, cutting its capacity roughly in half. In response, shop owner Lee Anderson moves the entire operation to an enormous raft on Lake Champlain and claims sovereignty. The Republic of L-l-leestonia? is officially recognized by the United Nations in November and ranks as the world’s third-largest producer of hand-drawn show fliers.
During the first presidential visit to Vermont in more than a decade, President Barack Obama singlehandedly foils a terrorist plot while out jogging on water. Sean Hannity remains unimpressed.
In a stunning turn of events, the 2009 Seven Daysies awards for both “Best New Vermont Band” and “Best Vermont Band” go to acts that are primarily based in Vermont.
Upon noticing the startling number of excellent bands that skip Burlington while on tour between Boston, Northampton and Montréal, area clubs begin booking more indie-rock acts. However, jaded hipsters are still heard to complain, “No good music ever comes to Burlington. And Dan Bolles sucks.”
Burton Snowboards releases “The White Board,” which is essentially a blank snowboard. No one is offended, until they realize they’ve just paid $800 for a blank snowboard.
The national economy continues to tank. In response, local nightclubs, cafés and concert halls lean even more heavily on local music. The strategy works as unprecedented numbers of Vermonters begin to seek out local music. Clubs reap record profits and artists are paid fairly for their work. The success is so dramatic that Vermont’s music scene becomes a business model for the entire music industry.