Last week, we presented the obligatory Top 10 lists. (What? No Wilco? Sacrilege!) This week, the Planet presents the obligatory predictions for The Year in Music 2006.
What follows is a month-by-month look at some national and/or local music-scene events we're sure will happen, not so sure will happen, hope will happen, and hope to hell don't happen; which ones are which depend entirely upon your personal taste in tuneage, I guess.
JANUARY — Having been told one too many times how cold it is out on the patio, New World Brewery owner Steve Bird snaps, sets fire to the building, and runs around the blaze screaming and asking patrons if it's warm enough for them now. The place burns to the ground, but most of the beer is rescued by heroic/thirsty regulars, and the flames form an evocative backdrop for the night's plaintive solo acoustic set by Magnolia Electric Co.'s Jason Molina.
FEBRUARY — During some backstage horseplay at the Grammy Awards show, Gwen Stefani attempts to dislodge Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump's trademark military/ragamuffin-style cap. Stump's head comes off with it, revealing him and his bandmates to be robots manufactured by a jointly owned subsidiary of MTV, Hot Topic and Island Records. The group's young fans collectively shrug, noting that the music never sounded like it was made by real people anyway and send millions of text messages to help Fall Out Boy win "Cutest Animatronic Performers" at whichever teen magazine-fueled awards show that gives away blinged-out skateboards as trophies happens next.
MARCH — The music writer for the local alternative weekly newspaper neglects to give visionary Tampa music festival BONK its due, again, and is tortured to death by a posse of rogue avant-garde composers. The sounds of his execution are recorded and form the centerpiece of a collaborative work to premiere at BONK '07.
APRIL — EMI Records releases an 18-track best-of compilation honoring '80s Sunset Strip hair-rock band Poison. Closet fans, gag-gift givers and sarcastic hipsters unwittingly unite to make it the best-selling album of 2006, spurring clueless industry types to usher in a second Golden Age of Cock Rock by signing anyone with sprayed-up locks and skin-tight zebra-striped trousers. Overnight, young bands across the Bay area begin sporting sprayed-up locks and skin-tight zebra-striped trousers, many pairs of which are held up by spiked white belts. Several local musicians die of sudden brain embolisms when asked whether what they're doing is ironic or sincere.
JUNE — Everybody in town who knows him finally starts listening to WMNF DJ/Hub employee Scott Imrich's nonstop raving about how cool annual Athens, Ga., music festival AthFest is. As a result, The Hub, New World Brewery, The Emerald, Orpheum, Star Booty, Skipper's Smokehouse, Fuma Bella, Bombshell Gallery and several pizza-delivery joints are all closed from June 21-25, and only metal, kiddie-punk and cover bands play in town that weekend; 0.009 percent of the Tampa Bay area population actually notices the difference.
JULY — Cosmetics-obsessive mall-punk act Good Charlotte releases its fourth full-length album and is shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that the millions who grooved to "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous" back in '03 hadn't exactly dedicated themselves to lifelong fandom. The band's Warped Tour slot, on the Bumfuck Backyard Party Stage between Atom & His Package and a reunited Enuff Z'nuff, drives this fact home.
AUGUST — After hearing Car Bomb Driver perform its song "I Wanna Be a Ramone" while vacationing in St. Pete, a Fox Television executive steals the title for a new reality competition series. Highly offended, CBD singer Dave Reeder sues the network to block the show but eventually caves and settles for a "Created By" co-credit; the title ultimately makes him a punk-scene pariah when the series finale unveils a new "Ramones" consisting of Kevin Federline, Tara Reid, Matthew Lillard and Clint Howard.
SEPTEMBER — With the redevelopment of downtown in St. Pete in full swing, venues from Jannus Landing to the Uptown Bar begin to buckle under continuous civic harassment over noise levels and their perceived connection to seediness. Local acts begin staging full-volume shows on the streets in protest; later, a homegrown compilation CD aimed at raising awareness of the fight for local art will feature mug shots of more than two dozen Pinellas County musicians arrested for playing. The CD release party will be held at the only St. Pete room still regularly hosting gigs — The Bank, the club whose relative remoteness from downtown's main drag has suddenly become an asset.
OCTOBER — Halloween 2006 finds Tampa's biggest public party joining forces with its most obscure annual music event, to form GuavaZappaween. Patrons wishing to enter Ybor City must name five of the late Frank Zappa's many noteworthy band members and recite one of the deceased composer's innumerable famous quotes before being admitted to the party zone. The 1,400 or so that actually get in to see Bogus Pomp at the Cuban Club band shell enjoy one of the most laid-back and musically edifying Guavaweens in memory. Unfortunately, on the other side of the bay, restless dirt-rock party-freaks with no sanctioned focal point for their impulses raze Pinellas Park to ashes.
NOVEMBER — Willie Nelson and Kanye West shock the world by announcing their intent to travel to Bahrain to work with Michael Jackson on a comeback album. The always outspoken West publicly praises Jackson's early solo work, brushing aside the singer's myriad scandals and saying he'd like to put the sort of songs that made Off The Wall so unforgettable to a more contemporary, hip-hop-influenced urban production aesthetic. Nelson, for his part, retracts his statement only a few days later, after someone reminds him who Michael Jackson is and that he made a statement.
DECEMBER — Some local music-criticism hacks list their 10 favorite albums of 2006. The lists are populated by a bunch of bands most people have never heard of. And Wilco.