Trending 2015: Musical predictions from the ridiculous to the sublime

Kendrick Lamar, Gary Busey, and other wishes, lies and dreams.

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We peered into our crystal ball and came up with several potential scenarios for the coming year in music. Some of our predictions are pipe dreams, some are wishful thinking, and some might just happen. See if you can figure out which is which...

Six separate acts assume the name #HashtagtheBand but none actually trademarks it. Court hearings last through most of 2015 before the name is finally ruled as too generic to be a registered trademark. #longesttrialever #findanewnamealready #toogenericfortour

click to enlarge Wolf-Face chows down at Smokin' J's in Gulfport. - Chip Weiner
Chip Weiner
Wolf-Face chows down at Smokin' J's in Gulfport.

Zombies out, werewolves in: CL’s new restaurant review series — which finds Wolf-Face rating barbecue joints — sparks national interest in werewolf culture that pushes zombies into the background as full moon fever takes over. Ratings on MTV’s Teen Wolf skyrocket, online debates rage about the inauthentic were-ness of its characters versus the 1985 film, and Michael J. Wolf is invited to weigh in as an expert talking head on a string of national news programs, fueling platinum-level sales of the entire Wolf-Face catalogue.

Spurred by Thom Yorke’s method of distributing his solo sophomore album via BitTorrent, a new software company dubbed BrainFizz conceives a whole new platform: Grey Matter Microchips (GMMs), implanted in the temporal lobe via a complicated surgical procedure and able to download music directly into your cerebral cortex. Unfortunately, the cost-risk factor is too high for most to manage, and the product’s official spokesman — Gary Busey — does nothing to alleviate anyone’s concerns.

Tampa Bay becomes a tour stop hotspot: With significant acts like Elvis Costello, The Who, Neutral Milk Hotel, Aesop Rock and Swans spinning through Tampa Bay in 2015, our city becomes a bona fide stop on the national radar and other artists we’d never expect to see start booking dates here, from Ryan Adams to Arcade Fire to Manu Chao. The best part? Local folks actually do their part and buy tickets to said shows, selling out venues across town and ensuring that numbers-crunching touring agencies don’t ignore us anymore.

On a similar note: The undeniable international success of Tampa-based Merchandise and New-Orleans-by-way-of-Tampa act Benjamin Booker, as well as last year’s signings of set and setting and Dynasty, prompts reputable indie labels to start looking more seriously at the area’s talent pool. Alexander & The Grapes, Jensen Serf Co., Luxury Mane and Gwan Massive make label leaps, landing agents and public relations liaisons who put their mugs — and more importantly their music — in front of the nation. A swarm of other acts that struggled to get recognized in big cities realize the potential of our smaller but no less appreciative market and relocate here to further enrich the local scene, prompting online rags like Consequence of Sound and to scramble for the scoop for discovering the next big thing: “The New Bay area.”

A new generation steps up to help bankroll WMNF: With the latest format changes in the community-funded radio station causing a minor local uproar, younger generations clamor for more of the music and programming they like. They get it, and back up their appreciation with their wallets, ensuring that WMNF can keep the lights on and continue to compete with WUSF in the local market.

After Kendrick Lamar’s follow-up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City earns props from virtually every media outlet in the country, Gasparilla Music Festival books Lamar as its Saturday headliner, directly conflicting with 94.1’s hip-hop-rooted Wild Splash fest across the Bay and drawing on the same audience pool. In retribution, Wild Splash books a double-header of NYC talent in A$ap Rocky and Joey Bada$$, causing an unofficial “East Coast vs. West Coast” music fest rivalry.

More in-stores at record shops: Traditional venues find it harder and harder to make shows profitable (or break even), so bands continue to lean toward more DIY/underground spots, finding a happy medium in record stores like Microgroove and Mojo Books & Records. Bands get to keep more of the overhead and fans actually buy records with the money they saved on cover fees and alcohol.

Pharrell Williams teams up with Anamanaguchi on a new track, “Two-Bit Grooves,” that brings chiptunes to the forefront of Top 40 radio and into living rooms across America.

As this goes to print, BOTB-winning emcee Jinx is wrapping up a short tour of Germany supporting another Tampa rhyme-slinger, Dynasty. The twosome’s success encourages Bay area fans of local music to come together and run a Kickstarter campaign that will help more local acts hit the road and spread the gospel of #tampamusic to audiences far and wide.

About The Authors

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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